December 2019 Comics Sales Early Look
Comics and Graphic Novels Reordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors
December 2019 has four shipping weeks, the same as December 2018, so the year-to-year comparison will be an even one. That month took the wind out of a nascent 2018 recovery with a much smaller new comics slate — 398 new comics, the fewest in years — and a graphic novel performance that lagged the same month in 2017 by a whopping 26%. Part of that fact had to do with the holiday season: Diamond Comic Distributors released only a handful of comics and graphic novels on Dec. 26, specifically chosen by publishers for that purpose. DC only released 52 new comic books that December, yet it had all five of the top five comics; Batman Who Laughs #1 was the top-selling comic book in December, with orders of more than 226,000 copies.
For December 2019, we have the situation where both Christmas and New Year's Day are on Wednesdays; Diamond has set December 26 as the release day for new product, and following the 2018 practice, a group of approximately 20 titles will make up the entire slate. Retailers will receive their shipment for that day with the shipment for the previous week. January 1 orders will arrive in stores either Dec. 27 or Dec. 30; it's not clear yet whether they'll be counted with December or January.
Star Wars Episode IX is set for a December release. It comes out on Dec. 20.
The estimated comics sales for the month will become available sometime in January 2020, likely in the second week or so. Follow @Comichron on Twitter to get the alert when the report becomes available. In the meantime, you can get a sense of what sales might be like from noting what products were most reordered by retailers.
Several weeks ago, retailers began placing advance reorders for items whose initial order deadlines had passed, but which had not yet released at the time the reorders were placed. These reorders, placed further out than regular reorders, tend to be more speculative in nature, as there is less certainty that stock will still be available. But they do give us the farthest-into-the-future look at potential sales. To see potential sales for this month, you generally want to look at the advance reorders placed from the month before.
Note that the listings mix hardcovers, softcovers, and comics together, and that they also rank items by dollars rather than units. Note, too, that advance reorder charts are ranked by retail dollars, so retailers' discounts have not yet been applied. There is no guarantee that these advance reorders will be filled. It's also likely that a lot of books in these lists won't synch up exactly with this month; reorders are placed all the time and reported weekly, while comics sales are reported monthly.
Advance reorder charts will be posted here as soon as they are released. Stay tuned!
Click to skip down to the Reorders placed for issues shipping this month.
Reorders, by contrast, are orders for items that had already been released at the time of the order. In other words, these are the comics customers have been asking for, generally speaking; while deep discounts may also put titles on these lists, the charts are ranked by invoiced dollars, which is what retailers actually paid.
Reorder charts will be released weekly during the month. Stay tuned!
The true top sellers for the month will replace this page once they are released by Diamond.