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


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Comics close 2013 up 9%; Image has best-selling comic, graphic novel of year

by John Jackson Miller
In advance of the larger releases of its December and 2013 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 in North America reportedly increased by 9.04% over 2012. It's a smaller increase than last year's 14.72% boost. It would bring the year in at more than $518 million — in line with previous estimates here at Comichron — and an increase of around $43 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 were reported to be in excess of $75 million in 2012 and would likely have been more in 2013.

Orders for comic books were up by 10.22% in dollars, while graphic novel orders were up by 6.5%. October's The Walking Dead #115 was the best-selling comic book of the year, with sales in excess of 300,000 copies — and, perhaps not coincidentally, it cost at least a dollar less than anything else on the top-ten list.


1 The Walking Dead #115 $2.99 Image
2 Justice League Of America #1 $3.99 DC
3 Superman Unchained #1 $4.99 DC
4 Guardians of the Galaxy #1 $3.99 Marvel
5 Superior Spider-Man #1 $3.99 Marvel
6 Infinity #1 $4.99 Marvel
7 X-Men #1 $3.99 Marvel
8 Age Of Ultron #1 $3.99 Marvel
9 Uncanny X-Men #1 $3.99 Marvel
10 Superman Unchained #2 $3.99 DC
Image also had the top-selling graphic novel in Saga Vol. 1 — again, priced quite a bit less than anything else in the Top 10. It unseated Walking Dead Vol. 1, which had led the list for three years running; that book still placed second. Image had seven out of ten entries on the list.


1 Saga Volume 1 $9.99  Image
2 The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye $14.99  Image
3 Saga Volume 2 $14.99  Image
4 The Walking Dead Volume 18: What Comes After $14.99  Image
5 The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us $14.99  Image
6 The Walking Dead Volume 19: March To War $14.99  Image
7 Hawkeye Volume 1: My Life As Weapon $16.99  Marvel
8 Batman Volume 1: The Court Of Owls $16.99  DC
9 Batman: The Killing Joke Special Edition HC $17.99  DC
10 The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars $14.99  Image

Marvel led the publishers list in both dollar and market shares, and the dollar rankings were identical to 2012's list, with the exception of Valiant replacing Viz at ninth:

Marvel Comics 36.97% 33.50%
DC Entertainment 33.35% 30.33%
Image Comics 8.49% 8.00%
IDW Publishing 5.10% 6.47%
Dark Horse Comics 4.50% 5.17%
Dynamite Entertainment 2.59% 2.72%
Boom! Studios 1.92% 1.99%
Eaglemoss Publications 0.26% 1.25%
Valiant Entertainment 1.06% 0.98%
Avatar Press 0.74% 0.89%
Other Non-Top 10 5.02% 8.70%

The monthly reports for 2013 can be found here, and previous years for comparison can be found here.

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