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July 2014 comics market tops $53 million, most in Diamond Exclusive Era; Rocket Raccoon, Walking Dead lead lists

Friday, August 8, 2014


by John Jackson Miller

July in recent years has tended to be a month where things really get going for comics; sales did indeed, reaching their highest dollar value in the Diamond Exclusive Era which began in 1997. Comics shops in North America ordered more than $53.6 million in comics, graphic novels, and magazines, topping $50 million for the second time and besting October's previous Diamond-Era record of $50.3 million.

It was a five-week month against a five-week month, so that factor is not in play; what it was was a month in which a lot of new comics shipped. Diamond Comic Distributors shipped 530 new comic books in July, which is the highest figure seen since Diamond began releasing those statistics one year ago. The release of 312 graphic novels was also the highest seen in a year — and when one of those books is Walking Dead Vol. 21, it's likely to be a decent July. The result was a month with the largest year-over-year change since last September: comics and graphic novel sales were up 14.52% over a year ago. The seven-month total has now topped $300 million, and is ahead 2.22% year-to-year.

The aggregate sales changes:

JULY 2014 VS. JUNE 2014 DOLLAR CHANGE UNIT CHANGE
COMICS 32.22% 29.25%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 21.04% 24.64%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 28.66% 28.88%
JULY 2014 VS. JULY 2013
COMICS 19.23% 14.73%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 4.84% 4.59%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 14.52% 13.87%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2014 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2013
COMICS 1.76% -3.16%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 3.25% 5.27%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 2.22% -2.51%

As has been reported elsewhere, a ginormous purchase of copies of Rocket Raccoon #1 was made by Loot Crate, a reseller that repacks pop cultural items to sell to subscribers. Loot Crate has a Diamond account and buys non-returnably like the other retailers — and so, like non-Direct Market sellers like Hastings, its figures are reflected in the numbers. The Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in was the #1 comic book for the month.

The top-sellers:

TOP COMIC BOOKS PRICE VENDOR
1 ROCKET RACCOON #1 $3.99 Marvel
2 BATMAN #33 $4.99 DC
3 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4 $3.99 Marvel
4 ORIGINAL SIN #5 $3.99 Marvel
5 SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1 $3.99 Marvel
6 ORIGINAL SIN #6 $3.99 Marvel
7 JUSTICE LEAGUE #32 $3.99 DC
8 GRAYSON #1 $2.99 DC
9 THE LEGENDARY STAR-LORD #1 $3.99 Marvel
10 HARLEY QUINN #8 $2.99 DC
TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS and TRADE PAPERBACKS PRICE VENDOR
1 THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 21: ALL-OUT WAR PART 2 $14.99 Image
2 AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER VOL. 8: RIFT PART 2 $10.99 Dark Horse
3 DEADLY CLASS VOLUME 1: REAGAN YOUTH $9.99 Image
4 SAGA VOLUME 1 $9.99 Image
5 BRYAN LEE O'MALLEY: SECONDS GN $25.00 Random House
6 DEADPOOL VOLUME 5: THE WEDDING OF DEADPOOL $15.99 Marvel
7 SAGA VOLUME 3 $14.99 Image
8 STAR WARS: THE LUCAS DRAFT $19.99 Dark Horse
9 BATMAN VOLUME 1: THE COURT OF OWLS $16.99 DC
10 LAZARUS VOLUME 2: LIFT $14.99 Image

The market shares, which include Archie above 2% thanks to the Life with Archie issue:

DOLLAR SHARE UNIT SHARE
Marvel 35.09% 38.39%
DC 28.18% 31.32%
Image 9.25% 9.82%
IDW 5.21% 4.11%
Dark Horse 5.02% 3.80%
Dynamic Forces/Dynamite 2.18% 2.16%
Archie 2.04% 1.88%
Boom 1.76% 1.78%
Eaglemoss 1.05% 0.24%
Zenescope 1.05% 0.87%
Other 9.18% 5.62%

And here's what Diamond shipped in the month:
 
Comics Shipped GNs Shipped Magazines Total Shipped
Marvel 93 36 0 129
DC 97 31 0 128
Image 66 17 0 83
IDW 48 31 0 79
Dark Horse 39 29 0 68
Dynamic Forces/Dynamite 40 4 0 44
Boom 29 4 0 33
Zenescope 14 4 0 18
Archie 15 5 0 20
Eaglemoss 0 0 10 10
Other 89 151 39 279
Total 530 312 49 891

More next week...

John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for more than 20 years, including a decade editing the industry's retail trade magazine; he is the author of several guides to comics, as well as more than a hundred comic books for various franchises. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Star Wars: Kenobi and the upcoming hardcover Star Wars: A New Dawn. Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook!

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