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Friday, July 8, 2016

Civil War II, DC Rebirth propel $58.6 million June, best month in 20+ years

by John Jackson Miller
The dual releases of Civil War II from Marvel and many of DC's Rebirth titles drove comic shop retailers to order a modern record $58.59 million in comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in June 2016, according to Comichron's analysis of charts released today by Diamond Comic Distributors. The single month's orders nearly eclipsed last June's by nearly $10 million and nearly erased the Direct Market's losses to date through 2016. Comics shop market orders for the year stand at about $280 million, versus $282 million in the first half of 2015.

Marvel's Civil War II #1 led the new comics charts, and by the increase in comics unit sales this month — nearly 20% — we can expect that a large number, if not all, of the top 10 titles may wind up over 100,000 copies. By placing ahead of DC's Batman #1 at $2.99, the $5.99 60-page Civil War II issue is further expected to bring in more than twice the revenue.

The month beat the previous Diamond Exclusive Era record-holder, April 2015, by nearly $2 million. The aggregate sales figures for the month show a 23% increase in comics dollars and a 14% increase in graphic novel dollars, netting out to a 20% increase overall:

June 2016 vs. May 2016
Comics 34.90% 37.59%
Graphic Novels 25.16% 49.68%
Total Comics/GN 31.77% 38.59%
June 2016 vs. June 2015
Comics 23.06% 19.75%
Graphic Novels 14.37% 17.55%
Total Comics/GN 20.26% 19.55%
Year-To-Date 2016 vs. Year-To-Date 2015
Comics -3.84% -8.38%
Graphic Novels 6.58% 6.30%
Total Comics/GN -0.73% -7.26%
Second Quarter 2016 vs. First Quarter 2016
Comics 18.04% 18.05%
Graphic Novels 12.48% 17.06%
Total Comics/GN 16.22% 17.96%
Second Quarter 2016 vs. Second Quarter 2015
Comics -4.21% -7.71%
Graphic Novels 1.69% 0.80%
Total Comics/GN -2.42% -7.02%
The first quarter of the year was slightly up; the second quarter slightly down, due to weakness in April and May. This June had five shipping weeks versus four last June, and the first half of the year had 26 Wednesdays as opposed to 25 in the first half of 2015.

But while the number of releases in June 2016 was way up — 536 new comics versus 453 last June — the number of comics shipping per week dropped 5%, so it's not all about the volume. The second quarter of 2015 was very strong, as was last June; the third quarter last year was weaker. Leading into this year's third quarter with momentum, thus, may bode well for the rest of 2016's comparatives.

The top-sellers charts for comics and graphic novels show a number of reasons why this June performed so well. Two Civil War II issues, but also dual Batman relaunches, a Dark Knight III issue, and a Star Wars launch were in the mix. And Image had a new Saga edition out, topping the graphic novel charts.

Comic Book Price Publisher
1 Civil War II #1 $5.99 Marvel
2 Batman #1* $2.99 DC
3 Batman Rebirth #1* $2.99 DC
4 Star Wars: Han Solo #1 $3.99 Marvel
5 Civil War II #2 $4.99 Marvel
6 Dark Knight III: The Master Race #5 $5.99 DC
7 Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade #1 $6.99 DC
8 Superman Rebirth #1* $2.99 DC
9 Wonder Woman #1* $2.99 DC
10 Superman #1* $2.99 DC
Graphic Novel Price Publisher
1 Saga Volume 6 $14.99 Image
2 Dark Night: A True Batman Story HC $22.99 DC
3 Sex Criminals Vol. 3: Three The Hard Way $14.99 Image
4 DC Super Hero Girls Vol. 1: Finals Crisis $9.99 DC
5 Color Your Own Young Marvel By Skottie Young $9.99 Marvel
6 Batman: The Killing Joke Special Edition HC $17.99 DC
7 Preacher Book 1 $19.99 DC
8 Outcast By Kirkman & Azaceta Vol. 3: Little Light $14.99 Image
9 Harley Quinn Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab $16.99 DC
10 Neil Gaiman's How To Talk To Girls At Parties HC $17.99 Dark Horse

Asterisks by the DC books mean that their rankings were adjusted for potential returns, meaning that the ultimate sales positions could be higher.

As noted, the volume of releases went up quite a bit this month, ending shy of record levels but showing Marvel with 112 new comic books, its highest figure in several years:

Publisher Comics shipped Graphic Novels shipped Magazines shipped Total shipped
Marvel 112 42 0 154
DC 69 30 1 100
IDW 56 27 0 83
Image 57 16 1 74
Dark Horse 23 25 0 48
Boom 24 9 0 33
Titan 23 6 3 32
Dynamite 22 4 0 26
Viz 0 23 0 23
Valiant 9 3 0 12
Other 141 149 29 319
TOTAL 536 334 34 904

Finally, the market shares found Marvel at almost exactly 40% of the market and DC at almost exactly 30%:

Dollar share Unit share
Marvel 40.08% 44.17%
DC 29.93% 31.69%
Image 7.88% 7.64%
IDW 5.22% 4.15%
Dark Horse 2.81% 1.76%
Boom 2.23% 2.18%
Dynamite 1.45% 1.17%
Titan 1.09% 1.07%
Viz 0.97% 0.34%
Valiant 0.75% 0.84%
Other 7.58% 5.00%
Detailed estimates will be out on Monday.

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 several novels including Star Wars: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, and Star Wars: A New Dawn, now available in paperback. His trilogy for 2016, Star Trek: Prey, ships in consecutive months in September, October, and November.

Visit his fiction site at And be sure to follow Comichron on Twitter and Facebook.
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