Friday, April 8, 2016
by John Jackson MillerA slow start to 2016 was erased with a March that saw extremely strong graphic novel sales, thanks to a much-larger-than-usual new release slate led by Walking Dead Vol. 25.
The preliminary report on the month from Diamond Comic Distributors, released today, found that North American comics shops ordered approximately $46.58 million in comics, graphic novels, and magazines in March, as compared to $41.95 million last March.
The resulting 11.04% year-over-year dollar increase was enough to erase the shortfall during the first two months of the year; the first quarter ended up 1.32%, with the graphic novel portion up 12.67%. In March alone, graphic novel dollar sales were up 36.36%.
The aggregate statistics:
|March 2016 vs. February 2016|
|March 2016 vs. March 2015|
|Year-To-Date 2016 vs. Year-To-Date 2015|
Also, periodical unit sales were down 8.45% for the month year-over-year, even though there was no Loot Crate comic book distorting the statistics in March 2015.
While comics units were down, comics dollars were up, thanks in part to the category-leading Batman #50 and its $5.99 price, releasing the same month that the Batman/Superman movie came out. Also noteworthy is the performance of Boom's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1, which debuted at a startling second place. Rankingwise, that's far better than the title's performance during its 1994-96 incarnations.
Top selling comic books
|2||Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1||$3.99||Boom|
|3||Star Wars #17||$3.99||Marvel|
|5||Amazing Spider-Man #9||$3.99||Marvel|
|6||Darth Vader #17||$3.99||Marvel|
|7||Darth Vader #18||$3.99||Marvel|
|9||International Iron Man #1||$3.99||Marvel|
|10||Avengers Standoff: Assault On Pleasant Hill Alpha #1||$4.99||Marvel|
The graphic novel side, as noted, was led by Walking Dead Vol. 25. The Paper Girls Vol. 1 trade paperback launched strongly — and noteworthy was the top-ten placement of the $50 Secret Wars hardcover.
Top selling graphic novels
|1||The Walking Dead Volume 25: No Turning Back||$14.99||Image|
|2||Paper Girls Volume 1||$9.99||Image|
|4||Tokyo Ghost Volume 1: Atomic Garden||$9.99||Image|
|5||Batman Volume 7: Endgame||$16.99||DC|
|6||Beauty Volume 1||$9.99||Image|
|7||East Of West Volume 5: All These Secrets||$14.99||Image|
|8||Secret Wars HC||$50.00||Marvel|
|9||Batman Volume 8: Superheavy HC||$24.99||DC|
|10||Avatar The Last Airbender Volume 12: Smoke & Shadow Part 3||$10.99||Dark Horse|
The market shares found Marvel leading both categories, with Boom leaping to fifth thanks to the Power Rangers offering:
|Dollar Share||Unit Share|
Finally, we see that the number of offerings was significantly up over last March, largely due to the extra week in the month:
|Comics shipped||Graphic Novels shipped||Magazines shipped||Total shipped|
Final estimates for March will appear here next week.
Star Wars: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback. His trilogy for 2016, Star Trek: Prey, ships in consecutive months in September, October, and November.
Visit his fiction site at http://www.farawaypress.com. And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.