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John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Comics up 15% in 2012, Walking Dead tops comic, GN charts

by John Jackson Miller
In advance of the larger releases of its December and 2012 year-end sales tables, Diamond Comic Distributors has released a sneak peek at the topline figures for the year.

Comic shop orders for comic books and graphic novels reportedly increased by 14.72% over 2011. This would bring the year in at nearly $475 million — in line with previous estimates here at Comichron — and an increase of more than $60 million for the year. Note that this figure does not include comics and graphic novels sold through bookstore and newsstand channels, which adds another $200 million or so — nor does it include digital sales, which are reported to be in excess of $75 million this year.

The monthly reports for 2012 can be found here, and previous years for comparison can be found here.

The aggregate change figures:

YEAR 2012 VS. YEAR 2011
COMICS +14.94% +11.41%
GRAPHIC NOVELS +14.26% +13.66%
TOTAL COMICS/GN +14.72% +11.58%

The market shares:

Marvel 34.06%
DC 31.94%
Image 7.31%
IDW 5.57%
Dark Horse 4.81%
Dynamite (Dynamic Forces) 3.11%
Boom 1.53%
Eaglemoss 1.15%
Viz 0.93%
Avatar 0.89%
Other 8.70%

Marvel 37.59%
DC 36.75%
Image 6.60%
IDW 4.36%
Dark Horse 3.80%
Dynamite (Dynamic Forces) 3.00%
Boom 1.53%
Zenescope 0.74%
Avatar 0.73%
Archie 0.69%
Other 4.22%

The top-selling comic books of the year found Image's Walking Dead #1 in the top position, with Marvel titles taking the other nine slots. The list includes December's Amazing Spider-Man #700 and Avengers #1:  

1 Walking Dead #100 $3.99 Image
2 Uncanny Avengers #1 $3.99 Marvel
3 Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 $3.99 Marvel
4 Amazing Spider-Man #700 $7.99 Marvel
5 Avengers Vs. X-Men #2 $3.99 Marvel
6 Avengers Vs. X-Men #6 $3.99 Marvel
7 Avengers Vs. X-Men #5 $3.99 Marvel
8 Avengers Vs. X-Men #3 $3.99 Marvel
9 Avengers Vs. X-Men #4 $3.99 Marvel
10 Avengers #1 $3.99 Marvel

The top-selling collected editions and graphic novels of the year:

1 Walking Dead Vol. 1 Days Gone Bye $9.99 Image
2 Walking Dead Vol. 2 Miles Behind Us $14.99 Image
3 Batman Earth One HC $22.99 DC 
4 Walking Dead Vol. 16 A Larger World $14.99 Image
5 Walking Dead Vol. 3 Safety Behind Bars $14.99 Image
6 Walking Dead Vol. 17 Something to Fear $14.99 Image
7 Walking Dead Vol. 4 Hearts Desire $14.99 Image
8 Batman HC Vol. 1 The Court of Owls $24.99 DC 
9 Walking Dead Vol. 15 We Find Ourselves $14.99 Image
10 League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III Century #3 2009 $9.95 Top Shelf

This is the third year in a row that the first volume of Walking Dead has been the #1 graphic novel or collected edition; it was the fifth-place item in 2009, rising to the top spot in 2010 and 2011. 

Walking Dead managed the unusual feat, as well, of topping both the comics and graphic novel lists in the same year.

More information will appear later this week as Diamond releases it. 

Follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook to get our latest estimates as they become available.
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