Search for titles on Comichron!
Custom Search

More than 158,200 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.

 

Friday, April 27, 2018

Avengers Comics Sales Figures, according to Marvel: A Comichron Video Spotlight

by John Jackson Miller

Avengers: Infinity War is out, and we've got a new video exploring the sales history of the main Avengers comics title through the years as reported by Marvel in its postal filings; the complete official record from 1966 forward. Follow the title's ups and downs while learning more about postal circulation records:

 

You can follow along with the video or take a closer look by clicking directly to our Avengers postal data page.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

It's all Action, Infinity Gauntlet in reorder-land

by John Jackson Miller

Last week's release of Action Comics #1000, the first North American comic book to reach that number in serial publication since Dell's Four Color #1000 (see listings for it on eBay) ( in 1959, made a huge splash on the latest Diamond Comic Distributors reorder charts — and naturally, retailers stocked up on Infinity Gauntlet in advance of Avengers: Infinity War. First we'll look first at how the books already in stores fared, and move on to the future:

TOP REORDERED ITEMS for Apr. 16-22, 2018 (in invoiced dollars)

 Find this book at TFAW

These are items that have already shipped, but have been receiving additional orders from retailers. In most cases below, the items are in stock and so the orders are being filled; occasionally items are back-ordered, so their reorders will enter into the channel once they become available.

These are ranked by invoiced dollars, so retailers' discounts have already applied to the totals before ranking.

Action Comics #1000 was the top reordered comic; as noted, it came out on April 18. Diamond reports that it is still in stock for reorders. Six of the variant versions also made the reorder Top 25, in the following order: 1930s, 1940s, 1990s, 1960s, 2000s, and 1950s. The 1970s Jim Steranko variant is reported as out of stock, and the 1980s variant's stocking level is marked as low.

The top hardcover was once again DC's Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman hardcover, which previously had topped the advance reorder charts. It released in shops April 11. Diamond reports that it's still in stock as of today, but remaining quantities are low. A much more expensive hardcover, the Superman: Exile and Other Stories Omnibus placed third. It shipped April 11 as well.

And — no surprise — the Infinity Gauntlet trade paperback repeated yet again as the top reordered softcover; the book wound up 17th overall in the charts for March and is likely to improve on that with the movie releasing this week.

We have to go to 12th place among reorders to find the first non-Action comic book: Amazing Spider-Man #799, which went on sale April 18. (See listings for it on eBay..)

The links in the table go to the Diamond information pages for each book.


Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Action Comics #1000$7.99 DC
2Action Comics 80 Years of Superman HC$29.99 DC
3Superman Exile and Other Stories Omnibus HC$125.00 DC
4Harley Quinn & The Gotham City Sirens Omnibus HC$75.00 DC
5Infinity Gauntlet TPB$24.99 Marvel
6X-Men Legionquest HC$75.00 Marvel
7Action Comics #1000 1930S Var Ed$7.99 DC
8Saga TPB Vol. 8$14.99 Image
9Saga TPB Vol. 1$9.99 Image
10Action Comics #1000 1940S Var Ed$7.99 DC
11Saga Dlx Ed HC Vol. 1$49.99 Image
12Amazing Spider-Man #799 Leg$3.99 Marvel
13Action Comics #1000 1990S Var Ed$7.99 DC
14Infinity War TPB$29.99 Marvel
15Action Comics #1000 1960S Var Ed$7.99 DC
16Action Comics #1000 2000S Var Ed$7.99 DC
17Savage TPB$9.99 Valiant
18BPRD Hell On Earth HC Vol. 2$34.99 Dark Horse
19Action Comics #1000 1950S Var Ed$7.99 DC
20Paper Girls TPB Vol. 1$9.99 Image
21Saga TPB Vol. 2$14.99 Image
22Road To Marvels Avengers Infinity War Art Slipcase HC Vol. 2$50.00 Marvel
23X-Men Grand Design TPB$29.99 Marvel
24Saga Dlx Ed HC Vol. 2$49.99 Image
25Saga TPB Vol. 7$14.99 Image

And now on to the future...

TOP ADVANCE REORDERED ITEMS 
 for Apr. 16-22, 2018 (in full retail dollars)

 Find this book on TFAW
These are items that have not yet shipped, but for which the Final Order Deadlines have passed. 

These reorders, if books are available to fill them, may or may not land in the same shipping month as the books' release weeks, so a book's presence on this chart can mean that an item might make a repeat appearance in Diamond's monthly top-seller charts.

After a couple of Marvel Fresh Start books led the last two weeks, DC's Batman #47 led the advance reorder charts last week. It's slated for May 16 release. Avengers #2 was second; it ships the same day.

The top advance reordered trade paperback has led the list before: Ricanstruction: Reminiscing and Rebuilding Puerto Rico from Somos Arte. A May 23 release.

This chart is ranked by full retail dollars and not units, or wholesale dollars.

Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Batman #47$2.99 DC
2Avengers #2$3.99 Marvel
3Amazing Spider-Man #800 Frenz Var$9.99 Marvel
4Justice League No Justice #2$3.99 DC
5Amazing Spider-Man #800 Land Var$9.99 Marvel
6Batman #45 2nd Ptg$2.99 DC
7Amazing Spider-Man #800 Moebius Var$9.99 Marvel
8X-Men Wedding Special #1$4.99 Marvel
9Batman #47 Var Ed$2.99 DC
10Amazing Spider-Man #800 Dodson Var$9.99 Marvel
11Amazing Spider-Man #800 Bagley Var$9.99 Marvel
12Amazing Spider-Man #800 Jr Sr Var$9.99 Marvel
13Ricanstruction Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico TPB$19.99 Somos Arte
14X-Men Wedding Special #1 Dodson Var$4.99 Marvel
15Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #27 Main Sg$3.99 Boom
16Amazing Spider-Man #800 Cassaday Var$9.99 Marvel
17Mighty Thor Gates of Valhalla #1$4.99 Marvel
18Kick-Ass #4 Cvr C Mayhew$3.99 Image
19Hunt For Wolverine Claws of Killer #1$3.99 Marvel
20Mighty Thor Gates of Valhalla #1 Garney Var$4.99 Marvel
21Amazing Spider-Man #800 Cho Var$9.99 Marvel
22Quicksilver No Surrender #1$3.99 Marvel
23Sonic The Hedgehog #2 2nd Ptg$3.99 IDW
24Gideon Falls #1 3rd Ptg$3.99 Image
25Sonic The Hedgehog #1 3rd Ptg$3.99 IDW

We've seen enough reorders and advance from the past few weeks from Diamond Comic Distributors to be able to collate some information onto pages for April 2018 and May 2018. Check them out for a further glance at the future.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook. And check out our YouTube channel!

Friday, April 20, 2018

New Video: Comics Sales Flashback: April 1998

New on the Comichron YouTube channel, a video flashback!

Twenty years ago this month, the Distribution Wars had been over for a year -- but the business's problems certainly weren't. Travel back to the age of Battle Chasers and mutant chart domination.


Check out the video — and then see the charts in question for yourself: April 1998 and 1998 Year-End. And be sure to subscribe to the channel!



Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Action 80 Years leads hardcover reorders as Action #1000 goes on sale; Venom #1 tops advance reorders

by John Jackson Miller

Today sees the release of Action Comics #1000, the first North American comic book to reach that number in serial publication since Dell's Four Color #1000 (see listings for it on eBay) in 1959 — see Action's progress over the years in our legacy numbering timeline. In the meantime, we have some new Diamond Comic Distributors reorder charts, also out today. First we'll look first at how the books already in stores fared, and move on to the future:

TOP REORDERED ITEMS for Apr. 9-15, 2018 (in invoiced dollars)

 Find this book at TFAW
These are items that have already shipped, but have been receiving additional orders from retailers. In most cases below, the items are in stock and so the orders are being filled; occasionally items are back-ordered, so their reorders will enter into the channel once they become available.

These are ranked by invoiced dollars, so retailers' discounts have already applied to the totals before ranking.

For the umpteenth time this year, the Infinity Gauntlet trade paperback repeated as the top reordered softcover and top reordered item by dollars overall; the book wound up 17th overall in the charts for MarchAn Image sale resulted in every Saga trade paperback volume making the top 12.

The top hardcover was DC's Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman hardcover, which previously had topped the advance reorder charts. It released in shops last Wednesday. Diamond reports that both it and Action #1000 are still in stock for reorders.

We have to go all the way down to 17th place among reorders to find the first comic book: Batman #44, which went on sale April 4. (See listings for it on eBay.) The second printing, due out in May, placed highly on the advanced reorder charts below. Last week's top reordered comic book, Amazing Spider-Man #798, was the #2 reordered comic.

The links in the table go to the Diamond information pages for each book.


Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Infinity Gauntlet TPB$24.99 Marvel
2Saga TPB Vol. 8$14.99 Image
3Saga TPB Vol. 1$9.99 Image
4Saga TPB Vol. 2$14.99 Image
5Action Comics 80 Years of Superman HC$29.99 DC
6Infinity TPB$49.99 Marvel
7Saga Dlx Ed HC Vol. 1$49.99 Image
8Saga TPB Vol. 7$14.99 Image
9Saga TPB Vol. 6$14.99 Image
10Saga TPB Vol. 5$14.99 Image
11Saga TPB Vol. 4$14.99 Image
12Saga TPB Vol. 3$14.99 Image
13Paper Girls TPB Vol. 1$9.99 Image
14Green Lantern Earth One HC Vol. 1$24.99 DC
15X-Men Grand Design TPB$29.99 Marvel
16Saga Dlx Ed HC Vol. 2$49.99 Image
17Batman #44$2.99 DC
18Infinity War TPB$29.99 Marvel
19Amazing Spider-Man #798$3.99 Marvel
20Thanos Infinity Siblings HC$24.99 Marvel
21Paper Girls TPB Vol. 2$12.99 Image
22Paper Girls TPB Vol. 3$12.99 Image
23Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus HC Vol. 3 Mckone Cvr$100.00 Marvel
24Venomized #1$4.99 Marvel
25Thanos #18$3.99 Marvel

And now on to the future...

TOP ADVANCE REORDERED ITEMS 
 for Apr. 9-15, 2018 (in full retail dollars)



These are items that have not yet shipped, but for which the Final Order Deadlines have passed. 

 Find this book on TFAW
These reorders, if books are available to fill them, may or may not land in the same shipping month as the books' release weeks, so a book's presence on this chart can mean that an item might make a repeat appearance in Diamond's monthly top-seller charts.

Another Marvel Fresh Start book led the charts: Venom #1, which is slated to release on May 9. (There is an escalating discount opportunity tied to retailers' orders of Amazing Spider-Man/Venom Inc. Omega #1, but it's not known where the issue would fall in the chart below had it been based on invoiced dollars rather than cover price.) Justice League: No Justice #1 from DC was the second-place comic — it's also due out May 9.

The Where We Live Las Vegas Shooting Benefit Anthology from Image was the top and only softcover making the list. It's due out May 30. Eight Image titles made the advance reorder chart, the highest number we've seen in a while.


This chart is ranked by full retail dollars and not units, or wholesale dollars.

Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Venom #1$4.99 Marvel
2Justice League No Justice #1$3.99 DC
3Batman #44 2nd Ptg$2.99 DC
4Amazing Spider-Man #800 Jr Sr Var$9.99 Marvel
5Venom #1 Blank Var$4.99 Marvel
6Medieval Spawn Witchblade #1 Cvr B McFarlane$2.99 Image
7Amazing Spider-Man #800 Bagley Var$9.99 Marvel
8Venom #1 Rivera Var$4.99 Marvel
9Despicable Deadpool #300 Koblish 300 Deadpools Wraparound Va$5.99 Marvel
10Flash #46 Var Ed$2.99 DC
11Isola #2 Cvr B Kerschl$3.99 Image
12Domino #2$3.99 Marvel
13Venom #1 Kuder Young Guns Var$4.99 Marvel
14Barrier #1 Collectors Ed$4.99 Image
15Medieval Spawn Witchblade #1 Cvr C B&W Mcfarlane$2.99 Image
16Despicable Deadpool #300 Blank Var$5.99 Marvel
17Where We Live Las Vegas Shooting Benefit Anthology TPB$19.99 Image
18Hunt For Wolverine Adamantium Agenda #1$3.99 Marvel
19Amazing Spider-Man #800 Dodson Var$9.99 Marvel
20Venom #1 J Scott Campbell Var$4.99 Marvel
21Isola #2 Cvr C We Believe Virgin$3.99 Image
22Barrier #2$3.99 Image
23Star Wars Darth Vader #16$3.99 Marvel
24Isola #1 2nd Ptg$3.99 Image
25Suicide Squad #41 Var Ed$2.99 DC

We've seen enough reorders and advance from the past few weeks from Diamond Comic Distributors to be able to collate some information onto pages for April 2018 and May 2018. Check them out for a further glance at the future.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook. And check out our YouTube channel!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New: The complete ACTION COMICS postal circulation record, 1960-89

by John Jackson Miller

Following our post and video about the resurrection of Superman — and continuing the month-long commemoration of Action Comics #1000's publication tomorrow— we've published the complete U.S. Postal Service circulation filings for Action Comics, which ran in the title from 1960-89.

The forms confirm that very close to 100 million copies of Action were sold in that time, with a circulation peak in 1965. Action would go on to run the very last DC non-MAD postal statement in 1989, and would be the only title that year to do so.

Friday, April 13, 2018

25 years ago: Superman rises from the dead — and sparks the biggest month in comics history

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this issue on eBayThis slipped a lot of calendars, but Superman’s rise from the dead began 25 years ago today (that’s when Adventures of Superman #500 apparently left the warehouse; on-sale was both April 14 and April 15, as distributors were moving New Comic Book Day from Thursday to Wednesday).

In observance of the event, I posted the Diamond sales charts for April 1993 — skipping back a year or so to get to them —and worked up some industry-wide estimates for this very important month in the history of the business. April 1993 has long been believed by me to be as the top month in the history of the business in dollar terms — 48 million copies to the Direct Market alone, totaling more than $100 million; the highest estimates for the 1950s wouldn’t get to $100 million in a single month, even adjusted for inflation.

Of course, many of the comics in the chart didn’t come out, and many of the retailers didn’t survive to pay for them. But it was the peak month historically in sales by publishers. Click below to check out my video tour of the estimates.


Regarding the estimates, which are not for Diamond but the industry overall — they’re much rougher than we usually do, in part because in the multi-distributor era there is no single number that can be plugged into a Diamond chart which will work for every title and every publisher overall. Availability and discounts varied too much from distributor to distributor. The estimates will be updated as more research is completed.

The eventual goal is to have separate charts for all distributors that published them, with an overarching chart collating known data each month. Hopefully that’ll be done before the 50th anniversary rolls around!

Finally, and completely coincidentally, Comichron is quoted in a piece about Superman in this Sunday's New York Times Business section.
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: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion OffensiveStar 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 subscribe to our channel on YouTube

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Comichron launches YouTube channel

by John Jackson Miller

One of the missions of Comichron is to educate about the comic-book market in North America, from its history to its current state — and something that's always been on the wish list is a video component. So I'm pleased to announce that we finally have a YouTube channel launched, and two videos to start with: a two-part dive into the comics market's sales for the month of March, which were reported here.

Part 1 looks at the overall market, as well as the comics category specifically...


 ...and then Part 2 gets into the graphic novel side of things, and also looks at the rankings for the year-to-date and some of the other updated features on the site.

I can't say how often the channel will be updated as yet, and I expect format and length of various recordings will change as we work more with the platform. But the hope is that we'll eventually have a library of video clips to go along with some of our existing features.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook. And now YouTube!

Fresh Start Avengers #1 tops advance reorders, Action Comics: 80 Years hardcover leads reorders

by John Jackson Miller

The hardcover celebration, Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman releases today — and we know that retailers were already stocking up, as it was the top reordered item last week according to Diamond Comic Distributors' reorder charts, also out today. First we'll look first at how the books already in stores fared, and move on to the future:

TOP REORDERED ITEMS for Apr. 2-8, 2018 (in invoiced dollars)

 Find this book at TFAW
These are items that have already shipped, but have been receiving additional orders from retailers. In most cases below, the items are in stock and so the orders are being filled; occasionally items are back-ordered, so their reorders will enter into the channel once they become available.

These are ranked by invoiced dollars, so retailers' discounts have already applied to the totals before ranking.

As noted above, the top hardcover and top reordered item overall was DC's Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman hardcover, which previously had topped the advance reorder charts. It releases in shops today.

The Infinity Gauntlet trade paperback repeated yet again as the top reordered softcover; the book wound up 17th overall in the charts for March, released earlier this week.

Dark Nights Metal #6, which was the top selling comic book for March, will be adding to its total, as it was the top reordered comic book for the week. The top reordered comic book from the month of April was the top reordered comic book last week: Amazing Spider-Man #798, which went on sale April 4.

The links in the table go to the Diamond information pages for each book.


Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Action Comics 80 Years of Superman HC$29.99 DC
2Infinity Gauntlet TPB$24.99 Marvel
3Dark Nights Metal #6$4.99 DC
4Amazing Spider-Man #798$3.99 Marvel
5Green Lantern Earth One HC Vol. 1$24.99 DC
6Green Lantern The Silver Age Omnibus HC Vol. 2$125.00 DC
7Doomsday Clock #4 Var Ed$4.99 DC
8Jack Kirbys Fourth World Omnibus HC$150.00 DC
9Infinity War TPB$29.99 Marvel
10Doomsday Clock #4$4.99 DC
11Infinity TPB$49.99 Marvel
12Saga TPB Vol. 8$14.99 Image
13Annihilation TPB Vol. 1 Complete Collection$34.99 Marvel
14Saga TPB Vol. 1$9.99 Image
15Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25 Polybag Mix Sg$4.99 Boom
16Daredevil #600 Leg$5.99 Marvel
17Jim Butcher Dresden Files Omnibus TPB Vol. 1$39.99 Dynamite
18Venom TPB Lethal Protector New Ptg$16.99 Marvel
19Thanos TPB Vol. 1 Thanos Returns$17.99 Marvel
20Amazing Spider-Man #798 Ramos Connecting Var Leg$3.99 Marvel
21Saga TPB Vol. 7$14.99 Image
22Saga TPB Vol. 2$14.99 Image
23Wolverine Old Man Logan TPB$29.99 Marvel
24Batman #44 Var Ed$2.99 DC
25Dark Knight Returns TPB New Edition$19.99 DC

And now on to the future...

TOP ADVANCE REORDERED ITEMS 
 for Apr. 2-8, 2018 (in full retail dollars)

Find this book at TFAW
These are items that have not yet shipped, but for which the Final Order Deadlines have passed. 

These reorders, if books are available to fill them, may or may not land in the same shipping month as the books' release weeks, so a book's presence on this chart can mean that an item might make a repeat appearance in Diamond's monthly top-seller charts.

The first Marvel Fresh Start book has made its appearance: Avengers #1, which is slated to release on May 2. (There is an escalating discount opportunity tied to retailers' orders of Avengers #680, but it's not known where the issue would fall in the chart below had it been based on invoiced dollars rather than cover price.) At least so far, Marvel's reported dual-numbering of the Fresh Start titles doesn't seem to be reflected in Diamond's nomenclature for books.

Amazing Spider-Man #800 topped the advance reorder charts once a while back; due out May 30, it took second. The top April-shipping comic in advance reorders was the Stuart Immonen variant of Amazing Spider-Man #798, out on April 25.

More DC comics appeared in this chart than we've seen in a while; that includes DC Nation #0, already announced to have a million copies ordered. For a quarter comic to make a dollar-ranked list, numbers like that would certainly help. A storyline in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers titles has been getting attention lately; Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25's second printing took eighth.


No hardcovers or softcovers made the advance reorder chart last week.

This chart is ranked by full retail dollars and not units, or wholesale dollars.

Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Avengers #1$4.99 Marvel
2Amazing Spider-Man #800$9.99 Marvel
3Amazing Spider-Man #798 2nd Ptg Immonen Var$3.99 Marvel
4Spawn #285 Cvr D Virgin Cvr$2.99 Image
5Thanos #13 4th Ptg Shaw Var$3.99 Marvel
6Thanos #18 2nd Ptg Shaw Var$3.99 Marvel
7Thanos #14 4th Ptg Shaw Var$3.99 Marvel
8Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25 (2nd Ptg)$4.99 Boom
9Amazing Spider-Man #794 4th Ptg Immonen Var$3.99 Marvel
10Deathstroke #30 2nd Ptg$3.99 DC
11DC Nation #0$0.25 DC
12Batman #46 Var Ed$2.99 DC
13Venom #1$4.99 Marvel
14Spawn #285 Cvr C Mattina$2.99 Image
15Doomsday Clock #2 2nd Ptg$4.99 DC
16Deathstroke #31$3.99 DC
17Deathstroke #31 Var Ed$3.99 DC
18Action Comics Special #1$4.99 DC
19Batman White Knight #8 Var Ed$4.99 DC
20Batman #46$2.99 DC
21Hunt For Wolverine Weapon Lost #1$3.99 Marvel
22Go Go Power Rangers #8 2nd Ptg$3.99 Boom
23Avengers #1 Blank Var$4.99 Marvel
24Go Go Power Rangers #9 Main & Mix Sg$3.99 Boom
25Infinity Countdown #3 Drax Holds Infinity Var$4.99 Marvel

We've seen enough reorders and advance from the past few weeks from Diamond Comic Distributors to be able to collate some information onto pages for April 2018 and May 2018. Check them out for a further glance at the future.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, April 9, 2018

March 2018 comics sales estimates online: Metal #6 vaults to 187k copies

by John Jackson Miller




 See eBay listings for this issue
Our comics sales estimates for March 2018 are now online, and they find a new comic as the bestseller of the year — at least until Action #1000 comes along in April with its reported orders exceeding 500,000-copies. Dark Nights Metal #6 wrapped up that series with orders of more than 187,500 copies, more than any issue in the year so far.

If you didn't see it last month, our year-to-date list now tabulates all comics and graphic novels reported in the year so far, fusing sales together when reorders are reported; the Top 100 for each category is listed. That chart finds January's Doomsday Clock #3 and Dark Nights Metal #5 from January in second for the year on strength of reorders — but it also shows a number of March-shipping comics ranked highly. That corroborates the finding discussed here on Friday, which is that while a lot fewer new comics came out this March versus last March (which had one more shipping week), the comics that came out sold relatively better.

The graphic novel shortfall was greater than what the smaller release slate would have predicted, however. Last March had extremely strong graphic novel orders, with both a new Saga and a new Walking Dead volume out. This March had only one of those — and the new Walking Dead Vol 29, while still the bestseller of the year so far, shipped 22% fewer copies than the March 2017 volume did. It's hard to know what portion of that comes from fewer ordering shops — whether because of closures or because they've shifted purchases outside of Diamond to other distributors — or whether the drop is related to the series itself. Twenty-two percent happens to also be the exact ratio by which graphic novel orders overall dropped in March, so at least this one data point correlates with the market's graphic novel sales overall.

The graphic novel category presents a different competitive environment, with online retailers in play, as well as discount-house retailers (like Ollie's, earlier this year) selling either remaindered or liquidated trade paperbacks. While I've observed here several times that new comic book unit sales haven't been negatively impacted by digital sales, a recent controversy raises the question of whether graphic novel sales are more vulnerable. I think that requires further research, but the fact that bound collected editions aren't much of a factor in the aftermarket suggests that at least one of the things insulating print periodicals from defections to digital isn't as much in play for graphic novel buyers.

One thing that wasn't as much in play in March: price. The average price of the Top 300 comics dropped to $3.82, the lowest it's been in several months.

The vital statistics, after the break:

Friday, April 6, 2018

March comics orders down on fewer new releases, but quarterly losses diminish; Metal, Doomsday Clock finish 1-2

by John Jackson Miller

(Update: The estimated sales are now online.)

See listings for this book on eBay
Last week, I tweeted that the fact that March 2017 was a month with five New Comic Book Days instead of four meant that this March's comics and graphic novel sales to the Direct Market would very likely be down in comparison, as it had one less Wednesday. But I also noted that January and February's performances had been just good enough that even if sales remained flat from February to March, it would represent an improvement in the overall quarter's trajectory. March's orders managed that feat and a little more, according to my analysis of data released today by Diamond Comic Distributors.

Diamond shipped $38.48 million in comics, graphic novels, and magazines in an especially wintry March, down an ugly 16%; graphic novels were again produced the biggest shortfall, down 22% in dollars. The fifth week, however, explains more than usual this time out. Almost a hundred fewer new comics were released this March, a reduction in new-release volume of 18%; all the major publisher slates were smaller, and IDW went from 60 periodical releases in the month to 40. Graphic novel slates were also 14% smaller overall.

March's new comics unit sales stood at 6.55 million copies, down 12% — but the release slate shrank more, so the ones that did release punched their weight a little better. March was up 5% over February, exceeding the aforementioned target — and it nearly caught January, which is where our extra week this quarter went. Overall shipments of comics and graphic novels for the quarter totaled $114.45 million, down a little less than 9% — and, as noted above, that single digit is something we've been looking to see since the first in a string of quarterly declines at the end of 2016:

Year-over-year changes in Diamond's
comics/graphic novel sales to the Direct Market
1st Quarter 2017: -3.01%
2nd Quarter 2017: -10.01%
3rd Quarter 2017: -15.86%
4th Quarter 2017: -10.37%
1st Quarter 2017: -8.92% 

So for the pessimists: things are still getting worse. But for the optimists: since last fall, they've been getting worse by progressively smaller amounts. There's an easy explanation for that: DC's Rebirth event made 2016's numbers very hard to hit — but by this time last year, that event had already seen its biggest numbers, and while Marvel's slowdown was underway, it had yet to see its nastiest declines. This quarter just past, DC's overall sales were up slightly year over year, with Dynamite's up a bit more; Marvel remains off year-over-year, but it's slightly outpacing the overall market.

The second quarter of 2017, incidentally, saw $135.5 million in shipments; while that may seem a stretch to hit this time out, increases of $20 million from the first to the second quarter have happened this decade. Even 2017 saw $10 million more in product shipped in the second quarter than in the first. People can actually get to the stores (unless you live where I do, where we had 14" of snow on Monday) — and as DC revealed on Thursday, Action Comics #1000 will account for at least $4 million on its own in April.

The monthly and quarterly comparatives:


DollarsUnits
March 2018 Vs. February 2018
Comics2.92%4.04%
Graphic Novels10.36%3.69%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels4.95%4.02%
Toys5.32%-1.93%
March 2018 Vs. March 2017
Comics-13.20%-12.28%
Graphic Novels-22.12%-25.63%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels-15.96%-13.35%
Toys-29.83%-38.04%
Year-To-Date 2018 Vs. Year-To-Date 2017
(First Quarter 2018 Vs. First Quarter 2017)
Comics-0.0709-0.1452
Graphic Novels-13.17%-12.28%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels-8.92%-14.37%
Toys
First Quarter 2018 Vs. Fourth Quarter 2017
Comics-8.44%-7.25%
Graphic Novels-21.69%-20.85%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels-12.67%-8.38%
Toys-14.91%-11.81%

The market shares for the month:

PublisherDollar ShareUnit Share
Marvel35.92%38.38%
DC31.06%35.10%
Image10.98%10.43%
IDW3.96%3.28%
Boom2.40%2.13%
Dark Horse2.38%1.58%
Dynamite1.83%1.61%
Viz1.23%0.46%
Oni1.16%0.80%
Valiant0.93%0.99%
Other8.15%5.25%

 See listings for this issue on eBay
The top-sellers lists in comics, both in units and dollars, were led by Dark Nights: Metal #6 and Doomsday Clock #4, back from a one-month hiatus. We'd noticed in our running year-to-date tally that a Metal issue had taken the top spot from Doomsday Clock, and its finale seems to have led this month. This time we added on-sale dates, making it clear that the top two books of the month actually had the smallest number of days on sale.

Otherwise, performances of note include Amazing Spider-Man #797, on the way to an issue #800 which Marvel announced yesterday had garnered at least 300,000 in orders for May; Weapon H #1, which placed fourth despite a higher price and only having made one reorder list; and Image's Oblivion Song #1, which made almost every advance reorder and regular reorder list this year and placed ninth. It shows that while reorders can make a difference, it's initial orders that usually have the greater impact.

Here's the comics chart, in units:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHERON SALE
1Dark Nights: Metal #6$4.99DC3/28/18
2Doomsday Clock #4$4.99DC3/28/18
3Amazing Spider-Man #797$3.99Marvel3/7/18
4Weapon H #1$4.99Marvel3/21/18
5Batman #42$2.99DC3/7/18
6Mighty Thor #705$3.99Marvel3/21/18
7Infinity Countdown #1$4.99Marvel3/7/18
8Batman #43$2.99DC3/21/18
9Oblivion Song By Kirkman & De Felici #1$3.99Image3/7/18
10Batman: White Knight #6$3.99DC3/7/18

By dollars, the chart doesn't look that much different, except that Weapon H's position improves and Daredevil #600 makes the list.

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHERON SALE
1Dark Nights: Metal #6$4.99DC3/28/18
2Doomsday Clock #4$4.99DC3/28/18
3Weapon H #1$4.99Marvel3/21/18
4Amazing Spider-Man #797$3.99Marvel3/7/18
5Infinity Countdown #1$4.99Marvel3/7/18
6Daredevil #600$5.99Marvel3/28/18
7Mighty Thor #705$3.99Marvel3/21/18
8Walking Dead #177$3.99Image3/7/18
9Batman: White Knight #6$3.99DC3/7/18
10Oblivion Song By Kirkman & De Felici #1$3.99Image3/7/18

I'm not going to include dates on graphic novels as the chart often includes older books, but this month's top seller in both units and dollars was new: Walking Dead Vol. 29: Lines We Cross. The Green Lantern: Earth One hardcover had also gotten some reorder play, and was the top reordered hardcover last week. The chart by units:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Walking Dead Vol. 29: Lines We Cross$16.99Image
2Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1 HC$24.99DC
3The Flash Vol. 5: Negative$14.99DC
4Super Sons Vol. 2: Planet of The Capes$14.99DC
5Realm Vol. 1$9.99Image
6Black Science Vol. 7: Extinction Is The Rule$16.99Image
7Invincible Vol. 25: The End of All Things Part 2$16.99Image
8Batman & Harley Quinn HC$24.99DC
9Port of Earth Vol. 1$9.99Image
10Saga Vol. 8$14.99Image

The same chart sorted by dollars finds a regular reorder champ, the $500 Infinity Gauntlet Slipcase Set, in second, followed by a lot of hundred-dollar hardcovers. One thing I haven't explored is just how much retailer cash flow is being absorbed each month by these prestige items, as opposed to in previous years; that might be interesting.

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1The Walking Dead Vol. 29: Lines We Cross$16.99Image
2Infinity Gauntlet Box HC Slipcase Set$500.00Marvel
3Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1 HC$24.99DC
4Avengers Omnibus Vol. 3 HC$100.00Marvel
5Kamandi By Jack Kirby Omnibus HC$125.00DC
6Justice League of America: The Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2 HC$125.00DC
7Daredevil By Waid & Samnee Omnibus Vol. 2 HC$100.00Marvel
8Absolute WildCA.T.S By Jim Lee HC$125.00DC
9Marvel Masterworks: Marvel Two In One Vol. 3 HC$75.00Marvel
10Batman & Harley Quinn HC$24.99DC

Finally, the number of new releases, which, as discussed above, was down quite a bit across the board:

PublisherComics
shipped
Graphic
Novels
shipped
Magazines
shipped
Total
shipped
DC
84
35
0
119
Marvel
81
33
0
114
Image
57
13
0
70
IDW
40
18
0
58
Boom
25
9
0
34
Dark Horse
12
14
0
26
Dynamite
15
8
0
23
Valiant
7
3
0
10
Viz
0
9
0
9
Oni
4
4
0
8
Other
113
135
11
259

TOTAL 

SHIPPED
438
281
11
730

The final order estimates will be posted early next week, and will appear on this page. Set your bookmark now, and check again on Monday!

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: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion OffensiveStar 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.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

How Action #1000's reported 500k copies, DC Nation #0's million might rank among century's top comics

by John Jackson Miller

 Find Action Comics #1000 at TFAWComicsBeat's Heidi MacDonald reports from the Diamond Comic Distributors Retail Summit at C2E2 this afternoon that DC has announced that more than 500,000 copies of Action Comics #1000 have been ordered.  The issue, with ten variant covers, celebrates the second title in North American comics to make the 1,000th copy mark, surpassed only by Dell's Four Color Comics, which was a catchall title with rotating features (See other long-running series.)

It's unclear whether that's a final figure — the Final Order Cutoff on that April 18-shipping anniversary issue was March 19, according to Diamond's retailer site — but regardless, it would rank among the top comics in unit sales this century.

Exactly where it would rank will depend partially on what portion of the orders are bound for North America. As our Top Comics of the 21st Century chart shows, ten comics since 2000 have seen more than 400,000 copies shipped — though we cannot account for multiple reprints of Ultimate Spider-Man at the beginning of the century, which happens to also be by Brian Michael Bendis, whose DC run the Action issue begins.


It will be noted that four of the top sellers had significant additional sales via Loot Crate; 2015's Star Wars #1 would likely still rank as #1 without those copies, but the other three wouldn't be in the Top 10 at all. If DC's 500,000 copies were to, say, include 50,000 for markets outside North America, it would land right at sixth place — but that would really be closer to fifth place, excising the Loot Crate books.

 Find DC Nation 0 at TFAW
The books in the chart continued to have sales, of course, via reorders, so it's likely wherever it would lad after April would not be the final destination. But those are the targets in the record books at the moment.

Perhaps more important for retailers is that the issue is priced at $7.99, which is obviously higher than anything on the list above. Something like $4 million at full retail would put it above everything but Star Wars #1 in dollar terms — and given how many of its copies went through Loot Crate for a nominal price, if anything, the Action issue might already well be past it in actual dollars realized. Comichron has an April 2018 page online already, showing other activity relating to issues shipping in the month.

MacDonald reports that DC also announced that DC had taken orders for more than 1 million copies of
DC Nation #0, a 25-cent publication available May 2.  Diamond does not report comics below $1 in its charts, and we do not consider them in our overall rankings — but those copies will absolutely be reflected in the unit sales market shares and percentage change numbers overall in May. For perspective, the 25¢ Walking Dead from last year reportedly had orders topping three-quarters of a million copies; this would clearly top that. (We have a May 2018 page online as well.)

One thing most of 2017 suffered from was a lack of prominent comics which created positive headlines; 2018 seems to be getting a few already. (Update: One of those books will be Amazing Spider-Man #800 in May; Marvel announced after DC's presentation that the issue had orders topping 300,000 copies, with time yet to go. Never before have two comics priced above $6 — much less priced near $8 — led the market, but it's quite possible. See other top sellers since 1996 here.) It'll be interesting to see how much impact they might have on the rest of the market.

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: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion OffensiveStar 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.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Thanos, Green Lantern Earth One, Spider-Man #798 top reorders as March winds down

by John Jackson Miller

Find this issue on TFAW
In advance of the March sales charts, the final reorders and advance reorders placed with Diamond Comic Distributors during the month were released today. Let's look first at how the books already in stores fared, and move on to the future:

TOP REORDERED ITEMS for Mar. 26-Apr. 1, 2018 (in invoiced dollars)

These are items that have already shipped, but have been receiving additional orders from retailers. In most cases below, the items are in stock and so the orders are being filled; occasionally items are back-ordered, so their reorders will enter into the channel once they become available.

These are ranked by invoiced dollars, so retailers' discounts have already applied to the totals before ranking.

As noted last week, the $500 Marvel Infinity Gauntlet Box Hardcover Slipcase Set was reported as out of stock at Diamond, ending its reign over these charts — but the Infinity Gauntlet trade paperback was once again the top reordered softcover, as well as being the top reordered item by dollars overall.

 See listings for this issue on eBay
The top hardcover was the second-place one from last week, DC's Green Lantern Earth One Vol. 1. It was released March 14.

The top reordered comic book is one we've seen before in the advance reorder charts: Amazing Spider-Man #798, which went on sale today. This is the first time since we began running these charts last fall that the top reordered comic book was shipping the same week the reorder chart was released.

The Artgerm variant of Mighty Thor #705 was the top reordered March comic book; it went on sale March 21. That's another one we saw in the advance reorder charts. Previously Image's Oblivion Song #1 had topped March-shipping reordered for three weeks; it still made the chart.

The links in the table go to the Diamond information pages for each book.


Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Infinity Gauntlet TPB$24.99 Marvel
2Green Lantern Earth One HC Vol. 1$24.99 DC
3Amazing Spider-Man #798$3.99 Marvel
4Infinity TPB$49.99 Marvel
5Green Lantern The Silver Age Omnibus HC Vol. 2$125.00 DC
6Jack Kirbys Fourth World Omnibus HC$150.00 DC
7Saga TPB Vol. 8$14.99 Image
8Avengers Omnibus HC Vol. 3 Davis Var$100.00 Marvel
9Infinity War TPB$29.99 Marvel
10Mighty Thor #705 Artgerm Var$3.99 Marvel
11Marvel Masterworks Daredevil HC Vol. 1 New Ptg$49.99 Marvel
12Black Panther TPB Book 1 Nation Under Our Feet$16.99 Marvel
13Neil Gaiman American Gods HC Vol. 1 Shadows$29.99 Dark Horse
14Justice League of America Bronze Age Omnibus HC Vol. 2$125.00 DC
15Oblivion Song by Kirkman & De Felici #1$3.99 Image
16Mighty Thor #705 Leg$3.99 Marvel
17Weapon H #1 Leg$4.99 Marvel
18Batman #43$2.99 DC
19Absolute Wildcats by Jim Lee HC$125.00 DC
20Saga TPB Vol. 1$9.99 Image
21Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess Vol. 1$9.99 Viz
22Rick & Morty TPB Vol. 1$19.99 Oni
23Ross Andru Amazing Spider-Man Artist Ed HC$125.00 IDW
24Saga TPB Vol. 2$14.99 Image
25Batman TPB Vol. 4 The War of Jokes & Riddles$19.99 DC

And now on to the future...

TOP ADVANCE REORDERED ITEMS 
 for Mar. 26-Apr. 1, 2018 (in full retail dollars)

 Find this book at TFAWThese are items that have not yet shipped, but for which the Final Order Deadlines have passed. 
These reorders, if books are available to fill them, may or may not land in the same shipping month as the books' release weeks, so a book's presence on this chart can mean that an item might make a repeat appearance in Diamond's monthly top-seller charts.

Seventeen slots for Marvel in the Top 25 this week. The top comic book in advance reorders was was the Deodato variant of Marvel's Thanos Annual #1, which goes on sale April 25. It's seen at the top of this post. The regular edition placed fifth.


The 88-page J. Scott Campbell Danger Girl 20th Anniversary Edition from IDW probably qualifies as a trade paperback; if so, it was the top advance-reordered one. It goes on sale April 25. No hardcovers this time out in the chart.

This chart is ranked by full retail dollars and not units, or wholesale dollars.

Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Thanos Annual #1 Deodato Var$4.99 Marvel
2Hunt For Wolverine #1$5.99 Marvel
3Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 2018 Annual #1 Sg$7.99 Boom
4Thanos #17 Shaw 2nd Ptg Var$3.99 Marvel
5Thanos Annual #1$4.99 Marvel
6Redneck #12 Cvr B April Fools Var$3.99 Image
7Rick & Morty #37 Cvr B Vasquez Var$3.99 Oni
8Hunt For Wolverine #1 Kubert Teaser Var$5.99 Marvel
9Mighty Thor #706 Leg$3.99 Marvel
10Hit-Girl #3 Cvr C Hamner$3.99 Image
11Avengers #684 Bennett 2nd Ptg Var Banner Hulk Returns$4.99 Marvel
12Hunt For Wolverine #1 Checchetto Young Guns Var$5.99 Marvel
13Suicide Squad #40 Var Ed$2.99 DC
14Avengers #690 Leg$3.99 Marvel
15J Scott Campbell Danger Girl 20th Anniv$9.99 IDW
16Hunt For Wolverine #1 Blank Var$5.99 Marvel
17Star Wars Darth Vader #15$3.99 Marvel
18Doctor Strange Damnation #4 Tarnation Var Leg$4.99 Marvel
19Venomized #4$3.99 Marvel
20Ice Cream Man #4 Cvr C Virgin Cvr$3.99 Image
21X-Men Red #2 Asrar 2nd Ptg Var$3.99 Marvel
22Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #25 (2nd Ptg)$4.99 Boom
23Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #30$3.99 Marvel
24Venom #165 Deodato Var Leg$3.99 Marvel
25Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #303 Venom 30th Var$3.99 Marvel

We've seen enough reorders and advance from the past few weeks from Diamond Comic Distributors to be able to collate some information onto pages for March 2018April 2018, and May 2018. Check them out for a further glance at the future.

Be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.
Next Previous Home
 

Copyright © John Jackson Miller. Original template design by Free Website Templates. Privacy policy.

Comichron is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

When you click on links to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the eBay Partner Network.

Images used for identification are © their respective owners.