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

 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Batman's 80th birthday, Detective #1000 power big March, up 13%; DC takes top 6 slots

by John Jackson Miller


 Find this issue at TFAW!
It makes sense to announce good news when everyone is watching the industry — and with Avengers: Endgame hitting theaters, that's just what Diamond Comic Distributors did by releasing its preliminary March sales charts this morning. The Top 10s are below; the full estimates will appear here on Monday.

To no one's surprise, Batman's 80th anniversary gave comics shop market orders a boost; retailers ordered more than $43.5 million in comic books, graphic novels, and magazines, 13% more than they did in March 2018.

That March, which also had four shipping weeks, was seen as a disappointment compared with the year prior; this March's sales were $5 million greater, and doubtless having Detective Comics #1000 and the Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman hardcover around made much of the difference.

The month completes a $123.2 million first quarter, up 8% over the same quarter in 2018; that makes three growth quarters out of four. Essentially bookended by April 2018's Action #1000 and March 2019's higher-priced Detective Comics #1000, the last 12 months stand at $525.3 million, up from $511 million in the same period prior, an increase of 3%. The business spent most of 2018 clawing back from a weak first quarter, so a solid winter is a good thing to have for 2019.

 Find this book at TFAW!
Retailers ordered at least 6.34 million new comic books in the month, down 3% versus the same month in the previous year. There were 477 new periodical releases, up 9% year-over-year. Once again, DC offered fewer new comics, 18 less than last March; once again, Marvel picked up the slack, releasing 18 more than its 2018 total. That fact combined with the high price on Detective #1000 to result in a month in which DC led dollar sales overall, while Marvel led unit sales.

DC published the six bestselling comics, and improved on its overall dollar sales by 32% over its performance in March 2019, while Marvel's dollar sales rose 8%.

Graphic novel dollar sales were up 6%, against hugely expanded output: 387 new books were released, an increase of 38% over the spare offerings of March 2018, when publishers saw relatively less from the previous year worth reprinting. Marvel's slate grew significantly, while Image went from 13 graphic novel releases to 27. By far the largest grouping of new titles, however, came from firms outside the Top Seven publishers; Monday's charts will give us a better idea who published them.

The comparative sales statistics:


DollarsUnits
March 2019 Vs. February 2019
Comics+26.89%+9.90%
Graphic Novels+21.20%+33.41%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+25.30%+11.52%
Toys-8.40%-10.17%
March 2019 Vs. March 2018
Comics+15.82%-3.32%
Graphic Novels+6.35%+17.77%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+13.10%-1.87%
Toys+4.67%+8.49%
Year-To-Date 2019 Vs. Year-To-Date 2018
Comics+8.51%-2.12%
Graphic Novels+5.46%+3.95%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+7.64%-1.68%
Toys+20.14%+29.77%
First Quarter 2019 Vs. Fourth Quarter 2018
Comics-4.89%-7.30%
Graphic Novels+0.40%+2.03%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels-3.46%-6.66%
Toys+14.61%+23.82%
First Quarter 2019 Vs. First Quarter 2018
Comics+8.51%-2.12%
Graphic Novels+5.46%+3.95%
Total Comics/Graphic Novels+7.64%-1.68%
Toys+20.14%+29.77%

The market shares:

PublisherDollar ShareUnit Share
DC36.20%34.00%
Marvel34.46%40.94%
Image9.63%9.36%
Dark Horse3.26%2.45%
IDW3.19%3.19%
Boom2.19%2.13%
Dynamite1.24%1.08%
Viz1.23%0.50%
Archie0.80%0.86%
Oni0.74%0.64%
Other7.07%4.85%

The top-selling comics by units:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Detective Comics #1000$9.99DC
2Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1$4.99DC
3Doomsday Clock #9$4.99DC
4Batman #67$3.99DC
5Batman #66$3.99DC
6Heroes In Crisis #7$3.99DC
7Amazing Spider-Man #17$4.99Marvel
8Amazing Spider-Man #18$3.99Marvel
9Spider-Man: City At War #1$3.99Marvel
10Justice League #20$3.99DC

The top-selling comics by dollars:

TOP COMIC BOOKS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Detective Comics #1000$9.99DC
2Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1$4.99DC
3Doomsday Clock #9$4.99DC
4Amazing Spider-Man #17$4.99Marvel
5Batman #67$3.99DC
6Spider-Man: City At War #1$3.99Marvel
7Batman #66$3.99DC
8Heroes In Crisis #7$3.99DC
9Amazing Spider-Man #18$3.99Marvel
10Spider-Man: Life Story #1$4.99Marvel

The top-selling graphic novels by units:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by units)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Walking Dead Vol. 31$16.99Image
2Detective Comics: 80 Years Of Batman HC$29.99DC
3Saga Vol. 1$9.99Image
4Monstress Volume 1$9.99Image
5Wicked &The Divine Vol. 8: Old Is The New New$17.99Image
6Seven To Eternity Vol. 3$16.99Image
7Batman Vol. 9: The Tyrant Wing$16.99DC
8Super Sons: The Polarshield Project$9.99DC
9Saga Vol. 9$14.99Image
10Mera: Tidebreaker$16.99DC

The top-selling graphic novels by dollars:

TOP GRAPHIC NOVELS (by dollars)PRICEPUBLISHER
1Detective Comics: 80 Years Of Batman HC$29.99DC
2Savage Sword Of Conan: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus Vol. 1 HC$125.00Marvel
3Walking Dead Vol. 31$16.99Image
4Avengers Omnibus Vol. 4 HC$100.00Marvel
5Thanos Wars: The Infinity Origin Omnibus HC$100.00Marvel
6Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1: X-Men Disassembled$39.99Marvel
7Dark Nights Metal: Dark Knights Rising$24.99DC
8Wicked & The Divine Vol. 8: Old Is The New New$17.99Image
9Earth X Trilogy Omnibus Omega HC$100.00Marvel
10Seven To Eternity Vol. 3$16.99Image

Finally, the number of new items offered:

PublisherComics
shipped
Graphic
Novels
shipped
Magazines
shipped
Total
shipped
Marvel99440143
DC66350101
Image6627093
Dark Horse2521046
IDW2910039
Boom2510035
Viz021021
Oni97016
Dynamite123015
Archie82010
Other13820717362
TOTAL47738717881

The estimated sales for all comics will appear here 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: KenobiStar Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy — and, releasing on July 30, Star Trek: Discovery - The Enterprise War. Read more about them at his fiction site.

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3 comments:

Unknown said...

DC's quality beats Marvels quantity in the dollar ranking. Is this a first?

John Jackson Miller said...

DC has beaten Marvel many times in both categories over the years; notably in August 2016 during Rebirth. (https://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2016/2016-08.html)

As to DC leading dollars while Marvel led units, that last happened in December 2017. Hasn't been a frequent occurrence lately, since DC's cover price was lower than Marvel's for several years. (https://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales/2017/2017-12.html)

Fracadactyl said...

Gotta admit the Dark Knight really knows how to capture people's attention. I wonder if that's why he has a better intro to Detective Comics in #1000: https://gutternaut.net/2019/04/detective-comics-1000-v-action-comics-1000/

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