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Primer: North American and UK/Europe comics sales, and why the charts keep them separate

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

by John Jackson Miller

When it comes to our reports based on data from Diamond Comic Distributors, we're always careful to say they're based on sales to retailers by the distributor in North America. We often mention UK and European sales as not being included in Diamond's monthly tallies — but we don't often get into why that's the case. The question is occasionally raised online, so it's worth a quick primer.

Diamond launched its own service in the United Kingdom, Diamond UK Ltd., in 1991; later that year, it purchased another UK distributor, Pacific Distribution. In 1992, near the height of the comics boom and Diamond's rivalry with Capital City, the company bought out Titan Distributors. The consolidated firms operate now as Diamond Comic Distributors UK; headquartered in Cheshire, it serves both the United Kingdom and Europe.

How big a market are we talking about? For many years, I drew upon internal data for publishers who accounted for more than a third of the U.S. Direct Market — and I got to see their North American and UK invoiced orders side-by-side. Knowing what the ratio was between sales to the two regions, I was able to extend that to the entire market — and for many years I reported that at the end of my charts. Here, for example, is what I saw from month to month for the year 2009, based on all comics and trade paperback units Diamond sold:


North American Comic & TPB UnitsDiamond UK UnitsUK/US RatioTOTAL N. AMERICA/ UK UNITS
Jan-096,776,000 494,000 7.29%7,270,000
Feb-096,576,000 456,000 6.93%7,032,000
Mar-096,412,000 459,000 7.16%6,871,000
Apr-099,630,000 744,000 7.73%10,374,000
May-096,877,000 512,000 7.45%7,389,000
Jun-097,739,000 564,000 7.29%8,303,000
Jul-098,559,000 590,000 6.89%9,149,000
Aug-097,847,000 580,000 7.39%8,427,000
Sep-098,611,000 630,000 7.32%9,241,000
Oct-097,237,000 581,000 8.03%7,818,000
Nov-097,309,000 585,000 8.00%7,894,000
Dec-097,796,000 666,000 8.54%8,462,000
TOTAL 200991,368,000 6,861,000 7.51%98,232,000

As we can see, the Diamond UK draw was about 7.5% the size of the North American draw when it came to units. Now we take a look at dollars:


North American Comic & TPB DollarsDiamond UK DollarsUK/US RatioTOTAL N. AMERICA/ UK Dollars
Jan-09$31,308,000 $3,237,000 10.34%$34,545,000
Feb-09$28,724,000 $2,446,000 8.52%$31,170,000
Mar-09$31,093,000 $3,056,000 9.83%$34,149,000
Apr-09$41,955,000 $4,661,000 11.11%$46,616,000
May-09$35,811,000 $3,700,000 10.33%$39,511,000
Jun-09$37,034,000 $3,533,000 9.54%$40,567,000
Jul-09$41,587,000 $3,896,000 9.37%$45,483,000
Aug-09$36,149,000 $3,753,000 10.38%$39,902,000
Sep-09$41,007,000 $4,154,000 10.13%$45,161,000
Oct-09$34,195,000 $3,745,000 10.95%$37,940,000
Nov-09$34,952,000 $3,981,000 11.39%$38,933,000
Dec-09$35,672,000 $4,286,000 12.02%$39,958,000
TOTAL 2009$429,487,000 $44,448,000 10.35%$473,935,000

As you can see, the dollar share is quite a bit more than the unit share, with the market Diamond UK serves tending to be about one-tenth the size of its North American market.

So it's not a large addition, but not an insignificant one either. But I haven't played up the ratios you see above and no longer report the category — for the same reason, it turns out, that merging the charts would create problems. The North America-to-UK sales ratio is highly dependent on the product mix of the publishers you're looking at — and where variance exists, such ratios may not be applicable market-wide.

Diamond UK sells to retailers most, but not all, of the products Diamond carries for North American customers; it also sells materials which are only available in those markets. That — besides logistical concerns in the early days — is one reason why you don't see a consolidated list. For years and years, for example, Dark Horse had the Star Wars license in North America, but Titan had it in the UK. Neither's comics were available to retailers in the others' market.

There aren't as many such barriers in play today, but some remain, and the result of a consolidated list, then and now, would be not one, but two new sets of asterisks to go with the returnable one we already have: (**Not available in North America) and (***Not available outside North America) to explain why those titles' reported sales are lower relative to other books. And while it would be more complete, a single chart peppered with information on products retailers could not buy would be less effective at its intended purpose: advising retailers about what they should be buying.

As stated here in greater detail, the distributor sales charts were never intended to be mere scoreboards. They weren't created for those of us watching at home; they weren't invented to give publishers something to crow about. They're for Diamond's customers, the retailers. The first indexed sales charts appeared in 1984 were released in order to allow shop-owners to see what was selling in other parts of the country, such that they could adjust their orders accordingly. The charts have gone through some changes since then, but they serve the same function: Diamond reports what shipped from its North American warehouses in the calendar month.

By merging the North American and United Kingdom charts, Diamond would boost the reported figures for many titles — but the result would be of less help to retailers. United States and global box office sales are both important, but it's still useful to keep U.S. box office separate, because the list of films in release to the U.S. market will always be somewhat different from week to week from the global list.

There's another concern, a logistical one: calculating cover prices and sales. I'm not sure how you'd enter onto the North American charts UK-area exclusive items, if any, that aren't cover-priced in dollars. I'm not sure applying exchange rates would work. Would we need to look at exchange rates at the moment the books were ordered, or when the report is published? And would there be two columns — one for the nominal price in pounds, another with the U.S. dollar equivalent for summation purposes?

Finally, what market analysts regard to be a pretty serious concern: adding UK data to the North American charts would throw off all the cross-time comparisons, unless we simultaneously got retroactive data for the whole Diamond Exclusive Era. The most important "horse-race" in comics is not the one between publishers, but our own competition with the past. Switching from preorders to final orders in 2003 was undoubtedly the right thing to do, but comparatives with anything before 2003 still suffer. It's like comparing modern baseball with the dead-ball era.

Right now, the Diamond charts report something very specific and exact: the books that leave its hands in the shipping month for destinations in North America. That's been a valid and reliable measure of both, but we're also very specific that it can't be expanded to report everything a publisher sold — or that retailers bought, or that customers bought — without adding caveats. The UK 10% caveat has been provided for many years here, and it's important to make sure that anything done to make it more exact doesn't undermine the integrity of the existing measures.

Collectors do want to know for posterity how many copies are in circulation — and publishers always like to see higher numbers reported, even though adding Europe might not change their situation relative to their rivals much. Is there a solution that gets UK and Europe sales of comics printed in North America recognized without creating any of the above problems?

Yes, but it's a bit complicated. Diamond would need to release a second set of charts monthly — a Diamond UK shipped-copy list — along with order index numbers for its decryption. We would then unlock and publish estimates separately on Comichron, treating it in the same manner we would if it was a separate distributor; we have plans to do that here anyway, as we have parallel monthly charts for Diamond and Capital. Then a third, fused, set of charts would aggregate all sales — beginning a parallel set of trendlines for the English-language market. It would be a lot of extra work on the analysts' side, and I could see some going with just the North American charts and doing only aggregates or a la carte research into the overseas market. But as long as the geographic markets are distinct, retailers within those markets would likely benefit from being able to look just at the parts of it they inhabit. Whatever is added, the existing measures need to remain available.

John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for more than 20 years, including a decade editing the industry's retail trade magazine; he is the author of several guides to comics, as well as more than a hundred comic books for various franchises.  He is the author of several novels including Star Wars: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback. His trilogy for 2016, Star Trek: Prey, ships in consecutive months in September, October, and November.

Visit his fiction site at And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.


October 2016 comics sales estimates now online; smaller Loot Crate effect seen

Monday, November 14, 2016

by John Jackson Miller

The Comichron estimates are now available for comics and graphic novels shipped by Diamond Comic Distributors in October, and as reported here Friday, we saw a mild increase in overall sales during the month driven in part by a much larger slate of new items. Click to see the detailed comics sales estimates for October 2016 (or scroll down to see just the basic charts).

A couple of things will be immediate note. While reports had circulated that Marvel had shipped 400,000 copies of Champions #1, Diamond is only estimated to have shipped 328,165 copies in October. There's nothing unusual in this, and the Diamond figure supports rather than undermines the report. There were variants that went to GameStop and WizardWorld, among others, that possibly would not have been counted in the tally. And as always, the Diamond charts only report what it shipped in the month to North American stores, meaning overseas copies and reorders outside the time period are not included.
Second, as noted Friday, we do have a Loot Crate comic again in the form of the chart-topping Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York #1 variant that it received from Boom through Diamond. It's the first one we've seen since the spring of 2015, and in that time something has changed: the repackager appears to have accounted for fewer copies this time.

Diamond reports shipping 421,625 copies of the Big Trouble issue; back with Boom's Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John #1 in May 2015, Diamond shipped 502,737 copies. That likely puts the Loot Crate order somewhere in the 300,000s for October 2016's chart-topper, while it was in the 400,000s for the Bravest Warriors book. Orphan Black #1, back in February 2015, would likely also have had a Loot Crate order of well over 400,000 copies. It's unclear whether this represents an enduring change in the number of comic books Loot Crate orders or a one-time event.

Champions #1 had at least fourteen variants of its own offered into the Direct Market, and while that would seemingly suggest something about how much the second issue's sales might drop off, it's hard to put a percentage on it. Sales data on the highest profile first-issues hasn't been of much help in predicting second-issue sales in a long time. Multiple variants and other promotions complicate whatever predictive ratios used to exist. Champions #1 could have accounted more a little more than half the market share difference between Marvel and DC in October, but that estimate is difficult to make as market shares are based on wholesale dollars and we don't know what the average discount received was for the book.

The changes over time:

October 2016: 8.79 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +11%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +16%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +44%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +37%
NEW! Versus 20 years ago this month: -14%
YEAR TO DATE: 74.31 million copies, +2% vs. 2015, +26% vs. 2011, +11% vs. 2006, +36% vs. 2001

October 2016: 9.64 million copies
Versus one year ago this month: +13.61%
YEAR TO DATE: 82.47 million copies, +2.86% vs. 2015

October 2016: $34.23 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +7%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +35%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +80%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +89%
NEW! Versus 20 years ago this month: +39%
YEAR TO DATE: $286.33 million, unchanged vs. 2015, +41% vs. 2011, +39% vs. 2006, +89% vs. 2001

October 2016 versus one year ago this month: +5.74% 
YEAR TO DATE: +3.59% 

October 2016: $6.97 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -20%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +21%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: -18%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: -1%
YEAR TO DATE: $77.88 million, +4% vs. 2015

October 2016 versus one year ago this month: -10.40%
YEAR TO DATE: -0.01%

October 2016: $41.2 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +2%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +24%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +41%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +89%
YEAR TO DATE: $363.59 million, +1% vs. 2015

October 2016 versus one year ago this month: +1.09%
YEAR TO DATE: +2.48%

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
October 2016: approximately $51.29 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +1%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +30%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +68%
YEAR TO DATE: $485.97 million, +2% vs. 2015

New comic books released: 528
New graphic novels released: 345
New magazines released: 25
All new releases: 898

The average comic book in the Top 300 cost $3.93; the average comic book retailers ordered cost $389. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.

The comics sales estimates are below; these can also be found on the permanent home for this data:

Comic-book TitleIssuePricePublisherEst. sales
1Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York1†$3.99Boom421,625
3Doctor Strange Sorcerers Supreme1$3.99Marvel149,710
4Dark Knight III Master Race6$5.99DC133,642
7Civil War II6$4.99Marvel118,625
8Darth Vader25$5.99Marvel111,381
9All Star Batman3*$4.99DC106,905
10Walking Dead159$2.99Image91,291
11Clone Conspiracy1$4.99Marvel90,285
12Justice League6$2.99DC89,073
13Justice League7$2.99DC85,789
14Detective Comics942$2.99DC81,432
15Deadpool Back In Black1$3.99Marvel78,653
16Star Wars24$3.99Marvel78,160
18Death of X1$4.99Marvel75,825
20Detective Comics943$2.99DC74,340
22Jessica Jones1$3.99Marvel74,291
23Infamous Iron Man1$3.99Marvel73,735
24Amazing Spider-Man19$4.99Marvel73,215
25Doctor Strange12$3.99Marvel72,990
27Suicide Squad4*$2.99DC69,385
29Amazing Spider-Man20$3.99Marvel67,530
31Wonder Woman8$2.99DC66,405
33Teen Titans1*$2.99DC64,963
34Wonder Woman9$2.99DC64,555
35Suicide Squad5*$2.99DC63,472
36Star Wars Han Solo4$3.99Marvel63,030
37Harley Quinn5*$2.99DC62,943
38Black Panther7$3.99Marvel60,857
39Batman Beyond1*$2.99DC60,537
40Death of X2$3.99Marvel59,427
41Harley Quinn6*$2.99DC58,827
44Action Comics965$2.99DC55,678
45Action Comics966$2.99DC53,467
46Spider-Man Deadpool10$3.99Marvel52,468
47Green Lanterns8$2.99DC52,025
49Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps6$2.99DC49,988
50Green Lanterns9$2.99DC49,434
51Captain America Steve Rogers6$3.99Marvel49,111
52Green Arrow8$2.99DC48,904
53Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps7$2.99DC48,064
54Star Wars Poe Dameron7$4.99Marvel47,878
56Green Arrow9$2.99DC46,606
59Old Man Logan12$3.99Marvel45,384
63Deadpool Back In Black2$3.99Marvel44,047
64Invincible Iron Man14$3.99Marvel43,888
67Red Hood and the Outlaws3$2.99DC41,971
68Doctor Strange13$3.99Marvel41,290
70Mighty Thor12$3.99Marvel40,326
71Great Lakes Avengers1$3.99Marvel40,300
72Batgirl and the Birds of Prey3$2.99DC40,041
73Serenity No Power in the Verse1$3.99Dark Horse39,492
74Star Wars Force Awakens Adaptation5$3.99Marvel39,329
76Uncanny X-Men14$3.99Marvel38,685
77All New Wolverine13$3.99Marvel38,297
78Uncanny Avengers15$3.99Marvel38,058
79Doom Patrol2*$3.99DC37,856
81All New All Different Avengers15$3.99Marvel37,209
83Extraordinary X-Men15$3.99Marvel36,941
85Deadpool Too Soon1$4.99Marvel36,406
87Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special1$7.99DC36,096
89Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye1*$3.99DC35,204
93Moon Knight7$3.99Marvel33,866
95Blue Beetle2*$2.99DC33,454
96He Man Thundercats1$3.99DC32,936
97All New X-Men14$3.99Marvel32,629
99Paper Girls10$2.99Image32,119
100Shade The Changing Girl1*$3.99DC32,081
101Punisher Annual1$4.99Marvel32,001
102New Super Man4$2.99DC31,689
103Death of Hawkman1$3.99DC31,316
104Doctor Strange Mystic Apprentice1$3.99Marvel31,185
106Deadpool and Mercs For Money4$3.99Marvel29,881
107Guardians of Galaxy13$3.99Marvel29,845
109Ms Marvel12$4.99Marvel28,348
110Seven To Eternity2$3.99Image27,968
111Captain America Sam Wilson14$3.99Marvel27,702
112Totally Awesome Hulk11$3.99Marvel26,259
113Black Widow7$3.99Marvel26,202
114Uncanny Inhumans14$3.99Marvel24,781
115Future Quest5$3.99DC23,975
116New Avengers17$3.99Marvel23,939
117Kill Or Be Killed3$3.99Image23,883
119Scooby Apocalypse6$3.99DC23,781
121Future Quest6$3.99DC22,131
125Spider-Man 209916$3.99Marvel20,671
126Mighty Morphin Power Rangers8$3.99Boom20,563
127I Hate Fairyland10$3.50Image20,534
128Midnighter and Apollo1$3.99DC20,497
129Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta22$2.99Image20,347
130TMNT Universe2$4.99IDW19,944
131Civil War II Kingpin4$3.99Marvel19,902
133Lost Boys1$3.99DC19,812
134Power Man and Iron Fist9$3.99Marvel19,611
137Black Monday Murders3$4.99Image18,371
138Enchanted Tiki Room1$3.99Marvel18,296
139X-Men 928$3.99Marvel18,220
140Archie Meets Ramones One Shot$4.99Archie18,183
141Howard the Duck11$3.99Marvel18,162
142Silver Surfer7$3.99Marvel17,588
143Civil War II Ulysses3$4.99Marvel17,234
145TMNT Ongoing63$3.99IDW17,133
147Earth 2 Society17$2.99DC16,822
148Squadron Supreme12$3.99Marvel16,460
149Astonishing Ant-Man13$4.99Marvel16,350
150Vigilante Southland1$3.99DC16,264
153Jupiters Legacy Vol. 24$3.99Image16,181
155Green Valley1$2.99Image16,091
156DC Comics Bombshells18$3.99DC16,042
158TMNT Universe3$4.99IDW15,619
159Deadman Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love1$5.99DC15,297
160Star Trek Boldly Go1$3.99IDW14,690
161Unbeatable Squirrel Girl13$3.99Marvel14,688
162Venom Space Knight13$3.99Marvel14,577
163Bloodshot Usa1$3.99Valiant14,509
165Scarlet Witch11$3.99Marvel14,269
166Invader Zim14$3.99Oni14,219
167Gotham Academy Second Semester2$2.99DC13,856
168James Bond Hammerhead1$3.99Dynamite13,819
171Black Hammer4$3.99Dark Horse13,320
172Power Rangers Pink4$3.99Boom13,274
173Agents of Shield10$3.99Marvel13,025
175My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic47$3.99IDW12,474
176Black1$3.99Black Mask12,344
177Betty Boop1$3.99Dynamite12,338
178Injustice Gods Among Us Year Five20$2.99DC12,313
180Injustice Gods Among Us Year Five19$2.99DC12,262
181James Bond10$3.99Dynamite12,121
183Transformers Revolution1*$3.99IDW11,960
185Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat11$3.99Marvel11,902
186Suicide Squad Most Wanted3$4.99DC11,468
187Black Science25$3.99Image11,425
188Hellboy and BPRD 19542$3.99Dark Horse10,996
189My Little Pony Friends Forever33$3.99IDW10,532
191Love & Rockets Magazine1$4.99Fantagraphics10,036
192Rick & Morty19$3.99Oni9,929
193Wacky Raceland5$3.99DC9,923
194Astro City40$3.99DC9,568
195Batman 66 Meets Steed and Mrs Peel4$2.99DC9,556
196Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur12$3.99Marvel9,509
198Teen Titans Go18$2.99DC9,506
199Back To The Future13*$3.99IDW9,472
201Aliens Defiance6$3.99Dark Horse9,346
203Aliens Life and Death2$3.99Dark Horse9,206
205Godzilla Rage Across Time3$3.99IDW8,872
206Godzilla Rage Across Time2*$3.99IDW8,859
207Conan The Slayer4$3.99Dark Horse8,657
209Lumberjanes Gotham Academy5$3.99Boom8,574
210Autumnlands Tooth & Claw13$2.99Image8,554
211Marvel Tsum Tsum3$3.99Marvel8,550
213Everafter From The Pages of Fables2$3.99DC8,414
214Red One4$2.99Image8,266
215Surgeon X2$3.99Image8,180
217AOD Xena Forever and A Day1$3.99Dynamite8,097
219Dark Tower Drawing of Three Sailor1$3.99Marvel7,910
220Doctor Fate17$2.99DC7,854
222Manifest Destiny24$2.99Image7,815
223Secret Wars6$3.99Marvel7,785
225Briggs Land3$3.99Dark Horse7,757
228Rick & Morty Lil Poopy Superstar4$3.99Oni7,559
229Warhammer 40000 Will of Iron1$3.99Titan7,522
230Scooby Doo Team Up19$2.99DC7,467
231Jem & The Holograms20$3.99IDW7,454
232American Vampire Anthology2$7.99DC7,376
236Bloodshot Reborn18$3.99Valiant7,193
237Justice League1 Dir. Cut$5.99DC6,992
238Hadrians Wall2$3.99Image6,791
239Renato Jones One Percent5$3.99Image6,671
240Seven To Eternity1$3.99Image6,604
241Spell On Wheels1*$3.99Dark Horse6,597
242Doctor Who Supremacy of the Cybermen4$3.99Titan6,505
243G.I. Joe A Real American Hero233$3.99IDW6,475
244Sixpack & Dogwelder Hard-Travelin Heroz3$3.99DC6,442
245Chimichanga Sorrow of Worlds Worst Face1*$3.99Dark Horse6,440
246Simpsons Comics233$3.99Bongo6,394
247Rise of the Black Flame2$3.99Dark Horse6,379
248Harrow County17$3.99Dark Horse6,377
250Doctor Who 12th Year Two10$3.99Titan6,343
251Dark Souls Legends of the Flame2$3.99Titan6,175
252Star Wars8$3.99Marvel6,155
253Doctor Who 10th Year Two15$3.99Titan6,130
254BPRD Hell On Earth146$3.99Dark Horse6,056
255Call of Duty Zombies1*$3.99Dark Horse6,008
256Bobs Burgers Ongoing16$3.99Dynamite5,991
257Tarzan On The Planet of the Apes2$3.99Dark Horse5,974
258Adventure Time Comics4$3.99Boom5,962
261Clean Room12$3.99DC5,807
262Generation Zero3$3.99Valiant5,771
263Lake of Fire3$3.99Image5,738
264Adventure Time57$3.99Boom5,711
265Doctor Who 11th Year Two14$3.99Titan5,710
267Ghostbusters International9$3.99IDW5,652
268A Year of Marvels Unbeatable1$4.99Marvel5,651
269Hard Case Crime Peepland1$3.99Titan5,627
270Doctor Who 9th6$3.99Titan5,573
271Sonic The Hedgehog287$3.99Archie5,502
274Duck Avenger1$5.99IDW5,425
275Savage Dragon217$3.99Image5,390
276Warlords of Appalachia1*$3.99Boom5,349
277Penny Dreadful5$3.99Titan5,340
278Action Man Revolution1*$3.99IDW5,313
279Ghostbusters International10$3.99IDW5,313
281The Skeptics1$3.99Black Mask5,258
283Sons of Anarchy Redwood Original3$3.99Boom5,247
284Pathfinder Worldscape1$4.99Dynamite5,225
285Kong of Skull Island4$3.99Boom5,191
286Sheriff of Babylon11$3.99DC5,177
287Black Light District 6 Issues$3.99Image5,163
288Cinema Purgatorio6$6.99Avatar5,161
289Doctor Who 3rd2$3.99Titan5,159
290Hard Case Crime Triggerman1$3.99Titan5,133
293Sonic Universe91$3.99Archie5,097
294X-Files Origins3*$4.99IDW5,065
296Shadow Death of Margo Lane5$4.99Dynamite4,992
297Spongebob Comics61$3.99United Plankton4,985
298Powerpuff Girls4*$3.99IDW4,981
299Scooby Doo Where Are You74$2.99DC4,972
300Uncle Scrooge19$3.99IDW4,931
306Wrath of the Eternal Warrior12$3.99Valiant4,796
308Street Fighter Unlimited11$3.99Udon4,606
309War Stories20$3.99Avatar4,542
316Rough Riders6$3.99Aftershock4,383
319Grimm Fairy Tales 2016 Photo Shoot$5.99Zenescope4,224
323Street Fighter Legends Cammy4$3.99Udon4,131
324Grimm Fairy Tales Annual 20161$5.99Zenescope4,106
326Grimm Fairy Tales Halloween Special 2016$5.99Zenescope4,060
333Evil Dead 2 Revenge of Dracula One Shot$3.99Space Goat3,868
337Voltron Legendary Defender3$2.99Lion Forge3,719
339Lady Death Extinction Express1 Std Ed.$7.99Coffin3,690
340Evil Dead 2 Dark Ones Rising1$3.99Space Goat3,688
342Grimm Fairy Tales Genesis Heroes Reborn$4.99Zenescope3,654
344Irwin Allen Lost In Space5$3.99American Mythology3,640
350Disney Pixar Finding Dory4$2.99Joe Books3,549
359Pink Panther Trick Or Pink1$3.99American Mythology3,406
364Bruce Lee Dragon Rises4$3.99Magnetic3,314
366Three Stooges Curse of Frankenstooge$4.99American Mythology3,254
367Grimm Fairy Tales Robyn Hood I Love Ny5$3.99Zenescope3,251
373Evil Dead 2 Revenge of Jack The Ripper One Shot3.99Space Goat3151
377Kim and Kim43.99Black Mask3083
379Evil Dead 2 Dark Ones Rising23.99Space Goat3081
381Grimm Fairy Tales Van Helsing Vs Frankenstein33.99Zenescope3019
387Evil Dead 2 Revenge of the Martians One Shot3.99Space Goat2940
394Black Hood Season 213.99Archie2822

And the graphic novels:

Trade Paperback titlePricePublisherEst. sales
1Champions No Time For Losers #1$7.99Marvel7,366
2Wicked & Divine Vol. 4 Rising Action$14.99Image7,273
3East of West Vol. 6$14.99Image5,605
4Tokyo Ghost Vol. 2$14.99Image5,294
5Low Vol. 3 Shore of the Dying Light$14.99Image4,689
6Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up Marvel Universe HC$24.99Marvel4,542
7Doctor Strange Flight of Bones$24.99Marvel4,505
8Color Your Own Star Wars$9.99Marvel4,478
9Trees Vol. 2$12.99Image4,453
10Batman Dark Knight Returns Book & Mask Set$39.99DC4,123
11March Book 1$14.95IDW3,962
12Hellboy In Hell Vol. 2 Death Card$17.99Dark Horse3,766
13Superman American Alien HC$24.99DC3,686
14Walking Dead HC Vol. 13$34.99Image3,347
15Revolution Road To Revolution Special$9.99IDW3,255
16Neil Gaimans Troll Bridge HC$14.99Dark Horse3,254
17Head Lopper Vol. 1 Island or a Plague of Beasts$19.99Image3,185
18Wolverine Old Man Logan Vol. 2 Bordertown$15.99Marvel3,160
19Black Road Vol. 1$9.99Image2,970
20Buffy High School Years Glutton Punishment$10.99Dark Horse2,951
21Deadpool Worlds Greatest Vol. 4 Temporary Insanitation$15.99Marvel2,934
22Goodnight Batcave HC$14.99DC2,806
23Paper Girls Vol. 1$9.99Image2,742
24Saga Vol. 6$14.99Image2,692
25Black Widow Vol. 1 Shields Most Wanted$17.99Marvel2,662
26Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris Vol. 1 Colossus of Mars$16.99Dynamite2,592
27Turok Dinosaur Hunter Vol. 1 Conquest$16.99Dynamite2,535
28X-O Manowar Vol. 1 by The Sword$9.99Valiant2,534
29Mask Strikes Back$14.95Dark Horse2,531
30Daredevil Punisher Seventh Circle$15.99Marvel2,514
31Mighty Avengers Vol. 1 Ultron Initiative$14.99Marvel2,507
32Doctor Strange Prem HC Vol. 2 Last Days of Magic$24.99Marvel2,468
33Discipline Vol. 1$9.99Image2,458
34All New Wolverine Vol. 2 Civil War II$19.99Marvel2,302
35Saga Vol. 1$9.99Image2,274
36DC Universe by Neil Gaiman Deluxe Ed HC$29.99DC2,268
37Extraordinary X-Men Vol. 2 Apocalypse Wars$19.99Marvel2,245
38Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 9$12.99Viz2,179
39Color Your Own Doctor Strange$9.99Marvel2,144
40Grayson Vol. 4 A Ghost in the Tomb$16.99DC2,133
41Flash An Adult Coloring Book$15.99DC2,108
42Secret Loves of Geek Girls$14.99Dark Horse2,096
43Punisher Max Complete Collection Vol. 3$34.99Marvel2,093
44Batman by Ed Brubaker Vol. 2$19.99DC2,092
45Elseworlds Batman Vol. 2$24.99DC2,059
46Marvels Doctor Strange Prelude$16.99Marvel2,005
47Flash by Geoff Johns Book 3$24.99DC2,001
48Monstress Vol. 1$9.99Image1,974
49Moebius Library World of Edena HC$49.99Dark Horse1,968
50All New X-Men Inevitable Vol. 2 Apocalypse Wars$15.99Marvel1,907
51Doctor Strange Epic Collection Separate Reality$39.99Marvel1,893
52Superman The Final Days of Superman HC$29.99DC1,840
53Swamp Thing The Dead Dont Sleep$16.99DC1,838
54Supergirl by Peter David Book 1$24.99DC1,832
55Disney Princess Comics Coll$9.99Joe Books1,786
56Batman The Killing Joke Special Ed HC$17.99DC1,775
57Attack on Titan Anthology Px Ed$29.99Random House1,759
58Captain America White$24.99Marvel1,729
59Teen Titans Go Bring It On New Ed$12.99DC1,720
60Carnage Vol. 2 World Tour$15.99Marvel1,648
61Mockingbird Vol. 1 I Can Explain$17.99Marvel1,642
62Nightwing Vol. 5 The Hunt For Oracle$24.99DC1,616
63Green Lantern The Silver Age Vol. 1$24.99DC1,584
65Red Hood Arsenal Vol. 2 Devils Daughter$16.99DC1,557
66Star Wars Legends Epic Coll Original Marvel Years Vol. 1$39.99Marvel1,553
67Doctor Strange What Is It That Disturbs You Stephen$29.99Marvel1,542
68Vote Loki$15.99Marvel1,540
69Aquaman Vol. 7 Exiled$16.99DC1,517
70Captain Marvel Vol. 2 Earths Mightiest Hero$29.99Marvel1,516
71X-Men 92 Vol. 1 World Is A Vampire$15.99Marvel1,507
72Power Man and Iron Fist Epic Collection Revenge$39.99Marvel1,506
73Giant Days Vol. 3$14.99Boom1,505
74Walking Dead Vol. 26 Call To Arms$14.99Image1,492
75Predator Life and Death$14.99Dark Horse1,446
76Green Arrow Vol. 9 Outbreak$17.99DC1,433
77Fade Out Dlx Ed HC$49.99Image1,429
78My Little Pony Vol. 6 Crystal Empire$7.99IDW1,386
79We Are Robin Vol. 2 Jokers$14.99DC1,386
80Batman Hush Complete$24.99DC1,360
81Valiant Masters Shadowman HC Vol. 1 Spirits Within$24.99Valiant1,348
82Cbldf Presents She Changed Comics$14.99Image1,341
83Catwoman Vol. 8 Run Like Hell$14.99DC1,286
84Super Mario Adventures$14.99Viz1,284
85Black Dog Dreams of Paul Nash$24.99Dark Horse1,282
86Goldie Vance Vol. 1$9.99Boom1,265
87Saga Vol. 2$14.99Image1,256
88Back To The Future Vol. 2 Continuum Conundrum$19.99IDW1,243
89Superman Savage Dawn HC$29.99DC1,242
90Midnighter Vol. 2 Hard$14.99DC1,232
91Batman The Long Halloween$24.99DC1,225
92X-Men Gambit and Rogue$24.99Marvel1,210
93Hawkeye HC Vol. 3$34.99Marvel1,207
94Neil Gaimans Midnight Days$16.99DC1,196
95TMNT Ongoing Vol. 15 Leatherhead$19.99IDW1,192
96Fifth Beatle Brian Epstein Story Expanded Ed$14.99Dark Horse1,167
97Saga Vol. 5$14.99Image1,167
99Saga Vol. 4$14.99Image1,161
100Color Your Own Young Marvel by Skottie Young$9.99Marvel1,157
101All New Inhumans Vol. 2 Skyspears$19.99Marvel1,151
103Saga Vol. 3$14.99Image1,129
104Black Panther Book 1 Nation Under Our Feet$16.99Marvel1,126
105Wolf Vol. 2 Apocalypse Soon$14.99Image1,100
106Aquaman A Celebration of 75 Years HC$39.99DC1,095
107Spider-Man Deadpool Vol. 1 Isnt It Bromantic$17.99Marvel1,081
108Wonder Woman The Golden Age Omnibus HC Vol. 1$75.00DC1,076
109I Am A Hero Omnibus Vol. 2$19.99Dark Horse1,073
110Dark Tower Drawing of Three Bitter Medicine$19.99Marvel1,057
111Wicked & Divine Vol. 1 The Faust Act$9.99Image1,055
112Descender Vol. 1 Tin Stars$9.99Image1,038
113Son of Satan Classic$39.99Marvel1,015
114International Iron Man Prem HC$29.99Marvel1,014
115Spider-Man Clone Saga Omnibus HC Vol. 1$125.00Marvel1,012
116Uncanny X-Men Omnibus HC Vol. 2$100.00Marvel1,010
117Harley Quinn & Suicide Squad An Adult Coloring Book$15.99DC970
118Thought Bubble Anthology Coll 10 Years of Comics$9.99Image961
119Walking Dead Vol. 1 Days Gone Bye$14.99Image954
120Doctor Fate Vol. 2 Prisoners of the Past$14.99DC943
1214001 AD$14.99Valiant938
122Coloring DC Wonder Woman$15.99DC933
123Prince of Cats HC$24.99Image930
125Batman Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles HC$24.99DC923
126Godzilla Oblivion$19.99IDW920
127Sixth Gun Vol. 9 Boot Hill$19.99Oni917
128Color Your Own Deadpool$9.99Marvel908
129Street Fighter X G.I. Joe$19.99IDW905
130Justice League United Vol. 2 The Infinitus Saga$14.99DC903
131Legendary Star-Lord Vol. 4 Out of Orbit$15.99Marvel901
132Goon Library HC Vol. 4$39.99Dark Horse883
133Spirits of Vengeance Rise of Midnight Sons$34.99Marvel883
134Batman Vol. 1 The Court of Owls$16.99DC882
135Jim Hensons Dark Crystal Vol. 3 Creation Myths$14.99Boom845
136Tomb Raider 2016 Vol. 1 Spore$19.99Dark Horse828
137Charles Burns Last Look$29.95Random House827
138Get Jiro Blood and Sushi$14.99DC827
139Last Gang In Town$14.99DC805
141East of West Vol. 1 The Promise$9.99Image801
142Preacher Book 1$19.99DC797
143Bandette HC Vol. 3 House of the Green Mask$14.99Dark Horse796
144Transformers More Than Meets The Eye Vol. 10$19.99IDW787
145Wytches Vol. 1$9.99Image787
146Dc Super Hero Girls Vol. 1 Finals Crisis$9.99DC785
147One Punch Man Vol. 1$9.99Viz785
148Double Life of Miranda Turner Vol. 1$14.99Image784
149Civil War$24.99Marvel782
150Infinity Gauntlet$24.99Marvel776
151Black Eyed Kids Vol. 1$14.99Aftershock773
152Walt Disney Donald Duck HC Vol. 9 Ghost Sheriff Last Gasp$29.99Fantagraphics760
153Batman Dark Knight Returns$19.99DC757
154Locke & Key Master Edition HC Vol. 3$49.99IDW756
155Tetris Games People Play$19.99St. Martins754
156Batman Vol. 3 Death of the Family$16.99DC752
157Batman Harley Quinn$19.99DC739
158Barbie Vol. 1$7.99NBM738
159Sons of the Devil Vol. 2 Secrets and Lies$14.99Image734
160Descender Vol. 2$14.99Image733
161Disney Pixar Finding Dory$9.99Joe Books728
162Hatsune Miku Mikubon$10.99Dark Horse716
163Metabaron HC Book 1 Techno Admiral Anti Baron$29.95Humanoids716
164Flash Vol. 1 Move Forward$16.99DC705
165Walking Dead Vol. 25 No Turning Back$14.99Image703
166Sandman Vol. 1 Preludes & Nocturnes$19.99DC701
167Rai Vol. 4 4001 Ad$14.99Valiant694
168Man Thing by Steve Gerber Complete Coll Vol. 2$34.99Marvel693
169Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest$19.99DC692
170Wolverine Old Man Logan$29.99Marvel687
171Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta Vol. 1$9.99Image671
172Tokyo Ghost Vol. 1 Atomic Garden$9.99Image669
173Rick & Morty Vol. 1$19.99Oni666
174Wonder Woman The True Amazon HC$22.99DC665
176March Book 3$19.99IDW656
177Batman Vol. 2 The City of Owls$16.99DC654
178Garfield Big Fat Hairy Adventure Original Gn$9.99Boom654
179Transformers Vol. 10$19.99IDW651
181Space Battle Lunchtime Vol. 1 Lights Camera Snacktion$12.99Oni634
182Food Wars Shokugeki No Soma Vol. 14$9.99Viz624
183Vision Vol. 1 Little Worse Than Man$17.99Marvel617
184I Hate Fairyland Vol. 1 Madly Ever After$9.99Image613
185Joyride Vol. 1$9.99Boom613
186Marvel Universe According To Hembeck$34.99Marvel601
187Hyperion Daddy Issues$17.99Marvel600
188Star Wars Darth Vader Vol. 1 Vader$19.99Marvel589
189Harley Quinn Vol. 1 Hot in the City$16.99DC584
190Low Vol. 1 The Delirium of Hope$9.99Image581
191Valiant Masters Bloodshot HC Vol. 1$24.99Valiant580
192Archie 1000 Page Comics Spree$14.99Archie579
193Neil Gaiman Graveyard Book Comp HC$35.00HarperCollins578
194Wicked & Divine Vol. 3$14.99Image569
195Dirk Gently Big Holistic Graphic Novel$24.99IDW567
196Wicked & Divine Vol. 2 Fandemonium$14.99Image561
197Wrath of the Eternal Warrior Vol. 2 Labyrinth$19.99Valiant556
198Nekogahara Stray Cat Samurai Vol. 1$12.99Random House555
199Solstice HC$19.99Image553
200TMNT Amazing Adventures Vol. 3$17.99IDW552
201Batman Vol. 7 Endgame$16.99DC547
202Shadow Death of Margo Lane HC$24.99Dynamite546
203How To Build Dungeon Book of Demon King Vol. 1$12.99St. Martins536
204March Book 2$19.95IDW533
205Lumberjanes Vol. 1$14.99Boom531
206Doctor Strange Fate of Dreams Prose Novel HC$24.99Marvel530
207Y The Last Man Book 1$19.99DC528
208Walking Dead Vol. 2 Miles Behind Us$14.99Image525
209V For Vendetta New Edition$19.99DC522
210October Faction Vol. 3$19.99IDW521
211Wynonna Earp Vol. 1 Homecoming$19.99IDW515
212Korgi Vol. 4 Problem With Potions$9.99IDW514
213Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta Vol. 3 Little Light$14.99Image512
214Bitch Planet Vol. 1 Extraordinary Machine$9.99Image506
215Jim Butcher Dresden Files Wild Card HC$24.99Dynamite501
216Uncle Scrooge Last Adventure$14.99IDW500
217Aw Yeah Comics Action Cat and Adventure Bug$12.99Dark Horse498
218Dreaming Eagles HC Vol. 1$29.99Aftershock495
219Batman Year One Deluxe Sc$14.99DC488
220Garden of Flesh HC Hernandez$12.99Fantagraphics488
221Nailbiter Vol. 1 There Will Be Blood$9.99Image482
222Pokemon Xy Vol. 8$4.99Viz481
223Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 1$12.99Viz474
224Preacher Book 2$19.99DC471
225Haunted Horror HC Vol. 4 Candles For Undead & More$24.99IDW467
226Superman Red Son New Edition$17.99DC461
227Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 1$59.99Image456
228Donald Duck Revenge of the Duck Avenger$12.99IDW455
229Jason Shiga Demon Sc Gn$19.99St. Martins452
230Angel Catbird HC Vol. 1$14.99Dark Horse448
231Batman A Death in the Family New Ed$24.99DC445
232Astro Boy Omnibus Vol. 5$19.99Dark Horse442
233Batman Vol. 4 Zero Year Secret City$16.99DC442
234Rat Queens Vol. 1 Sass & Sorcery$9.99Image439
235Chew Vol. 1$9.99Image436
236Harley Quinn Vol. 2 Power Outage$16.99DC436
237Sex Criminals Vol. 1$9.99Image436
238Peanuts Vol. 8$13.99Boom435
239Samurai Jack Tales of Wandering Warrior$49.99IDW433
240Vampirella Archives HC Vol. 15$49.99Dynamite433
241Star Wars Darth Vader Vol. 3 Shu Torun War$16.99Marvel429
242Oh Joy Sex Toy Vol. 1$29.99Oni427
243Star Wars Vader Down$19.99Marvel427
244Rat Queens Vol. 3 Demons$14.99Image426
245Spawn Origins HC Vol. 10$29.99Image422
246V For Vendetta Book and Mask Set$29.99DC422
247Shang-Chi Master Kung Fu Omnibus HC Vol. 2$125.00Marvel419
248Power Man and Iron Fist Vol. 1 Boys Are Back In Town$15.99Marvel418
249Doctor Strange Omnibus HC Vol. 1 Ross Cvr$75.00Marvel417
250Miraculous Origins$9.99Action Lab417
251Platinum End Vol. 1$9.99Viz417
252Fate Zero Vol. 3$11.99Dark Horse415
253Johnny Homicidal Maniac Directors Cut SC$21.95Slave Labor415
254Batman Court of Owls Book & Mask Set$24.99DC414
255East of West Vol. 5 All These Secrets$14.99Image414
256Jingle Belle Whole Package$29.99IDW414
257Blackest Night$19.99DC412
258Fix Vol. 1$9.99Image409
259My Pathetic Vampire Life Vol. 1$12.99St. Martins406
260Batman Harley and Ivy Deluxe Ed HC$24.99DC403
261Doctor Strange Oath$19.99Marvel402
262Oh Joy Sex Toy Vol. 2$29.99Oni402
263East of West Vol. 2 We Are All One$14.99Image401
264Valiant Masters Ninjak HC Vol. 1 Black Water$24.99Valiant401
265One Punch Man Vol. 2$9.99Viz400
266Southern Bastards Vol. 3 Homecoming$14.99Image398
267Deadly Class Vol. 1 Reagan Youth$9.99Image397
268Fight Club 2 HC$29.99Dark Horse397
269All New Ghost Rider Vol. 1 Engines of Vengeance$15.99Marvel395
270Doctor Who 11th Vol. 2 Serve You$14.99Titan395
271Southern Bastards Vol. 1 Here Was A Man$9.99Image395
272Batman Vol. 5 Zero Year Dark City$16.99DC394
273Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1 Squirrel Power$15.99Marvel389
274Ms Marvel Vol. 1 No Normal$15.99Marvel386
275Twilight Zone Shadow$15.99Dynamite384
276D&D Legend of Drizzt Vol. 5 Streams of Silver$19.99IDW383
277Evil Dead 2 Vol. 2 Cradle of the Damned$15.99Space Goat382
278Fables Vol. 1 Legends In Exile New Ed$12.99DC381
279Deadpool & Cable Ultimate Collection Book 1$39.99Marvel380
280Black Science Vol. 1 How To Fall Forever$9.99Image379
281Care Bears Rainbow River Rescue Gn$9.99Lion Forge379
282Locke & Key Vol. 1 Welcome To Lovecraft$19.99IDW379
283Spider-Man Miles Morales Vol. 1$15.99Marvel379
284Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta Vol. 2$14.99Image375
285Star Wars Darth Vader Vol. 2 Shadows and Secrets$19.99Marvel374
286Batman Vol. 8 Superheavy$16.99DC373
287Girl Power Amanda Conner Gallery Edition HC$125.00DC369
288Judge Dredd Mega-City Zero Vol. 2$17.99IDW369
289Oreimo Comic Anthology$10.99Dark Horse369
290Walking Dead Vol. 3 Safety Behind Bars$14.99Image369
291Fairy Girls Vol. 3$10.99Random House367
292Serenity HC Vol. 3 Shepherds Tale$14.99Dark Horse367
293Batman HC Vol. 9 Bloom$24.99DC366
294Batman Mad Love and Other Stories$17.99DC366
295Suicide Squad Vol. 1 Kicked in the Teeth$14.99DC366
296Injustice Gods Among Us Vol. 1$14.99DC364
297Will Eisner Spirit Returns HC$39.99Dynamite364
298Batman Vol. 6 Graveyard Shift$16.99DC362
299Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Vol. 1 BFF$17.99Marvel358
300Harley Quinn Preludes and Knock Knock Jokes$19.99DC357
3027th Garden Vol. 2$9.99Viz352
306One Punch Man Vol. 8$9.99Viz348
313Archie Vol. 1$19.99Archie339
317Little Tails in the Forest HC Vol. 1$14.99Magnetic333
318Death Note Black Ed Vol. 1$14.99Viz332
321Noragami Stray God Vol. 17$10.99Random House330
323Magika Swordsman & Summoner Vol. 5$12.99St. Martins327
326Charlie Brown Here We Go Again$9.99Pocket325
329Rolling Blackouts HC$24.95Drawn & Quarterly324
330Assassination Classroom Vol. 1$9.99Viz323
339Charmed Season 10 Vol. 2$15.99Zenescope316
340Assassination Classroom Vol. 12$9.99Viz316
342Elvis HC$19.99NBM313
347Shame Trilogy Collected HC$29.99Renegade Arts309
348Kuroko Basketball 2In1 Vol. 2$16.99Viz309
349Genshiken Second Season Vol. 9$10.99Random House306
353Miss Kobayashis Dragon Maid Vol. 1$12.99St. Martins300
355Kitaro Meets Nurarihyon$12.95Drawn & Quarterly299
356Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble Vol. 55$14.99Kenzer299
359John Carpenters Tales For Halloween Night Vol. 2$24.99Storm King297
360Valiant Masters Rai HC Vol. 1$24.99Valiant297
366Attack On Titan Vol. 1$10.99Random House291
367Certain Scientific Accelerator Vol. 4$12.99St. Martins291
370Misty$19.992000 AD287
371Tokyo Undead$18.99St. Martins287
376A Walk In Eden$16.95Drawn & Quarterly281
379One Punch Man Vol. 3$9.99Viz280
382Magical Girl Apocalypse Vol. 9$12.99St. Martins279
383One Punch Man Vol. 7$9.99Viz279
394Freezing Omnibus Vol. 6$19.99St. Martins267
395My Monster Secret Vol. 4$12.99St. Martins266
397Goodnight Punpun Vol. 3$24.99Viz265
401Pokemon Adventures Vol. 1 Red Blue$9.99Viz263
419Inuyashiki Vol. 5$12.99Random House243
427Prince In His Dark Days Vol. 1$12.99Random House241
433I Luv Halloween Vol. 1$9.99Tokyopop239
433Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 2$12.99Viz239
450Monster Girl Encyclopedia HC Vol. 1$29.99St. Martins234
464Akame Ga Kill Vol. 8$13.00Hachette221
468Rising of the Shield Hero Vol. 5 Manga Companion$11.95SCB Distributors218
470One Punch Man Vol. 5$9.99Viz217
474Kill La Kill Vol. 1$12.99Udon215
492One Punch Man Vol. 4$9.99Viz208
503Mushoku Tensei Jobless Reincarnation Vol. 4$12.99St. Martins202

As noted Friday, the market remains on track for a year that's slightly in positive territory — but 2016 will not be as big a growth year as 2015.

John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for more than 20 years, including a decade editing the industry's retail trade magazine; he is the author of several guides to comics, as well as more than a hundred comic books for various franchises.  He is the author of several novels including Star Wars: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback. His trilogy for 2016, Star Trek: Prey, ships in consecutive months in September, October, and November.

Visit his fiction site at And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.


Champions #1 top dollar comic in October 2016 split decision; Loot Crate effect returns

Friday, November 11, 2016

by John Jackson Miller
Well, we thought we were done with it. After an absence from the sales rankings of more than a year, the repackaging service Loot Crate again in October vaulted an unlikely lead comic book atop Diamond Comic Distributors chart of best-selling comics.

Boom Studios' Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1, in addition to having one of the longer names for any best-selling comic book, becomes the publisher's first top-seller; back in May 2016, it just missed with its previous Loot Crate offering, the second-place Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John #1. That was the last Loot Crate item to make a big statistical splash. it's good to see comics circulating in a variety of places, neither issue was likely anywhere near a top-five book within the Direct Market. Diamond is well aware of the disconnect, as evidenced by its news release; the lead item is that Marvel's Champions #1 was the distributor's top comic in dollar terms, with the Boom title mentioned later in the first paragraph. Since Loot Crate variant copies do not result in many — if any — dollars to the distributor, Loot Crate copies add little to a book's ranking on the dollar charts.

Diamond shipped 9.64 million comic books in the month, including those Loot Crate copies; the true  number going to comics shops is a few hundred thousand copies lower. But that's still enough to be well ahead of October 2015's total — and the dollar total for the whole Direct Market, $51.29 million, is just slightly above the mark set a year earlier. That has the result of keeping the whole year on pace for an increase over last year, if just barely. The aggregate changes over time:

October 2016 vs. September 2016
Graphic Novels-7.01%-9.67%
TOTAL COMICS/GNs10.69%16.23%
October 2016 vs. October 2015
Graphic Novels-10.40%-5.82%
TOTAL COMICS/GNs1.09%12.23%
Year-to-Date 2016 vs. Year-to-Date 2015
Graphic Novels-0.01%-1.28%
TOTAL COMICS/GNs2.48%2.52%

Diamond began reporting monthly and annual change figures for toys; it's the first time it's reported non-print aggregate data in a long time. Diamond used to report the shares of all its sales categories within Diamond; it can be seen on the lower left on this page, for example. Toys were the largest non-print category for the distributor 15 years ago and today that likely remains the case (no pun intended).

Both this October and last had four shipping weeks — as did September 2016 — making our new weekly sales breakdown chart straightforward:

October 2015September 2016October 2016
Comics ordered in month8,488,0008,145,4009,642,500
Total value of comics, GNs, magazines ordered in month$50,732,300 $46,334,000 $51,289,400
New Comics Days in month444
Comics ordered PER SHIP WEEK in month2,122,0002,036,3502,410,625
Total value of comics, GNs, magazines ordered PER SHIP WEEK in month$12,683,075 $11,583,500 $12,822,350

As noted above, Big Trouble earns the "Loot Crate dagger" in the Top 10 rankings, to go with the asterisks denoting returnability:

Comic BookPricePublisher
1Big Trouble In Little China/Escape From New York #1†$3.99Boom
2Champions #1$4.99Marvel
3Doctor Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #1$3.99Marvel
4Dark Knight III: The Master Race #6$5.99DC
5Batman #8$2.99DC
6Batman #9$2.99DC
7Civil War II #6$4.99Marvel
8Darth Vader #25$5.99Marvel
9All-Star Batman #3*$4.99DC
10The Walking Dead #159$2.99Image

We've got Dark Knight III and Civil War II back in the charts this time — as well as what may be the highest-ranked Doctor Strange issue ever, timed for the movie release.

Technically, the result this month makes Boom the sixth publisher in the Diamond Exclusive Era to post a comic book at #1, following Marvel, DC, Image, Dreamwave, and IDW. But on our records page, we still count it as four with an asterisk, given that both Boom's and IDW's 2015 entry came mostly via comics sold outside the Direct Market.

Champions also rules the top-seller charts for graphic novels in October, although here the reverse is true of the Champions comic book; at $7.99, the Champions: No Time for Losers reprint edition (which collects five Champions issues from the 1970s) is almost certainly not the top seller by dollars.

That honor goes to something further down the list; the tenth-place Dark Knight Returns Book and Mask Set went for $39.99 and is a likely prospect.

Graphic NovelPricePublisher
1Champions: No Time For Losers #1$7.99Marvel
2The Wicked & The Divine Vol. 4: Rising Action$14.99Image
3East Of West Volume 6$14.99Image
4Tokyo Ghost Volume 2$14.99Image
5Low Volume 3: Shore of The Dying Light$14.99Image
6Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe HC$24.99Marvel
7Doctor Strange: Flight of Bones$24.99Marvel
8Color Your Own Star Wars$9.99Marvel
9Trees Volume 2$12.99Image
10Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Book & Mask Set$39.99DC

The result of October's action was a return for Marvel to the top of the unit and dollar market shares charts, after several months during which DC's Rebirth titles gave it the lead. The returnable phase of releases is coming to an end for most of those books, yet DC remained a strong second with both figures topping 30%. Boom shot up to fourth place in unit sales, though much of that again is a Loot Crate statistical artifact.

Dollar ShareUnit Share
Dark Horse3.47%2.27%

Finally, looking at the new items shipped tells us that new release volume increased a lot in the month. The number of new comics, 528, is the largest figure since June and 19% more than we saw last October. The graphic novel release total is also up 24% over last year, and is the largest number of new GNs in a month since March:

Dark Horse2521046

With two months left to report, the Direct Market stands $93 million shy of its total for 2015. Comics shops can hit that even if sales drop 11% in November and December. If the months are simply flat, the year should come in around $591 million; $600 million is still possible but it's an increasingly long shot. On the other hand, prospects look very good for overall comic book purchases to top 100 million copies for the first time in many years.

Full estimates for October should be online here Monday.

John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for more than 20 years, including a decade editing the industry's retail trade magazine; he is the author of several guides to comics, as well as more than a hundred comic books for various franchises.  He is the author of several novels including Star Wars: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback. His trilogy for 2016, Star Trek: Prey, ships in consecutive months in September, October, and November.

Visit his fiction site at And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.


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