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 25 Graphic Novels from each and every month from the year
around $207.49 Million
(down 1% year-over-year)
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 year.
— John Jackson Miller
Listed are all items on Diamond's end-of-year chart. If you don't see a book, Diamond released no data for it.
The links lead to listings for each issue on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
|1||Dark Knight Strikes Again||1||$7.95||DC|
|3||Wolverine: The Origin||3||$3.50||Marvel|
|4||Wolverine: The Origin||2||$3.50||Marvel|
|7||Wolverine: The Origin||1||$3.50||Marvel|
|40||Ultimate Marvel Team-Up||1||$2.25||Marvel|
|58||New X-Men 2001 Annual||0||$3.50||Marvel|
|92||Ultimate Marvel Team-Up||2||$2.25||Marvel|
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 has all items on Diamond's end-of-year chart. If you don't see an item, Diamond did not rank it.
Follow the links to search for each title on Amazon. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
My analyses of preorders from Diamond Comic Distributors for individual months can be found here: