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More than 158,200 comic book and graphic novel circulation figures online!
Welcome to Comichron, a resource for comic book circulation data and other information gathered by
John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.

 

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Batman #52 leads comic-book reorders, Thanos Legacy tops advance reorders

by John Jackson Miller
 Find this book at TFAW
Retailer reorders from last week are in from Diamond Comic Distributors, and they show the lingering effects of Batman #50's colossal 441,000-copy sale to retailers in North America in July. Batman #52 was the top reordered comic book for the week.

X-Men Revolution by Chris Claremont Omnibus was the top reordered item by dollars. And after many weeks in the top slot for reordered trade paperbacks, Infinity Gauntlet was finally dethroned by Prince T'challa in Black Panther Vol. 1: Nation Under Our Feet.

Click to see the full reorder lists for August.

We now also have our first advance reordered comics for September. Thanos Legacy #1 was the top advance-reordered comic book, with two versions in the top four. Batman: White Knight was the top advance-reordered graphic novel.

Click to see our reorder lists for September.

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Monday, August 13, 2018

July 2018 comics sales estimates: Batman #50 ships more than 441,000 copies, Spidey #1 289k

by John Jackson Miller

As noted here Friday, the comics shop market made up considerable ground in July comparison with a weak July 2017, thanks to the Batman wedding storyline and several high-profile launches. Retailers ordered $44.64 million worth of comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in the month; the year-to-date deficit, piled up in winter, was cut in half to less than 2%. Click to see the comics sales estimates from July 2017.

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Both Marvel and DC contributed, combining for a dual market share of 70.69%, the highest proportion of the market seen since October 2011, right after the debut of the New 52. DC's Batman #50 led the comics list with nearly 441,000 copies shipped; it was the third regularly priced item of the year to top 400,000 copies.

While DC announced both it and Catwoman #1 would be made returnable owing to retailer concerns over the storyline and its premature revelation online, Diamond Comic Distributors did not adjust the issues' numbers downward for returnability. This is normal, in keeping with practices regarding comics that are not made returnable until after they've been ordered; comics become returnable after they've been ordered and/or shipped all the time, and those items are not adjusted in tables. The end-of-year totals always account both for returns and for reorders; Batman #50 did lead comics in the reorder charts twice during the month.

Market share leader Marvel beat its July 2017 dollar sales by 16%, aided by Amazing Spider-Man #1 (more than 289,000 copies) and Captain America #1 (more than 167,000 copies), among other launches. DC's dollar sales were up 29% year over year, a figure exactly matched by IDW, which followed up a June in which it had a recent-record-low number of new comic books on the shelves (19) with nearly three times as many, 56.

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Die Die Die #1, which shipped without being solicited and went on sale July 11, landed in 174th place even though it was the highest-circulation Image book of the month. That's because its initial shipment, reportedly equal to the 80,000 or so copies shipped of Robert Kirkman's previous launch, Oblivion Song #1, was provided to retailers at no charge, and Diamond confirmed it had treated those copies as promotional items.

Retailers reordered 9,975 copies of Die Die Die #1 in July in the United States and Canada, and it is those copies that appear in Diamond's tables. The number of copies in circulation, however, is more than 90,000.

See the vital statistics, after the jump:

Friday, August 10, 2018

DC, Marvel comics sales up strongly in July; combined market share hits seven-year high

by John Jackson Miller
 See July's comics sales estimates

 Find this issue at TFAW
I've said before that the month of July presented the best opportunity this summer for the Direct Market to make up ground lost in the winter — and that is what happened, according to Comichron's analysis of preliminary data released today by Diamond Comic Distributors. Retailers ordered $44.64 million worth of comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in the month, nearly 10% more than July 2017, which was the second weakest month of that year. The year-to-date deficit, piled up in winter, was cut in half; shipments stand at $296.09 million after seven months, off around $6 million, or less than 2%. Click to visit our page for July 2018 comics sales estimates; the figures will be posted on Monday. (8/13 UPDATE: And now they are online!)

Both of the Big Two publishers contributed market leadership, splitting the Top 10 evenly and combining for a dual market share of 70.69%, the highest seen since October 2011, right after the debut of the New 52. Market share leader Marvel beat its July 2017 dollar sales by 16%, aided by Amazing Spider-Man #1 and Captain America #1, among other launches.

Our walkthrough video on the month's sales is here:


DC
did even better relative to its results a year earlier, with Batman #50 leading the comics list and Batman Vol. 6: Bride or Burglar leading the graphic novels. Doomsday Clock #6 and Superman #1 placed fourth and fifth.

 Find this book at TFAW
DC's dollar sales were up 29% year over year, a figure exactly matched by IDW, which followed up a June in which it had a recent-record-low number of new comic books on the shelves (19) with nearly three times as many, 56.

Image
's top title, Die Die Die #1, which shipped without being solicited and went on sale July 11, did not make the Top 10, but it couldn't have missed by much . The number of copies shipped was reportedly equal to orders on Robert Kirkman' s previous launch, Oblivion Song #1, from March; that would put it above 80,000 copies, and the issue did lead reorders in intervening weeks. So the Top 10 will have sales somewhere above that.

Discordant notes came again from graphic novels, down 9% in dollars — but only 5% in units, suggesting we're seeing the effects of a number of books being deep-discounted. Graphic novel drops in the single digits are an improvement over 2017's average rate of decline; strong graphic novel months tend to echo ones for comic books some months later because of the collection dynamic, so we'll see whether things pick up as the holidays approach.

The comparative sales statistics:


DollarsUnits
July 2018 Vs. June 2018
Comics+14.18%+7.84%
Graphic Novels-13.07%-9.36%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+6.01%+6.55%
Toys+16.78%-0.28%
July 2018 Vs. July 2017
Comics+17.37%+10.40%
Graphic Novels-9.11%-4.96%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+9.53%+9.27%
Toys+15.77%+4.94%
Year-To-Date 2018 Vs. Year-To-Date 2017
Comics+0.76%-7.02%
Graphic Novels-8.26%-10.42%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels-1.93%-7.28%
Toys-8.63%-10.45%

The market shares:

PublisherDollar ShareUnit SharePublisherDollar ShareUnit Share
Marvel39.07%41.05%   Boom1.89%1.74%
DC31.62%33.82%Dynamite1.74%2.07%
Image8.52%8.87%Viz1.20%0.46%
IDW4.52%3.95%Titan0.69%0.47%
Dark Horse2.82%1.91%Archie0.64%0.60%
Other7.29%5.05%

The top-selling comics by units:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Batman #50$4.99DC
2Amazing Spider-Man #1$5.99Marvel
3Captain America #1$4.99Marvel
4Doomsday Clock #6$4.99DC
5Superman #1$3.99DC
6Catwoman #1$3.99DC
7Amazing Spider-Man #2$3.99Marvel
8Batman #51$3.99DC
9X-23 #1$4.99Marvel
10Cosmic Ghost Rider #1$3.99Marvel


The top-selling comics by dollars:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Batman #50$4.99DC
2Amazing Spider-Man #1$5.99Marvel
3Captain America #1$4.99Marvel
4Doomsday Clock #6$4.99DC
5Superman #1$3.99DC
6Amazing Spider-Man #2$3.99Marvel
7X-23 #1$4.99Marvel
8Catwoman #1$3.99DC
9Batman #51$3.99DC
10Cosmic Ghost Rider #1$3.99Marvel

The top-selling graphic novels by units:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Batman Vol. 6: Bride or Burglar$16.99DC
2Infinity Gauntlet$24.99Marvel
3Venomized$17.99Marvel
4Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 3: Remastered$17.99Marvel
5Marvel Two-In-One Vol. 1: Fate of the Four$17.99Marvel
6One-Punch Man Volume 14$9.99Viz
7Dragon Ball Super Volume 3$9.99Viz
8Ms. Marvel Vol. 9: Teenage Wasteland$17.99Marvel
9Wolverine: Old Man Logan Vol. 7: Scarlet Samurai$15.99Marvel
10Rocket Raccoon and Groot Complete Collection$29.99Marvel

The top-selling graphic novels by dollars:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Avengers By Jonathan Hickman Omnibus Vol. 2 HC$125.00Marvel
2Batman By Grant Morrison Omnibus Vol. 1 HC$75.00DC
3Ex Machina: The Complete Series Omnibus HC$150.00DC
4Batman Vol. 6: Bride or Burglar$16.99DC
5Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme Omnibus Volume 2 HC$125.00Marvel
6Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Vol. 10 HC$75.00Marvel
7Infinity Gauntlet$24.99Marvel
8Doctor Strange: Damnation$34.99Marvel
9Flash: The Silver Age Omnibus Volume 3 HC$99.99DC
10Prisoner By Kirby & Kane Artist Edition HC$79.99Titan

Finally, the number of new items offered:

PublisherComics
shipped
Graphic Novels
shipped
Magazines
shipped
Total
shipped
Marvel89370126
DC6334097
IDW5619176
Image5914073
Dark Horse2119040
Boom249033
Dynamite168024
Viz022022
Titan103417
Archie103013
Other1301537290
TOTAL SHIPPED47832112811

[Edit: While a normal month for Marvel as new releases go, DC's 63 was its smallest number of new comics since Rebirth launched in 2016.]
It's certainly the case that a month seeing relaunches of so many titles from the two largest publishers ought to be a good one; the fact that it was may show a return to some level of normalcy, after a year in which very little was working as it was supposed to.

August is a five shipping week month, up against a $45.72 million month from 2017, which had an equal number of weeks. This July just nearly beat that figure, so decent prospects for making up ground continue; launches for Infinity Wars and Fantastic Four are also in the mix. Click to see what we know about August so far.

Update:
I took a look at year-to-date percentage changes across time for selected years in the chart seen at right; click to enlarge it. You can see in it years that started off okay relative to their previous years and got worse, like 2017 — and years where a bad start was nearly erased by a strong finish, like 2011 when New 52 helped the market nearly catch up with the previous year by the end.

To date, 2018 is looking a little more like 2014 and 2016, if starting from a lower point; those were two more normal years, where a slow winter was erased by a stronger spring, summer, and fall. The big dip in March is because the fifth week this winter went to January instead, which is something that undermines this kind of analysis. But it is interesting to see the progression generally.

Comichron founder 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 novels including Star Wars: KenobiStar Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. Read more about them at his fiction site.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Saga, Punisher, Titans lead advance reorder categories as August begins

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this book at TFAW
The July reorder picture from Diamond Comic Distributors is now complete.

DC's Teen Titans #20 was the top reordered comic book from Diamond the last week of July, while Punisher Max by Ennis Omnibus Vol. 2 was the top reordered hardcover and top item overall. Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet was once again the top reordered trade paperback.


Click to see see all the July charts.  

The advance reorder chart was led by a hardcover not releasing until October, Ed Brubaker's My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, while the top softcover was Saga Vol. 9, releasing in September.

As for comics on that list, Venom issues and reprints dominated the chart.

Click to see the full advance reorder August chart, as well as all our August-so-far charts.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Die! Die! Die! leads both reorder and advance reorder lists as July ends

by John Jackson Miller

Find this issue at TFAW.
In an unusual happenstance, two consecutive issues of the same series led comics on both the weekly reordered and advance reordered lists at the end of July.

Die! Die! Die! #1 was again the top reordered book last week — click to see see all the July charts.  Issue #1 is still stocked at Diamond, suggesting a large reserve was printed.

The initial shipment was matched to Oblivion Song #1's orders, so figure that anything above about 80,000 copies in the final July estimates came from reorders.

Hardcovers dominated the rest of the reorder list, led by New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 3.

Meanwhile, Die! Die! Die! #2, due August 22, was the top advance reordered book for August. 

Click to see the full advance reorder chart, as well as all our August-so-far charts.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Kirkman's Die Die Die #1 tops reorders; Power Rangers, Batgirl lead advance reorders

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this issue at TFAW
The surprise-shipped Die Die Die #1 from Image Comics led comics shop reorders for the week ending July 22, pushing Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man #1 into second among reorders for comic books. Infinity Gauntlet again the top reordered softcover.

The Avengers: Endless Wartime graphic novel from 2013 was part of a special sale, and was as a result the top hardcover. The top new hardcover was DC's Dark Nights Metal Deluxe Edition.

Click to see the full reorder chart for the week ending July 22.

Looking at August, Boom Studios' Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid #1 holofoil variant was the top advance-reordered comic book and item overall. A  Batgirl #25 variant was second. Venom by Cullen Bunn was the top trade paperback.

Click to see the full advance reorder chart, as well as all our August-so-far charts.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fantastic Four #1 dominates week's advance reorder charts; Batman #50 again leads reorders

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this book at TFAW
The reorder charts for the second week of July are out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and show that, again controversy or not, DC ComicsBatman #50 was the top reordered comic book last week by North American retailers.

The Jonathan Hickman Avengers Omnibus Vol. 2 was the top hardcover.

We've consolidated our reorder reports so that the charts appear on the pages that will eventually house the sales estimates. Click to see the latest reorder chart, which is housed on our July page. 
Advance reorders, which were mostly taken in June, are on the top half of the page.

Meanwhile, among advance reorders, Marvel's Fantastic Four #1 took 16 of the top 17 slots. The book by Dan Slott and Skottie Young is due out August 8. Click to visit the August page and our latest advance reorder chart.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Comics and graphic novel sales down 6.5% in 2017

According to new estimate by ICV2 and Comichron

The comics and graphic novel market slipped 6.5% in 2017, with sharper declines in comic store and newsstand sales mitigated by stronger sales in the book channel and digital, according to a new joint estimate by ICv2’s Milton Griepp and Comichron’s John Jackson Miller. Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in the U.S. and Canada remained above $1 billion at $1.015 billion in 2017, a $70 million decrease from sales in 2016.


“After a multiyear growth run, the comics shop market gave back some of its gains in 2017, with lackluster response to new periodical offerings and, consequently, graphic novel sales,” Miller said. “The third quarter of 2017 saw the worst of the year-over-year declines, leading into what has turned out to be a stronger spring for stores in 2018.”

“While there was some softness to the market in 2017 (which we attribute to cyclical rather than secular change), there were positive signs,” Griepp said. “The relative strength in the graphic novel and digital markets, especially the growing market for kids titles across print channels, bodes well for the future.”



Digital sales were flat, the strongest performance of any channel in 2017. The book channel (mass and specialty retail chains, online, independent bookstores, book fairs) was the strongest print channel, with only about a 1% decline, helped by booming sales of kids’ graphic novels. The comic store channel, the largest channel overall, dropped around 10%, while the smallest channel, newsstand, shrank to a size not seen since the dawn of comics as the last remaining DC comics left newsstands in August.


As presented above and in the accompanying infographics, the analysis by Comichron and ICv2 was divided up between periodical comics (what some call “floppies” or “pamphlets”), graphic novels, and digital download-to-own sales. All print figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup. Digital sales do not include subscription or “all you can read” services.

This is the fifth joint market size analysis from ICv2 and Comichron; the first four reports were for 201320142015, and 2016 sales. ICV2 and Comichron also previously collaborated on revised estimates for 2011 and 2012. There is also a video version of this report:



ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, hobby games, and showbiz on its Website, www.ICv2.com, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence. For the people on the front lines of the geek culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn't something that can be left to chance-it's a basic necessity for being successful. That's why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines. ICv2 is where trend-watching is a science.


Comichron is the world’s largest public repository of comic-book sales figures, featuring data from the 1930s to today about comic book and graphic novel circulation, cover prices, and market shares on its website, www.comichron.com. With data and analysis on the distant past as well as the present, Comichron serves as a trusted resource for academics studying the historical reach of the medium and for collectors seeking accurate information about how many copies of a comic book originally circulated.
Original infographic design by Kate Willaert.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Batman #50 leads retailer reorders for first week of July

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this issue at TFAW
The reorder charts for the first week of July are out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and show that, controversial or not, DC Comics' Batman #50 was the top reordered comic book last week by North American retailers. Dark Nights Rising was the top hardcover; Infinity Wars was the top graphic novel.

We've consolidated our reorder reports so that the charts appear on the pages that will eventually house the sales estimates. Click to see the latest reorder chart, which is housed on our July page. Advance reorders, which were mostly taken in June, are on the top half of the page.

Our advance reorder reports have also moved: they'll appear on the page for the month following the current one, usually — although there are going to be occasions like this week, in which Walking Dead 15th Anniversary blind-bag books took the top 15 advance-reorder slots; they don't release until October, but had to be ordered ahead of time for production reasons. Marvel's Infinity Wars #1 was the top August comic book. Click to visit the August page and our latest advance reorder chart.

We'll continue these blog alerts for the benefit of our RSS and front page readers; traffic was showing that most people were looking first at the monthly page, so it made sense to move the charts there.

Monday, July 9, 2018

June 2018 comics orders online: Justice League #1 sells 200k copies; Infinity Gauntlet year's top graphic novel so far

by John Jackson Miller


June 2018 lacked the major anniversary issues that had propelled April and May to positive months, and was further up against June 2017, the second-best month of its year, with a couple of major hits. But while Justice League #1 and its 200,000 copies was no Action #1000 or Amazing Spider-Man #800, eight titles topped 100,000 copies, and the month's sales were enough to ensure that the second quarter was the first growth quarter, year-over-year, since the summer of 2016, during DC's Rebirth launch. Click to see the estimated comics sales for June 2018.

Amazing Spider-Man #800, which came out the last week in May, continued to rack up sales in June, gaining on but not coming close to surpassing Action #1000, which also reappeared in the charts. Click to see the running totals for bestsellers for 2018 to date. Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet moved into first position among graphic novels for the year.

Our preliminary video walkthrough of the month's sales can be found now on our YouTube channel:


Magic Order #1
, an Image title from Mark Millar and Netflix, had reported orders of 157,731 copies, placing it in second; it had further been reduced in reported orders by Diamond by 10% for being fully returnable, meaning its actual number of copies shipped was closer to 175,000 copies. All retailers were given a 60% discount on the title, suggesting that North American retailers paid Diamond a bit over $250,000 for the issue (closer to $280,000 before the reduction for returnability), or about $1.60 per copy.

But Diamond does not appear to have taken in that much money, because of the book's substantially lower dollar ranking; at 12th place and knowing the sales of the surrounding titles, we'd expect it to have only brought in somewhere between $125,000 and $150,000. (Dollar rankings are based on invoiced dollars, or what retailers paid Diamond.) Since comics shops buying at $1.60 a copy could only have accounted for between 78,000 and 94,000 copies at that dollar-ranking level, there has to have been a significant sale at an even greater discount than comics shops received.

If a report that New York Comic-Con purchased a number of copies at 90% off (or 40 cents each) is correct, algebra suggests such an order could potentially have accounted for more than half the copies. (For example, just splitting the reported orders in half, 78,865 copies to the Direct Market at $1.60 and and another 78,865 copies outside it at $0.40 would land at $157,700, a bit higher than our expected range. In another example, a bulk buy of 100,000 copies at 90% off with the rest to the Direct Market would bring the dollar total to over $132,000 — right in the estimated range.)

We can't say much for certain given the data points available — other than that those points do demonstrate a large proportion of sales for a greater discount even than the promotional 60%. As such, awaiting further information, we're giving the entry the same marker we use for Loot Crate titles in our charts, to indicate that more than a third of reported sales apparently went to buyers other than comics shops.

The vital statistics, after the break:
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