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March 2009 Top-Selling Comics at Diamond

Thursday, April 9, 2009

March 2009 will be remembered in comics history annals as the month of the Watchmen movie release; and, indeed, the trade paperback again appeared at the top of the trade charts, according to the preliminary report on comics sales to retailers released today by Diamond Comic Distributors. The basic information appears in this posting, but a page for the eventual March 2009 estimates has been established.

The Obama Spider-Man title past, Marvel's "Dark Reign" event asserted itself at the top of the Diamond comic book charts in the form of Dark Avengers #3 in the top position. The Top 10:

1) Dark Avengers #3 • $3.99 • Marvel
2) New Avengers #51 • $3.99 • Marvel
3) Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1 • $3.99 • DC
4) Wolverine #71 • $2.99 • Marvel
5) Ultimatum #3 • $3.99 • Marvel
6) Uncanny X-Men #507 • $2.99 • Marvel
7) Mighty Avengers #23 • $2.99 • Marvel
8) Justice League of America #31 • $2.99 • DC
9) Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk #3 $2.99 • Marvel
10) Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23 • $2.99 • Dark Horse

Six of the Top 10 were at the $2.99 price point this time out, though four of the top five were at $3.99. Ten years ago this month found six of the Top 10 at $1.95 or $1.99, much lower than the average price of all comics that retailers ordered in March 1999, $2.51. Historically, the books placing highest on the unit sales charts were often the highest-profile lower-priced titles; with publishers putting premium prices on their highest-profile books (a phenomenon seen in the early 1990s), we haven't seen that phenomenon that often in recent months.

Topping the trades, Watchmen has been in the Top 6 every month since July 2008:

1) Watchmen • $19.99 • DC
2) The Stand: Captain Trips Premiere HC (Bermejo Edition) • $24.99 • Marvel
3) Jack of Fables Volume 5: Turning Pages • $14.99 • DC
4) Alan Moore: The Light Of Thy Countenance • $7.99 • Avatar
5) Fruits Basket Vol. 22 • $10.99 • Tokyopop
6) Invincible Iron Man Volume 1: Five Nightmares • $19.99 • Marvel
7) Naruto Vol. 40 • $7.95 • Viz
8) Naruto Vol. 38 • $7.95 • Viz
9) Naruto Vol. 41 • $7.95 • Viz
10) American Jesus Vol. 1: Chosen • $9.99 • Image

Market shares found IDW in the third spot in units, and fourth in dollars, cracking the 5% barrier.

Share of Overall Units
Marvel 47.24%
DC 27.77%
IDW 5.10%
Dark Horse 4.80%
Image 3.18%
Dynamic Forces 2.10%
Viz 1.09%
Boom 0.84%
Avatar 0.69%
Aspen 0.66%
Other 6.53%

Share of Overall Dollars
Marvel • 42.74%
DC • 27.34%
Dark Horse • 5.63%
IDW • 5.01%
Image • 3.60%
Viz • 1.88%
Dynamic Forces • 1.82%
Avatar • 0.83%
Boom • 0.78%
Aspen • 0.42%
Other • 9.95%

Diamond's next round of updates is expected early next week.

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