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September 2008 Comics Sales Charts

Monday, October 20, 2008

And here are the comics sales charts for September, with my estimates. Same-day — that doesn't happen often!

Orders from the comics direct market, composed of all the comics specialty shops in North America, were up for the month across all categories — and up for the quarter and year in the widest category and in the Top 100 Trade Paperbacks. We’re still a bit behind in the narrower categories like Top 300 Comics and Dollars.

This month is notable as being the first since Diamond began reporting Final Orders in which Marvel’s Unit Share of all items shipped exceeded 50%, as originally noticed by Michael Doran. It’s at 45% in the dollar share, which is usually held as more important since a piece count can get complicated when mixing comics and trade paperbacks.

And I haven’t worked it out all the way back, but Marvel’s number of entries in the Top 300 is likely as high as it’s been since September 1996, when I began keeping track. It had 116 books in the Top 300, versus 87 for DC and 27 for Image. I think you probably have to go back to the early 1990s for as high a number of entries. Second-printing or variant covers may be part of the reason, although Diamond does lump all versions into the same entry in its Top 300 lists.

The comparatives:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
September 2008: 6.78 million copies Versus 1 year ago this month: +1%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +4%
Versus 10 years ago this month: -9%
3rd Quarter 2008: 22.02 million copies, -5% vs. 3Q 2007
YEAR TO DATE: 60.38 million copies, -6% vs. 2007

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
September 2008: $21.96 million Versus 1 year ago this month: +2%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +15%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +21%
3rd Quarter 2008: $67.63 million, -4% vs. 3Q 2007
YEAR TO DATE: $193.36, -5% vs. 2007

TOP 100 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
September 2008: $4.59 million Versus 1 year ago this month: +2%
Versus 5 years ago this month, just the Top 50 vs. the Top 50: unchanged
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +49%
3rd Quarter 2008: $15.11 million, +12% vs. 3Q 2007
YEAR TO DATE: $43.08 million, +4% vs. 2007

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 100 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
September 2008: $26.53 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +2%
Versus 5 years ago this month, counting just the Top 50 TPBs: +11%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +22%
3rd Quarter 2008: $82.73 million, -1% vs. 3Q 2007
YEAR TO DATE: $236.79 million, -3% vs. 2007

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
September 2008: $35.11 million ($38.36 million with UK) Versus 1 year ago this month: +7%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +25%
3rd Quarter 2008: $112.89 million, +4% vs. 3Q 2007
YEAR TO DATE: $321.69 million, +1% vs. 2007

I do plan a Newsarama column for this month, so more historical comparisons coming soon.

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