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December comics sales close 2013 on high note; another IDW market share record

Friday, January 10, 2014

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCOriginII1
Diamond Comic Distributors released the preliminary 2013 year-end data on Wednesday; now, it has added the closing chapter of the sales year with the preliminary sales report for December.

Retailers ordered $42.22 million in comic books and graphic novels in December, a sum almost identical to that of November. Less than $9,000, or the sales of a single issue of a 400th-place title, separated November and December's orders. But last December was weaker than last November, so the result was an uptick in the year-to-year percentage change: the direct market ordered nearly 6% more dollars worth of comics and graphic novels this December than last December.

Orders for the fourth quarter totaled $134.79 million in comics and graphic novels, more than a million dollars better than the third quarter and an improvement of more than $6 million over the fourth quarter of 2012. Since the third quarter was already a record for the Diamond Exclusive Era, the fourth quarter represents the highest dollar value for a quarter, unadjusted for inflation, since the early 1990s.

The resulting sales for the year came in at around $517.66 million, which as reported earlier this week is an increase of 9% over last year's figure of $474.45 million.

The percentage change statistics:


DOLLARS UNITS
DECEMBER 2013 VS. NOVEMBER 2013

Comics 0.63% 1.60%
Graphic Novels -1.40% 3.67%
Total Comics and Graphic Novels -0.03% 1.76%



DECEMBER 2013 VS. DECEMBER 2012

Comics 1.09% -3.64%
Graphic Novels 18.02% 20.38%
Total Comics and Graphic Novels 5.93% -2.07%



YEAR 2013 VS. YEAR 2012

Comics 10.22% 6.70%
Graphic Novels 6.50% 5.12%
Total Comics and Graphic Novels 9.04% 6.58%



FOURTH QUARTER 2013 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2013
Comics -0.72% -2.39%
Graphic Novels 5.79% 2.09%
Total Comics and Graphic Novels 1.23% -2.06%



FOURTH QUARTER 2013 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2012
Comics 4.16% -0.97%
Graphic Novels 7.80% 9.50%
Total Comics and Graphic Novels 5.28% -0.22%


IDW had a dollar market share of 8.18%, a record for the publisher; it was good enough to put the company into the third place slot. The previous high for IDW was 7.54%, in April 2013. It's the only time in 2013 IDW placed third; it did so three times each in 2011 and 2012, first doing so in June 2009. See other Diamond-era records here.

The next three publishers after Marvel and DC had 21.78% of the dollar orders: this is the highest total for that sub-grouping since February 2003, when it was 23.47% (with the CrossGen in IDW's place). The market shares for December:

PUBLISHER UNITS DOLLARS
Marvel 36.56% 35.42%
DC 31.13% 27.22%
IDW 6.17% 8.18%
Image 8.07% 7.32%
Dark Horse 6.35% 6.28%
Dynamite 3.25% 3.22%
Boom 2.12% 2.06%
Zenescope 1.16% 1.11%
Eaglemoss 0.18% 0.98%
Zenescope 0.91% 0.91%
Other 4.08% 7.32%

Marvel's Origin II #1 was the top-selling comic book, though since it didn't appear in Diamond's year-end top 10, that tells us it wasn't one of the year's bigger blockbusters. Once again, only one comic book in the Top 10 was priced below $3.99. The Top 10 comic books for the month:


COMIC BOOK PRICE VENDOR
1 Origin II #1 4.99 Marvel
2 Avengers #24.Now 4.99 Marvel
3 Batman #26 3.99 DC 
4 Forever Evil #4 3.99 DC 
5 Superman Unchained #5 3.99 DC 
6 Justice League #25 3.99 DC 
7 Harley Quinn #1 2.99 DC 
8 Justice League #26 3.99 DC 
9 Inhumanity #1 3.99 Marvel
10 Superior Spider-Man #23 3.99 Marvel

Fables Vol. 19 from DC led the graphic novel charts. The Top 10 graphic novels for the month:


GRAPHIC NOVELS AND COLLECTIONS PRICE VENDOR
1 Fables Volume 19: Snow White 16.99 DC
2 Adventure Time Volume 2: Pixel Princesses 11.99 Boom
3 Richard Stark's Parker: Slayground HC 17.99 IDW
4 Deadpool Kills Deadpool 14.99 Marvel
5 Star Lord: Worlds On The Brink 7.99 Marvel
6 Nightwing Volume 3: Death Of The Family 16.99 DC
7 Saga Volume 1 9.99 Image
8 Deadpool Volume 3: Good Bad And Ugly 15.99 Marvel
9 Saga Volume 2 14.99 Image
10 The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye 14.99 Image

Here's the list of how many new titles each major publisher shipped. IDW had 88 items on the shelves, contributing volume to that market share record:

PUBLISHER COMICS GNs MAGAZINES TOTAL
DC 92 25 1 118
Marvel 72 30 0 102
IDW 55 33 0 88
Dark Horse 50 12 0 62
Image 47 12 0 59
Dynamite 34 6 0 40
Boom 28 4 0 32
Zenescope 11 3 0 14
Valiant 8 4 0 12
Eaglemoss 0 0 5 5
Other 74 110 23 207
TOTAL 471 239 29 739


The final December report should be along on Monday.


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