More than 148,400 comic book and graphic novel sales figures online!
Welcome to Comichron, a resource for comic book circulation and other data gathered by
John Jackson Miller and other pop culture archaeologists interested in comics history.
Just added! Comics sales estimates for September 2017!
November 13th, 2017
legacy numberings (as well as the creation of several legacy titles through the cobbling-together of multiple miniseries) as part of its Legacy event. The promotion, which required retailers to meet certain thresholds to order special lenticular covers, helped Marvel and the Direct Market's orders increase 5% over September, but paled in comparison to sales from the previous October, the Rebirth-driven second-strongest month of 2016. Click to see comics order estimates for October 2017.
Many fewer new comics were released this October versus the year before, however: 484, down 8% or 52 comics from the year previous. Perhaps owing to Legacy, Marvel's release slate was its smallest in a long time; Marvel released 81 new comic books, its fewest since February 2016 and eight fewer than it released last October. The 7.62 million comic books retailers ordered, while nearly identical to orders from the previous two months, was off 21% from 2016's overstuffed October; that shortfall likely drops to 18% with the Loot Crate book from that month removed. Marvel's Thor #700 was its top seller, in advance of the release of the popular film, Thor: Ragnarok.
Dark Nights: Metal #3 (with North American shipments of 158,700 copies) and various Batman specials — dominated the top 10; orders continued to come in for Dark Nights: Metal #1, bringing it above 271,000 copies. It remains second on the list of top-sellers for 2017. While the Marvel Legacy lenticular covers were priced identically with their normal counterparts and thus combined in rankings by Diamond, two DC issues had different prices and were not. With orders fused, Action Comics #989 and #990 would have placed 9th and 12th respectively.
Mister Miracle, one of September's most heavily reordered books, saw orders off very slightly from its second to third issue.
Image saw its dollar market share climb above 11% thanks to strong performances in the graphic novel category; the Here's Negan hardcover alone had first-month North American orders above 19,300 copies, with a full retail dollar value of nearly $400,000. (Edit: An errant decimal point resulted in an earlier incorrect headline.) Trade paperback and hardcover sales to retailers overall were up slightly over the previous year.
The vital statistics for the month:
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November 10th, 2017
Earlier this week in advance of the release of the Diamond Comic Distributors preliminary sales report for October 2017, I tweeted that the same month last year would be very hard to beat, even with Marvel's Legacy event and DC's Dark Multiverse storyline underway. The second best month of 2016 in the Direct Market, October 2016 had a huge number of new releases: 536 new comics, the most all year, many of which were double-shipped Rebirth issues. And it was further assisted on the unit sales side by several hundred thousand copies of Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1 which went to Loot Crate; it was the largest number of copies Diamond shipped of any comic book all year.
September 2017, a month which also had four shipping weeks. The month's top seller was Dark Nights: Metal #3, with six other Batman releases making the Top 10; three Marvel Legacy issues rounded out the top 10, including the second-place Thor #700.
Comichron calculates that retailers ordered $45.58 million in print material at full retail, $2 million more than September and almost tying the total from this August, which had an extra shipping week. While both were down versus last October, Marvel and DC sold retailers more dollars worth of merchandise this October than they did in September — and Image continued to outpace the market, beating its year-ago total by 8% and climbing to an 11.46% market share.
Speaking of Image, a positive sign was to be found in Diamond's graphic novel sales to comics shops, which managed to beat their pace from the same month a year ago by more than 2%. That's the first graphic novel year-over-year win since May, the only other month this year in which that happened. Image had six of the top ten graphic novels, including the top-selling Walking Dead: Here's Negan hardcover. The number of new graphic novels that shipped this October is the same as last October: 345.
The aggregate sales statistics:
|October 2017 Vs. September 2017|
|October 2017 Vs. October 2016|
|Year-To-Date 2017 Vs. Year-To-Date 2016|
The market shares:
|Publisher||Dollar Share||Unit Share|
The top-selling comics:
|1||Dark Nights: Metal #3||$3.99||DC|
|2||The Mighty Thor #700||$5.99||Marvel|
|3||Amazing Spider-Man #789||$3.99||Marvel|
|6||The Despicable Deadpool #287||$3.99||Marvel|
|7||Batman: The Drowned #1||$3.99||DC|
|8||Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1||$3.99||DC|
|9||Batman: The Merciless #1||$3.99||DC|
|10||Batman: White Knight #1||$3.99||DC|
The top-selling graphic novels:
|1||The Walking Dead: Here's Negan HC||19.99||Image|
|2||Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition HC||$19.99||DC|
|3||Seven To Eternity Volume 2||$16.99||Image|
|4||Rat Queens Volume 4: High Fantasies||$14.99||Image|
|5||Super Sons Volume 1: When I Grow Up||$12.99||DC|
|6||I Hate Fairyland Volume 3: Good Girl||$16.99||Image|
|7||Redneck Vol 01 Deep In The Heart||$16.99||Image|
|8||Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel||$17.99||Marvel|
|9||Batman: Detective Comics Volume 3: League||$19.99||DC|
|10||Low Vol. 4: Outer Aspects Of Inner Attitudes||$16.99||Image|
The number of new releases per publisher:
|Publisher||Comics shipped||Graphic Novels shipped||Magazines||Total shipped|
While October starts the fourth quarter out behind the same period last year, last October was the market's last peak month, in a sense; eleven out of the next twelve months would see declines. The comparatives get easier from here; there's a good chance that the overall year could end up only off in the single digits. That's not great news, but it would represent a boost over the worst point of the year, and would keep the Direct market ahead of the recession-year 10% drop seen in 2009.
As I noted in the Off Panel podcast which released earlier this week, perspective means a great deal to interpreting the market's position; while Star Wars' return to Marvel and Rebirth posed tough comparatives for 2016 and 2017 respectively, it's worth remembering that through October, the Direct Market is up 29.2%, or nearly $100 million, over its position at the same point of 2011, the year the New 52 helped re-energize sales. Dollar volumes this September and October, in fact, roundly beat those from the first two New 52 months — and while inflation plays a role, it does not account for all of the increases.
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: Kenobi, Overdraft: The Orion Offensive, Star Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. His new Last Jedi prequel hardcover, Star Wars: Canto Bight, releases December 5. Read more at his fiction site.
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November 7th, 2017
It's a bit of a complicated series to report on because it's actually under two different postal licenses: the 2000-2009 series was rebooted with a new #1 and a new license. But the rebooted series resumed the original's numbering with #150. There don't seem to be any reports on the third series by that name, nor the Marvel Universe-branded title.
Another unusual element is that Ultimate Spider-Man #1 has many reprints, and those appear to have impacted the first year's report; Marvel's reported sales for average issues in the year are far, far higher than anything anyone else was doing in comics at the time. It's possible to compare those sales, which include most channels, with just the sales to the Direct Market beginning with the first issue in September 2000; remember, however, that in that era reorders were not reported, so you won't see the very large traffic in reprints that followed.
November 6th, 2017
It's a wide-ranging discussion, looking at the difference between distributor shipment figures and overall sales, touching on comic book variants and how they've changed over the years, and getting into the importance of having circulation figures to both retailers and the aftermarket. There's also some discussion of current market conditions — and many references to baseball statistics!
October 9th, 2017
That makes it the top-seller of 2017 thus far, beating out last month's new leader, Dark Nights: Metal #1; the second issue of that came in second place with nearly 150,000 copies shipped. It seems positive that we're getting new entries atop the top-sellers for 2017 list; again, better than the alternative. It'll be interesting to see how Legacy shakes up that list in October once the event is fully underway.
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