Diamond Comic Distributors has started the rollout of its December 2014 and 2014 year-end comics sales reports, and as in past years Comichron will provide estimates and analysis as information is released. The first news was released in Wall Street Journal report announcing the Top 10s for comics and graphic novels and the market shares, but now more is out from Diamond.
Diamond said combined comics and graphic novel sales for 2014 were up 4.39%, which would amount to around $540 million total, an increase of $22 million over 2013. (That would suggest a December in the $43-44 million range, up gently from the same month last year.) That represents a cooldown from 2013's 9.04% increase, which itself was a drop from 2012's 14.72% boost. To a degree, this isn't surprising — as the volumes get higher, it takes a lot more comics sold to equal the same percentage increases. The farther we get from the recession-era lows, growth is less likely to look quite as explosive as it was then.
Comics dollar sales were up 4.03% for the year and graphic novel sales were up 5.18%, but no change figures were reported for unit sales. Those figures suggest that December's comics sales beat last December's, while December's graphic novel sales lagged. We should see the December data in full shortly.
As expected, Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man #1 from April topped the charts as the best-selling comic book of the year. The book had orders of more than 532,000 copies in its first month and reorders that made the charts for several months afterward, making it the most ordered comic book of the 21st century — a claim that it will keep for about a week, with Star Wars #1 reported to have sales over a million copies.
The Top Comics of 2014 chart:
|1||Amazing Spider-Man #1||$5.99||Marvel||Apr-14|
|2||The Walking Dead #132*||$2.99||Image||Oct-14|
|3||Rocket Raccoon #1*||$3.99||Marvel||Jul-14|
|4||Death of Wolverine #1||$4.99||Marvel||Sep-14|
|5||Death of Wolverine #4||$4.99||Marvel||Oct-14|
|7||Original Sin #1||$4.99||Marvel||May-14|
|8||Death of Wolverine #2||$4.99||Marvel||Sep-14|
|9||Death of Wolverine #3||$4.99||Marvel||Oct-14|
|10||Superior Spider-Man #31||$5.99||Marvel||Apr-14|
Diamond said Marvel published 53 of the Top 100 comics; we'll do the full accounting when the larger lists are released.
On the graphic novel side, it was Image that had nine entries in the Top 10, led by Saga Vol. 3. As two of the releases in the Top 10 were priced at only $9.99, the top dollar-earning list would likely be different.
It would appear that Saga Vol. 4 will wind up as the top selling graphic novel for December, once those sales figures are out.
The Top 10 graphic novels:
|1||Saga Vol. 3||$14.99||Image|
|2||Saga Vol. 1||$9.99||Image|
|3||The Walking Dead Vol. 20: All Out War, Part 1||$14.99||Image|
|4||Saga Vol. 2||$14.99||Image|
|5||The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye||$14.99||Image|
|6||The Walking Dead Vol 21: All Out War, Part 2||$14.99||Image|
|7||Sex Criminals Vol. 1||$9.99||Image|
|8||The Walking Dead Vol. 22: A New Beginning||$14.99||Image|
|9||Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls||$16.99||DC|
|10||Saga Vol. 4||$14.99||Image|
The market shares:
|Dollar Share||Unit Share|
|Total Top 10||4589||1766||166||6521|
This post will be updated to include all the links to Comichron's end-of-2014 reports going forward, including news of the December sales. Also, when the Comics of the Century pages are updated, that will be linked here, too.
• The December preliminary analysis is online, as well as the December final analysis. And you cal click to see the December sales estimates.
• The Top Thousand Comics and Graphic Novels of the Year with estimates are now online.
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 several novels including Star Wars: Kenobi, Star Wars: A New Dawn, and the upcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, releasing January 27. Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com.
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