Diamond Comic Distributors. Comic shops ordered nearly $42 million in comics and graphic novels, up about 3% over last March, which like this one had four shipping weeks.
Marvel's relaunch of the Star Wars line continued to energize what is usually a lighter quarter for new releases, with Princess Leia #1 taking the top slot and Star Wars #3 coming in second. The second issue of Princess Leia also made the top five, and Darth Vader #2 took eighth place. There weren't even four Star Wars titles in the Top 10 in May 1999 when Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace #1-4 all came out; the fourth issue of that placed 11th. So this is the first month four Star Wars titles have been in the Top 10 list in the Diamond Exclusive Era.
(Before that, we'd have to look at 1977, and when the waves of Whitman's reprints for the original Star Wars #1-3 were hitting; that would have put multiple Star Wars issues high on the charts. But we have no way of knowing how many of those came out, and in what months.)
Orders for the quarter totaled $127.9 million, up $11 million from the first quarter of 2014, which had an equal number of shipping weeks, despite what the calendar shows. (The first Wednesday of 2014 was counted with the December 2013 sales.)
|MARCH 2015 VS. FEBRUARY 2015|
|Total Comics & GNs||-0.58%||-3.37%|
|MARCH 2015 VS. MARCH 2014|
|Total Comics & GNs||2.99%||6.70%|
|YEAR-TO-DATE 2015 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2014|
|Total Comics & GNs||9.63%||11.76%|
|FIRST QUARTER 2015 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2014|
|Total Comics & GNs||-11.97%||-8.93%|
Comics unit sales were up 10%, making the category the bright spot this month. For a change, there doesn't appear to be an issue in the Top 10 obviously influenced by a Loot Crate variant. The Top 10:
|1||Princess Leia #1||$3.99||Marvel|
|2||Star Wars #3||$3.99||Marvel|
|3||Guardians Team-Up #1||$3.99||Marvel|
|5||Princess Leia #2||$3.99||Marvel|
|6||Amazing Spider-Man #16||$3.99||Marvel|
|7||Howard the Duck #1||$3.99||Marvel|
|8||Darth Vader #3||$3.99||Marvel|
|9||Batman: Arkham Knight #1||$3.99||DC|
|10||Amazing Spider-Man #16.1||$3.99||Marvel|
Graphic novel sales were down more than 12%, with the market up against a strong comparative month in March 2014 which saw new Walking Dead and Saga releases. The Top 10:
|1||Nemo: River of Ghosts HC||$14.95||IDW|
|2||Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why||$15.99||Marvel|
|3||Low Vol. 1: The Delirium of Hope||$9.99||Image|
|4||Hawkeye Vs. Deadpool||$16.99||Marvel|
|5||Saga Volume 4||$14.99||Image|
|6||Deadpool Volume 7: Axis||$17.99||Marvel|
|7||Deadpool's The Art of War||$12.99||Marvel|
|8||Deadly Class Vol. 2: Kids of the Black Hole||$14.99||Image|
|9||Birthright Vol. 1: Homecoming||$9.99||Image|
|10||Bob's Burgers Vol. 1||$17.99||Dynamite|
|Dollar share||Unit share|
|Publisher||Comics shipped||Graphic novels shipped||Magazines shipped||Total shipped|
That's the preliminary report; the estimated sales will be up 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 several novels including Star Wars: Kenobi, Star Trek: The Next Generation - Takedown, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback. He'll be in Anaheim, Calif. from April 16-19, speaking at Star Wars Celebration.
Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook!