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John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.

 

Monday, July 21, 2008

June 2008 Comic Book Sales Estimates

by John Jackson Miller

Updated!
As I surmised last month, June 2008 comics sales in the direct market had an easier time in comparison with June 2007 sales, in part thanks to the second best trade paperback month recorded among Diamond’s Top 100 Trade Paperbacks. While ground was still lost in the narrower categories (such as Top 300 comics units and dollars, down 4% and 3% respectively), the Trade Paperback and wider categories saw increases year-over-year. Overall June 2008 orders were up 5% to nearly $37 million, with Diamond's Top 25 trades up 25% to just over $6 million.


The result is that all categories are still even or slightly off for the second quarter and for the year, but the margins are such that they could be made up in the second half of the year if the market performs even slightly better than it did in the second half of 2007. The overall total (the sum of all Diamond comics, trade paperback, and magazine orders, including items not on the top-sellers charts) is at $208.8 million, just under last year's first half mark of $210.11 million. Diamond's top-selling trade paperbacks category is the only one that's up  — by about $30,000. Diamond sold about 2.6 million fewer comic books in its Top 300 in the first half of 2008 versus the first half of 2007; that's the category with the most ground to make up.

There were four titles above 100,000 copies in estimated sales; perhaps the bigger help to June making up ground was the three trade paperbacks with orders over 10,000 copies.

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
June 2008: 6.66 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: -4%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +20%
Versus 10 years ago this month: -8%
Q2 2008: 20.43 million copies, -6% vs. Q2 2007
YEAR TO DATE:  39.54 million copies, -6% vs. 2007

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
June 2008: $21.37 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -3%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +32%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +19%
Q2 2008: $65.94 million, -4% vs. Q2 2007
YEAR TO DATE: $125.73 million, -5% vs. 2007

TOP 100 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
June 2008: $6.06 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +25%
Versus 5 years ago this month, just the Top 50 vs. the Top 50: +86%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +155%
Q2 2008: $15.5 million, -3% vs. Q2 2007
YEAR TO DATE: $27.97 million, +0.1% vs. 2007

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 100 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
June 2008: $27.43 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +2%
Versus 5 years ago this month, counting just the Top 50 TPBs: +39%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +27%
Q2 2008: $81.8 million, -3% vs. Q2 2007
YEAR TO DATE: $154.06 million, -4% vs. 2007

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
June 2008: $36.97 million ($41 million with UK)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +5%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +49%
Q2 2008: $110.5 million, -0.3% vs. Q2 2007
YEAR TO DATE: $208.8 million, -0.6% vs. 2007, +46% vs. 2003


The ratios this time out are pegged to Detective Comics #845; one point on the scale equals 1% of the sales of Detective. There is a Batman on the lists to peg to this month, but as it has three order codes I imagine they picked the simpler route.


Three
new publisher entries in the Top 300 this month: Hero Initiative, with its Mike Wieringo tribute issue, a joint effort with Marvel; Catastrophic Comics, with William Katt's comic book, Sparks #1; and Great Big, with Voyages of She-Buccaneer #1.

The average price of comic books in Diamond's Top 300 was $3.34. The weighted average price of the average comic book ordered was $3.21. The average cost of comics in the Top 25 was $3.11.


A little numerological strangeness — here in the sixth month of the year, a month which saw Number of the Beast #6 ship — Diamond's Top 300 comics sold 6.66 million copies to retailers! The Comics Chronicles does not endorse any metaphysical conspiracy theories — we just do the math!
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