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Comics shops ordered $250 million in comics, trades in first half of 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013

by John Jackson Miller

The preliminary monthly sales report for June 2013 has been released by Diamond Comic Distributors, and it shows that comics shop orders for comic books, graphic novels, and collected editions for the first half of the year came in just a few thousand dollars shy of the quarter-billion dollar mark. A $500 million year is within reach for the Direct Market for the first time in the nearly two decades since the glut market of the early 1990s. (The usual inflation caveats apply, of course.)

Orders of just over $41.5 million were somewhat off from five-week May, and slightly up over June 2012. At the same time in 2012, the Direct Market had placed orders for $222.9 million worth of comics and trade paperbacks; year to date, the market is up nearly 12%.

The pace of increase has decelerated: the second quarter beat 2012 Q2 by 5.43%, whereas the first quarter beat 2012 by almost eight more percentage points.

The aggregate changes:

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS
DOLLARS UNITS
JUNE 2013 VS. JUNE 2013
COMICS -2.27% -2.86%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -19.07% -20.90%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -7.92% -4.40%
JUNE 2013 VS. JUNE 2012
COMICS 5.28% 1.17%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -3.35% -4.31%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 2.57% 0.76%
SECOND QUARTER 2013 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2013
COMICS 2.27% -0.31%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 10.39% 11.83%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 4.72% 0.57%
SECOND QUARTER 2013 VS. SECOND QUARTER 2012
COMICS 6.30% 2.95%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 3.62% 5.63%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 5.43% 3.16%
FIRST HALF 2013 VS. FIRST HALF 2012
COMICS 13.26% 10.25%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 9.25% 8.72%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 11.98% 10.13%


Superman Unchained #1 was the top comic book during the release month of The Man of Steel movie, and at $4.99 its total dollar volume will easily top $1 million. (The flag-covered Justice League of America #1, released at $3.99 in February, is likely to remain the top-seller for the year.) DC took the top three slots on the chart, followed by Marvel, which had Age of Ultron #10 as its top seller.

The new Walking Dead collection, Walking Dead Vol. 18: What Comes After was the top-seller among graphic novels and collected editions in a month in which sales for those were slightly off the totals for June 2012.

The top comic books and trades:

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE VENDOR
1 Superman Unchained #1 $4.99 DC
2 Batman/Superman #1 $3.99 DC
3 Batman #21 $3.99 DC
4 Age of Ultron #10 $3.99 Marvel
5 Age of Ultron #9 $3.99 Marvel
6 Justice League #21 $3.99 DC
7 Superior Spider-Man #11 $3.99 Marvel
8 Superior Spider-Man #12 $3.99 Marvel
9 All-New X-Men #12 $3.99 Marvel
10 Kick-Ass 3 #1 $2.99 Marvel


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS
RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE VENDOR
1 Walking Dead Vol. 18: What Comes After $14.99 Image
2 Saga Vol. 2 $14.99 Image
3 Adventure Time Vol. 3 $14.99 Boom
4 Star-Lord: The Hollow Crown $7.99 Marvel
5 Deadpool Killustrated $14.99 Marvel
6 Walking Dead Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us $14.99 Image
7 Fatale Vol. 3 $14.99 Image
8 Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill $16.99 DC
9 Harley Quinn: Night and Day $16.99 DC
10 Before Watchmen: Minutemen/Silk Spectre Deluxe HC $29.99 DC

The market shares:

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS
RETAIL MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
Marvel 32.77%
DC 29.57%
Image 8.77%
IDW 6.55%
Dark Horse 5.51%
Dynamite 2.40%
Boom 1.93%
Eaglemoss 1.76%
Valiant 1.04%
Avatar 0.91%
Other 8.80%
UNIT MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
Marvel 38.29%
DC 32.03%
Image 8.31%
IDW 5.01%
Dark Horse 4.64%
Dynamite 2.30%
Boom 1.82%
Valiant 1.03%
Aavatar 0.84%
Aspen 0.80%
Other 4.94%

The full estimates will appear on Monday.

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