Search for titles on Comichron!
Custom Search

More than 154,000 comic book and graphic novel circulation figures online!
Welcome to Comichron, a resource for comic book circulation data and other information gathered by
John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.

 

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.
- - -

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Next Previous Home

ebay 






 

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.