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Strong April keeps comics market on half-billion dollar pace for 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

by John Jackson Miller

North American comics shop retailers ordered just over $41 million worth of comic books and graphic novels in April 2013, an increase of more than 18% over the same month last year, according to data released today by Diamond Comic Distributors.

That figure brings the year-to-date total to $163 million, up more than $25 million from 2012 at this point. If the later months of the year continue at the same pace, the Direct Market is on track to easily exceed half a billion dollars in orders for the year. In fact, the market would just top $500 million if the next eight months were completely flat. (Last year's total was $475 million.) That's how much ahead things already are.

Batman #19 from DC led the comics sales list in the month, during which IDW once again saw its highest market share yet posted.

The aggregate change figures:

DOLLARS UNITS
APRIL 2013 VS. MARCH 2013
 Comics -4.95% -5.73%
 Graphic novels 10.32% 10.11%
 Total Comics/Graphic Novels -0.56% -4.56%
APRIL 2013 VS. APRIL 2012
 Comics 13.87% 11.71%
 Graphic novels 14.83% 19.00%
 Total Comics/Graphic Novels 14.18% 12.29%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2013 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2012
 Comics 19.44% 16.85%
 Graphic novels 15.85% 14.15%
 Total Comics/Graphic Novels 18.32% 16.64%

Age of Ultron took several spots on the top-sellers list for comics: 

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE VENDOR
1 Batman #19 $3.99 DC
2 Thanos Rising #1 $3.99 Marvel
3 Jupiter's Legacy #1 $2.99 Image
4 Age of Ultron #4 $3.99 Marvel
5 Justice League #19 $3.99 DC
6 Age of Ultron #5 $3.99 Marvel
7 Age of Ultron #6 $3.99 Marvel
8 The Walking Dead #10 $2.99 Image
9 Batman and Red Robin #19 $2.99 DC
10 Guardians of the Galaxy #2 $3.99 Marvel

It was a month with roughly equal gains in comics and trades. The perennial best-seller, The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye returned to top of the graphic novel charts:

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE VENDOR
1 The Walking Dead Vol. 1 Days Gone Bye $14.99 Image
2 The Manhattan Projects Vol. 2 $14.99 Image
3 Happy $12.99 Image
4 Saga Vol. 1 $9.99 Image
5 Punk Rock Jesus $16.99 DC
6 Batman Detective Comics Vol. 1 Faces of Death $16.99 DC
7 Batman Detective Comics Vol. 2 Scare Tactics HC $29.99 DC
8 Batman Killing Joke Special Edition HC $17.99 DC
9 Swamp Thing Vol. 2 Family Tree $14.99 DC
10 Hawkeye Vol. 1 My Life as a Weapon $16.99 Marvel

As noted above, IDW beat its previous market share record, reaching 7.54%. Its previous best mark was in February, 7.09%. The market shares:

Publisher Dollar Share Units Share
Marvel 37.95% 41.78%
DC 25.98% 27.72%
Image 9.04% 9.87%
IDW 7.54% 5.59%
Dark Horse 4.35% 4.09%
Dynamic Forces 2.98% 2.60%
Boom 1.92% 1.97%
Valiant 1.04% 1.11%
Eaglemoss 0.94% 0.19%
Zenescope 0.80% 0.72%
Other 7.46% 4.37%
 
So, at least as of the preliminary charts, April looks to have been a month right in line with the gains of the 2012-13 comics recovery. The full charts will be out next week.

Iron Man 3 is now in wide release: click to check out our historic sales data on the main title. And, of course, Saturday is also Free Comic Book Day: click to read Comichron's history of the genesis of the event. I will be signing my own comics works at Galaxy Comics in Stevens Point, Wis., from 1-4; click here to find out where the events are in your area. And check out Hugh Jackman's video greeting, here!

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.

Personal plug department: Be sure to check out Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, my new Kindle Serial with 47North. A complete science-fiction novel delivered in eight biweekly episodes, all for only $1.99!

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