Following the report on comics orders for April 2010, here's a look back at what was going on in previous years...
April 2009's top seller was DC's Detective Comics #853, with estimated first-month Diamond orders of 104,100 copies. The Neil Gaiman issue performed an interesting feat: as Comichron reported, it was the first time an issue of Detective, the longest-running ongoing series in American comics, had ever topped the charts. Check out the detailed analysis of the month's sales here — and sales chart here.
April 2005's top-seller was Marvel's New Avengers #5, with Diamond first-month orders of over 162,300 copies. But DC took the next four of the top five slots in a month where the narrower categories were flat or slightly off year-over-year. Star Wars Episode III helped Dark Horse to one of its higher market shares across history; the movie came out in May, but orders for the adaptation issues and trade were recorded in April. Check out the sales chart here.
April 2000's top-seller was Image's Fathom #12, with estimated Diamond preorders of approximately 124,500 copies. Image topped the charts only twice more in the 2000s, with an anniversary issue of Spawn and Masters of the Universe #1 a couple of years later.
Also in April 2000, Marvel boosted its cover prices from $1.99 to $2.25 for most of its line, helping its market share. Check out the sales chart here.
The book was priced at $3.99 — and the average comic book ordered within Diamond's Top 300 cost $2.39. The most common cost of comics was $2.50, believe it or not: Marvel and DC's lines were scattered across several price points, including $1.50, $1.75, $1.95, and $2.25, whereas Image, Malibu, Dark Horse, and Acclaim had many of their comic books priced at $2.50.
April 1990's top seller at Diamond and Capital City was Legends of the Dark Knight #8, the third issue of Grant Morrison's "Gothic" storyline. Capital City's orders on the issue were 84,950 copies, suggesting that overall sales were closer to half a million copies.
While the identically priced Crisis on Infinite Earths undeniably had a longer-term impact on its publisher's line, Secret Wars II was nearly outselling it two-to-one at Capital in April.