2001 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Comics Shipped to North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

Dollar Preorders for Diamond's Top 300 Comics and
Top Graphic Novels from each and every month from the year

around $207.49 Million

(down 1% year-over-year)


#1 Most Ordered Issue
#2 Most Ordered Issue
#3 Most Ordered Issue
#4 Most Ordered Issue
#5 Most Ordered Issue

After seven straight years of collapsing sales, the second half of 2001 finally brought the Direct Market into turnaround mode to stay.

Dollar sales and trade paperback sales increased in January; an absence of titles from the large publishers put a huge 47 publishers in the Top 300. February was a down month, but not as bad as some earlier Februaries had been. Marvel only had 39 comics in the Top 300 in March, a multi-year low for its offerings.

The "bounce" that usually happens in April after the Dead Quarter ends did not happen, despite upticks in several of Marvel's "Ultimate" titles. Fewer titles kept sales from bouncing back. Paucity of new releases continued to weigh on the market in May and June.

But the long-awaited recovery began to develop in July, as Marvel put out more titles. Over half of August's preorders came from Diamond's list of the Top 25 trade paperbacks, making it the best month for comics plus trades since December 1998. Another strong title was added when September saw the launch of Wolverine: The Origin.

The September 11, 2001 attacks were quickly memorialized in two strong selling issues, Marvel's Heroes magazine and Amazing Spider-Man #36. More tribute issues would follow in 2002.

Dollar preorders for October were the best since September 1999, and November's were the best since 1998. Finally, at year's end, December saw phenomenal orders for Dark Knight Strikes Again #1. Diamond's combined comics and trade paperback preorders for 2001 were slightly edged out those for 2000, but "long tail" sales put 2001 ahead overall, breaking the long recession. 

The final rankings for all comics and trade paperbacks during the year appear below. Diamond Comic Distributors reported these issues without indexes allowing actual sales estimates to be calculated. You can find the first-month preorders for these issues in the monthly charts; click one of the months above or use the search tool at the top of the page to find the specific issue. But note that those monthly numbers do not include reorders for the entire year; the rankings below do take the entire year's sales into account.

Click to skip to the Top Graphic Novels for the month.

—John Jackson Miller

This list includes all items on Diamond's Top 300 charts, plus any post-#300 items from its Top Independent Publisher charts.
If you don't see a book, Diamond released no data for it.
Click to read the methodology for this table's estimates.
Distributor charts are regional commodity reports, not measures of a work's total reach. Read our FAQ.
The links lead to current listings for each item on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.

UnitsComic-book TitleIssuePricePublisher
1Dark Knight Strikes Again1$7.95DC
3Wolverine: The Origin3$3.50Marvel
4Wolverine: The Origin2$3.50Marvel
5Amazing Spider-Man36$2.25Marvel
6New X-Men114$2.25Marvel
7Wolverine: The Origin1$3.50Marvel
8X-Treme X-Men1$2.99Marvel
9Uncanny X-Men394$2.25Marvel
10Uncanny X-Men400$3.50Marvel
11New X-Men116$2.25Marvel
12New X-Men117$2.25Marvel
13New X-Men118$2.25Marvel
14Uncanny X-Men396$2.25Marvel
15New X-Men119$2.25Marvel
16New X-Men120$2.25Marvel
17Uncanny X-Men 397$2.25Marvel
18Uncanny X-Men398$2.25Marvel
19Uncanny X-Men39$2.25Marvel
20Uncanny X-Men390$2.25Marvel
21Uncanny X-Men401$2.25Marvel
22Ultimate X-Men5$2.25Marvel
23Ultimate X-Men6$2.25Marvel
24Ultimate X-Men7$2.25Marvel
25Ultimate X-Men8$2.25Marvel
26Ultimate X-Men12$2.25Marvel
27Ultimate X-Men4$2.25Marvel
28Green Arrow3$2.50DC
29Green Arrow2$2.50DC
30Ultimate X-Men13$2.25Marvel
31Ultimate X-Men9$2.25Marvel
32Ultimate X-Men11$2.25Marvel
33X-Treme X-Men3$2.99Marvel
34Uncanny X-Men393$2.25Marvel
35Uncanny X-Men392$2.25Marvel
36Ultimate X-Men10$2.25Marvel
39Ultimate X-Men2$2.50Marvel
40Ultimate Marvel Team-Up 1$2.25Marvel
41X-Treme X-Men4$2.25Marvel
42Green Arrow4$2.50DC
45Ultimate X-Men3$2.25Marvel
46Green Arrow5$2.50DC
47Green Arrow1$2.50DC
48X-Treme X-Men5$2.99Marvel
49X-Treme X-Men6$2.99Marvel
50Uncanny X-Men391$2.25Marvel
52G.I. Joe1$2.95Image
53Green Arrow6$2.50DC
54G.I. Joe2$2.95Image
55Green Arrow7$2.50DC
56X-Treme X-Men7$2.99Marvel
57Amazing Spider-Man35$2.25Marvel
58New X-Men 2001 Annual0$3.50Marvel
59Green Arrow8$2.50DC
60X-Treme X-Men8$2.99Marvel
61Ultimate Spider-Man10$2.25Marvel
62Ultimate Spider-Man9$2.25Marvel
63Green Arrow9$2.50DC
64Ultimate Spider-Man11$2.25Marvel
65Ultimate Spider-Man15$2.25Marvel
66Ultimate Spider-Man16$2.25Marvel
67Amazing Spider-Man33$2.25Marvel
68Amazing Spider-Man34$2.25Marvel
69Green Arrow10$2.50DC
70Amazing Spider-Man32$2.25Marvel
71Ultimate Spider-Man14$2.25Marvel
72Ultimate Spider-Man8$2.25Marvel
74Amazing Spider-Man 30$3.50Marvel
75Ultimate Spider-Man13$2.25Marvel
76Ultimate Spider-Man12$2.25Marvel
77Battle Chasers8$2.25DC
79New X-Men115$3.75Marvel
80Amazing Spider-Man31$2.25Marvel
85Ultimate Spider-Man7$2.25Marvel
92Ultimate Marvel Team-Up2$2.25Marvel
96Daredevil Yellow1$3.50Marvel

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2001 Graphic Novel Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks Shipped to North American Comics Shops Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

This list includes all items on Diamond's Top Graphic Novel charts. If you don't see a book, Diamond released no data for it.

The links lead to title details on Amazon (paid links). You can also find the books at your comics shop.

Marvel's first Ultimate Spider-Man graphic novel likely was the top dollar book for the year, while the oversized Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth led in units.

UnitsTrade Paperback titlePricePublisher
1Wonder Woman Spirit of Truth$9.95DC
2Ultimate Spider-Man$14.95Marvel
3Preacher Vol. 9 Alamo$17.95DC
4Ultimate X-Men$14.95Marvel
5Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 5$9.95Dark Horse
6Powers Vol. 1 Who Killed Retro Girl$21.95Image
7Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 6$9.95Dark Horse
8Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 7$9.95Dark Horse
9Batman Dark Knight Returns$14.95DC
10Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 8$9.95Dark Horse
11Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 9$9.95Dark Horse
12Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 10$9.95Dark Horse
13Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 11$9.95Dark Horse
14Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 12$9.95Dark Horse
15Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 13$9.95Dark Horse
16Captain America Nick Fury Otherworld War$6.95Marvel
17Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 14$9.95Dark Horse
18Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 15$24.95Dark Horse
19Akira Vol. 2$15.95Dark Horse
20Amazing Spider-Man Coming Home$9.95Marvel
21Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 1$24.95Dark Horse
22Daredevil Visionaries Frank Miller Vol. 2$14.95Marvel
23Ultimate Spider-Man$12.95Marvel
24X-Men E is for Extinction$12.95Marvel
25Chasing Dogma$12.95Image
26Akira Vol. 3$24.95Dark Horse
27Earth X$24.95Marvel
28Punisher Welcome Back Frank$24.95Marvel
29Twisted Toyfare Theater Vol. 1$9.99Wizard
30Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 16$9.95Dark Horse
31Authority Relentless$17.95DC
32Authority Under New Management$17.95DC
34Batman No Man's Land Vol. 5$12.95DC
35Rising Stars Vol. 1 Born in Fire$19.95Image
36Akira Vol. 4$27.95Dark Horse
37Daredevil Visionaries Frank Miller Vol. 3$24.95Marvel
38Essential Spider-Man Vol. 4$14.95Marvel
39Stormwatch Vol. 5 Final Orbit$9.95DC
40Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 2$9.95Dark Horse
41100 Bullets Vol. 2 Split Second Chance$14.95DC
42Torso Definitive Collection$24.95Image
43Kingdom Come$14.95DC
44Top Ten Book One$14.95DC
45Akira Vol. 1$24.95Dark Horse
46Johnny the Homicidal Maniac Director's Cut$19.95Slave Labor
47Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 3$9.95Dark Horse
48Bizarro Comics HC$29.95DC
49Preacher Vol. 1 Gone to Texas$14.95DC
50Clerks Comic Books$10.95Image
51Quotable Sandman HC$9.90DC
52Sandman Vol. 1 Preludes and Nocturnes$19.95DC
53Transmetropolitan Vol. 5 Lonely City$14.95DC
54Lone Wolf and Cub Vol. 4$9.95Dark Horse
55Justice League America Riddle of the Beast HC$24.95DC
56Akira Vol. 5 $27.95Dark Horse
57Crisis on Infinite Earths$29.95DC
58Justice League America Vol. 7 Tower Babel$12.95DC
59Essential X-Men Vol. 4$14.95Marvel
60Avengers Forever$24.95Marvel
61100 Bullets Vol. 1 First Shot Last Call$9.95DC
62Wonder Woman Gods of Gotham$5.95DC
63Essential Thor Vol. 1 $14.95Marvel
64Essential Avengers Vol. 3$14.95Marvel
65Essential Fantastic Four Vol. 3$14.95Marvel
66Uncanny X-Men Poptopia$15.95Marvel
67Red Star Vol. 1 Battle of Kar Dathras Gate$24.95Image
68Lenore Vol. 2 Wedgies$13.95Slave Labor
69Planetary Fourth Man$14.95DC
70Blade of the Immortal Heart of Darkness$16.95Dark Horse
71Batman Year One$9.95DC
72Preacher Vol. 2 Until the End of the World$14.95DC
73Planetary All Over the World and Other Stories$14.95DC
74Essential Spider-Man Vol. 1$14.95Marvel
75Super Friends$14.95DC
76Ultimate Marvel Team Up$14.95Marvel
77Preacher Vol. 8 All Hells A Coming$17.95DC
78Battle Chasers Gathering of Heroes$14.95DC
79Jenny Sparks Secret History of the Authority$14.95DC
81Daredevil Visionaries Kevin Smith$19.95Marvel
82Batman Dark Victory$29.95DC
83Justice League America Earth$14.95DC
84Crimson Earth Angel$14.95DC
85Squee$15.95Slave Labor
86Powers Vol. 2 Roleplay$13.95Image
87X-Men Children of the Atom$16.95Marvel
88Preacher Vol. 3 Proud Americans$14.95DC
89Preacher Vol. 7 Salvation$14.95DC
90Blade of the Immortal Gathering$15.95Dark Horse
91Preacher Vol. 5 Ancient History$14.95DC
92Batman Long Halloween$19.95DC
93Preacher Vol. 6 War in Sun$14.95DC
94Essential Hulk Vol. 2$14.95Marvel
95Sandman Vol. 2 Doll's House$19.95DC
96Preacher Vol. 5 Dixie Fried$14.95DC
97Ranma 1/2 Vol. 17$15.95Viz
98Batgirl Silent Running$12.95DC
99Spider-Man Visionaries Todd McFarlane$19.95Marvel
100Green Lantern Willworld HC$24.95DC

My analyses of preorders from Diamond Comic Distributors for individual months can be found here: