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June 2010: Avengers leads again, Big Two domination in Top 100

Friday, July 9, 2010

by John Jackson Miller    Bookmark and Share

A month after a new Avengers title led the charts, a new New Avengers title led the charts in June, according to reports released today by Diamond Comic Distributors. The Top 100 comics and trade paperbacks ordered by comics shops, as well as market shares, can be found here.

Marvel and DC combined to take the top 49 slots on the comics sales chart, and 96 out of the Top 100. It is the deepest into the chart the Big Two publishers have extended their reach since October 2008, when they took the top 64 slots. What happened? No Buffy the Vampire Slayer issue this month. Marvel and DC's domination of the top of the list is usually broken up by the Dark Horse title, and the months where their reach has gone far into the charts are the rare ones in which the Dark Horse title was not released. In one such month, August 2007, Marvel and DC took the top 84 slots and 98 out of the Top 100 titles. 

However, these unbroken chains of entries are generally not meaningful, as we see from the market shares, which were not largely different this month than usual. Much of the other publishers' dollar volume comes from trade paperbacks — a much more integrated list, near the top — and also from relatively larger numbers of titles offered below 100th place. The Batman: Arkham Asylum Madness hardcover was the best-selling trade this month, but the next three titles are from other publishers.


The average cost of the Top 100 comics was $3.57, with the most common price $2.99 and the median price $3.99.

Diamond's full top 300 lists along with estimates should appear next week.

3 comments:

Paul Nolan July 10, 2010 at 1:59 AM  

If my memory of the meaning of "Median" is correct, then does that mean this month is the first month where there have been more comics costing more than $3.99 or more than less than 3.99?

John Jackson Miller July 10, 2010 at 12:06 PM  

No, actually there are far more comics costing less than $3.99 than more than $3.99. More than eight times as many, in fact.

"Median" means the figure you find at the exact middle when you line up all the prices in rank order -- so here, it would be the 50th (or, actually, the 50-and-a-halfth) price in the list of 100.

In the Top 100 there are 48 comics at $2.99, 1 comic book at $3.50, 45 comics at $3.99, and 6 at $4.99. So the most common price is $2.99 and the exact middle of the line of 100 prices is $3.99.

Put another way, anked in ascending order of price, comics #1-48 are $2.99, comic #49 is $3.50, comics #50-94 are $3.99, and comics #95-100 are $3.99. We thus see that had there been one more $2.99 book, the median would have been $3.50 -- and had there been two more, the median would have been $2.99.

That's why the median is sometimes misleading, since it shields the large gaps between prices; the other 48 books could have been at $0.01, and the median would still be $3.99. But it is useful to look at sometimes: if we see that the number is far out of synch with the average, it means that there are outlier books at either end distorting the average.

Paul Nolan July 11, 2010 at 2:47 AM  

Sorry, my understanding of the meaning was correct, I just should have said "costing $3.99 or More"....

but in my book 51 books costing $3.99 or more compared to 49 less than $3.99 is still very significant

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