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February 2015 comics sales estimates online: Of "Asterisk Eras" and sales charts

Monday, March 16, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

In baseball, many of the statistics of the 1990s must be viewed with caution, as they're part of the "Steroid Era." Comics had its own Steroid Era in the early 1990s, in the sense that orders were inflated by an unprecedented number of retail accounts that had been opened on easy credit terms by the many competing distributors that existed then. Many issues in that speculation-fueled time sold into the millions, but the number of actual readers was smaller. And yet the distributors' charts were accurate: they did what they were supposed to do, reporting the number of copies they shipped.

Diamond Comic Distributors is doing exactly the same today with the charts it publishes: reporting what it shipped. Unlike the early 1990s, when nearly everything deserved an asterisk, we're fairly sure the number of comics sold is more representative of the number of active readers — but since the charts are "number-shipped" lists, there are occasions where what we see on them might not represent what we see happening in stores. We have another this month. According to Comichron's sales estimates for comics ordered in February 2015. based on data Diamond released today, in February a comic book has once again topped the monthly sales charts because of vast quantities by a single retailer, the repackager Loot Crate

With nearly half a million copies shipped, IDW's Orphan Black #1 would, in fact, rank as the fourth best-selling comic book of the Diamond Exclusive Era, behind January's Star Wars #1, last year's Amazing Spider-Man #1, and Amazing Spider-Man #583 from 2009. It is the third time a comic book has topped the charts likely due to the massive size of Loot Crate's order.

The rankings are, again, consistent with Diamond's practices — and a handful of books with sales supercharged by Loot Crate, Nerd Block, and similar firms do not an era make, whatever adjective we choose to label them with. But they do present irregularities for market-watchers and statisticians to cope with. Because while orders from mail-order comics retailers have always been counted in the charts — and while those retailers do work with publishers to offer their own store-specific variant copies of specific titles — the Loot Crate numbers in particular are now on a huge scale. The Orphan Black total makes it possible for Loot Crate's order to account for as many as 400,000 copies — more than double what they were a year ago.

So we're encountering months in which not just some, but large majorities of the copies the bestselling titles weren't ordered by comic shops. Since the gigantic purchases are one-time, we've been using asterisks (or, rather, daggers) here at Comichron, because readers a decade hence will definitely wonder why, for example, Walking Dead #132's sales spiked so amazingly in October. But there are other statistical curiosities that come from these kinds of large purchases, which are worth noting.

For example, note the Top 5, as Diamond reported it on Friday, plus Comichron's order estimates. You can see Diamond shipped nearly twice as many copies of Orphan Black #1 as its nearest competitor:

 Titles ranked by many copies Diamond shipped
Title Issue Price Publisher  Copies shipped 
1 Orphan Black 1* $3.99 IDW  497,002
2 Darth Vader 1 $4.99 Marvel  264,399
3 Spider-Gwen 1 $3.99 Marvel  254,074
4 Star Wars 2 $3.99 Marvel  162,042
5 Batman 39 $3.99 DC  118,106

Now, take a look at Diamond's "retail rankings," which it also released today. We don't look at these very often, but they're ranked in order of how much money Diamond received for the comics it shipped: the wholesale value. It is this wholesale value that Diamond's market shares are based upon, not the full cover price (though we have computed it in the column at right). And we can see that despite what we might expect from the numbers, Orphan Black #1 comes in not first, but third:

Titles ranked by how much retailers paid Diamond
Title Issue Price Publisher  Copies shipped 
1 Darth Vader 1 $4.99 Marvel  264,399
2 Spider-Gwen 1 $3.99 Marvel  254,074
3 Orphan Black 1* $3.99 IDW  497,002
4 Star Wars 2 $3.99 Marvel  162,042
5 Batman 39 $3.99 DC  118,106

Diamond does not reveal the wholesale amount it received for the books it shipped, but in providing the rankings, we can see that, while Diamond shipped nearly twice as many Orphan Black issues as it shipped Spider-Gwens (another comic book with a $3.99 cover price), it realized more revenue overall on Spider-Gwen than on Orphan Black. Put another way, Diamond took in about half as much for every Orphan Black copy it shipped as it did for every Spider-Gwen. This suggests a lot of books moving at a steep discount, which makes sense when dealing with a reseller willing to buy hundreds of thousands of copies.

Since Comichron and everyone else uses full retail dollars to track the market, though, we now wind up with a situation in which all the statistics for this month's performance include between $1-2 million in "Loot Crate copies." That — and the several hundred thousand units Loot Crate's purchase added to the total number of comics sold — might make you wonder whether the Direct Market, apart from Loot Crate, really was up in February or not.

The answer: yes, in all categories. Nearly 1.3 million more comics were shipped this February versus last February, probably three times what Loot Crate added. Subtracting out all the Orphan Black sales (including copies ordered by comic shops), we still get a Top 300 and an overall market that's up nearly $4 million. We actually see larger anomalies on a regular basis on the graphic novel sales chart, where we've often seen a lot of deep-discounting: some months as much as $4 million in full retail has been added to the overall totals when, in fact, those books moved at a fraction of their normally discounted prices. It's just part of the hazard in reporting sales based on retail prices rather than wholesale ones. Retail prices are easier to understand, but there can be complications.

http://bit.ly/CCMarvSW1So Loot Crate is making a splash, but its impact, at least so far, is limited to the sales rankings. Were its subscriber numbers to double or triple, or were the phenomenon to spread, then we'd begin to worry about how well the Diamond charts report Direct Market performance. Diamond's charts report what Diamond shipped, of course, and for many years now that has tracked Direct Market performance very well. But as new kinds of outlets offer comics, we shouldn't expect that any charts will always be a perfect mirror.

Darth Vader #1, with at least 21 variant covers, had orders of approximately 264,400 copies and would have been the top title of the month were it not for Orphan Black's Loot Crate edition. Marvel's relaunch issue from January, Star Wars #1, placed 53rd with more than 33,100 copies reordered. That brings the total number of Diamond-shipped copies to 1.019 million, clearing the million mark (which it had cleared anyway with British sales). The second issue had orders of more than 162,000 copies.

The aggregate changes are as follows:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
February 2015: 7.19 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +22%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +34%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +23%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +32%
YEAR TO DATE: 16 million copies, +16% vs. 2014, +27% vs. 2010, +29% vs. 2005, +27% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
February 2015 versus one year ago this month: +22.14%
YEAR TO DATE: +15.76%

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
February 2015: $27.56 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +27%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +48%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +65%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +91%
YEAR TO DATE: $54.46 million, +21% vs. 2014, +43% vs. 2010, +78% vs. 2005, +90% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
February 2015 versus one year ago this month: +20.42%
YEAR TO DATE: +15.20%

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
February 2015: $5.96 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -4%
Versus 5 years ago this month: -24%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: +3%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +40%
YEAR TO DATE: $12.59 million, +5% vs. 2014

ALL TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
February 2015 versus one year ago this month: +0.08%
YEAR TO DATE: +14.17%

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
February 2015: $33.5 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +20%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +32%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +43%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +103%
YEAR TO DATE: $67.02 million, +18% vs. 2014

ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
February 2015 versus one year ago this month: +14.17%
YEAR TO DATE: +13.2%

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
February 2015: approximately $42.19 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +14%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +42%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +59%
YEAR TO DATE: $85.94 million, +13% vs. 2014

RELEASES
New comic books released: 458
New graphic novels released: 221
New magazines released: 38
All new releases: 717

The average comic book in the Top 300 cost $3.75; the average comic book retailers ordered cost $3.83. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.

That's it for the February report. I'll be on several panels this weekend at Midsouthcon in Memphis; be sure to drop by if you're in the area.


http://bit.ly/STTakedownJohn 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, Star Wars: A New Dawn, and the upcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, now available. Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com.

And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook!

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Loot Crate-charged Orphan Black gives IDW its first top-seller in strong February market

Friday, March 13, 2015


by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCOrphan1In the strangest turn yet in what has turned into the Mail-Order Grab-Bag Era of comics sales, a comic book has topped the Diamond Comic Distributors charts in February 2015 based in large degree on the sales of a mail-order variant that has not, as of this writing, been shipped to its customers.

IDW's Orphan Black #1 appeared atop the preliminary Diamond sales charts for February released today, giving the publisher its first #1 book and making IDW only the fifth publisher in the Diamond Exclusive Era to have a book top the charts. (It joins Marvel, DC, Image, and Dreamwave, which was the last new publisher to top the list in April 2002.) And while we won't know until the mail-order boxes arrive, it very much appears that the comic book may be in the Loot Crate for March, which doesn't reach subscribers' mailboxes until later this month.

The Top Ten list:

Top 10 Comics for March
  Description Price Vendor
1 Orphan Black #1 $3.99 IDW
2 Darth Vader #1 $4.99 Marvel
3 Spider-Gwen #1 $3.99 Marvel
4 Star Wars #2 $3.99 Marvel
5 Batman #39 $3.99 DC
6 Amazing Spider-Man #14 $3.99 Marvel
7 Darth Vader #2 $3.99 Marvel
8 Amazing Spider-Man #15 $3.99 Marvel
9 Silk #1 $3.99 Marvel
10 Justice League #39 $3.99 DC

While IDW's unit sales share went up, its dollar share did not — and as Diamond's market shares are based on dollars received, it appears that something was ordered in very large numbers and at a much deeper discount than average. That would tend, too, to suggest that Orphan Black #1 was helped out significantly by Loot Crate:

Market shares
Publisher Dollar Share Unit Share
Marvel 38.44% 39.33%
DC 25.91% 28.15%
Image 10.51% 10.61%
IDW 5.57% 8.06%
Dark Horse 3.48% 2.66%
Dynamite 2.63% 2.38%
Boom 2.12% 2.12%
Eaglemoss 0.95% 0.18%
Viz 0.89% 0.32%
Avatar 0.85% 0.64%
Other 8.64% 5.54%

So, taking nothing away from IDW or Orphan Black #1 — the chart appearance of which is perfectly in line with Diamond's practices, since Diamond did sell Loot Crate, a reseller, the copies in February — it appears likely this is another comic book, like Marvel's Rocket Raccoon #1 and Image's Walking Dead #132 before it, that would not have been the #1 book in the comic shop market alone. Loot Crate's orders recently appear to have been over a quarter of a million copies — and while that sum was only gravy for Marvel's Star Wars #1 in January, any other month, it easily creates a #1 in the comics market most months.

There was a different paradoxical situation created in December, when the Loot Crate included Batman #36, but that book saw no spike on the Diamond chart because Diamond evidently wasn't the intermediary. And Star Wars #1 appeared in the February Nerd Block, but we have no way of knowing whether those copies were counted with February or already reported in January.

Grab bags are nothing new in comics: three-packs were a major delivery system for Whitman in the 1970s. The scale of the sales relative to the rest of the market is what's different. I have from the start flagged comics with these large outside sales with asterisks (or rather, daggers) in the sales charts; it is important for readers ten and twenty years down the road to know why a particular book spiked so high. I've included the full figures, though, because there's no way to know how many copies came from Loot Crate, or Nerd Block, or whomever.

I tend to be skeptical that a grab-bag comic book sale is of equal "weight" with a purchase at a comic shop — while money changes hands for these boxes, no one took the affirmative step to purchase a specific comic book, and usually grab bags generate a lot of unwanted copies. (The three-packs of old always seemed to include that middle comic book no one wanted!) But the books are in circulation, and theoretically could increase the sales of later issues as introductions to the series. It's really the sheer volume of copies being ordered that's complicating the charts. Three hundred copies, no one would notice. Three hundred thousand copies makes an impact!

Diamond's position is even more complicated. It's selling the comics to the reseller Loot Crate — although it's unclear whether the same terms are in effect, if Diamond's making significantly less per copy than on its usual comics. It is also performing services for both the publishers of the books and the retail outlet buying them; it probably cannot either remove the Loot Crate sales from its list, which would under-report both Diamond and the publisher's performance — or segregate them into a separate listing, which would reveal how much Loot Crate was buying.

www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=401281?AffID=874007P01I think the best route would probably be if the books these firms bought were treated as special items, not included in the Top 300s but still counting toward the market shares for each publisher. Diamond did that after April 2002 (that month again!) which was the month the first Free Comic Book Day issues shipped; Diamond initially put them in the Top 300 list, where the low-cost books easily topped the charts. In years since, however, it has removed them — as well as stunt-pricing products, in the years after the mini-wave started by Batman: The Ten-Cent Adventure.

We will see for sure on Monday where Orphan Black #1 is in the scheme of things: if its dollar ranking is beneath any of the $3.99 issues also on the list, we can presume most of its sales came from Loot Crate or elsewhere. (And when the Loot Crate for March reaches subscribers, we'll know either way.)

Okay, back to February in general. Retailers (storefront and otherwise) bought more than $42 million in comics and graphic novels from Diamond in the month, just a little less than January. The market was up 14% over last February, and it's up 13% for the year:

Comparative Sales Performance
  DOLLARS UNITS
FEBRUARY 2015 VS. JANUARY 2014    
Comics 3.22% 6.42%
Graphic Novels -18.17% -17.23%
Total Comics & GNs -3.56% 4.53%
     
FEBRUARY 2015 VS. FEBRUARY 2014    
Comics 20.42% 22.14%
Graphic Novels 0.08% -12.28%
Total Comics & GNs 14.17% 19.18%
     
YEAR-TO-DATE 2015 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2014    
Comics 15.20% 15.76%
Graphic Novels 8.64% -0.34%
Total Comics & GNs 13.20% 14.43%

For readers wanting to know how much Loot Crate is impacting sales overall: the answer is that while it's clearly causing some impact at the top of the charts each month, in the overall figures, it tends to wash out. At Loot Crate's current sales levels it's kicking in about a million a month to the overall retail figure when a comic book is included; but Diamond is currently ahead by $10 million this year. So its contribution is considerable, but probably not determinative of whether the market is up or down.

Superman: Earth One Vol. 3 led the top-selling graphic novels:

Top Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks
  Description Price Vendor
1 Superman: Earth One Vol. 3 HC $22.99 DC
2 Sex Criminals Vol. 2: Two Worlds One Cop $14.99 Image
3 The Fade-Out Vol. 1 $9.99 Image
4 Saga Vol. 4 $14.99 Image
5 Chew Vol. 9: Chicken Tenders $14.99 Image
6 Trees Vol. 1 $14.99 Image
7 The Walking Dead Vol. 11 HC $34.99 Image
8 Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal $15.99 Marvel
9 Saga Vol. 1 $9.99 Image
10 Kick-Ass 3 $24.99 Marvel

And, finally, we see that there weren't a whole lot of new releases this month, which is par for February. There were 25 more new releases this February than last February. IDW was actually seventh in the new-release volume list, lower than it often is; this again underscores the amount that Orphan Black's sales added.

New release volume
  Comics shipped Graphic Novels shipped Magazines shipped Total shipped
DC 94 26 1 121
Marvel 79 28 0 107
Image 61 15 0 76
Dynamite 34 6 0 40
Boom 33 6 0 39
Dark Horse 27 9 0 36
IDW 23 8 0 31
Viz 0 25 0 25
Avatar 8 2 1 11
Eaglemoss 0 0 10 10
Other 99 96 26 221
Total 458 221 38 717

That's it. Back here Monday for the full estimates.

http://bit.ly/STTakedownJohn 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, Star Wars: A New Dawn, and the upcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, now available. Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com.

And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook!

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January 2015 Comic Sales Estimates: Every seventh comic Diamond shipped was Star Wars #1

Monday, February 9, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCMarvSW1The final comics sales estimates for January are out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and as reported here on Friday, the Direct Market began the year strongly, up 12%. Click to see the sales estimates for comics ordered in January 2015.

As expected, Marvel's relaunch issue Star Wars #1 had sales that, when UK and February reorders are included, will put it over 1 million copies sold; Diamond shipped closed to 986,000 copies to North American retailers in the month of January. The lion's share of those orders were placed by comics ships, although one of the dozens of variant covers was for the repackager Loot Crate, whose  orders would have been somewhere over 200,000 copies based on what we've seen in the past. Regardless, it's reasonably safe to assume the issue would have taken the century bestseller record based on comic-shop sales alone.

The achievement has been added to the Diamond Exclusive Era records page, but there are a number of other things we can say about it that we don't normally keep categories for. The issue sold nearly nine times as many copies as its closest competitor, Batman #38; this doesn't appear to have happened since 1991, when X-Men Vol. 2 #1 — at 8 million copies plus, the best-selling comic in North American history — outpaced the second-place title, X-Force #3, by about the same factor. Further, the issue outsold the next 12 comic books on the charts combined — and, perhaps more impressively, sold as many copies as every comic book between 163rd and 300th place, combined. About every seventh comic book retailers ordered in the Top 300 was a Star Wars #1 — and the comic book alone represented 11% of Diamond's dollar sales for the month, if we look just at standard retail price. That's larger than everyone's market share but Marvel and DC.

Comic unit sales were up 10% over the previous January, and the Star Wars issue accounts for all the increase and more, but it doesn't really work to make comparisons of the "without this issue" variety. It's true that the approximately $5 million spent on this one comic book is slightly larger than the increase in the size of the overall market this January versus last January — but it's reasonable to expect some of those dollars would have been in the market anyway, and simply got rerouted to Star Wars #1. Graphic novel sales were up nearly 17% unrelated to the action in new comic books, so the market had strength in other places. The market shares across time charts have been updated for the new year; we now have a 17-year track, as seen above.

The aggregate changes are as follows. No year-to-date numbers, since January is all we know:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
January 2015: 6.81 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +10%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +21%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +37%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +22%

ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
January 2015 versus one year ago: +9.65%

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
January 2015: $26.87 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +15%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +39%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +94%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +88%

ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
January 2015 versus one year ago: +10.27%

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
January 2015: $6.63 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +14%
Versus 5 years ago this month: -26%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: +26%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +48%

ALL TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
January 2015 versus one year ago: +16.83%

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
January 2015: $33.5 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +15%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +25%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +68%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +99%

ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
January 2015 versus one year ago this month: +12.27%

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
January 2015: approximately $43.75 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +12%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +37%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +88%

RELEASES
New comic books released: 449
New graphic novels released: 268
New magazines released: 41
All new releases: 758

The average comic book in the Top 300 cost $3.77; the average comic book retailers ordered cost $3.95. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.

Some long overdue updates: the graphics on the Market Shares Across Time page has been updated, as have the Three-Year and Complete Diamond Era sales graphics reporting the performance of the business across time. And this month's update starts a new year of sales reports here on Comichron: we neglected to mention that last month's report completed 20 years of sales rankings on site, beginning with January 1995 at Diamond and Capital City. (There wasn't just one listing back then, as there were still several distributors.) More historical data on the way this year!

http://bit.ly/STTakedownJohn 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, Star Wars: A New Dawn, and the upcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, releasing January 27. Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com.

And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook!

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Marvel's Star Wars #1 boosts January 2015 comics sales; market up 12% to start year

Friday, February 6, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCMarvSW1
The year is off to a solid start, according to preliminary statistics released today by Diamond Comic Distributors. Comic shops in North America ordered nearly $44 million in comic books and graphic novels in the month, up 12.27% over last January and topping the total for December, a rare but not unprecedented feat. It is the largest dollar figure for January in the Diamond Exclusive Era, and nearly double what it was in January ten years ago

In the least surprising news in some time, Star Wars #1 from Marvel was the chart-topper: the comic book is reported by its publisher to have sales over a million copies, helped by an unprecedented number of variant covers and boosted by special editions for Loot Crate and other channels. Marvel's market share jumped as a consequence, accounting for 45.64% of units and 41.05% of dollars. Overall comics unit sales were up 10.27% year-over-year, but slightly off from December.

This January was a four-ship-week month, but while January 2014 had five Wednesdays, its first Wednesday was counted as part of December 2013's shipping. So it's really a four-week-to-four-week comparison.

The comparative sales statistics:


DOLLARS UNITS
JANUARY 2015 VS. DECEMBER 2014
Comics -2.69% -2.59%
Graphic Novels 9.12% 10.49%
Total Comics & Graphic Novels 0.77% -1.66%
JANUARY 2015 VS. JANUARY 2014
Comics 10.27% 9.65%
Graphic Novels 16.83% 12.33%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 12.27% 9.86%

http://bit.ly/CCDoWHC
We'll be able to provide estimates for Diamond's January sales of Star Wars #1 next week, but as always when a publisher announces a sales number for a blockbuster — and Marvel, DC, Image, and many other publishers have done so in the past — be advised that the Diamond figure will almost certainly be lower. Diamond's figure only includes the copies it shipped to North American outlets in the calendar month. There's sure to be chart activity for the title in February; there are copies going to the U.K. market; and with this particular release, there are many custom releases going outside the comics field, and it's hard to know whether they all went through Diamond.

The Death of Wolverine hardcover led the graphic novel list. The top selling comics and graphic novels:

RANK COMIC BOOK PRICE VENDOR
1 Star Wars #1 $4.99 Marvel
2 Batman #38 $3.99 DC
3 Amazing Spider-Man #12 $3.99 Marvel
4 Amazing Spider-Man #13 $3.99 Marvel
5 Uncanny Avengers #1 $3.99 Marvel
6 Wolverines #1 $3.99 Marvel
7 Ant-Man #1 $4.99 Marvel
8 Thor #4 $3.99 Marvel
9 Justice League #38 $3.99 DC
10 The Walking Dead #136 $2.99 Image
RANK GRAPHIC NOVEL PRICE VENDOR
1 Death of Wolverine HC $24.99 Marvel
2 Outcast By Kirkman & Azaceta Vol.  1  $9.99 Image
3 Saga Vol.  4 $14.99 Image
4 Black Science Vol.  2: Welcome To Nowhere $14.99 Image
5 Saga Vol.  1 $9.99 Image
6 Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2: Spider-Verse Prelude $17.99 Marvel
7 Saga Vol.  3 $14.99 Image
8 Saga Vol.  2 $14.99 Image
9 The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye $14.99 Image
10 Deadpool: The Ones With Deadpool $15.99 Marvel

The market shares:

Dollar Share Unit Share
Marvel 41.05% 45.64%
DC 24.18% 27.06%
Image 9.21% 8.91%
IDW 5.78% 4.52%
Dark Horse 4.01% 3.03%
Dynamite 2.41% 2.22%
Boom 2.26% 2.28%
Eaglemos 1.46% 0.32%
Avatar 1.08% 0.81%
Viz 0.95% 0.39%
Other 7.61% 4.82%
 And finally, the number of new items shipped:


Comics Shipped Graphic Novels Shipped Magazines shipped Total Shipped
Marvel 79 33 0 112
DC 86 23 0 109
IDW 50 26 0 76
Image 54 14 0 68
Dark Horse 28 19 0 47
Boom 34 6 0 40
Dynamite 31 6 0 37
Viz 0 31 0 31
Eaglemoss 0 0 19 19
Avatar 10 2 1 13
Other 78 115 28 221
TOTAL 450 275 48 773

A last caveat: while January's figures surged, remember that the same things we say about poor Januaries applies here. The amount of volume in the business is lower, so swings can look large but not have much impact later in the year. Last April's volume was sufficient to erase the deficit from the winter months; likewise, a slightly off April might negate a very strong January. It's all about what's available on the shelves, and how much publishers release.

Full estimates should appear here Monday.

http://bit.ly/STTakedownJohn 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, Star Wars: A New Dawn, and the upcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, releasing January 27. Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com.

And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook!

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