1984 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops
Estimated Comics Shipped to North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Direct Market Distributors
The first Direct Market distributor sales charts appeared in February 1984, as part of Capital City Distribution's Internal Correspondence newsletter. In these earliest days, they were simply rankings; order index numbers, indicating relative sales levels, would not come along until October 1984, as seen at lower right.
There was no end-of-year sales chart; those would not begin at Capital or Diamond until 1991. Further, one of the tools Comichron has for tracking Capital's sales — the distributor's own internal records — does not include any data before 1985. That said, 1984 is somewhat unique in that every one of Capital's top selling issues was part of the Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars title. While we do not have a Capital sales report from January 1984 — and do not believe that one exists — it's a safe bet the top seller would have been Secret Wars #1 from January.
Amazing Spider-Man #252, with the first appearance of the character's black costume, came out in the same month as Secret Wars #1, but it's not clear that it would have even been in a January 1984 chart from Capital (had one existed) since the issue in the February chart is #254. So it's unclear whether it would have landed in Capital's 1984 charts at all — and if it did, it's uncertain how it would have compared to later Secret Wars issues. We know that Secret Wars #10 sold two and a half times what Amazing Spider-Man #261 sold at Capital, so #252 may not be in the running.
Our belief is that specific later Secret Wars issues probably did sell better than others, including #8, which had the origin of Spider-Man's new costume. Our guess appears above, but is subject to revision.
Capital did report in February 1984 that it had a report that the second Secret Wars issue had Direct Market orders totaling 250,000 copies, which would have been a significant number in that era.
The monthly charts below are not yet live, but we do have them all and more will be posted in the future. Stay tuned!
—John Jackson Miller
CAPITAL CITY TOP SELLERS BY MONTH
Listed are all the top sellers for each month at Capital City.
Where months are linked, click to see the full Capital chart for that month.
Distributor charts are regional commodity reports, not measures of a work's total reach. Read our FAQ.
The title links lead to current listings for each item on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
|January 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||1||$0.75||Marvel|
|February 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||2||$0.75||Marvel|
|March 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||3||$0.75||Marvel|
|April 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||4||$0.75||Marvel|
|May 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||5||$0.75||Marvel|
|June 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||6||$0.75||Marvel|
|July 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||7||$0.75||Marvel|
|August 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||8||$0.75||Marvel|
|September 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||9||$0.75||Marvel|
|October 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||10||$0.75||Marvel|
|November 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||11||$0.75||Marvel|
|December 1984||Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars||12||$1.00||Marvel|
My analyses of preorders from Capital City Distribution for individual months can be found here, when available: