Search for titles on Comichron!
Custom Search

More than 139,000 comic book and graphic novel circulation figures online!
Welcome to Comichron, a resource for comic book circulation data and other information gathered by
John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.

 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Final September 2013 comics sales estimates now online

by John Jackson Miller

The final comics sales reports are out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and as reported here on Friday, Comichron's estimates based on those reports show that DC's "Villains Month" propelled the market to top several previous records from the Diamond Exclusive Era. Click to see the sales estimates for comics ordered in September 2013.

DC released 53 different issues featuring villains, each (apart from the chart-topping Forever Evil #1) numbered as part of a parent title: for example, Batman #23.1 featured the Joker, #23.2 featured the Riddler, #23.3 featured the Penguin and #23.4 starred Bane. While each title was intended to have a 3-D cover, demand resulted in the printing of a second "standard edition" version. The result was that DC had 129 new comics releases in September, of which 128 made the Top 300; that figure is only one less than its record high from early in the DC relaunch.

DC announced on Friday that it had sold 4.3 million copies of its comics to the North American Direct Market in September; its sales within the Top 300 itself were almost exactly 4 million copies,  a figure not seen for DC since the post-relaunch month of October 2011, with DC orders of 4.26 million copies in the Top 300. Several other 1997-to-present records set during the month:

Highest dollar volume for Top 300 Comics sales in a single month: $30.05 million

Highest dollar volume for Top 300 Comics and Top 300 Trade Paperbacks combined for a single month: $37.61 million

Highest dollar volume for All Comics, Trade Paperbacks, and Magazines ordered in a single month: $48.07 million

•  Highest dollar volume for All Comics, Trade Paperbacks, and Magazines ordered in a single QUARTER: $113.16 million

Highest weighted average price for all comics ordered within Diamond's Top 300 Comics list: $3.69 (tied with November 2010)

Most copies sold by a 300th place title in a four-week month: 6,448

That latter figure blows away the previous record by more than a thousand copies, and results largely from the added number of DC entries this month. There's more volume higher up on the chart, and many of the titles usually in the lower rankings were pushed off the Top 300 completely. Perhaps in response, Diamond expanded its list for this month to go down to the end of the Top 400 — and as usual, there are random issues beneath that which appeared in the Small Publisher Top 50. All of the Top Comics calculations below continue to be for the Top 300, so as to compare like against like.

The aggregate changes:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
September 2013: 8.15 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +25%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +20%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +25%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +10%
Q3 2013: 21.83 million copies, +8% vs. Q3 2012
YEAR TO DATE: 63.53 million copies, +8% vs. 2012, +5% vs. 2008, +19% vs. 2003, unchanged vs. 1998

ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
September 2013 versus one year ago this month: +26.97%
Q3 2012 versus Q3 2012: +8.27
YEAR TO DATE: +9.56%

---

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
September 2013: $30.05 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +32%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +37%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +58%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +65%
Q3 2013: $80.07 million, +9% vs. Q3 2012

YEAR TO DATE: $230.52 million, +11% vs. 2012, +19% vs. 2008, +54% vs. 2003, +47% vs. 1998

ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
September 2013 versus one year ago this month: +33.9%
Q3 2013 versus Q3 2012: +11.12%
YEAR TO DATE: +12.50%

---

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
September 2013: $7.56 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +6%
Versus 5 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: -3%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 50 vs. the Top 50: +1%
Q3 2013: $21.51 million, -2% vs. Q3 2012

YEAR TO DATE: $67.69 million, +8% vs. 2012

ALL TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
September 2013 versus one year ago this month: +1.76%
Q3 2013 versus Q3 2012: +0.30%
YEAR TO DATE: +6.03%

---

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
September 2013: $37.61 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +26%
Versus 5 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +30%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 50 TPBs: +46%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +76%
Q3 2013: $101.28 million, +6% vs. Q3 2012

YEAR TO DATE: $196.23 million, +13% vs. 2012

ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK  SALES
September 2013 versus one year ago this month: +23.4%
Q3 2013 versus Q3 2012: +7.64%   
YEAR TO DATE: +10.43%

---

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
September 2013: approximately $48.07 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: +23%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +37%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +71%
Q3 2013: $133.16 million, +8% vs. 2012
 

YEAR TO DATE: $382.88 million, +10% vs. 2012

RELEASES
New comic books released: 444
New graphic novels released: 255
New magazines released: 38
All new releases: 737

The average comic book in the Top 300 cost $3.60; again, the average comic book retailers ordered cost $3.69. The median and most common price for comics offered was $3.99. Click to see comics prices across time.

For the curious, the additonal 100 copies on the list adds about 430,000 copies, or about 4% more comics to the usual Top 300 list; it adds $1.6 million, or 5%, in dollars. That's expected, as books lower on the list tend to have higher prices. From the glimpses we get of the lower echelons of the list, it would appear to fall off dramatically from there, with #400-500 adding another 100,000 copies worth $400,000 or so — and by the time we reach #500-600, we're well out of the frontlist and only about 40,000 copies worth $160,000 are being added.

So it looks like the total comics sale is in the 9 million copy range, worth close to $33 million; the Top 300 captures 90% of the periodical activity. That leaves $15 million for graphic novels and trade paperbacks, of which more than half is captured in the Top 300 graphic novel list. And the overall Direct Market dollar breakdown is about 2/3 comics, 1/3 graphic novels — which is about what we've seen in the recent past.

That's September. See everyone at New York Comicon!



Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Villains propel September 2013 comics orders to record levels

by John Jackson Miller


DC's "Villains Month" prompted North American comics retailers to order in record volume in September, according to preliminary data released today by Diamond Comic Distributors. The event, which saw many DC titles splitting for the month into several issues featuring different stories and 3-D covers, spearheaded a $48 million month for the trade overall.

That figure is the largest non-inflation adjusted dollar amount for orders seen in the 2000s, beating both last month and last September by more than $9 million. Despite the high month-to-month volatility recently, the quarter overall was up 7.64%. That looks a lot more like the rest of 2013.

In the 1980s, September was called "Black September" in the comics market, owing to a back-to-school dropoff in volume — but the last three years have seen major publisher events during the month, including the DC relaunch in 2011. Based on the comparative statistics below, Comichron estimates that the periodical sales, which were up an astonishing 34% year-over-year in dollar terms, likely topped 8.5 million copies, with DC contributing 4 million copies or more. That would put the month just beneath December 1997 (the 11-cover Darkness #11 month) in periodical orders.

The category comparisons are as follows:
 
COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

DOLLARS
UNITS
SEPTEMBER 2013 VS. AUGUST 2013
COMICS
31.66%
29.26%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
11.93%
9.89%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
25.69%
27.79%
SEPTEMBER 2013 VS. SEPTEMBER 2012
COMICS
33.90%
26.97%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
1.76%
-2.96%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
23.40%
24.47%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2013 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2012
COMICS
12.50%
9.56%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
6.03%
3.67%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
10.43%
9.09%
THIRD QUARTER 2013 VS. SECOND QUARTER 2013
COMICS
7.00%
5.59%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
-1.79%
-2.05%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
4.21%
4.98%
THIRD QUARTER 2013 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2012
COMICS
11.12%
8.27%
GRAPHIC NOVELS
0.30%
-4.86%
TOTAL COMICS/GN
7.64%
7.16%


The hub title of the event, Forever Evil #1, led the comics chart for the month. Note that the various Batman issues are not grouped together, since these are not variant covers but actually different issues:

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
VENDOR
1
FOREVER EVIL #1
$3.99
DC
2
INFINITY #2
$3.99
Marvel
3
INFINITY #3
$3.99
Marvel
4
X-MEN: BATTLE OF ATOM #1
$3.99
Marvel
5
BATMAN #23.1: THE JOKER
$3.99
DC
6
BATMAN #23.2: THE RIDDLER
$3.99
DC
7
MIGHTY AVENGERS #1
$3.99
Marvel
8
BATMAN #23.4: BANE
$3.99
DC
9
AVENGERS #19
$3.99
Marvel
10
BATMAN #23.3: THE PENGUIN
$3.99
DC

All the attention was on the periodicals this month, with graphic novel orders flat year-over-year. Image's East of West Vol. 1 led the graphic novels chart:


RANK
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
VENDOR
1
EAST OF WEST VOLUME 1: THE PROMISE TP
$9.99
Image
2
JUSTICE LEAGUE VOL. 3: THE THRONE OF ATLANTIS HC
$24.99
DC
3
STAR WARS VOLUME 1: IN THE SHADOW OF YAVIN TP
$19.99
Dark Horse
4
THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 9 
$34.99
Image
5
THE WALKING DEAD 100 PROJECT
$12.99
Image
6
JUSTICE LEAGUE VOL. 2: THE VILLAINS' JOURNEY TP
$16.99
DC
7
SAGA VOLUME 1 TP
$9.99
Image
8
SAGA VOLUME 2 TP
$14.99
Image
9
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC VOLUME 2 TP
$17.99
IDW
10
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN VOLUME 1 HC
$34.99
Marvel

 The market shares reflect Villains Month, as you would expect:


TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS
PUBLISHER
DOLLAR
SHARE
UNIT
SHARE
DC ENTERTAINMENT
40.39%
45.17%
MARVEL COMICS
28.49%
29.83%
IMAGE COMICS
6.87%
7.00%
IDW PUBLISHING
4.89%
4.12%
DARK HORSE COMICS
4.76%
4.04%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
2.27%
2.19%
BOOM! STUDIOS
1.83%
1.65%
EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS
0.95%
0.15%
AVATAR PRESS
0.88%
0.72%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT
0.87%
0.91%
OTHER NON-TOP 10
7.79%
4.23%

And as mentioned above, the "title-shipped" category was much impacted by Villains Month, since the added books weren't variants (which would be bundled with their parent titles):
 
NEW TITLES SHIPPED
PUBLISHER
COMICS 
SHIPPED
GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED
MAGAZINES 
SHIPPED
TOTAL
SHIPPED
DC COMICS
129
22
0
151
MARVEL COMICS
67
32
0
99
IMAGE COMICS
39
15
0
54
DARK HORSE COMICS
27
19
0
46
IDW PUBLISHING
32
12
0
44
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT
31
5
0
36
BOOM! STUDIOS
19
6
0
25
AVATAR PRESS
8
2
1
11
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT
7
2
0
9
EAGLEMOSS
0
0
4
4
OTHER
85
140
33
258

We'll have to see how many DC entries make the Top 300: the record in the Diamond Exclusive era was DC in October 2011 with exactly 129, but remember that reordered books can also make the Top 300, so there's a potential for the publisher's count to go higher.

The overall dollar volume for the year in Direct Market orders of comic books, graphic novels, and magazines now rests at nearly $383 million after three quarters. A half-billion dollar year is now almost practically assured.

A side note: this Saturday is Star Wars Reads Day, a literacy event celebrated with events in bookstores, libraries, and comics shops. My appearance schedule for that and for New York Comicon is here.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.
Next Previous Home

 

Copyright © John Jackson Miller. Original template design by Free Website Templates. Privacy policy.

Comichron is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Images used for identification are © their respective owners.