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Miller's Dark Knight returns to top of comic sales charts in November 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

by John Jackson Miller

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?u=296154&b=44882&m=8908&afftrack=&urllink=www%2Etfaw%2Ecom%2FProfile%2FDark%2DKnight%2DIII%2DMaster%2DRace%2D1%2D%2528of%2D8%2529%5F%5F%5F488216Frank Miller's Dark Knight returned again in November, giving DC the top slot on a new comic book chart otherwise dominated by Marvel, according to a report released today by Diamond Comic Distributors, Comichron projects the month's orders of new comics, graphic novels, and magazines amounted to $52 million, up nearly 6% over last November, which also had four shipping weeks.

In past years where sales have been up year-over-year, we've spoken of a "gravy day" — the date when the previous year's dollar sales are surpassed, making everything afterward gravy, so to speak. In one recent strong year, that date had gone back into November; this year, the day is right around today. Only $14 million in orders are needed in December for 2015 to top 2014.  Comichron projects that 2015's Direct Market sales will finish at around $570 million, up by about 6%, or $30 million.

The aggregate change statistics:

  Dollars Units
November 2015 vs. October 2015    
Comics 8.62% 4.93%
Graphic novels -11.93% -10.96%
Total Comics/Graphic novels 2.70% 3.80%
     
November 2015 vs. November 2014    
Comics 30.05% 18.19%
Graphic novels -17.50% -21.76%
Total Comics/Graphic novels 13.84% 14.63%
     
Year-to-date 2015 vs. Year-to-date 2014    
Comics 7.54% 5.45%
Graphic novels 2.24% 3.06%
Total Comics/Graphic novels 5.89% 5.26%

While periodical comics units were up more than 18%, dollars were up more than 30% over the same month a year ago. The fact that market-topper Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 was priced at nearly $6 had a lot to do with that. With eight issues scheduled, the title is expected to be a presence in the charts well into 2016. The top comic books:

  Comic Book Price Publisher
1 Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 $5.99 DC
2 Star Wars: Vader Down #1 $4.99 Marvel
3 Deadpool #1 $4.99 Marvel
4 Secret Wars #7 $3.99 Marvel
5 Extraordinary X-Men #1 $4.99 Marvel
6 All-New All-Different Avengers #1 $4.99 Marvel
7 Star Wars #11 $3.99 Marvel
8 Uncanny X-Men #600 $5.99 Marvel
9 Star Wars #12 $3.99 Marvel
10 All New Wolverine #1 $4.99 Marvel

The first issue of Miller's previous entrant in the series, Dark Knight Strikes Again, had placed #1 in December 2001.

Dollar sales of graphic novels were down by 17.5%, but that translates to a smaller dollar amount than the increase comic books saw, and there were 20 fewer graphic novels released in November 2015 versus November 2014. Sandman Overture led the chart:

  Graphic Novel Price Publisher
1 Sandman Overture Deluxe Edition HC $24.99 DC
2 Star Wars: Journey to the Force Awakens: Shattered Empire $16.99 Marvel
3 Star Wars: Princess Leia $16.99 Marvel
4 Ms. Marvel Volume 4: Last Days $17.99 Marvel
5 Spider-Gwen Vol. 0: Most Wanted $16.99 Marvel
6 Deadpool Vs. Thanos $16.99 Marvel
7 Low Volume 2: Before The Dawn Burns Us $14.99 Image
8 Vampirella #1969 $7.99 Dynamite
9 Star Wars: Kanan Volume 1: The Last Padawan $19.99 Marvel
10 Saga Volume 5 $14.99 Image
  Having the top performers in both categories helped DC close the gap with Marvel somewhat. The market shares:

  Dollar Share Unit Share
Marvel 43.20% 47.65%
DC 26.35% 26.09%
Image 8.67% 10.02%
IDW 4.42% 3.50%
Dark Horse 3.17% 2.69%
Boom 1.96% 1.67%
Dynamite 1.90% 1.60%
Oni 1.06% 0.61%
Titan 0.73% 0.64%
Valiant 0.73% 0.87%
Other 7.82% 4.66%
 
New title volume was relatively light, with 42 fewer items released. The number of new releases by type and publisher:
 
  Comics shipped Graphic novels shipped Magazines shipped Total shipped
Marvel 72 39 0 111
DC 77 27 0 104
Image 61 14 0 75
IDW 42 22 0 64
Dark Horse 36 15 0 51
Boom 27 11 0 38
Dynamite 19 5 0 24
Titan 11 6 5 22
Valiant 9 5 0 14
Oni 6 6 0 12
Other 110 131 34 275
Total 470 281 39 790

The per-title estimates will be along 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. 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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