Monthly Comics Sales > 1998

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1998 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Comics Shipped to North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

Dollar Preorders for Diamond's Top 300 Comics and
Top 25 Graphic Novels from each and every month from the year

around $226.49 million

 

A year that turned out to be a big loser, continuing a string of awful years for the Direct Market.

Light publisher offerings in January led to one of the weakest months to date in the direct-market era. One of the top books of the month didn't come out in January anyway: Darkness #11, with its eleven covers, shipped the last week of December. A lackluster February did little to dispel the reputation for winter as comics' "dead quarter." But in February, Diamond began reporting indexed sales figures for trade paperbacks for the first time, setting the stage for things to come. Danger Girl launched in March, a month that lagged well behind the previous year. 

April and May continued to be weak, but June's sales drops were down to single digits, generating (premature) hopes for industry recovery.

In July, Image's Fathom provided one of the strongest launches for an non-Big Two title in many months. Holographic covers on both X-Men titles helped provide some punch to dollar sales in August. September was unique in that DC ran its "DC One Million" promotion, in which the supposed millionth issues of each series appeared.

But any hopes for a recovery were dashed by October's weak sales. November was notable for the restarting of Amazing Spider-Man with Vol. 2, #1 — a numbering change that was later undone. In DecemberWitchblade/Tomb Raider briefly broke Uncanny X-Men's hold on the top spot in a year that closed down considerably.

The final rankings for all comics and trade paperbacks during the year appear below. Diamond Comic Distributors reported these issues without indexes allowing actual sales estimates to be calculated. You can find the first-month preorders for these issues in the monthly charts; click one of the months above or use the search tool at the top of the page to find the specific issue. But note that those monthly numbers do not include reorders for the entire year; the rankings below do take the entire year's sales into account.

Click to skip to the Top Graphic Novels for the year.

— John Jackson Miller


Listed are all items on Diamond's end-of-year chart. If you don't see a book, Diamond released no data for it.
The links lead to listings for each issue on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.

UnitsComic-book TitleIssuePricePublisher
1Fathom1$2.50Image
2Witchblade Tomb Raider1$2.95Image
3 Uncanny X-Men 353$1.99Marvel
4X-Men73$1.99Marvel
5X-Men75$2.99Marvel
6Uncanny X-Men356$1.99Marvel
7Battle Chasters4$2.50Marvel
8Uncanny X-Men355$1.99Marvel
9Uncanny X-Men Holo Cvr360$3.99Marvel
10Uncanny X-Men354$1.99Marvel
11Uncanny X-Men357$1.99Marvel
12X-Men74$1.99Marvel
13Uncanny X-Men362$1.99Marvel
14X-Men Holo Cover80$3.99Marvel
15X-Men76$1.99Marvel
16Uncanny X-Men361$1.99Marvel
17Avengers2$1.99Marvel
18 X-Men 85$1.99Marvel
19Uncanny X-Men359$1.99Marvel
20Spawn70$1.95Image
21Uncanny X-Men363$1.99Marvel
22Uncanny X-Men365$1.99Marvel
23Uncanny X-Men358$1.99Marvel
24Uncanny X-Men364$1.99Marvel
25X-Men77$1.99Marvel
26Thor1$2.99Marvel
27X-Men82$1.99Marvel
28X-Men84$1.99Marvel
29X-Men81$1.99Marvel
30X-Men83$1.99Marvel
31X-Men79$1.99Marvel
32Spawn72$1.95Image
33Danger Girl1$2.95Image
34X-Men78$1.99Marvel
35Spawn74$1.95Image
36Iron Man2$1.99Marvel
37Spawn71$1.95Image
38Spawn73$1.95Image
39Amazing Spider-Man1$2.99Marvel
40Fathom3$2.50Image
41Battle Chasers6$2.50Image
42Danger Girl3$2.50Image
43Fantastic Four3$1.99Marvel
44Wolverine125$2.99Marvel
45Gambit1$2.99Marvel
46Spawn75$1.95Image
47Danger Girl5$2.50Image
48Fathom2$2.50Image
49Witchblade Tomb Raider25$2.95Image
50Spawn76$1.95Image
51Peter Parker Spider-Man1$2.99Marvel
52Wolvernie122$1.99Marvel
53Spawn77$1.95Image
54Avengers5$1.99Marvel
55Avengers4$1.99Marvel
56Avengers6$1.99Marvel
57Avengers3$1.99Marvel
58Superman Forever Collectors Ed.0$5.95DC
59Fantastic Four4$2.99Marvel
60Spawn78$1.95Image
61Spawn79$1.95Image
62Avengers7$1.99Marvel
63Avengers8$1.99Marvel
64JLA16$1.95DC
65Spawn80$1.95Image
66Battle Chasers5$2.50Image
67Captain America3$1.99Marvel
68Wolverine126$1.99Marvel
69Wolverine123$1.99Marvel
70Fathom4$2.50Image
71Fantastic Four5$1.99Marvel
72Avengers9$1.99Marvel
73Wolverine124$1.99Marvel
74Spawn81$1.95Image
75Slingers1$2.99Marvel
76Fantastic Four6$1.99Marvel
77Wolverine128$1.99Marvel
78Avengers10$1.99Marvel
79Darkchylde The Legacy1$2.50Image
80Wolverine133$1.99Marvel
81Amazing Spider-Man2$1.99Marvel
82Kingdom1$2.95DC
83Avengers11$1.99Marvel
84Wolverine131$1.99Marvel
85Wolverine127$1.99Marvel
86Fantastic Four7$1.99Marvel
87Wolverine129$1.99Marvel
88JLA17$1.95DC
89JLA18$1.95DC
90JLA19$1.95DC
91Spider-Man Chapter 12$2.50Marvel
92Wolverine132$1.99Marvel
93Wolverine130$1.99Marvel
94Spider-Man Chapter 11$2.50Marvel
95JLA1000000$1.99DC
96Avengers12$2.99Marvel
97Danger Girl2$2.50Image
98Iron Man3$1.99Marvel
99JLA20$1.95DC
100Peter Parker Spider-Man2$1.99Marvel






1998 Graphic Novel Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Graphic Novels and Trade Paperbacks Shipped to North American Comics Shops Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

#1 #2 #3 #4

Early days for Diamond's graphic novel sales reports; many were just comics priced over $5.

This list has all items on Diamond's end-of-year chart. If you don't see an item, Diamond did not rank it.

Follow the links to search for each title on Amazon. You can also find the books at your comics shop.

UnitsTrade Paperback titlePricePublisher
1Battle Chasers Collector's Ed.$5.95Image
2Danger Girl The Dangerous Collection #1$5.95Image
3Untold Tales of Spider-Man Strange Encounter$5.99Marvel
4Danger Girl The Dangerous Collection #2$5.95Image
5Squadron Supreme New World Order$5.99Marvel
6X-Files Off Movie Adaption$5.95Topps
7Timeslip The Coming of the Avengers$5.99Marvel
8Spider-Man Made Men$5.99Marvel
9Divine Right Collection Ed. #1$5.95Image
102099 Manifest Destiny$5.99Marvel
11Star Wars A New Hope Manga #1$9.95Dark Horse
12Made Men$5.99Marvel
13Star Wars Empire Stirkes Back Manga #1$9.95Dark Horse
14Swamp Thing Roots$7.95DC
15Star Wars A New Hope Manga #4$9.95Dark Horse
16Timely Presents Human Torch Comics$5.99Marvel
17Star Wars A New Hope Manga #3$9.95Dark Horse
18Star Wars A New Hope Manga #2$9.95Dark Horse
19Silver Surfer Parable$5.99Marvel
20Dynamid Forces Premiere Crimson$6.95Dynamic Forces
21Crisis In Infinite Earths HC$99.95DC
22Divine Right Coll. Ed #2$5.95Image
23Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide 28th Ed. JLA $18.00Gemstone
24Mage The Hero Discovered Coll. Ed. Book 1$5.95Image
25Sin City Booze Broads & Bullets$15.00Dark Horse

My analyses of preorders from Diamond Comic Distributors for individual months can be found here:

January February March April
January

February

March

April

May June July August
May

June

July

August

September October November December
September

October

November

December