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More than 139,000 comic book and graphic novel circulation figures online!
Welcome to Comichron, a resource for comic book circulation data and other information gathered by
John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.

 

Monday, August 15, 2016

July 2016 comics sales estimates: 16 issues top 100,000 copies sold, DC takes 30 of Top 40

by John Jackson Miller


http://bit.ly/CCJL1
The DC "Rebirth" event with its returnable $2.99 releases resulted in a boom for comics unit sales in July 2016, according to Comichron's analysis of data released by Diamond Comic Distributors. Retailers ordered 8.58 million copies of the Top 300 comics in the month, eclipsing the 17-year high set last month — and a whopping 16 comics had orders over 100,000 copies, the highest figure since June 2006, when Civil War #2 was released. [EDIT: The charts now appear on their proper place on the site. Click to read the estimates for comics sales for July 2017.]

DC's returnable comics, market by asterisks in the charts, are adjusted downward from the actual shipping level by around 10%, but don't expect that to mean that the real sales figures will be lower. We find that most asterisked titles wind up with sales higher than those reported by the time we see the yearly ones. So Justice League #1, which led the market with more than 209,000 copies reported, really shipped closer to 230,000 copies, and that may be closer to where it winds up at the end of the year.

The $2.99 pricing point led to some interesting effects. The average price of comics offered in the Top 300, which had reached an all-time high in June at $3.98, plummeted 20 cents. The avergage weighted price of comics — that is, the average price of all comics retailers ordered — plummeted still further, from above $4 to $3.61. (Marvel had some dollar books on the charts, too, contributing to the effect.) And because so many books in the Top 25 were from DC, the Top 25 average fell all the way to $3.23, a level we haven't seen in years. Click to see comics prices across time.

The result of the lower pricing was an unusual split between unit and dollar sales, with units improving much more year over year. The market is now 3.6 million comics units behind 2015's pace, which was inflated by a couple of million by Loot Crate. Graphic novels suffered in comparison with last July, which had a new Fables volume and a fifth shipping week to boot.

The aggregate changes are as follows:

TOP 300 COMICS UNIT SALES
July 2016: 8.58 million copies
Versus 1 year ago this month: +13%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +46%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +16%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +38%
YEAR TO DATE: 48.62 million copies, -7% vs. 2015, +28% vs. 2011, +4% vs. 2006, +33% vs. 2001

ALL COMICS UNIT SALES
July 2016 versus one year ago this month: +12.01%
YEAR TO DATE: -5.39%

TOP 300 COMICS DOLLAR SALES
July 2016: $31 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: +4%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +53%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +37%
Versus 15 years ago this month: +77%
YEAR TO DATE: $190.74 million, -7% vs. 2015, +45% vs. 2011, +33% vs. 2006, +90% vs. 2001
ALL COMICS DOLLAR SALES
July 2016 versus one year ago this month: +4.32%YEAR TO DATE: -2.59%

TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
July 2016: $6.74 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: -17%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +13%
Versus 10 years ago this month, just the Top 100 vs. the Top 100: -4%
Versus 15 years ago this month, just the Top 25 vs. the Top 25: +10%
YEAR TO DATE: $55.95 million, +9% vs. 2015

ALL TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
July 2016 versus one year ago this month: -19.12%YEAR TO DATE: +2.42%

TOP 300 COMICS + TOP 300 TRADE PAPERBACK DOLLAR SALES
July 2016: $37.74 million
Versus 1 year ago this month: unchanged
Versus 5 years ago this month: +34%
Versus 10 years ago this month, counting just the Top 100 TPBs: +15%
Versus 15 years ago this month, counting just the Top 25 TPBs: +77%
YEAR TO DATE: $246.07 million, -4% vs. 2015

ALL COMICS AND TRADE PAPERBACK SALES
July 2016 versus one year ago this month: -3.01%
YEAR TO DATE: -1.08%

OVERALL DIAMOND SALES (including all comics, trades, and magazines)
July 2016: approximately $50.52 million (subject to revision)
Versus 1 year ago this month: -3%
Versus 5 years ago this month: +52%
Versus 10 years ago this month: +44%
YEAR TO DATE: $330.68 million, -1% vs. 2015

RELEASES
New comic books released: 455
New graphic novels released: 275
New magazines released: 24
All new releases: 754

Be back next month as we complete a full twenty years of monthly estimates! 


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, 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.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Rebirth helps DC edge past Marvel in July 2016; Justice League tops charts in $50.5 million month

by John Jackson Miller

http://bit.ly/CCJL1
DC's Rebirth franchise allowed it to best Marvel in market share in July 2016 for the first time in nearly three years, according to new statistics released today by Diamond Comic Distributors. DC led Marvel in total orders of comics, graphic novels, and magazines in by a little over 1%, 35.36% to 34.20%.

That's in dollar terms; DC, aided greatly by the $2.99 price on many of its titles — including market topper Justice League #1 — led units by 40.96% to 35.69%. Orders for periodical comic books were up industry-wide by 4.32% this month over last July, a month that had one more shipping week. That week gave last July a 3% edge in overall dollar sales — but that missing week suggests this month's $50.51 million order performance should've been off by quite a bit more. So the market did pretty well against a tougher comparative. Last month, as we reported, was the best month for orders in the Direct Market in at least 20 years.

DC leading in market share is an uncommon occurrence, but it happens more than you might think. The most recent DC lead was October 2013, following a 12-point lead in September 2013, "Villains Month." It has happened 57 times since Diamond started reporting Final Sales Market Shares in August 1997 — reporting that began in part following the lobbying of DC, which generally did better in such shares than in those for preordered titles and which indeed led frequently in the years following that owing to its large jump on Marvel in the graphic novel department and the smaller number of titles being released in the period when Marvel came out of bankruptcy. (Marvel, by contrast, has led 170 different months. No other publisher has led any.)

Here are the July 2016 market shares:

Dollar Share Unit Share
DC 35.36% 40.96%
Marvel 34.20% 35.69%
Image 8.15% 7.56%
IDW 4.49% 3.00%
Dark Horse 2.83% 1.98%
Boom 2.05% 1.68%
Archie 1.36% 1.26%
Dynamite 1.19% 0.95%
Oni 1.14% 0.84%
Valiant 1.06% 1.03%
Other 8.18% 5.06%

More recent DC leads have come due to events or the DC 2011 relaunch. December 1999 had DC's largest lead over Marvel, more than doubling it at 41% to 18%. Notably, the combined Marvel and DC share this year has not much changed — it's in the high 60s, perhaps a little more than in the last couple of years. The other publishers seem to be holding their own.

Again, the market was off nearly $1.5 million from last July — meaning that the gap between 2016 and 2015 so far widened to $3.7 million, just around 1%.

Dollars Units
JULY 2016 VS. JUNE 2016
Comics -8.15% -3.24%
Graphic Novels -26.54% -35.83%
Total Comics/GNs -13.77% -6.16%
JULY 2016 VS. JULY 2015
Comics 4.32% 12.01%
Graphic Novels -19.12% -28.26%
Total Comics/GNs -3.01% 8.28%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2016 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2015
Comics -2.59% -5.39%
Graphic Novels 2.42% 0.26%
Total Comics/GNs -1.08% -4.94%

"Rebirth" gave DC eight of the top 10 entries on the comics chart this month. All the DC books were returnable, so Diamond has adjusted their orders slightly downward to account for that; that's what the asterisk means. By year-end, we may see that many of these books rank higher relative to other books for the year than the current ranking suggest they might.

Comic Book Price Publisher
1 Justice League #1* $2.99 DC
2 Justice League Rebirth #1* $2.99 DC
3 Batman #2* $2.99 DC
4 Civil War II #3 $4.99 Marvel
5 Batman #3* $2.99 DC
6 Nightwing Rebirth #1* $2.99 DC
7 Civil War II #4 $4.99 Marvel
8 New Super Man #1* $2.99 DC
9 Nightwing #1* $2.99 DC
10 Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps Rebirth #1* $2.99 DC

Graphic novels were off by a lot this month, more than 19%; the category is more sensitive to the length of the shipping calendar. Monstress Vol. 1 from Image led the list:

Graphic Novel PRICE VENDOR
1 Monstress Volume 1 $9.99 Image
2 Harley Quinn's Greatest Hits $9.99 DC
3 Batman: The Killing Joke Special Edition HC $17.99 DC
4 Star Wars: Obi-Wan And Anakin $16.99 Marvel
5 Huck $14.99 Image
6 Southern Bastards Volume 3: Homecoming $14.99 Image
7 Saga Volume 6 $14.99 Image
8 Bone Coda 25th Anniversary $14.95 Cartoon Books
9 Wolverine: Old Man Logan Volume 1: Berzerker $16.99 Marvel
10 Agents of Shield Volume 1: Coulson Protocols $17.99 Marvel

Finally, we see that new comic release volume was down by 8% versus last July; Image shipped almost as many new comics as DC did. Nine percent fewer graphic novels were released.
 
Comics shipped Graphic novels shipped Magazines shipped Total shipped
Marvel 97 33 0 130
DC 63 31 0 94
Image 61 11 1 73
IDW 37 13 0 50
Dark Horse 21 18 0 39
Boom 21 10 0 31
Dynamite 19 7 0 26
Valiant 11 5 0 16
Oni 13 2 0 15
Archie 10 1 0 11
Other 102 144 23 269
TOTAL 455 275 24 754

The final order estimates for July will be along 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, 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.
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