Sales volumes in January tend to be lower than most months of the year, and as such, a single comic book can make a huge difference. Particularly when that comic book was the best-selling one in more than twenty years—as Star Wars #1 was, last January. Comic shop orders for comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in January 2016 were off 5% versus a year before according to Diamond Comic Distributors — but if Star Wars #1 hadn't been in the mix in January 2015, sales would have been up 7%!
In truth, the market may really be slightly down, flat, or evenslightly up this month, because Star Wars #1's sales included a lot of copies that went to Loot Crate, where Diamond was simply passing along the books; they shouldn't really have counted toward the industry's dollar sales, but there's no way to easily excise them. But we know that retailers placed orders worth approximately $41.52 million last month, off about $2.2 million — and sources suggest Loot Crate's order could have accounted for 400,000 copies or more. Figuring at $4.99 per issue, that's at least $2 million right there.
And unit sales for comic books, off 4.09% for the month, are almost certainly up if you remove the Loot Crate Star Wars copies. So accounting for the accounting, so to speak, the message of the month is somewhat more positive than the numbers below suggest:
|JANUARY 2016 VS. DECEMBER 2015|
|JANUARY 2016 VS. JANUARY 2015|
Regardless, remember our usual caveat: volumes in the first quarter are lower, and a modestly off January (which this one might not have really been!) can be erased by an October that's even slightly up.
Image took the top comics slot with Walking Dead #150.
|1||The Walking Dead #150||$2.99||Image|
|2||Secret Wars #9||$4.99||Marvel|
|4||Star Wars #14||$3.99||Marvel|
|5||Star Wars #15||$3.99||Marvel|
|6||Old Man Logan #1||$4.99||Marvel|
|7||Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin #1||$3.99||Marvel|
|9||Darth Vader #15||$3.99||Marvel|
|10||Uncanny X-Men #1||$3.99||Marvel|
A pair of Star Wars graphic novels topped the book charts for the month, a list dominated by Marvel:
|1||Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 2: Shadows and Secrets||$19.99||Marvel|
|2||Star Wars Vol. 2: Showdown on the Smugglers' Moon||$19.99||Marvel|
|3||Color Your Own Deadpool||$9.99||Marvel|
|4||Death Of Wolverine||$19.99||Marvel|
|5||Star Wars: Lando||$16.99||Marvel|
|6||Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars||$15.99||Marvel|
|7||Invader Zim Volume 1||$19.99||Oni|
|8||Thor Volume 1: Goddess of Thunder||$19.99||Marvel|
|9||Star Wars: Darth Vader Volume 1: Vader||$19.99||Marvel|
The market shares found the same top five atop both charts:
|DOLLAR MARKET SHARE||UNIT MARKET SHARE|
|Dark Horse||3.06%||Dark Horse||2.51%|
|PUBLISHER||COMICS SHIPPED||GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED||MAGAZINES SHIPPED||TOTAL SHIPPED|
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, now available. 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.