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July 2015 comics sales estimates online: Archie #1 tops 100k copies

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

The comics sales estimates for July 2015 are now online here at Comichron, completing the picture reported Friday of a slightly off month for new comics orders, influenced at least partially by a lower number of new comic book releases.

There were seven titles with sales over 100,000 copies, including the relaunched Archie #1 which squeaked past that mark with 101,488 copies ordered. It's the main Archie title's highest ranking for a title in the Diamond era; issue #600 back in August 2009 placed 35th with 54,000 copies ordered. Life with Archie #36 back last July hit 27th with 57,000 copies ordered. The main Archie title was the #1 book in the industry back in 1969, thanks to the cartoon series and the "Sugar, Sugar" hit single. Click to see the complete postal sales history for the Archie title.

Marvel's Star Wars #1 appeared again in the Top 300, bringing the total number of copies ordered since January to 1.029 million copies. The total is likely higher because of reorders during other months which did not make the Top 300 chart.

The aggregate changes are as follows:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
July 2015: 7.58 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: -6%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +28%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +16%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +26%
YEAR TO DATE: 52.21 million copies, +12% vs. 2014, +28% vs. 2010, +21% vs. 2005, +28% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
July 2015 versus one year ago this month: -8.22%
YEAR TO DATE: +12.08%


TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
July 2015: $29.68 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -3%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +40%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +55%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +73%
YEAR TO DATE: $205.25 million, +17% vs. 2014, +43% vs. 2010, +66% vs. 2005, +85% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
July 2015 versus one year ago this month: -4.67%
YEAR TO DATE: +12.64%


TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
July 2015: $8.16 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -6%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +8%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: +34%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +55%
YEAR TO DATE: $51.37 million, +1% vs. 2014

ALL TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
July 2015 versus one year ago this month: +1.29%
YEAR TO DATE: +5.08%


TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
July 2015: $37.85 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -4%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +19%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +40%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +84%
YEAR TO DATE: $256.6 million, +13% vs. 2014

ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
July 2015 versus one year ago this month: -2.88%
YEAR TO DATE: +10.25%


OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
July 2015: approximately $52.08 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: -3%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +46%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +80%
YEAR TO DATE: $334.3 million, +10% vs. 2014

RELEASES
New comic books released: 496
New graphic novels released: 302
New magazines released: 49
All new releases: 851

The average cover price of the comic books in Diamond's Top 300 was $3.88; the weighted average was also $3.88. The median and most common price points were $3.99. Click to see cover prices across time.

Apologies for the delay in this month's report: I was at Shore Leave Convention in Maryland, where I announced the Star Trey: Prey trilogy of novels I'm writing for Pocket Books for 2016, the 50th anniversary year of Star Trek. I also dropped by Diamond Comic Distributors headquarters—thanks to Allyn Gibson for the invite and also for appearing on our comics panel at the convention. 


Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.

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July 2015 comics orders dip slightly on lighter new-release volume

Friday, August 7, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=296154&b=44882&m=8908&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Etfaw%2Ecom%2FProfile%2FSecret%2DWars%2D4%2D%2528of%2D8%2529%5F%5F%5F477846
Comic shop orders of comic books and graphic novels softened slightly in July, marking the first month since May 2014 in which year-over-year sales slipped. Diamond Comic Distributors' preliminary sales report for July 2015, released today, reported orders estimated by Comichron to be around $52 million, down a little less than 3%.

There are a couple of caveats, however. Last July was the second strongest sales month of last year, and while it had the same number of shipping weeks as last month (five), publishers released 34 more new comic books and 10 more new graphic novels then than they did this July. Graphic novel unit and dollar orders were up nonetheless this July.

With the full Marvel relaunch yet to come, it's clear we'll be looking more at the later months of the year as being pivotal to the year's overall outcome. Through July, orders stand at $334 million, still up double digits (if barely) at 10.25%.

The aggregate changes:

Dollars Units
JULY 2015 vs. JUNE 2015
Comics 8.35% 3.46%
Graphic Novels 3.88% 5.14%
Total Comics/GN 6.91% 3.61%
JULY 2015 vs. JULY 2014
Comics -4.67% -8.22%
Graphic Novels 1.29% 10.81%
Total Comics/GN -2.88% -6.74%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2015 vs. 2014
Comics 12.64% 12.08%
Graphic Novels 5.08% 5.18%
Total Comics/GN 10.25% 11.50%

Marvel led the market shares for the month:

Publisher Dollar Share Unit Share
Marvel 38.43% 41.59%
DC 23.94% 24.30%
Image 9.48% 10.72%
IDW 6.60% 5.28%
Dark Horse 3.77% 3.36%
Archie 2.28% 2.62%
Boom 1.85% 1.99%
Dynamite 1.83% 1.65%
Titan 1.26% 1.15%
Oni 1.24% 1.19%
Other 9.32% 6.13%

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=296154&b=44882&m=8908&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Etfaw%2Ecom%2FProfile%2FArchie%2D1%2D%2528Greg%2DScott%2DCover%2529%5F%5F%5F478067With Secret Wars #4 topping the market, Marvel took eight of the top ten comics slots in July.

The relaunched Archie placed in the Top 10, bumping the publisher up to sixth place in dollar and unit market shares. The renumbering means Walt Disney's Comics & Stories is the highest sequentially numbered series in current release (though that series' early issues were in volume-and-issue format). For a title with no significant interruptions in releases, we probably have to go all the way to Sonic the Hedgehog, another Archie title now numbered in the 270s -- depending on whether or not we count Mad, which began as a comic book. I haven't run the math, but I wouldn't be surprised to find we're at the lowest average issue number for all comics in the business since the 1930s.

The top selling comics and graphic novels:

Comic Book Price Publisher
1 Secret Wars #4 $3.99 Marvel
2 Star Wars Lando #1 $3.99 Marvel
3 Civil War #1 $4.99 Marvel
4 Star Wars #7 $3.99 Marvel
5 Batman #42 $3.99 DC
6 Darth Vader #7 $3.99 Marvel
7 Archie #1 $3.99 Archie
8 Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows #2 $3.99 Marvel
9 Age of Apocalypse #1 $4.99 Marvel
10 Guardians of Knowhere #1 $3.99 Marvel




Trade paperback Price Publisher
1 Fables Vol. 22 $17.99 DC
2 Wicked & Divine Vol. 2 Fandemonium $14.99 Image
3 Hawkeye Vol. 4 Rio Bravo $17.99 Marvel
4 Red Sonja 1973 $7.99 Dynamite
5 Batman Harley Quinn $19.99 DC
6 Autumnlands Vol. 1 Tooth & Claw $9.99 Image
7 Divinity $9.99 Valiant
8 New Suicide Squad Vol. 1 Pure Insanity $16.99 DC
9 Civil War $24.99 Marvel
10 Batman Eternal Vol. 2 $39.99 DC

Again, the number of new releases was down, versus 496 new comics versus 530 last July and 302 graphic novels versus 312:
Publisher Comics shipped Graphic novels shipped Magazines shipped Total shipped
Marvel 75 36 0 111
DC 75 34 0 109
Image 74 19 0 93
IDW 45 29 0 74
Dark Horse 34 16 0 50
Boom 32 3 0 35
Dynamite 21 4 0 25
Titan 14 6 4 24
Archie 15 2 0 17
Oni 8 3 0 11
Other 103 150 49 302
Total 496 302 53 851

I'm in Hunt Valley, Maryland where I'm appearing at Shore Leave Convention -- just a few minutes from Diamond's headquarters, in fact! -- so there may be some delay in posting the final estimates next week. But if you're also in the area, be sure to drop by the convention. We've got a panel on the comics industry set for noon Sunday in Salon B.

http://bit.ly/SWNewDawnComichron.com curator 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, Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback.


Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.

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June 2015 comics sales estimates online; seven titles over 100,000 copies

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCSecWar3
With Comic-Con International: San Diego starting up today, the final sales report for June is now out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and as reported here on Monday, the first half of the year closed out very strongly. Click to see the sales estimates for comics ordered in June 2015.

(Click also to see our end-of-year 2014 report with ICV2, encompassing the book trade and digital.)

Second quarter comics and graphic orders were more than 20% higher than in the first quarter, and at $154.32 million, set a Diamond Exclusive Era record for orders in a quarter. Retailers bought 23.86 million copies of the Top 300 comic books in the quarter, which sets a record going back to the fourth quarter of 1997. (Click to see other modern-era sales records.)

Secret Wars #3 led the market with more than 218,000 copies shipped. Last month's leader, Secret Wars #1, had an additional 8,000 copies ship in June, bringing the total so far to more than 535,000. Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 also topped 200,000 copies, with the Justice League of America relaunch and Thors debuting at approximately 151,000 and 114,850 respectively.

http://bit.ly/CCWytc1
There were no Loot Crate comics last month, but there were three issues in the June Comic Block, a new service from Nerd Block. Marvel's Groot #1 placed tenth, while IDW's Ghostbusters Get Real #1 and Titan's 21st Century Tank Girl #1 also were included. It's not clear whether these titles were shipped to Comic Block through Diamond, but as that's Marvel and IDW's practice with Loot Crate books, that seems possible. 21st Century Tank Girl had estimated sales of just over 10,000 copies, so if Comic Block sales are counted in there, the service is certainly not impacting the charts in the way that Loot Crate does as yet.

Graphic novel unit sales were up greatly, with a wide gap separating unit and dollar sales; while this usually means deep discounting — which we did see this month on a range of titles — an increasing factor is the large number of graphic novels (like the market-leading Wytches) at the $9.99 price point.

The aggregate changes are as follows:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
June 2015: 7.47 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +16%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +22%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +6%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +21%
2nd Quarter 2015: 23.86 million copies, +19% vs. Q2 2014 
YEAR TO DATE: 44.63 million copies, +16% vs. 2014, +28% vs. 2010, +22% vs. 2005, +28% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
June 2015 versus one year ago this month: +14.66%
YEAR TO DATE: +16.52%

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
June 2015: $28.88 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +22%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +32%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +39%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +62%
2nd Quarter 2015: $95.94 million, +25% vs. Q2 2014 
YEAR TO DATE: $175.57 million, +21% vs. 2014, +44% vs. 2010, +67% vs. 2005, +88% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
June 2015 versus one year ago this month: +16.34%
YEAR TO DATE: +16.46%

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
March 2015: $8.11 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +17%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +11%
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: +13%
2nd Quarter 2015: $43.21 million, +2% vs. Q2 2014 
YEAR TO DATE: $18.82 million, -9% vs. 2014

ALL TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
June 2015 versus one year ago this month: +18.03%
YEAR TO DATE: +5.85%

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
June 2015: $36.99 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +21%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +15%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +24%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +72%
2nd Quarter 2015: $120.33 million, +22% vs. Q2 2014 
YEAR TO DATE: $218.75 million, +17% vs. 2014

ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
June 2015 versus one year ago this month: +16.88%
YEAR TO DATE: +13.07%

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
June 2015: approximately $48.72 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +17%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +24%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +48%
2nd Quarter 2015: $154.32 million, +16% vs. Q2 2014 
YEAR TO DATE: $282.22 million, +13% vs. 2014

RELEASES
New comic books released: 453
New graphic novels released: 288
New magazines released: 39
All new releases: 780

The average comic book in the Top 300 cost $3.79; the average comic book retailers ordered cost $3.86. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.

With the addition of June, there are now more than 125,000 comics sales figures on Comichron. And more to come...

http://bit.ly/SWNewDawnComichron.com curator 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, Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback.


Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.


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Secret Wars #3 tops June 2015 comics sales; first half of year up 13%

Monday, July 6, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCSecWar3
The first half of 2015 is in the books, and comic books in particular put up some amazing numbers, according to data released on June sales by Diamond Comic Distributors. The comic book market continued to grow at a fast pace in June; its $48.7 million in sales meant that that the first half of 2015 was up nearly 13% over the first half of 2014. Comics retailers bought $282 million in comics, graphic novels, and magazines from Diamond in the first half of the year, an increase of more than $33 million over the same period in 2014.

According to Comichron and ICV2's 2014 sales report released last week, when bookstore, digital and other sales were added to Diamond's sales, last year saw overall North American sales of $935 million. Were the first half sales increase to persist and be seen across all categories, that would put the overall 2015 total north of $1 billion. That's never happened before, although when adjusted for inflation the market's peak year, 1993, likely approached $1.4 billion.

That said, the first half of 2014 was completely flat versus the year before it, so all the growth in 2014 happened in the second half. Comparatives are likely to get harder to beat as the year goes on.

The comparatives for the month:
  
DOLLARS UNITS
JUNE 2015 VS. MAY 2014
Comics -6.09% -5.33%
Graphic Novels 14.39% 23.02%
TOTAL -0.35% -3.30%
JUNE 2015 VS. JUNE 2014
Comics 16.34% 14.66%
Graphic Novels 18.03% 31.35%
TOTAL 16.88% 16.01%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2015 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2014
Comics 16.46% 16.52%
Graphic Novels 5.85% 4.06%
TOTAL 13.07% 15.46%
SECOND QUARTER 2015 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2015
Comics 19.03% 16.19%
Graphic Novels 24.63% 31.88%
TOTAL 20.67% 17.32%
SECOND QUARTER 2015 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2014
Comics 18.74% 19.01%
Graphic Novels 10.43% 16.71%
TOTAL 16.09% 18.82%

Marvel was again the market leader for the month, and unlike May there wasn't any major distortion to the shares coming from Loot Crate or other subscription box retailers: 

Market Shares 
Dollar share Unit share
Marvel 40.86% 43.16%
DC 25.06% 28.03%
Image 9.81% 10.83%
IDW 5.18% 3.86%
Dark Horse 4.25% 3.51%
Boom 1.93% 1.74%
Dynamite 1.83% 1.65%
Titan 1.26% 1.20%
Archie 0.96% 1.01%
Valiant 0.72% 0.82%
Other 8.13% 4.19%
Secret Wars #3 led the Top Ten charts, which included a number of debuts. Marvel and DC split the charts between them:

 Top 10 Comic Books 
Title Price Vendor
1 Secret Wars #3 $3.99 Marvel
2 Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #1 $3.99 Marvel
3 Star Wars #6 $3.99 Marvel
4 Justice League of America #1 $5.99 DC
5 Batman #41 $3.99 DC
6 Thors #1 $3.99 Marvel
7 Darth Vader #6 $3.99 Marvel
8 X-Men '92 #1 $4.99 Marvel
9 Justice League #41* $4.99 DC
10 Groot #1† $3.99 Marvel

(Update: The asterisk stands for the fact that Diamond reduced Justice League's orders slightly due to returnability. And it turns out that Groot was part of the Comic Block, a new subscription box offered by Nerd Block. It's unclear how many copies that would have added, though.)

Image's Wytches led a graphic novel list that was split between Marvel and Image. Graphic novels were up dramatically for the month; we'll have a better notion as to why when we see the rest of the Top 300:

Top 10 Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks   
Title PRICE VENDOR
1 Wytches Vol. 1 $9.99 Image
2 Thanos: The Infinity Relativity HC $24.99 Marvel
3 East of West Volume 4: Who Wants War $14.99 Image
4 Ms. Marvel Volume 3: Crushed $15.99 Marvel
5 Civil War $24.99 Marvel
6 Saga Vol. 1 $9.99 Image
7 Saga Vol. 4 $14.99 Image
8 House of Hem $7.99 Marvel
9 ODYC Vol. 1 $9.99 Image
10 Marvel Universe: Ant-Man Digest $9.99 Marvel
 
Comics publishers released 453 new comic books in June, versus 424 last June. They also released 288 new graphic novels, versus 246 last year. June 2014 also had four shipping weeks, so it's an even match-up.
New Items Released
Comics shipped Graphic novels shipped Magazines shipped Total shipped
Marvel 72 33 0 105
DC 68 25 1 94
Image 65 16 0 81
Dark Horse 32 31 0 63
IDW 41 21 0 62
Boom 31 10 0 41
Dynamite 27 5 0 32
Titan 10 7 2 19
Archie 14 2 0 16
Valiant 8 2 0 10
Other 85 136 36 257
TOTAL 453 288 39 780

The estimates for specific June 2015 comics should be out later this week.

 http://bit.ly/SWNewDawnJohn 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 Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback.

Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.

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Comics and graphic novel sales hit new 20-year high in 2014

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

According to new estimate by ICv2 and Comichron

The comics and graphic novel market hit another new high for the century in 2014, and a new high since the mid-90s, according to a new joint estimate by Comichron’s John Jackson Miller and ICv2’s Milton Griepp. Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in the U.S. and Canada reached $935 million in 2014, a 7% increase over sales in 2013.

“It’s a very exciting time in the comics business,” Griepp said. “The broad range of titles being published, the wide variety of places they’re sold, and the great exposure comics are getting from other media are all very positive for the industry.”

“The market’s in great shape,” Miller said. “According to our tracking at Comichron, 2014 was the biggest year for print since 1995, adjusting for inflation; without adjusting for inflation dollar sales hit a mark unseen since 1993. And digital appears to be complementing, rather than cannibalizing, print.”

Increases were spread across all three formats. Print grew $55 million to $835 million in 2014, or around 7% more than the $780 million in print sales in 2013. That growth occurred in every channel and format except newsstand sales of periodical comics, which declined from $25 million to $20 million as Marvel withdrew from the market.

Sales of periodical comics through comic stores grew 4%, from $340 million to $355 million. Sales of graphic novels through comic stores grew at a slightly faster pace, from just under $170 million to just over $175 million.

The book channel (bookstores, online, mass) was where the greatest growth was, with graphic novel sales in the book channel up 16%, from $245 to $285 million.

Download-to-own digital sales reached $100 million in 2014, but the growth rate declined to around an 11% increase over 2013’s $90 million in sales, compared to a 29% growth rate in 2013, according to estimates released yesterday by ICv2. So despite a slower growth rate in 2014 than in 2013, the signs of strength were broad, across channels and formats, a positive sign for the industry.

As presented above and in the accompanying infographic, the 2014 analysis by ICv2 and Comichron 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 second joint market size analysis from ICv2 and Comichron; the first was last year for 2013 sales. ICV2 and Comichron also previously collaborated on revised estimates for 2011 and 2012.

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.

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May 2015 comics sales estimates online: Loot Crate effect hits half-million copies

Monday, June 15, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCSecrW1
Marvel's Secret Wars revival made a big splash in the comics market in May, moving more than 527,000 copies to comic shops in North America. That's according to Comichron's estimates for May 2015 comics sales based on information released by Diamond Comic Distributors. You can find the report here.

That's enough to place the issue fourth on the list of best-selling comics of the century, and it could go higher with reorders. It came in a month when strong six-figure launches from A-Force and Old Man Logan, and a dominating performance from Batman: Earth 2 Vol. 2 on the graphic novel charts helped push the market to a 13% increase.

The Secret Wars issue edged out a surprise second-place finisher, Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John #1 — and with the comic book, Loot Crate's effect on the Direct Market sales charts may finally have reached — pun entirely intended — cartoonish levels. Just over half a million copies of the comic book based on the animated series were shipped by Diamond, and indications are that most of those copies went directly to one customer: Loot Crate, which then doled them out to its subscribers (who do not know in advance what comic books they're going to receive). When the regular Bravest Warriors title appeared on the periodical charts more than a year ago, it was selling around the 4,000 copy level, and while this first issue likely sold more copies than that in comic shops, it's likely that more than 98% of the copies went to one customer.


http://bit.ly/CCBravW1
The massive single order had effects on the charts in several ways. Comics unit sales were up 20% over last May: 7.5% of that came from the Loot Crate copies. Industry sales went up $5.8 million versus last May, but $2.5 million of that came from Bravest Warriors. The title cost $4.99, so it helped punch up the weighted average cover price — the price of the average comic book Diamond shipped — to a record $4.17; without the inclusion of the Loot Crate books, that average drops to $4.11. (Still a record, but it only beats the last one — set in April — by nine cents.) It also sent Boom's market share northward, making it the #4 publisher in terms of units sold last month — and #3 in dollar sales within just the Top 300.

Where we don't see the distortion is in Diamond's dollar shares, which only look at the dollars it was paid — and there, Boom is in fifth place. According to Diamond's dollar rankings, it sold 2.4 copies of Bravest Warriors for every Secret Wars #2 it sold — and yet the distributor made more money on Secret Wars #2. Since Secret Wars #2 and Bravest Warriors cost the same — $4.99 — that would indicate that Loot Crate got a much better deal from Boom at wholesale on its copies than retailers got from Marvel. In the case of this issue and Februrary's chart-topping Orphan Black, it's probably more appropriate to look at these as promotional copies. Diamond stopped including comics promotionally cover-priced below $1 in its charts several years ago, but there doesn't appear to be a rule concerning a wholesale price minimum. (If there were, we wouldn't see graphic novels sold at deep discounts included in the charts — and those have often distorted the sales figures by several million dollars.)

There is, again, no single rule I can think of that would easily fit all occasions here — and as the number of box offerings proliferates, the potential impact on the charts grows. (Secret Wars #1 itself was in the Comic Block, Geek Fuel, and Comic Con boxes in May, and Convergence: Action Comics #1 and Mythic #1 were also in the Comic Block box, although the numbers involved are likely much smaller than the Loot Crate case. It's also not clear whether they're all going through Diamond: DC didn't go through Diamond with its first Loot Crate offering.) About the only suggestion I might have would be for Diamond to remove from the Top 300 charts sales any non-Direct Market accounts that do not order a variety of comics monthly; that would allow in sales from outlets like Hastings, but separate out promotional one-off purchases by outside firms. Such titles might be reported as an addendum to the charts, such that we'd know how they affected the market shares and bottom line; publishers would also see their sales reflected in that event. But that approach might be more difficult to do as the number of grab-bag retailers increases.

The aggregate changes are as follows:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
May 2015: 8 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +20%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +30%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +36%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +33%
YEAR TO DATE: 37.16 million copies, +16% vs. 2014, +29% vs. 2010, +26% vs. 2005, +30% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
May 2015 versus one year ago this month: +19.53%
YEAR TO DATE: +16.9%


TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
May 2015: $33.34 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +33%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +55%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +96%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +105%
YEAR TO DATE: $146.69 million, +21% vs. 2014, +46% vs. 2010, +75% vs. 2005, +94% vs. 2000

ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
May 2015 versus one year ago this month: +19.94%
YEAR TO DATE: +16.48%

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
May 2015: $7.27 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: unchanged
Versus 5 years ago this month: +21%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: +28%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +34%
YEAR TO DATE: $35.1 million, -1% vs. 2014

ALL TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
May 2015 versus one year ago this month: -0.29%
YEAR TO DATE: +3.41%


TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
May 2015: $40.61 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +26%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +38%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +72%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +118%
YEAR TO DATE: $181.76 million, +16% vs. 2014

ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
May 2015 versus one year ago this month: +13.49%
YEAR TO DATE: +12.31%

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
May 2015: approximately $48.89 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +13%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +39%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +83%
YEAR TO DATE: $233.5 million, +12% vs. 2014

RELEASES
New comic books released: 436
New graphic novels released: 228
New magazines released: 44
All new releases: 708

As mentioned above, the average cover price of the comic books in Diamond's Top 300 was $3.95, a record; there were 205 comics priced at $3.99, 26 above that mark, and 69 below. There were only 38 comics in the chart prices at $2.99, the previous most common price point. Click to see cover prices across time.

Our joint report with ICV2 on 2014's overall comics sales is being finalized; look for it here in the coming days.

http://bit.ly/SWNewDawnJohn 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 Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback.

Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook!

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