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More than 192,500 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.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Justice League, Batman, Venom lead reorders; first Local Comic Shop Day items appear

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this book at TFAW
The Jim Lee/Scott Williams variant of Justice League #7 was the top reordered comic in last week in a Diamond chart laden with hardcover releases. Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale's Batman Omnibus was the top reordered item by invoiced dollars.

Marvel's top reordered book comic was Old Man Logan Annual #1. Click to see the reorder charts for September 2018.

Venom #7 was the top advance-reordered October comic.

We're starting to see Local Comic Shop Day advance reorders; it's on Nov. 17 this year. The top advance reordered item by dollars last week was a black-and-white LCSD variant of the Brave and Bold Batman/Wonder Woman hardcover.

Click to see our advance reorder charts for the month of October 2018.

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Monday, September 17, 2018

August 2018 comics sales estimates online: Fantastic Four #1 moves 369,000 copies

by John Jackson Miller

Marvel's First Family returned in August, with nearly 369,000 copies of Fantastic Four #1 shipping to retailers in the United States and Canada. Click to see our comics sales estimates for August 2018.

As reported here on Friday, August was a fourth growth month out of five, despite a dearth of new comics releases. Comics dollar sales were up 5% and units were down 5% in a five-week month that saw 11% fewer new comics released than the same month in the previous year. August 2017 was one of the most disappointing months of the comics recession that year, so a rebound was welcome. Graphic novels were also up, thanks to significant deep-discount sales; it was just the second month both comics and graphic novels were up since 2016.

Marvel's Fresh Start relaunch mostly past, the month saw only three comics selling over 100,000 copies. But DC saw a strong launch for Sandman Universe #1, placing third in dollars and sixth in units with more than 83,500 copies shipped to the United States and Canada, a large number for a Vertigo launch.

The average cover price of comics in the Top 300 set a new record, $4.12; the previous record had been set in June 2017. Click to see monthly cover prices across time, and also all of our Diamond Exclusive Era records.

Batman #50 did not chart again, despite having led the comics reorder charts twice in July. The comic book was made retroactively returnable. You can see the year-to-date bestsellers here; we've doubled the length of both the comics and graphic novel charts to 200 items each.

The first two-thirds of the year closed down 1.1%, but prospects for a slight year-over-year improvement remain good.

The vital statistics:

Friday, September 14, 2018

Fantastic Four #1 leads August 2018 comics sales; market up 4%, Marvel up 22%

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this issue at TFAW
2017 truly was the summer of our discontent. The June-July-August stretch saw the worst year-over-year declines of any three month stretch in two decades, and August itself was down dramatically, despite a huge number of new comics releases. Marvel's Secret Empire was ending, with multiple series wrapping up in advance of the publisher's fall Legacy event; DC's sales were down dramatically against the huge Rebirth launch sales of 2016.

Given the improvement seen so far this year, it would have been remarkable if August 2018 comics and graphic novel orders didn't beat those from the previous year — and indeed, they did, up 4% with dollar sales increases for both comics and graphic novels. Comics shops in the United States and Canada ordered $47.7 million in comics, graphic novels, and magazines in the month; the year-to-date total stands at $343.8 million, just 1% off last year. Click to visit our page for August 2018 comics sales estimates; the figures will be posted there on Monday.

What is remarkable is that retailer dollar orders beat the previous August despite many fewer releases. While both Augusts had five shipping weeks, exactly 60 fewer new comic books were offered to market last month versus in August 2017, and slightly fewer graphic novels. That's a reduction in the new comic book slate of 11%; there were even fewer new comics released than in July, which had one less shipping week. That reduction in offerings, plus DC's higher prices this year, explains why new comics unit sales were up 5% while comics unit sales were down 5%. Remember, most new current product slates would have gone into development late last year, when prospects were a lot worse; belt-tightening on the number of new releases now is likely at least in part an echo of what happened then.

The comics that were released, however, sold relatively better in the aggregate — led by Fantastic Four #1, the top seller for the month. That comic book, along with significant discount offerings on many graphic novels, helped Marvel to a month that was up 22% in dollars over the previous August, a rate of increase that was five times better than the market as a whole and a pace matched among top-ten publishers only by Boom. Marvel represented $19.5 million of the $47.7 million worth of comic books and graphic novels retailers ordered in the month; that's actually it's best August performance in the Diamond Exclusive Era, though that neither accounts for inflation nor the number of shipping weeks in the month. (In some stronger recent years, August only had four ship weeks.)

Our preliminary video for the month is below:

Just as Marvel accounted for the entire loss in the early period of the comics recession in 2017, in August 2018 Marvel's gains were enough to account for the entire increase. DC and Dark Horse were slightly up, with other publishers down. If the recovery follows the 2017 path, we'd expect to see improvements at Marvel and then DC flowing outward to the other publishers.

The comparative sales statistics:

August 2018 vs. July 2018
Graphic Novels+33.98%+28.57%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+6.88%-3.97%
August 2018 vs. August 2017
Graphic Novels+2.91%+1.44%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+4.37%-4.71%
Year-To-Date 2018 vs. Year-To-Date 2017
Graphic Novels-6.73%-8.83%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels-1.10%-6.95%

The market shares:

PublisherDollar ShareUnit Share
Dark Horse3.05%2.37%

The top-selling comics by units:

1Fantastic Four #1$5.99Marvel
2Infinity Wars #1$5.99Marvel
3Batman #52$3.99DC
4Batman #53$3.99DC
5Amazing Spider-Man #3$3.99Marvel
6Sandman Universe #1$4.99DC
7Amazing Spider-Man #4$3.99Marvel
8Superman #2$3.99DC
9Justice League #5$3.99DC
10Justice League #6$3.99DC

The top-selling comics by dollars:

1Fantastic Four #1$5.99Marvel
2Infinity Wars #1$5.99Marvel
3Sandman Universe #1$4.99DC
4Batman #52$3.99DC
5Punisher #1$4.99Marvel
6Batman #53$3.99DC
7Amazing Spider-Man #3$3.99Marvel
8Infinity Wars #2$4.99Marvel
9Amazing Spider-Man #4$3.99Marvel
10Venom: First Host #1$3.99Marvel

 Find this book at TFAW
Graphic novels, led in units by Dark Horse's Legend of Korra Vol. 3: Turf Wars Part 3 and in dollars by Punisher Max by Garth Ennis Omnibus Vol. 2, were up 3% in dollars; this is the just the second time since August 2016 that both new comics and graphic novel dollar sales were up (the other time being April 2018).

DC Super-Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle
 placed second in units, while Infinity Gauntlet finally slipped out of the unit sales Top 10, though it did make the dollar charts.

We do expect to see significant deep-discounting in the final graphic novel data, given what's appeared in the reorder charts — but given how often in the last couple of years graphic novels were the weak point, it is a positive change. Remember, also, that the 3% increase are based on the number of dollars Diamond received, so monies paid in definitely did go up, even if some of the books went out at a steeper discount.

The top-selling graphic novels by units:

1Legend of Korra Volume 3: Turf Wars Pt 3$10.99Dark Horse
2DC Super Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle$9.99DC
3East Of West Volume 8$16.99Image
4Black Panther Book 1: A Nation Under Our Feet$16.99Marvel
5Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol. 1: Isn't It Bromantic?$17.99Marvel
6Rat Queens Vol. 5: Colossal Magic Nothing$16.99Image
7The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice$17.99DC
8Kill Or Be Killed Volume 4$16.99Image
9I Hate Fairyland Volume 4$16.99Image
10Sex Criminals Vol. 5: Five-Fingered Discount$16.99Image

The top-selling graphic novels by dollars:

1Punisher Max By Garth Ennis Omnibus Vol. 2 HC$100.00Marvel
2Jack Kirby: Marvel Heroes & Monsters Artist Edition$90.00IDW
3X-Men Revolution By Chris Claremont Omnibus HC$100.00Marvel
4Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection: Venom$39.99Marvel
5Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol. 1: Isn't It Bromantic?$17.99Marvel
6Black Panther Book 1: A Nation Under Our Feet$16.99Marvel
7The Flash Vol. 1: Lightning Strikes Twice$17.99DC
8X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga Omnibus HC$100.00Marvel
9Seven Soldiers By Grant Morrison Omnibus HC$75.00DC
10Infinity Gauntlet$24.99Marvel

Finally, the number of new items offered:

Dark Horse2321044

Lower unit sales of comics does appear to be the main discordant note in the report; when a five-month August's publishing slate of new comics is smaller than any month of the year since March, capitalize on improving conditions is a greater challenge. But even a flat September would yield a third quarter up 5%, making for two back-to-back increases. Prospects for the year ending slightly positive continue to improve. Click to see what we know about September sales so far.

Comichron founder John Jackson Miller has tracked the comics industry for 25 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: KenobiStar Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. Read more about them at his fiction site.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Catwoman leads first October comics reorders; early reorder traffic for Thanos OGN

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this issue on TFAW
The first advance reorders for October-shipping comics are out from Diamond Comic Distributors.

Last week's top title was Stanley Lau's variant of Catwoman #4. The issue has a ship date of Oct. 10.

The top Marvel was the new Magneto title, while November's Thanos original graphic novel topped hardcover reorders.

Our October sales chart preview is here.

Meanwhile, the final reorder piece of August's sales picture was released, with the Fantastic Four #1 Facsimile Edition as the top reordered comic book and the Batman Bronze Age Omnibus Vol. 2 leading hardcovers.

Our August reports appear here; shortly we'll have the sales charts for the month online. Stay tuned!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Heroes in Crisis leads advance reorders as August ends

by John Jackson Miller

 Find this issue on TFAW
DC's Heroes in Crisis #1 by Tom King and Clay Mann was the top advance-reordered comic book by retailers during the last week of August; a variant appeared in first place, with the main edition in third.

Second place was held by Die Die Die #3 from Image, with Marvel's Spider-Geddon #0 in fourth.

(Click to see our September-so-far charts.)

Meanwhile, Batman: Kings of Fear #1 was the top reorder in a week dominated by backlist graphic novel sales. The New 52 Zero Omnibus was the top hardcover.

Our August reorder data appears here.

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