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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.

 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Justice League, Batman, Venom lead reorders; first Local Comic Shop Day items appear

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this book at TFAW
The Jim Lee/Scott Williams variant of Justice League #7 was the top reordered comic in last week in a Diamond chart laden with hardcover releases. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Batman Omnibus was the top reordered item by invoiced dollars.

Marvel's top reordered book comic was Old Man Logan Annual #1. Click to see the reorder charts for September 2018.

Venom #7 was the top advance-reordered October comic.

We're starting to see Local Comic Shop Day advance reorders; it's on Nov. 17 this year. The top advance reordered item by dollars last week was a black-and-white LCSD variant of the Brave and Bold Batman/Wonder Woman hardcover.

Click to see our advance reorder charts for the month of October 2018.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Monday, September 17, 2018

August 2018 comics sales estimates online: Fantastic Four #1 moves 369,000 copies

by John Jackson Miller

Marvel's First Family returned in August, with nearly 369,000 copies of Fantastic Four #1 shipping to retailers in the United States and Canada. Click to see our comics sales estimates for August 2018.

As reported here on Friday, August was a fourth growth month out of five, despite a dearth of new comics releases. Comics dollar sales were up 5% and units were down 5% in a five-week month that saw 11% fewer new comics released than the same month in the previous year. August 2017 was one of the most disappointing months of the comics recession that year, so a rebound was welcome. Graphic novels were also up, thanks to significant deep-discount sales; it was just the second month both comics and graphic novels were up since 2016.

Marvel's Fresh Start relaunch mostly past, the month saw only three comics selling over 100,000 copies. But DC saw a strong launch for Sandman Universe #1, placing third in dollars and sixth in units with more than 83,500 copies shipped to the United States and Canada, a large number for a Vertigo launch.

The average cover price of comics in the Top 300 set a new record, $4.12; the previous record had been set in June 2017. Click to see monthly cover prices across time, and also all of our Diamond Exclusive Era records.

Batman #50 did not chart again, despite having led the comics reorder charts twice in July. The comic book was made retroactively returnable. You can see the year-to-date bestsellers here; we've doubled the length of both the comics and graphic novel charts to 200 items each.



The first two-thirds of the year closed down 1.1%, but prospects for a slight year-over-year improvement remain good.

The vital statistics:

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fantastic Four #1 leads August 2018 comics sales; market up 4%, Marvel up 22%

by John Jackson Miller



 Find this issue at TFAW
2017 truly was the summer of our discontent. The June-July-August stretch saw the worst year-over-year declines of any three month stretch in two decades, and August itself was down dramatically, despite a huge number of new comics releases. Marvel's Secret Empire was ending, with multiple series wrapping up in advance of the publisher's fall Legacy event; DC's sales were down dramatically against the huge Rebirth launch sales of 2016.

Given the improvement seen so far this year, it would have been remarkable if August 2018 comics and graphic novel orders didn't beat those from the previous year — and indeed, they did, up 4% with dollar sales increases for both comics and graphic novels. Comics shops in the United States and Canada ordered $47.7 million in comics, graphic novels, and magazines in the month; the year-to-date total stands at $343.8 million, just 1% off last year. Click to visit our page for August 2018 comics sales estimates; the figures will be posted there on Monday.

What is remarkable is that retailer dollar orders beat the previous August despite many fewer releases. While both Augusts had five shipping weeks, exactly 60 fewer new comic books were offered to market last month versus in August 2017, and slightly fewer graphic novels. That's a reduction in the new comic book slate of 11%; there were even fewer new comics released than in July, which had one less shipping week. That reduction in offerings, plus DC's higher prices this year, explains why new comics unit sales were up 5% while comics unit sales were down 5%. Remember, most new current product slates would have gone into development late last year, when prospects were a lot worse; belt-tightening on the number of new releases now is likely at least in part an echo of what happened then.

The comics that were released, however, sold relatively better in the aggregate — led by Fantastic Four #1, the top seller for the month. That comic book, along with significant discount offerings on many graphic novels, helped Marvel to a month that was up 22% in dollars over the previous August, a rate of increase that was five times better than the market as a whole and a pace matched among top-ten publishers only by Boom. Marvel represented $19.5 million of the $47.7 million worth of comic books and graphic novels retailers ordered in the month; that's actually it's best August performance in the Diamond Exclusive Era, though that neither accounts for inflation nor the number of shipping weeks in the month. (In some stronger recent years, August only had four ship weeks.)

Our preliminary video for the month is below:


Just as Marvel accounted for the entire loss in the early period of the comics recession in 2017, in August 2018 Marvel's gains were enough to account for the entire increase. DC and Dark Horse were slightly up, with other publishers down. If the recovery follows the 2017 path, we'd expect to see improvements at Marvel and then DC flowing outward to the other publishers.

The comparative sales statistics:

DollarsUnits
August 2018 vs. July 2018
Comics-1.95%-6.19%
Graphic Novels+33.98%+28.57%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+6.88%-3.97%
Toys+49.89%+32.04%
August 2018 vs. August 2017
Comics+5.04%-5.25%
Graphic Novels+2.91%+1.44%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+4.37%-4.71%
Toys+13.76%+4.26%
Year-To-Date 2018 vs. Year-To-Date 2017
Comics+1.31%-6.80%
Graphic Novels-6.73%-8.83%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels-1.10%-6.95%
Toys-5.15%-8.32%

The market shares:


PublisherDollar ShareUnit Share
Marvel40.87%43.12%
DC27.51%31.02%
Image8.90%9.08%
IDW4.43%3.81%
Dark Horse3.05%2.37%
Boom2.58%2.30%
Viz1.33%0.54%
Dynamite1.32%1.12%
Titan0.98%0.66%
Aftershock0.63%0.72%
Other8.40%5.27%

The top-selling comics by units:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Fantastic Four #1$5.99Marvel
2Infinity Wars #1$5.99Marvel
3Batman #52$3.99DC
4Batman #53$3.99DC
5Amazing Spider-Man #3$3.99Marvel
6Sandman Universe #1$4.99DC
7Amazing Spider-Man #4$3.99Marvel
8Superman #2$3.99DC
9Justice League #5$3.99DC
10Justice League #6$3.99DC

The top-selling comics by dollars:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Fantastic Four #1$5.99Marvel
2Infinity Wars #1$5.99Marvel
3Sandman Universe #1$4.99DC
4Batman #52$3.99DC
5Punisher #1$4.99Marvel
6Batman #53$3.99DC
7Amazing Spider-Man #3$3.99Marvel
8Infinity Wars #2$4.99Marvel
9Amazing Spider-Man #4$3.99Marvel
10Venom: First Host #1$3.99Marvel

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Graphic novels, led in units by Dark Horse's Legend of Korra Vol. 3: Turf Wars Part 3 and in dollars by Punisher Max by Garth Ennis Omnibus Vol. 2, were up 3% in dollars; this is the just the second time since August 2016 that both new comics and graphic novel dollar sales were up (the other time being April 2018).

DC Super-Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle
 placed second in units, while Infinity Gauntlet finally slipped out of the unit sales Top 10, though it did make the dollar charts.

We do expect to see significant deep-discounting in the final graphic novel data, given what's appeared in the reorder charts — but given how often in the last couple of years graphic novels were the weak point, it is a positive change. Remember, also, that the 3% increase are based on the number of dollars Diamond received, so monies paid in definitely did go up, even if some of the books went out at a steeper discount.

The top-selling graphic novels by units:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Legend of Korra Volume 3: Turf Wars Pt 3$10.99Dark Horse
2DC Super Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle$9.99DC
3East Of West Volume 8$16.99Image
4Black Panther Book 1: A Nation Under Our Feet$16.99Marvel
5Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol. 1: Isn't It Bromantic?$17.99Marvel
6Rat Queens Vol. 5: Colossal Magic Nothing$16.99Image
7The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice$17.99DC
8Kill Or Be Killed Volume 4$16.99Image
9I Hate Fairyland Volume 4$16.99Image
10Sex Criminals Vol. 5: Five-Fingered Discount$16.99Image

The top-selling graphic novels by dollars:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Punisher Max By Garth Ennis Omnibus Vol. 2 HC$100.00Marvel
2Jack Kirby: Marvel Heroes & Monsters Artist Edition$90.00IDW
3X-Men Revolution By Chris Claremont Omnibus HC$100.00Marvel
4Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Venom$39.99Marvel
5Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol. 1: Isn't It Bromantic?$17.99Marvel
6Black Panther Book 1: A Nation Under Our Feet$16.99Marvel
7The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice$17.99DC
8X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga Omnibus HC$100.00Marvel
9Seven Soldiers By Grant Morrison Omnibus HC$75.00DC
10Infinity Gauntlet$24.99Marvel

Finally, the number of new items offered:

PublisherComics
shipped
Graphic
Novels
shipped
Magazines
shipped
Total
shipped
Marvel86450131
DC72301103
Image6116077
IDW3924063
Dark Horse2321044
Boom2714041
Titan1510328
Dynamite146020
Aftershock132015
Viz015015
Other11418031325
TOTAL46436335862

Lower unit sales of comics does appear to be the main discordant note in the report; when a five-month August's publishing slate of new comics is smaller than any month of the year since March, capitalize on improving conditions is a greater challenge. But even a flat September would yield a third quarter up 5%, making for two back-to-back increases. Prospects for the year ending slightly positive continue to improve. Click to see what we know about September sales so far.

Comichron founder John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for 25 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 novels including Star Wars: KenobiStar Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. Read more about them at his fiction site.


Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Catwoman leads first October comics reorders; early reorder traffic for Thanos OGN

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this issue on TFAW
The first advance reorders for October-shipping comics are out from Diamond Comic Distributors.

Last week's top title was Stanley Lau's variant of Catwoman #4. The issue has a ship date of Oct. 10.

The top Marvel was the new Magneto title, while November's Thanos original graphic novel topped hardcover reorders.

Our October sales chart preview is here.

Meanwhile, the final reorder piece of August's sales picture was released, with the Fantastic Four #1 Facsimile Edition as the top reordered comic book and the Batman Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2 leading hardcovers.

Our August reports appear here; shortly we'll have the sales charts for the month online. Stay tuned!

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Heroes in Crisis leads advance reorders as August ends

by John Jackson Miller

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DC's Heroes in Crisis #1 by Tom King and Clay Mann was the top advance-reordered comic book by retailers during the last week of August; a variant appeared in first place, with the main edition in third.

Second place was held by Die Die Die #3 from Image, with Marvel's Spider-Geddon #0 in fourth.

(Click to see our September-so-far charts.)

Meanwhile, Batman: Kings of Fear #1 was the top reorder in a week dominated by backlist graphic novel sales. The New 52 Zero Omnibus was the top hardcover.

Our August reorder data appears here.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Strong X-Men week as Return of Wolverine, Extermination lead comic shop reorders

by John Jackson Miller

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A strong week for X-Men-related titles last week, according to Diamond Comic Distributors' reorder data.

Extermination #1 led reorders by dollar volume; the issue went on sale August 15.

The top softcover for the week was Old Man Logan; the top hardcover, Batman by Grant Morrison Omnibus.

Check out that and more reorder activity from last week on our August-so-far page.

Meanwhile, Charles Soule and Steve McNiven's Return of Wolverine #1 was the top advance-reordered item for the week. The issue goes on sale Sept. 19.


Click here to see  what's known about September orders so far.

You can also see all reorder and advance reorder activity for the year to date.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Black Label Batman Damned #1 leads advance reorders; Fantastic Four #1 tops reorders

by John Jackson Miller

Retailers reordered more Fantastic Four #1s by Dan Slott and Skottie Young last week than any other comic from Diamond Comic Distributors, by dollar volume.

Check out that and more reorder activity from last week on our August-so-far page.

Meanwhile, DC's "Black Label" launches in September with Batman Damned #1 by Brian Azzarello; the issue topped advance reorders placed last week with Diamond by retailers.

Venom #3 led for Marvel, while the new series launch Cemetery Beach #1 led for Image.

Click here to see  what's known about September orders so far. You can also see all reorder and advance reorder activity for the year to date.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Batman #52 leads comic-book reorders, Thanos Legacy tops advance reorders

by John Jackson Miller
 Find this book at TFAW
Retailer reorders from last week are in from Diamond Comic Distributors, and they show the lingering effects of Batman #50's colossal 441,000-copy sale to retailers in North America in July. Batman #52 was the top reordered comic book for the week.

X-Men Revolution by Chris Claremont Omnibus was the top reordered item by dollars. And after many weeks in the top slot for reordered trade paperbacks, Infinity Gauntlet was finally dethroned by Prince T'challa in Black Panther Vol. 1: Nation Under Our Feet.

Click to see the full reorder lists for August.

We now also have our first advance reordered comics for September. Thanos Legacy #1 was the top advance-reordered comic book, with two versions in the top four. Batman: White Knight was the top advance-reordered graphic novel.

Click to see our reorder lists for September.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Monday, August 13, 2018

July 2018 comics sales estimates: Batman #50 ships more than 441,000 copies, Spidey #1 289k

by John Jackson Miller

As noted here Friday, the comics shop market made up considerable ground in July comparison with a weak July 2017, thanks to the Batman wedding storyline and several high-profile launches. Retailers ordered $44.64 million worth of comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in the month; the year-to-date deficit, piled up in winter, was cut in half to less than 2%. Click to see the comics sales estimates from July 2017.

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Both Marvel and DC contributed, combining for a dual market share of 70.69%, the highest proportion of the market seen since October 2011, right after the debut of the New 52. DC's Batman #50 led the comics list with nearly 441,000 copies shipped; it was the third regularly priced item of the year to top 400,000 copies.

While DC announced both it and Catwoman #1 would be made returnable owing to retailer concerns over the storyline and its premature revelation online, Diamond Comic Distributors did not adjust the issues' numbers downward for returnability. This is normal, in keeping with practices regarding comics that are not made returnable until after they've been ordered; comics become returnable after they've been ordered and/or shipped all the time, and those items are not adjusted in tables. The end-of-year totals always account both for returns and for reorders; Batman #50 did lead comics in the reorder charts twice during the month.

Market share leader Marvel beat its July 2017 dollar sales by 16%, aided by Amazing Spider-Man #1 (more than 289,000 copies) and Captain America #1 (more than 167,000 copies), among other launches. DC's dollar sales were up 29% year over year, a figure exactly matched by IDW, which followed up a June in which it had a recent-record-low number of new comic books on the shelves (19) with nearly three times as many, 56.

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Die Die Die #1, which shipped without being solicited and went on sale July 11, landed in 174th place even though it was the highest-circulation Image book of the month. That's because its initial shipment, reportedly equal to the 80,000 or so copies shipped of Robert Kirkman's previous launch, Oblivion Song #1, was provided to retailers at no charge, and Diamond confirmed it had treated those copies as promotional items.

Retailers reordered 9,975 copies of Die Die Die #1 in July in the United States and Canada, and it is those copies that appear in Diamond's tables. The number of copies in circulation, however, is more than 90,000.

See the vital statistics, after the jump:

Friday, August 10, 2018

DC, Marvel comics sales up strongly in July; combined market share hits seven-year high

by John Jackson Miller
 See July's comics sales estimates

 Find this issue at TFAW
I've said before that the month of July presented the best opportunity this summer for the Direct Market to make up ground lost in the winter — and that is what happened, according to Comichron's analysis of preliminary data released today by Diamond Comic Distributors. Retailers ordered $44.64 million worth of comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in the month, nearly 10% more than July 2017, which was the second weakest month of that year. The year-to-date deficit, piled up in winter, was cut in half; shipments stand at $296.09 million after seven months, off around $6 million, or less than 2%. Click to visit our page for July 2018 comics sales estimates; the figures will be posted on Monday. (8/13 UPDATE: And now they are online!)

Both of the Big Two publishers contributed market leadership, splitting the Top 10 evenly and combining for a dual market share of 70.69%, the highest seen since October 2011, right after the debut of the New 52. Market share leader Marvel beat its July 2017 dollar sales by 16%, aided by Amazing Spider-Man #1 and Captain America #1, among other launches.

Our walkthrough video on the month's sales is here:


DC
did even better relative to its results a year earlier, with Batman #50 leading the comics list and Batman Vol. 6: Bride or Burglar leading the graphic novels. Doomsday Clock #6 and Superman #1 placed fourth and fifth.

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DC's dollar sales were up 29% year over year, a figure exactly matched by IDW, which followed up a June in which it had a recent-record-low number of new comic books on the shelves (19) with nearly three times as many, 56.

Image
's top title, Die Die Die #1, which shipped without being solicited and went on sale July 11, did not make the Top 10, but it couldn't have missed by much . The number of copies shipped was reportedly equal to orders on Robert Kirkman' s previous launch, Oblivion Song #1, from March; that would put it above 80,000 copies, and the issue did lead reorders in intervening weeks. So the Top 10 will have sales somewhere above that.

Discordant notes came again from graphic novels, down 9% in dollars — but only 5% in units, suggesting we're seeing the effects of a number of books being deep-discounted. Graphic novel drops in the single digits are an improvement over 2017's average rate of decline; strong graphic novel months tend to echo ones for comic books some months later because of the collection dynamic, so we'll see whether things pick up as the holidays approach.

The comparative sales statistics:


DollarsUnits
July 2018 Vs. June 2018
Comics+14.18%+7.84%
Graphic Novels-13.07%-9.36%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+6.01%+6.55%
Toys+16.78%-0.28%
July 2018 Vs. July 2017
Comics+17.37%+10.40%
Graphic Novels-9.11%-4.96%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+9.53%+9.27%
Toys+15.77%+4.94%
Year-To-Date 2018 Vs. Year-To-Date 2017
Comics+0.76%-7.02%
Graphic Novels-8.26%-10.42%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels-1.93%-7.28%
Toys-8.63%-10.45%

The market shares:

PublisherDollar ShareUnit SharePublisherDollar ShareUnit Share
Marvel39.07%41.05%   Boom1.89%1.74%
DC31.62%33.82%Dynamite1.74%2.07%
Image8.52%8.87%Viz1.20%0.46%
IDW4.52%3.95%Titan0.69%0.47%
Dark Horse2.82%1.91%Archie0.64%0.60%
Other7.29%5.05%

The top-selling comics by units:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Batman #50$4.99DC
2Amazing Spider-Man #1$5.99Marvel
3Captain America #1$4.99Marvel
4Doomsday Clock #6$4.99DC
5Superman #1$3.99DC
6Catwoman #1$3.99DC
7Amazing Spider-Man #2$3.99Marvel
8Batman #51$3.99DC
9X-23 #1$4.99Marvel
10Cosmic Ghost Rider #1$3.99Marvel


The top-selling comics by dollars:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Batman #50$4.99DC
2Amazing Spider-Man #1$5.99Marvel
3Captain America #1$4.99Marvel
4Doomsday Clock #6$4.99DC
5Superman #1$3.99DC
6Amazing Spider-Man #2$3.99Marvel
7X-23 #1$4.99Marvel
8Catwoman #1$3.99DC
9Batman #51$3.99DC
10Cosmic Ghost Rider #1$3.99Marvel

The top-selling graphic novels by units:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Batman Vol. 6: Bride or Burglar$16.99DC
2Infinity Gauntlet$24.99Marvel
3Venomized$17.99Marvel
4Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 3: Remastered$17.99Marvel
5Marvel Two-In-One Vol. 1: Fate of the Four$17.99Marvel
6One-Punch Man Volume 14$9.99Viz
7Dragon Ball Super Volume 3$9.99Viz
8Ms. Marvel Vol. 9: Teenage Wasteland$17.99Marvel
9Wolverine: Old Man Logan Vol. 7: Scarlet Samurai$15.99Marvel
10Rocket Raccoon and Groot Complete Collection$29.99Marvel

The top-selling graphic novels by dollars:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Avengers By Jonathan Hickman Omnibus Vol. 2 HC$125.00Marvel
2Batman By Grant Morrison Omnibus Vol. 1 HC$75.00DC
3Ex Machina: The Complete Series Omnibus HC$150.00DC
4Batman Vol. 6: Bride or Burglar$16.99DC
5Doctor Strange Sorcerer Supreme Omnibus Volume 2 HC$125.00Marvel
6Marvel Masterworks: Captain America Vol. 10 HC$75.00Marvel
7Infinity Gauntlet$24.99Marvel
8Doctor Strange: Damnation$34.99Marvel
9Flash: The Silver Age Omnibus Volume 3 HC$99.99DC
10Prisoner By Kirby & Kane Artist Edition HC$79.99Titan

Finally, the number of new items offered:

PublisherComics
shipped
Graphic Novels
shipped
Magazines
shipped
Total
shipped
Marvel89370126
DC6334097
IDW5619176
Image5914073
Dark Horse2119040
Boom249033
Dynamite168024
Viz022022
Titan103417
Archie103013
Other1301537290
TOTAL SHIPPED47832112811

[Edit: While a normal month for Marvel as new releases go, DC's 63 was its smallest number of new comics since Rebirth launched in 2016.]
It's certainly the case that a month seeing relaunches of so many titles from the two largest publishers ought to be a good one; the fact that it was may show a return to some level of normalcy, after a year in which very little was working as it was supposed to.

August is a five shipping week month, up against a $45.72 million month from 2017, which had an equal number of weeks. This July just nearly beat that figure, so decent prospects for making up ground continue; launches for Infinity Wars and Fantastic Four are also in the mix. Click to see what we know about August so far.

Update:
I took a look at year-to-date percentage changes across time for selected years in the chart seen at right; click to enlarge it. You can see in it years that started off okay relative to their previous years and got worse, like 2017 — and years where a bad start was nearly erased by a strong finish, like 2011 when New 52 helped the market nearly catch up with the previous year by the end.

To date, 2018 is looking a little more like 2014 and 2016, if starting from a lower point; those were two more normal years, where a slow winter was erased by a stronger spring, summer, and fall. The big dip in March is because the fifth week this winter went to January instead, which is something that undermines this kind of analysis. But it is interesting to see the progression generally.

Comichron founder 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 novels including Star Wars: KenobiStar Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. Read more about them at his fiction site.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Saga, Punisher, Titans lead advance reorder categories as August begins

by John Jackson Miller

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The July reorder picture from Diamond Comic Distributors is now complete.

DC's Teen Titans #20 was the top reordered comic book from Diamond the last week of July, while Punisher Max by Ennis Omnibus Vol. 2 was the top reordered hardcover and top item overall. Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet was once again the top reordered trade paperback.


Click to see see all the July charts.  

The advance reorder chart was led by a hardcover not releasing until October, Ed Brubaker's My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, while the top softcover was Saga Vol. 9, releasing in September.

As for comics on that list, Venom issues and reprints dominated the chart.

Click to see the full advance reorder August chart, as well as all our August-so-far charts.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Die! Die! Die! leads both reorder and advance reorder lists as July ends

by John Jackson Miller

Find this issue at TFAW.
In an unusual happenstance, two consecutive issues of the same series led comics on both the weekly reordered and advance reordered lists at the end of July.

Die! Die! Die! #1 was again the top reordered book last week — click to see see all the July charts.  Issue #1 is still stocked at Diamond, suggesting a large reserve was printed.

The initial shipment was matched to Oblivion Song #1's orders, so figure that anything above about 80,000 copies in the final July estimates came from reorders.

Hardcovers dominated the rest of the reorder list, led by New Teen Titans Omnibus Vol. 3.

Meanwhile, Die! Die! Die! #2, due August 22, was the top advance reordered book for August. 

Click to see the full advance reorder chart, as well as all our August-so-far charts.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Kirkman's Die Die Die #1 tops reorders; Power Rangers, Batgirl lead advance reorders

by John Jackson Miller

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The surprise-shipped Die Die Die #1 from Image Comics led comics shop reorders for the week ending July 22, pushing Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man #1 into second among reorders for comic books. Infinity Gauntlet again the top reordered softcover.

The Avengers: Endless Wartime graphic novel from 2013 was part of a special sale, and was as a result the top hardcover. The top new hardcover was DC's Dark Nights Metal Deluxe Edition.

Click to see the full reorder chart for the week ending July 22.

Looking at August, Boom Studios' Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Shattered Grid #1 holofoil variant was the top advance-reordered comic book and item overall. A  Batgirl #25 variant was second. Venom by Cullen Bunn was the top trade paperback.

Click to see the full advance reorder chart, as well as all our August-so-far charts.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Fantastic Four #1 dominates week's advance reorder charts; Batman #50 again leads reorders

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this book at TFAW
The reorder charts for the second week of July are out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and show that, again controversy or not, DC ComicsBatman #50 was the top reordered comic book last week by North American retailers.

The Jonathan Hickman Avengers Omnibus Vol. 2 was the top hardcover.

We've consolidated our reorder reports so that the charts appear on the pages that will eventually house the sales estimates. Click to see the latest reorder chart, which is housed on our July page. 
Advance reorders, which were mostly taken in June, are on the top half of the page.

Meanwhile, among advance reorders, Marvel's Fantastic Four #1 took 16 of the top 17 slots. The book by Dan Slott and Skottie Young is due out August 8. Click to visit the August page and our latest advance reorder chart.


Friday, July 13, 2018

Comics and graphic novel sales down 6.5% in 2017

According to new estimate by ICV2 and Comichron

The comics and graphic novel market slipped 6.5% in 2017, with sharper declines in comic store and newsstand sales mitigated by stronger sales in the book channel and digital, according to a new joint estimate by ICv2’s Milton Griepp and Comichron’s John Jackson Miller. Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in the U.S. and Canada remained above $1 billion at $1.015 billion in 2017, a $70 million decrease from sales in 2016.


“After a multiyear growth run, the comics shop market gave back some of its gains in 2017, with lackluster response to new periodical offerings and, consequently, graphic novel sales,” Miller said. “The third quarter of 2017 saw the worst of the year-over-year declines, leading into what has turned out to be a stronger spring for stores in 2018.”

“While there was some softness to the market in 2017 (which we attribute to cyclical rather than secular change), there were positive signs,” Griepp said. “The relative strength in the graphic novel and digital markets, especially the growing market for kids titles across print channels, bodes well for the future.”



Digital sales were flat, the strongest performance of any channel in 2017. The book channel (mass and specialty retail chains, online, independent bookstores, book fairs) was the strongest print channel, with only about a 1% decline, helped by booming sales of kids’ graphic novels. The comic store channel, the largest channel overall, dropped around 10%, while the smallest channel, newsstand, shrank to a size not seen since the dawn of comics as the last remaining DC comics left newsstands in August.


As presented above and in the accompanying infographics, the analysis by Comichron and ICv2 was divided up between periodical comics (what some call “floppies” or “pamphlets”), graphic novels, and digital download-to-own sales. All print figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup. Digital sales do not include subscription or “all you can read” services.

This is the fifth joint market size analysis from ICv2 and Comichron; the first four reports were for 201320142015, and 2016 sales. ICV2 and Comichron also previously collaborated on revised estimates for 2011 and 2012. There is also a video version of this report:



ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, hobby games, and showbiz on its Website, www.ICv2.com, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence. For the people on the front lines of the geek culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn't something that can be left to chance-it's a basic necessity for being successful. That's why ICv2 is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers on the front lines. ICv2 is where trend-watching is a science.


Comichron is the world’s largest public repository of comic-book sales figures, featuring data from the 1930s to today about comic book and graphic novel circulation, cover prices, and market shares on its website, www.comichron.com. With data and analysis on the distant past as well as the present, Comichron serves as a trusted resource for academics studying the historical reach of the medium and for collectors seeking accurate information about how many copies of a comic book originally circulated.
Original infographic design by Kate Willaert.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Batman #50 leads retailer reorders for first week of July

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this issue at TFAW
The reorder charts for the first week of July are out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and show that, controversial or not, DC Comics' Batman #50 was the top reordered comic book last week by North American retailers. Dark Nights Rising was the top hardcover; Infinity Wars was the top graphic novel.

We've consolidated our reorder reports so that the charts appear on the pages that will eventually house the sales estimates. Click to see the latest reorder chart, which is housed on our July page. Advance reorders, which were mostly taken in June, are on the top half of the page.

Our advance reorder reports have also moved: they'll appear on the page for the month following the current one, usually — although there are going to be occasions like this week, in which Walking Dead 15th Anniversary blind-bag books took the top 15 advance-reorder slots; they don't release until October, but had to be ordered ahead of time for production reasons. Marvel's Infinity Wars #1 was the top August comic book. Click to visit the August page and our latest advance reorder chart.

We'll continue these blog alerts for the benefit of our RSS and front page readers; traffic was showing that most people were looking first at the monthly page, so it made sense to move the charts there.

Monday, July 9, 2018

June 2018 comics orders online: Justice League #1 sells 200k copies; Infinity Gauntlet year's top graphic novel so far

by John Jackson Miller


June 2018 lacked the major anniversary issues that had propelled April and May to positive months, and was further up against June 2017, the second-best month of its year, with a couple of major hits. But while Justice League #1 and its 200,000 copies was no Action #1000 or Amazing Spider-Man #800, eight titles topped 100,000 copies, and the month's sales were enough to ensure that the second quarter was the first growth quarter, year-over-year, since the summer of 2016, during DC's Rebirth launch. Click to see the estimated comics sales for June 2018.

Amazing Spider-Man #800, which came out the last week in May, continued to rack up sales in June, gaining on but not coming close to surpassing Action #1000, which also reappeared in the charts. Click to see the running totals for bestsellers for 2018 to date. Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet moved into first position among graphic novels for the year.

Our preliminary video walkthrough of the month's sales can be found now on our YouTube channel:


Magic Order #1
, an Image title from Mark Millar and Netflix, had reported orders of 157,731 copies, placing it in second; it had further been reduced in reported orders by Diamond by 10% for being fully returnable, meaning its actual number of copies shipped was closer to 175,000 copies. All retailers were given a 60% discount on the title, suggesting that North American retailers paid Diamond a bit over $250,000 for the issue (closer to $280,000 before the reduction for returnability), or about $1.60 per copy.

But Diamond does not appear to have taken in that much money, because of the book's substantially lower dollar ranking; at 12th place and knowing the sales of the surrounding titles, we'd expect it to have only brought in somewhere between $125,000 and $150,000. (Dollar rankings are based on invoiced dollars, or what retailers paid Diamond.) Since comics shops buying at $1.60 a copy could only have accounted for between 78,000 and 94,000 copies at that dollar-ranking level, there has to have been a significant sale at an even greater discount than comics shops received.

If a report that New York Comic-Con purchased a number of copies at 90% off (or 40 cents each) is correct, algebra suggests such an order could potentially have accounted for more than half the copies. (For example, just splitting the reported orders in half, 78,865 copies to the Direct Market at $1.60 and and another 78,865 copies outside it at $0.40 would land at $157,700, a bit higher than our expected range. In another example, a bulk buy of 100,000 copies at 90% off with the rest to the Direct Market would bring the dollar total to over $132,000 — right in the estimated range.)

We can't say much for certain given the data points available — other than that those points do demonstrate a large proportion of sales for a greater discount even than the promotional 60%. As such, awaiting further information, we're giving the entry the same marker we use for Loot Crate titles in our charts, to indicate that more than a third of reported sales apparently went to buyers other than comics shops.

The vital statistics, after the break:

Friday, July 6, 2018

June sales off on fewer releases, but first up quarter since summer 2016; Justice League, Magic Order lead comics

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this issue at TFAW
June's comic shop orders weren't likely to turn the entire year positive, but they were enough to ensure that the second quarter was the first growth quarter, year-over-year, since the summer of 2016, during the heat of DC's Rebirth launch. According to Comichron's analysis of data released by Diamond Comic Distributors, retailers ordered $42.11 million in comic books, graphic novels, and magazines, bringing the quarterly total to $137 million, up a little over 1% over the same quarter in the previous year, and the highest dollar value seen since the fourth quarter of 2016.

The sales estimates for each title will appear on this page on Monday; keep checking (or subscribe on Twitter to be alerted to when it goes online.)

The quarter brought the year to $251.45 million, down less than 4% against the first half of 2017. Second-quarter sales were up 20% over those from the first quarter, underlining how much less material is in the system in wintertime; still, the quarter was a significant improvement, even accounting for that.

Our video walkthrough of the month's sales can be found now on our YouTube channel:


 See eBay listings for this issue
Even though June 2017 was a disappointment compared to June 2016 (again in the heat of the Rebirth event), it was still the second-best month of the year, and had a couple of legitimate hits in Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 and Dark Days: The Forge #1. April and May of this year were headlined by two major anniversary issues, Action Comics #1000 and Amazing Spider-Man #800, each of which brought in about $4 million each; June 2018 lacked anything like that, and was down by — you guessed it — almost exactly $4 million. Justice League #1 was the top seller of the month. Sales comparisons were further affected by a smaller number of new comics releases: this June saw 30 fewer comics released, and IDW in particular had its smallest slate in several years, only 19 new comics.

The number two comic, Mark Millar's Netflix title, Magic Order #1, saw its own orders boosted by Image offering the title at 60% off to all retailers, no matter what their going Image discount rates were; that let the smallest shops buy at the discount level of the largest chains. Furthermore, the issue was returnable, so the numbers we see on Monday will be reduced by 10% by Diamond to account for that. (It was announced there would be no second printings of the first issue, as well; click to see current auctions for the issue on eBay.) [UPDATE: I was asked about reports of a mass external purchase of the title; if true, we'll get an idea of how large it was when the full charts release. If appears to account for more than half the circulation, it'll earn the "Loot Crate dagger" (†) in our charts, which is used to denote items whose sales were mostly to actors outside the Direct Market.]

 Find this book at TFAW
The discount effect is clearly visible now, however: Magic Order was the #2 book in units, but didn't make the Top 10 at all in dollars, as seen below. The book also appears to have contributed in part to gap between dollar sales and unit sales this month.

The reverse was the case for graphic novels, which had a good month relative to past performance, off only 2% on a raft of hardcovers, including the top-selling Dark Nights: Metal Deluxe Edition.

Units were off quite a lot more than dollars this month, which means that the graphic novels that were bought, retailers paid more for. Six percent more graphic novels were offered to market this month versus last June.

Compared to their performances last June, Marvel and DC were both off an amount exactly tracking the market overall; neither did any better or worse.

The comparative sales statistics:


DollarsUnits
June 2018 Vs. May 2018
Comics-16.71%-6.22%
Graphic Novels-7.44%-8.41%
Total Comics/GNs-14.13%-6.39%
Toys+1.03%+4.22%
June 2018 Vs. June 2017
Comics-11.14%-8.93%
Graphic Novels-2.15%-14.24%
Total Comics/GNs-8.62%-9.35%
Toys-11.53%+17.66%
Year-To-Date 2018 Vs. Year-To-Date 2017
Comics-1.84%-9.65%
Graphic Novels-8.12%-11.22%
Total Comics/GNs-3.72%-9.77%
Toys-11.98%-12.70%
Second Quarter 2018 Vs. First Quarter 2018
Comics+19.97%+12.84%
Graphic Novels+19.01%+19.68%
Total Comics/GNs+19.70%+13.34%
Toys-16.97%-7.55%
Second Quarter 2018 Vs. Second Quarter 2017
Comics+3.01%-4.85%
Graphic Novels-3.41%-10.32%
Total Comics/GNs+1.10%-5.28%
Toys-14.46%-13.05%

The market shares:

PublisherDollar ShareUnit Share
Marvel38.42%40.98%
DC30.54%33.73%
Image10.46%11.48%
Dark Horse3.23%2.10%
IDW2.46%1.66%
Dynamite2.10%1.51%
Boom1.62%1.76%
Viz1.18%0.43%
Oni1.09%0.83%
Titan0.87%0.68%
Other8.03%4.84%

The top-selling comics by units:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Justice League #13.99DC
2Magic Order #1*$3.99Image
3Tony Stark: Iron Man #1$4.99Marvel
4Amazing Spider-Man #801$3.99Marvel
5Batman #49$2.99DC
6Batman #48$2.99DC
7Deadpool #1$4.99Marvel
8Thor #1$5.99Marvel
9X-Men Gold #30$4.99Marvel
10Justice League #2$3.99DC

The top-selling comics by dollars:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Justice League #1$3.99DC
2Tony Stark: Iron Man #1$4.99Marvel
3Deadpool #1$4.99Marvel
4Thor #1$5.99Marvel
5Amazing Spider-Man #801$3.99Marvel
6X-Men Gold #30$4.99Marvel
7Immortal Hulk #1$4.99Marvel
8Batman #49$2.99DC
9Justice League #2$3.99DC
10Venom #2$3.99Marvel

The top-selling graphic novels by units:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Dark Nights: Metal Deluxe Edition HC$29.99DC
2Dark Nights: Metal: Dark Nights Rising HC$29.99DC
3Dark Nights: Metal: The Resistance$24.99DC
4Thanos Wins$19.99Marvel
5The Infinity Gauntlet$24.99Marvel
6Southern Bastards Vol. 4: Gut Check$16.99Image
7Neil Gaiman: A Study In Emerald HC$17.99Dark Horse
8The Flash Vol. 6: A Cold Day In Hell$16.99DC
9Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 6 Fall Of The Batmen$19.99DC
10Super Sons Of Tomorrow$14.99DC

The top-selling graphic novels by dollars:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Dark Nights: Metal Deluxe Edition HC$29.99DC
2Dark Nights: Metal: Dark Nights Rising HC$29.99DC
3Infinite Crisis Omnibus HC$150.00DC
4Dark Nights: Metal: The Resistance$24.99DC
5The Infinity Gauntlet$24.99Marvel
6Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man Omnibus HC$125.00Marvel
7Thanos Wins Cates$19.99Marvel
8Wonder Woman By George Perez Omnibus Vol. 3 HC$99.99DC
9Runaways By Brian K Vaughan & Adrian Alphona Omnibus HC$125.00Marvel
10Absolute Sandman Overture HC$125.00DC

Finally, the number of new items offered:


PublisherComics
shipped
Graphic
Novels
shipped
Magazines
shipped
Total
shipped
Marvel87330120
DC73311105
Image6015075
IDW1918037
Dark Horse2015035
Boom2310033
Dynamite187025
Titan175123
Viz020020
Oni710017
Other11317619308
TOTAL SHIPPED43734021798

Nearly 6% fewer comics have been shipped to market overall in the first six months of this year.

We are able to compute midyear dollar market shares at this point: Marvel 37.5%, DC 30.7%, Image 10.2%; IDW 3.7%, Dark Horse 2.6%, Boom 2.1% and Dynamite 1.8%.

As of midyear, the Direct Market's trajectory remains more favorable than it's been in a while: two more quarters of exactly the same size would result in the market being up for 2018, erasing the winter's shortfall. That's in part an indicator of how weak the rest of 2017 was — and within the third quarter, July 2017 was the weakest month. With a new Amazing Spider-Man series and Batman #50 in the mix in July, chances are very good for a resumption of growth months; an identical showing from June would mean a July that's up 3%.

The estimates for individual titles will appear here on Monday. Be sure to check them out.

A personal aside: This is the release weekend for Ant-Man and the Wasp, and if you stay for the credits (and who doesn't, now?) you will see your Comichron archivist — as well as artist Jorge Lucas — named in the acknowledgments. The character played by Walton Goggins originated, in somewhat different fashion, during our Iron Man run years ago. Fun stuff!

Comichron founder 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 New York Times bestselling author of novels including Star Wars: KenobiStar Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. Read more about them at his fiction site.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook, and check out our Youtube channel.
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