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August 2015 comics orders up 7%; strong market heading into Marvel's relaunch

Friday, September 11, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCSecret5
Four years ago, August saw the comics market slumping in the days before the DC relaunch invigorated the market. Comics sales in July 2011 were down 7% for the year-to-date. The first day of the DC relaunch, August 31 with Justice League #1, erased half that deficit — and the year would go on to recover most of the rest of it, finishing nearly flat, mostly because of a year-long weakness in graphic novels that could not be fully erased.

By contrast, August 2015, in advance of the Marvel line relaunch, saw comic shop managers ordering $43.81 million in comic books, graphic novels, and magazines, according to Comichron's analysis of data released this morning by Diamond Comic Distributors. That brings the total for the year to approximately $378.1 million, an increase of $34 million over the same period in 2014.

So that's in the bank, before we get to whatever action the Marvel line relaunch generates in the fall. The year is already up nearly 10%. And while the pace of growth slowed in July and August, the industry is starting from a larger base of revenue this time around. Orders for 2011 through August, including the one-day Justice League numbers, were $259 million; today's market is 46% larger, amounting to nearly $120 million difference. That's not all inflation, folks; retailers are moving well over a million more comic books a month than they did in the pre-DC-relaunch summer of 2011.

On to the charts, which were topped by Marvel's Secret Wars #5 and a new Walking Dead compendium:

Top 10 comic books  
  Title Price Publisher
1 Secret Wars #5 $3.99 Marvel
2 Star Wars #8 $3.99 Marvel
3 Batman #43 $3.99 DC
4 Darth Vader #8 $3.99 Marvel
5 Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #3 $3.99 Marvel
6 Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #4 $3.99 Marvel
7 Walking Dead #145 $2.99 Image
8 Justice League #43 $3.99 DC
9 Civil War #2 $3.99 Marvel
10 Star Wars: Lando #2 $3.99 Marvel

 Top 10 graphic novels
  Title Price Publisher
1 Walking Dead Vol. 24: Life And Death $14.99 Image
2 Batman: The Killing Joke Special Edition HC $17.99 DC
3 Black Science Vol. 3: Vanishing Point $14.99 Image
4 Civil War $24.99 Marvel
5 Return Of The Living Deadpool $16.99 Marvel
6 Fables Volume 22 $17.99 DC
7 Chew Volume 10: Blood Puddin' $14.99 Image
8 Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1: Squirrel Power $15.99 Marvel
9 Saga Volume 1 $9.99 Image
10 Sunstone Volume 3 $14.99 Image

The aggregate changes:

  Dollars Units
August 2015 vs. July 2015    
Comics -18.24% -15.79%
Graphic Novels -10.71% -20.19%
Total Comics/GNs -15.89% -16.20%
     
August 2015 vs. August 2014    
Comics 2.25% 0.03%
Graphic Novels 16.04% 11.89%
Total Comics/GNs 6.45% 0.97%
     
Year-to-date 2015 vs. Year-to-date 2014    
Comics 11.38% 10.61%
Graphic Novels 6.35% 5.96%
Total Comics/GNs 9.80% 10.22%

The market shares:

  Dollar Share Unit Share
Marvel 36.67% 40.13%
DC 25.39% 26.95%
Image 9.98% 10.41%
IDW 4.90% 4.26%
Dark Horse 4.09% 3.63%
Boom 2.33% 2.38%
Dynamite 2.01% 2.03%
Titan 1.33% 1.42%
Valiant 1.07% 1.37%
Oni 1.12% 1.11%
Other 11.10% 6.32%

And, finally, the number of new items released by the largest publishers:

  Comics shipped Graphic novels shipped Magazines shipped Total shipped
Marvel 72 33 0 105
DC 70 26 1 97
Image 61 16 0 77
IDW 39 18 0 57
Dark Horse 32 13 0 45
Boom 31 8 0 39
Dynamite 19 8 0 27
Titan 11 6 1 18
Valiant 11 5 0 16
Oni 9 3 0 12
Other 81 145 46 272
TOTAL 436 281 48 765

Look for the detailed estimates next week.

Comichron.com curator 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. New Dawn appears with a new Miller short story as part of the Rise of the Empire compendium, out October 6. His Star Trek: Prey trilogy is set for late 2016 release from Pocket books.


Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.

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