April 2020 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Comics Shipped to North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Direct Market Distributors
This data refers to sales by all distributors. Click to see charts from Diamond and DC's distributors.
April 2020 became a month like no other in Direct Market history on March 23, when Diamond Comic Distributors announced that no new comics and graphic novels with an on-sale date of April 1 or later would be shipped until further notice as a response to supply chain and retail disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Already under a tremendous debt load piled up by parent company AT&T in its takeover of Time-Warner, DC Comics on April 17 announced that a limited slate of titles would be available for beginning on April 28 from UCS Comics Distributors and Lunar Distribution, distribution firms that had been set up for the purpose by sister companies to the mail-order retailers Midtown Comics and DCBS (Discount Comic Book Service) respectively. Previous orders through Diamond for those comics were canceled by DC.
The result was that, for the first time since April 1997, it was necessary to look to more than just Diamond to track the bulk of the Direct Market. What appears below addresses comics shipped by all distributors combined, although in the case of April, that was just UCS and Lunar.
The chart below features every new comic book released through Diamond, Lunar, and UCS in April 2020. Variant editions have been merged into single entries, following longtime industry practice. The release dates are from UCS. We make no attempt here to distinguish between sales through Lunar and UCS; the intention is to reflect DC's Direct Market business outside Diamond.
Neither Diamond, DC, Lunar, nor UCS has yet released any meaningful information about sales to retailers during the month, so Comichron has drawn upon a subset of known retail orders both to determine approximate rankings and to project the relative order volumes of releases. The subset represents a sizable number of copies, but it is not possible at present to know what portion of the overall population of store orders it represents, particularly as many stores were closed, had their accounts on hold, or had not established accounts with DC's distributors.
The order volumes are expressed in relation to the the top-selling title: for every 100 copies of Daphne Byrne #4 in the order subset, there were 47 copies of Batman Giant #4. We're sticking with whole numbers until we have a better handle on the margin of error. No adjustments have been made for returnability. Further, no attempt has been made to project the orders for the reprints, though we expect both would have fallen below the orders of the new comics.
As to market shares, DC was the only publisher with new material available from Lunar and UCS in April, although the UCS site did indicate that backstock from Midtown Comics was available to retailers. Diamond did not release any information about its shipments.
As is the case with all data on Comichron, it is subject to revision without notice in the event more authoritative and complete information becomes available.
—John Jackson Miller
This list includes all comic books released by Direct Market distributors in the month.
The Order Index Number by each comic book indicates how many copies were ordered within a known subset of retailer orders for every 100 Daphne Byrne #4s that were ordered.
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.
|Units||Comic-book Title||Issue||Price||On sale||Publisher||Order Index|
|n.a.||Batman||89 3rd ptg||$3.99||04/28/20||DC||n.a.|
|n.a.||Nightwing||70 2nd ptg||$3.99||04/28/20||DC||n.a.|
April 2020 Graphic Novel Sales to Comics Shops
No graphic novels were part of the April 28 releases at DC's two new Direct Market distributors. Retailers who ordered from book channel distributors would have been able to get releases.