January 3rd, 2018

Kirkman's Oblivion Song again leads advance reorders; Hawkman Found tops reorders

by John Jackson Miller


March is a ways off, but we already know a few things about the comics sales charts then. First, this March has four shipping weeks versus five last year, so it'll face a bit of a challenge there; our extra week this quarter falls in January. We also know that the big ticket for the month already appears to be Robert Kirkman's new series, as the Collector's Edition for Oblivion Song #1 repeated as the top advance reorder item in dollars at Diamond Comic Distributors for the last week of 2017.

Let's look first at how the books already in stores fared, and move on to the future:

TOP REORDERED ITEMS for Dec. 26, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2018 (in dollars)

 Find this issue on TFAW!
These are items that have already shipped, but have been receiving additional orders from retailers. In most cases below, the items are in stock and so the orders are being filled; occasionally items are back-ordered, so their reorders will enter into the channel once they become available.

These are ranked by invoiced dollars, so retailers' discounts have already applied to the totals before ranking.

DC's Hawkman Found #1, a "Dark Nights" tie-in that went on sale Dec. 27, was the top reordered comic book of the week. In yet another repeat, Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet was the top reordered softcover.

DC's Green Arrow: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 1, also released on Dec. 27, was the top reordered hardcover.

The links in the table go to the Diamond information pages for each book.


Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Hawkman Found #1$3.99 DC
2Doomsday Clock #2$4.99 DC
3Dark Nights Metal #4$3.99 DC
4Infinity Gauntlet TPB$24.99 Marvel
5Green Arrow The Golden Age Omnibus HC Vol. 1$125.00 DC
6Jack Kirbys Fourth World Omnibus HC$150.00 DC
7Doomsday Clock #1 2nd Ptg$4.99 DC
8BPRD Hell On Earth HC Vol. 1$34.99 Dark Horse
9Doomsday Clock #2 Var Ed$4.99 DC
10Batman TPB Vol. 4 The War of Jokes & Riddles$19.99 DC
11Star Wars Darth Vader Dark Lord Sith TPB Vol. 1 Imperial Mach$17.99 Marvel
12Venom #159$3.99 Marvel
13Walking Dead Compendium TPB Vol. 1$59.99 Image
14Art of Marvel Studios TPB Slipcase$99.99 Marvel
15Rick & Morty TPB Vol. 1$19.99 Oni
16X-Men Grand Design #1$5.99 Marvel
17Watchmen TPB New Ed$19.99 DC
18Batman #37$2.99 DC
19Marvel Two-In-One #1$3.99 Marvel
20Paper Girls TPB Vol. 1$9.99 Image
21X-Men Grand Design #2$5.99 Marvel
22Walking Dead Heres Negan HC$19.99 Image
23Star Wars Darth Vader TPB Vol. 1 Vader$19.99 Marvel
24Saga TPB Vol. 1$9.99 Image
25My Favorite Thing Is Monsters Vol. 1$39.99 Fantagraphics

TOP ADVANCE REORDERED ITEMS  for for Dec. 26, 2017 to Jan. 1, 2018 (in dollars)

Find this issue at TFAWLet's look now into the future. These are items that have not yet shipped, but for which the Final Order Deadlines have passed. These reorders, if books are available to fill them, may or may not land in the same shipping month as the books' release weeks, so a book's presence on this chart can mean that an item might make a repeat appearance in Diamond's monthly top-seller charts.


The top advance reorder item was, for the second week running, the Oblivion Song by Kirkman and De Felici Collector's Edition from Image, priced at $200; it comes with a statue, a print, and a pin and is limited to 1,000 copies. It's expected to go on sale March 7. The basic comic version, second place last week in reorder dollars, dropped to eleventh; the Walking Dead #176 cover by Bill Sienkiewicz was the top standard-priced comic book this time.

The top advance reordered hardcover was the Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman book. The leading trade paperback was Robotech Vol. 1, from Titan.

Remember, this is ranked by invoiced dollars and not units.

Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Oblivion Song by Kirkman & De Felici #1 Collectors Ed$200.00 Image
2Action Comics #1000 80 Years of Superman HC$49.99 DC
3Walking Dead #176 Cvr B Sienkiewicz$3.99 Image
4Dark Knights Rising The Wild Hunt #1$4.99 DC
5Robotech TPB Vol. 1$16.99 Titan
6Monstress #13$4.99 Image
7Abbott #1 Lotay Var$3.99 Boom
8Phoenix Resurrection Return Jean Grey #5$4.99 Marvel
9Vinegar Teeth #1$3.99 Dark Horse
10Frankenstein Alive Trio$7.99 IDW
11Oblivion Song by Kirkman & De Felici #1$3.99 Image
12Maestros #3 2nd Ptg$3.99 Image
13Dissonance #1$3.99 Image
14Maestros #4$3.99 Image
15Divinity Comp Trilogy Dlx Ed HC$59.99 Valiant
16Abbott #1$3.99 Boom
17Tales of Suspense #103$3.99 Marvel
18Doomsday Clock #4$4.99 DC
19Phoenix Resurrection Return Jean Grey #5 Lee Jean Grey$4.99 Marvel
20Gears of War Rise of Raam #1 Cvr A Brown$3.99 IDW
21Thanos #13 2nd Ptg Shaw Var Leg$3.99 Marvel
22Adventure Time Original Gn Vol. 11 Princess & Princess$14.99 Boom
23True Believers Venom Vs Spider-Man #1$1.00 Marvel
24Doomsday Clock #4 Var Ed$4.99 DC
25X-O Manowar #11 Cvr A Larosa$3.99 Valiant

We've seen enough reorders and advance from the past few weeks from Diamond Comic Distributors to be able to collate some information onto pages for December 2017 and January 2018; check them out for a further glance at the future.

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December 31st, 2017

MAD runs postal circulation statement, last one left in comics industry

by John Jackson Miller
 Find this issue on eBay
Earlier this month, MAD magazine did something it's done regularly every year since the 1950s: it ran its Statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation for the year, this one in issue #549. It did so as well at the end of 2016, in #543 — and while that year's form was notable for being the first to include electronic sales, we didn't know something else at the time: that it would be the only title to publish a form in the entire comics industry in 2016.

That's because, to date, no forms with 2016 data have been found in any 2017 cover-dated Archie publications, neither digests nor regular comics. Archie had, like Mad, run forms with something pretty close to clockwork regularity for half a century — but the large number of its series reboots  may have impacted what titles require forms, plus many of the digests of late have been renamed or transformed into something else. I have not had confirmation from Archie that the forms are gone for good, but after a year it's possible that it could be a case like Marvel's earlier this decade: that publisher just stopped running them. If the same holds true in 2017, then the 2017 data set is likewise now complete with just one title's form, down from a probably peak of 170 titles running forms in 1961.

It also would wind down a large comics circulation data set just around the time that I've finally collected most of what's out there. (Learn more about Statements of Ownership here, and see some of the data.)

While other researchers and I continue to find oddball titles with Statements (not many would have thought to look in Cool Cat for Black Magic's 1961 data, or in Favorite Funnies, Alan Light's short-lived comic strip magazine, for its sole form), I finish 2017 with full data from 3,907 forms, and at least the average annual sales numbers from 21 more.

Beyond those only 184 suspected forms remain, though that count includes 22 forms which I believe Harvey failed to print any numbers in. Then 35 more would be from magazines Cracked, Comic Relief, and CarToons, with another seven suspected in Shonen Jump — so that's really a maximum of 120 postal bottom line circ numbers that I don't have, mostly in early 1960s Charltons and Harveys. A good number of those simply don't exist.
The last one left: the form from MAD #549.

Specifically to Mad's posting (my thanks to the Grand Comics Database for the form, as I've had trouble finding the physical issue) its sales during this year of its move to California went up, from 133,512 to 138,598 copies, with losses in newsstand sales more than covered by increases in subscriptions. 2016's form included 412 average electronic copies sold per issue; 2017 reported 233.

It remains to be seen if Archie will print filings again, or if another comics publisher will start; if anyone does, we'll track it as well. But with 2017's website redesign mostly complete here, 2018 should be the year the nearly-finished Postal Data Set finally gets updated on here, with a list of what's missing or suspected for each year. Stay tuned!

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 OffensiveStar Wars: A New Dawn, and the Star Trek: Prey trilogy. Read more about them at his fiction site.

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December 28th, 2017

Kirkman's Oblivion Song leads advance reorders for March; Comichron pages for December, January added

by John Jackson Miller

Find this issue at TFAWI know from experience that people are frequently looking to see the charts for future months before they're released; until now, those requests have gone to a redirect page. But we've seen enough reorders and advance from the past few weeks from Diamond Comic Distributors to be able to collate some information onto pages for December 2017 and January 2018.

The problem with reorders is that they don't synch up exactly with any given shipping month; they're placed all the time and reported weekly, whereas comics orders are reported here monthly. Any given list will have a mix of titles from various months. So while the January page links to some of the more recent advance reorders, some of those items are for months beyond January (as is the case with this week's top advance reorder book, Oblivion Song #1 I don't intend to go any more than a month into the future with these landing pages, so the farthest-out month will simply collate the latest advance reorders.

Non-advance reorder charts, meanwhile, are going to be more relevant to the current month, since the books being reordered are on the shelves already. So the current month's report, December, aggregates links to the most recent reorder reports, while also linking to some advance reorder reports from October and November, because the reported reorders relate to December-shipping books.

It's not a perfect system, but it'll do — and you'll notice that the Top 25s are not being stored on those monthly pages. That's because those pages will be replaced by the estimated sales charts once they become available. The reorder tables become less important then (especially because they don't necessarily represent filled orders) so there's no need to keep them in the permanent archives, though at least for the moment, they will remain visible as blog posts — like this one.

And let's get to it. Here are the reorders and advance orders placed with Diamond Comic Distributors between December 19-25, 2017.

TOP REORDERED ITEMS for December 19-25, 2017 (in dollars)

 Find this issue on TFAWThese are items that have already shipped, but have been receiving additional orders. In most cases below, the items are in stock and so the orders are being filled; occasionally items are back-ordered, so their reorders will enter into the channel once they become available.

These are ranked by invoiced dollars, so retailers' discounts have already applied to the totals before ranking.

DC's Dark Nights Metal #4, which went on sale Dec. 20, is the top reordered comic book.

In repeats from the previous week, Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet was the top reordered softcover, and DC's Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus the top reordered hardcover.

The links in the table go to the Diamond information pages for each book.


Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Dark Nights Metal #4$3.99 DC
2Infinity Gauntlet TPB$24.99 Marvel
3Jack Kirbys Fourth World Omnibus HC$150.00 DC
4X-O Manowar TPB Vol. 1 Soldier$9.99 Valiant
5Green Lantern Secret Origin TPB New Ed$14.99 DC
6Gotham by Midnight TPB Vol. 1 We Do Not Sleep$14.99 DC
7Batgirl The Bronze Age Omnibus HC Vol. 1$99.99 DC
8Watchmen TPB New Ed$19.99 DC
9BPRD Hell On Earth HC Vol. 1$34.99 Dark Horse
10Amazing Spider-Man #792$3.99 Marvel
11Batman TPB Vol. 4 The War of Jokes & Riddles$19.99 DC
12Rick & Morty TPB Vol. 1$19.99 Oni
13Batman Dark Knight Master Race HC$29.99 DC
14Walking Dead Heres Negan HC$19.99 Image
15Walking Dead Compendium TPB Vol. 1$59.99 Image
16X-Men Classic Omnibus HC$125.00 Marvel
17Batman Who Laughs #1 2nd Ptg (Metal)$3.99 DC
18Star Wars Darth Vader TPB Vol. 1 Vader$19.99 Marvel
19Batman The Killing Joke Special Ed HC$17.99 DC
20Saga TPB Vol. 1$9.99 Image
21Rebels TPB Vol. 1 Well Regulated Militia$24.99 Dark Horse
22Abe Sapien Dark & Terrible HC Vol. 1$34.99 Dark Horse
23Runaways Complete Collection TPB Vol. 1$34.99 Marvel
24Batman Flash The Button Deluxe Ed HC$19.99 DC
25Star Wars Darth Vader Dark Lord Sith TPB Vol. 1 Imperial Mach$17.99 Marvel

TOP ADVANCE REORDERED ITEMS  for Dec. 19-25, 2017 (in dollars)


And now, a look into the future. These are items that have not yet shipped, but for which the Final Order Deadlines have passed. These reorders, if books are available to fill them, may or may not land in the same shipping month as the books' release weeks, so a book's presence on this chart can mean that an item might make a repeat appearance in Diamond's monthly top-seller charts.

The top advance reorder item was the Oblivion Song by Kirkman and De Felici Collector's Edition from Image, priced at $200; it comes with a statue, a print, and a pin and is limited to 1,000 copies. It's expected to go on sale March 7. The basic comic version led all comics in advance reorders, placing second in dollars overall.

IDW's
Lights of the Amalou was the top trade paperback, and Boom's Giant Days Vol. 2 the top hardcover.

Remember, this is ranked by invoiced dollars and not units.

Item and Diamond Catalog LinkPricePublisher
1Oblivion Song by Kirkman & De Felici #1 Collectors Ed$200.00 Image
2Oblivion Song by Kirkman & De Felici #1$3.99 Image
3Walking Dead #176 Cvr B Sienkiewicz$3.99 Image
4Dark Knights Rising The Wild Hunt #1$4.99 DC
5Lights of the Amalou TPB$39.99 IDW
6Tales of Suspense #103$3.99 Marvel
7Giant Days Not On The Test Edition HC Vol. 2$34.99 Boom
8Star Wars Adventures #6 Cvr B Levins$3.99 IDW
9Frank Cho Savage Wolverine Artist Ed HC$150.00 IDW
10Star Wars Adventures #6 Cvr A Charm$3.99 IDW
11Archie Giant Comics Roll TPB$7.99 Archie
12Under (Statix) #2$5.99 Titan
13Phoenix Resurrection Return Jean Grey #5$4.99 Marvel
14Eternity #4 Cvr A Djurdjevic$3.99 Valiant
15Eternity #4 Cvr B Muller$3.99 Valiant
16Ninjak Complete Classic Omnibus HC$99.99 Valiant
17Flash Annual #1$4.99 DC
18Action Comics #1000 80 Years of Superman HC$49.99 DC
19Bettie Page #7 Cvr C Photo$3.99 Dynamite
20Archies #4 Cvr B Allred & Martin$3.99 Archie
21Berserk Official Guidebook TPB$14.99 Dark Horse
22Phoenix Resurrection Return Jean Grey #5 Lee Jean Grey$4.99 Marvel
23X-Men Grand Design TPB$29.99 Marvel
24Avengers #678 Leg$3.99 Marvel
25Archies #4 Cvr A Reg Smallwood$3.99 Archie

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December 20th, 2017

Fourth World, Infinity Gauntlet lead week's reorder charts; Doomsday Clock #3 top advance reorder

by John Jackson Miller

http://shrsl.com/paxt
Something we've never done before on Comichron is look at the reorder and advance reorder charts released by Diamond Comic Distributors. We do so now, looking at the report released today, December 20, covering orders placed between December 11 and 17.

These charts have been available from Diamond since at least the 1990s, when they appeared in the distributor's Diamond Dateline newsletter; then, as now, they served to supplement for retailers the monthly sales charts by informing on which already-released comics and graphic novels were being ordered again, as well as what books that hadn't been released were generating orders beyond their initial order cutoff dates. Both tables are indicators of customer interest, and suggest what we may see in future monthly sales charts.

While I've got reorder charts going all the way back to the Dateline days, the tables never found their way into my previous magazine work or into Comichron's archives for several reasons. There aren't order indexes, as you see with the monthly charts, suggesting unit counts — but more importantly, the orders don't necessarily equate to filled shipments. The information is more along the lines of the preorder charts which appear on Comichron for years before 2003; it reflects consumer desire as expressed through retailer intent, but it doesn't speak to the number of copies ultimately in circulation. Reorders that are filled, meanwhile, already get reflected in the monthly charts both in the aggregate total, and also when they make the Top 300.

That said, reorder information is certainly of interest, and while it doesn't necessarily fit with our archive tracking the numbers of books in print, it is easily enough conveyed here on the blog. If you're interested in this feature appearing weekly, please let us know in the comments and on social media.

TOP REORDERED ITEMS for December 11-17, 2017 (in dollars)

Find this edition at TFAW.com
These are items that have already shipped, but have been receiving additional orders. In most cases below, the items are in stock and so the orders are being filled; occasionally items are back-ordered, so their reorders will enter into the channel once they become available.

These are ranked by invoiced dollars, so retailers' discounts have already applied to the totals before ranking. Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus is the top reordered hardcover; Marvel's Infinity Gauntlet the top-reordered softcover. Batman: White Knight #3, which went on sale Dec. 6, is the top reordered comic book in dollars. The links in the table go to the Diamond information pages for each book.


Item and Diamond Catalog Info Page
PricePublisher
1Jack Kirbys Fourth World Omnibus HC$150.00 DC
2Infinity Gauntlet TPB$24.99 Marvel
3Batman White Knight #3$3.99 DC
4Amazing Spider-Man Venom Inc Alpha #1$4.99 Marvel
5Watchmen TPB$19.99 DC
6Walking Dead Compendium TPB Vol. 01$59.99 Image
7Captain America By Waid & Garney Omnibus HC$125.00 Marvel
8Batman Who Laughs #1 2nd Ptg$3.99 DC
9Black Hammer TPB Vol 2 The Event$19.99 Dark Horse
10Punk Rock Jesus Deluxe Edition HC$39.99 DC
11Rick & Morty TPB Vol. 1$19.99 Oni
12X-Men Classic Omnibus HC$125.00 Marvel
13DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1$9.99 DC
14Walking Dead Compendium TPB Vol. 03$59.99 Image
15Monstress TPB Vol. 2$16.99 Image
16Walking Dead TPB Vol. 28 A Certain Doom$16.99 Image
17Batman Flash The Button Deluxe Ed HC$19.99 DC
18Runaways Complete Collection TPB Vol. 01$34.99 Marvel
19Star Wars Darth Vader Dark Lord Sith TPB Vol. 1 Imperial Mach$17.99 Marvel
20Black Bolt TPB Vol 01 Hard Time$17.99 Marvel
21Batman Dark Knight Master Race HC$29.99 DC
22Batman White Knight #1 3rd Ptg$3.99 DC
23Saga TPB Vol. 7$14.99 Image
24Descender Dlx Ed HC Vol. 01$49.99 Image
25Batman The Killing Joke Special Ed HC$17.99 DC

TOP ADVANCE REORDERED ITEMS for December 11-17, 2017 (in dollars)

And now, a look into the future. These are items that have not yet shipped, but for which the Final Order Deadlines have passed. These reorders, if books are available to fill them, may or may not land in the same shipping month as the books' release weeks, so a book's presence on this chart can mean that an item might make a repeat appearance in Diamond's monthly top-seller charts.

The top two items are both copies of Doomsday Clock #3, which releases on January 24; that is by no means a guarantee the book will be Diamond's top seller for that month, but it does suggest high placement, as well as something about its placement in December's lists. The Swamp Thing Winter Special, a $7.99 comic book set for January 31, appears third; remember, this is ranked by invoiced dollars and not units.

Marvel's new printing of its Venom: Lethal Protector trade paperback collection is the top advance-reordered softcover; Punisher Max by Garth Ennis Omnibus Vol. 1 is the top hardcover. Again, the links in the table below go to the Diamond information pages for each book.

Item and Diamond Catalog Info PagePricePublisher
1Doomsday Clock #3 Var Ed$4.99 DC
2Doomsday Clock #3$4.99 DC
3Swamp Thing Winter Special #1$7.99 DC
4Dark Nights Metal #1 3rd Ptg$4.99 DC
5Teen Titans #12 2nd Ptg$3.99 DC
6Batman White Knight #3 2nd Ptg$3.99 DC
7Amazing Spider-Man Venom Inc. Omega #1$4.99 Marvel
8Batman The Red Death #1 4th Ptg$3.99 DC
9Batman Lost #1 2nd Ptg$4.99 DC
10Batman The Dawnbreaker #1 3rd Ptg$3.99 DC
11Dark Nights Metal #3 2nd Ptg$3.99 DC
12Dark Nights Metal #2 3rd Ptg$3.99 DC
13Batman The Murder Machine #1 3rd Ptg$3.99 DC
14Batman The Merciless #1 3rd Ptg$3.99 DC
15Batman The Drowned #1 3rd Ptg$3.99 DC
16Venom TPB Lethal Protector$16.99 Marvel
17Silencer #1$2.99 DC
18Amazing Spider-Man #792 2nd Ptg Ross Var$3.99 Marvel
19Amazing Spider-Man #794$3.99 Marvel
20Marvel Two-In-One #2$3.99 Marvel
21Punisher Max By Garth Ennis Omnibus HC Vol. 1$100.00 Marvel
22Flash #39 Var Ed$2.99 DC
23Batman #39$2.99 DC
24Carnage Omnibus HC$125.00 Marvel
25Mighty Thor #703$3.99 Marvel

Again, if there's interest we'll certainly consider running these with more regularity.

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December 18th, 2017

November 2017 Comics Order Estimates: Doomsday Clock #1 near 239k copies

by John Jackson Miller

DC's Doomsday Clock #1
took both the first and second spots on the new comics sales charts in November, its sales divided almost exactly in half between its lenticular and standards editions. Comichron estimates that North American retailer orders for the two versions combined for nearly 239,000 copies, making the issue one of the year's top three sellers so far. Click to see estimated comics orders for November, as well as the projected top sellers for 2017 thus far.

As reported here Friday, while the Justice League movie released in November, DC's first outperformance of a Rebirth month from 2016 probably had more to do with Doomsday Clock #1, its continuing Batman-related event, and an expanded slate that took advantage of a five-week month to include several annuals and new series launches. DC outpaced its November 2016 performance by 21%.

It was enough to give the Direct Market its second-best month of 2017, as retailers ordered almost exactly $47 million in comic books, graphic novels, and magazines from Diamond in the month. It would have been better had DC's strength been matched elsewhere — but orders for the market minus DC were down 15% year-over-year, including, unusually, Image, which had been pacing ahead of its 2016 performance all year. The overall market was down 5.8%, the smallest decline since the Rebirth comparative months began.

The average price for all comics in the Top 300 was $3.99, the first time it's ever been exactly that price. It had topped $4 just once, earlier in the year.

The vital statistics:
Read more »