August 1991 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

Estimated Comics Preordered by North American Comics Shops
Based on Reports from Diamond Comic Distributors

#1 Most Ordered Issue
#2 Most Ordered Issue
#3 Most Ordered Issue
#4 Most Ordered Issue
#5 Most Ordered Issue

Covers and issue links on this page lead to current eBay listings. This site may be compensated if you make a purchase.

August saw one of the seminal moments of the comics boom of the early 1990s, as Marvel published the bestselling comic book of all time: X-Men Vol. 2, #1. The comic book had sales across multiple channels of 8,186,500 copies, but the vast majority of it went to Direct Market distributors like Diamond. (Read our special feature for more about the issue's historic sales.)

Cover EMarvel's Uncanny X-Men series was already the bestselling series most months in the North American comic book market at that time, but there had not been a regular North American series called simply X-Men since the series took on the "Uncanny" adjective in 1981. There had never been a regular North American series called simply Spider-Man either until Marvel released one in 1990; the sales of its first issue were so astonishing that it made sense for the publisher to try it again with its bestselling title in 1991. X-Men Vol. 2, #1 was the result — but unlike with Spider-Man #1, Marvel made the issue's release into a month-long event by staggering its sales across five different weeks, with a different cover for each one. DC did the same thing with Legends of the Dark Knight #1 in 1989, in part because the printer simply couldn't produce them any faster!

Diamond wasn't indexing its sales charts in this era, so its exact sales are unknown. But Capital City's sales of each edition ranged from a high of 424,800 copies, for the Beast cover, to a low of 332,800 copies for the Magneto cover; the Collector's Edition had sales through Capital of 408,300 copies. Capital's overall sales were 1,874,100 copies, or 23.3% of all direct market sales. Diamond's sales would have been higher than Capital's, and there were at least twelve ordering Direct Market distributors at the time. Still, it was plenty: Diamond founder Steve Geppi wrote in Diamond Dialogue #146 (July 25, 1991) that, "It's scary to think that when all advance reorders have been tabulated, Diamond alone will sell more copies than the entire print run of X-Force #1." Just two months earlier, it had set a modern-era record with what Geppi called sales of 3.6 million copies.


X-Men #1 was printed at Ronald's Printing in Montreal, Canada, significant in that most comics in the previous two decades had come from World Color Press in Sparta, Ill. Geppi noted the fact in Dialogue #147, along with the news that World Color had announced plans to sell itself to its employees.

Diamond reported market shares in Dialogue #146, reporting that Marvel had accounted for 65.93% of its dollar sale, its highest share at Diamond ever. Diamond's Bill Schanes reported in Dialogue #147 that X-Men #1 alone accounted for 33% of all comics sales all on its own. That contrasted with a 17.17% market share for DC. DC had only one comic book in the top 20 at Diamond, Armageddon 2001 #2; one of its larger earners would have been Batman: Holy Terror, which placed 44th with a $4.95 price tag.

The raw version of the chart below was published in Diamond Dialogue #146 (August 1991) and reprinted in Comics Values Monthly #63. We've added publishers and ship dates. The dates shown below are the dates the comics were scheduled to have shipped from the printer, according to Diamond Previews #144 (June 1991, for August-shipping product).

Diamond reported almost all dates as Tuesdays, which corresponded to when the printer Ronald's released its comics — but World Color Press wasn't releasing its books until 12:01 a.m. on Thursdays, and Diamond's catalog seems to have grouped everything together under the earlier day, regardless of which printer a comic came from. (Capital's Advance Comics uniformly announced dates that were two days later. Its dates appeared in Comics Buyer's Guide and Comic Shop News.) We've adjusted the dates on the comics known to have come from World Color Press to Thursday. Specific on-sale dates were rarely announced in advance for smaller publishers' titles as they could seldom guarantee printer times.

In some cases, comics were delayed; where available, the correct later dates have been included from Diamond's Dateline and Capital City Distribution's New Weekly Releases newsletters.

Further, in this era, distributor catalog dates for all publishers did not synch up exactly with the calendar month, so Diamond's August charts included two of the X-Men covers, which shipped in September. They also include one week's worth of DC comics from September — and are missing the first two weeks' DC comics, which appeared in Diamond's July charts. This would continue until March 1995, when DC would realign its solicitations with the Direct Market's calendar month (that chart only included three weeks of DC sales). Because Diamond did not report indexed sales, there is no way to know where those comics would have landed in this month's chart.

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

—John Jackson Miller

This list includes all items on Diamond's Top 100 chart, plus items that appeared in Diamond's dollar sales table.
Items marked (resolicited) were offered in an earlier month but never shipped; disregard any previously reported figure, as earlier orders were canceled when the books were resolicited.
Distributor charts are regional commodity reports, not measures of a work's total reach. Read our FAQ.
Title links below lead to current listings for the issues on eBay. As an eBay Partner, this site may be compensated if you make a purchase.

UnitsComic-book TitleIssuePriceShippedPublisher
1X-Men1 Cvr E$3.9509/10/91Marvel
2X-Men1 Cvr A$1.5008/13/91Marvel
3X-Men1 Cvr C$1.5008/27/91Marvel
4X-Men1 Cvr B$1.5008/20/91Marvel
5X-Men1 Cvr D$1.5009/03/91Marvel
6Uncanny X-Men281$1.0008/15/91Marvel
10Infinity Gauntlet4$2.5008/20/91Marvel
11Ghost Rider18$1.7508/13/91Marvel
13Armageddon 20012$2.0009/05/91DC
14Amazing Spider-Man352$1.0008/15/91Marvel
16Silver Surfer56$1.0008/15/91Marvel
17Silver Surfer57$1.0008/29/91Marvel
20NFL Superpro1$1.0008/08/91Marvel
21War of the Gods2$1.7508/15/91DC
22Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight23$1.7509/05/91DC
23Detective Comics Annual4$2.0008/22/91DC
24Wonder Man2$2.0008/15/91Marvel
25Marvel Comics Presents86$1.2508/08/91Marvel
26Marvel Comics Presents87$1.2508/22/91Marvel
28Incredible Hulk386$1.0008/22/91Marvel
29Adventures of Superman Annual3$2.0008/22/91DC
30Justice League Europe Annual2$2.0008/29/91DC
31New Warriors16$1.0008/29/91Marvel
32Punisher War Journal35$1.7508/27/91Marvel
34Deathstroke: The Terminator3$1.7508/20/91DC
37Punisher: Family Affair$2.5008/08/91Marvel
38Detective Comics637$1.0009/05/91DC
40Spectacular Spider-Man181$1.0008/29/91Marvel
41Guardians of the Galaxy17$1.0008/22/91Marvel
42Web of Spider-Man81$1.0008/08/91Marvel
43Superman: The Man of Steel4$1.0008/15/91DC
44Batman: Holy Terror$4.9508/27/91DC
45Terminator: Secondary Objectives2$2.5008/06/91Dark Horse
46Fantastic Four357$1.0008/29/91Marvel
48Original Ghost Rider Rides Again4$1.5008/13/91Marvel
49Doctor Strange Sorceror Supreme34$1.5008/27/91Marvel
50Giant Size X-Men (reprint)1$3.9508/06/91Marvel
52Namor the Sub-Mariner19$1.0008/08/91Marvel
54Captain America393$1.0008/13/91Marvel
56Avengers West Coast75$1.5008/08/91Marvel
57Action Comics670$1.0009/05/91DC
58Iron Man273$1.0008/29/91Marvel
59Avengers West Coast Annual6$2.0008/08/91Marvel
60Green Lantern17$1.0008/29/91DC
61Punisher POV4$4.9508/13/91Marvel
63What If30$1.7508/22/91Marvel
64Justice League Europe31$1.0009/05/91DC
65Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.28$1.5008/20/91Marvel
66Justice League America55$1.0008/22/91DC
67Adventures of Superman483$1.0008/29/91DC
68Spider-Man Saga4$2.9508/06/91Marvel
69Terminator 23$1.0008/15/91Marvel
70Death's Head1$1.9508/08/91Marvel
71Adventures of Captain America2$4.9508/29/91Marvel
74New Titans80$1.7508/20/91DC
75Sensational She-Hulk32$1.5008/06/91Marvel
76Legion of Super-Heroes223$1.7508/20/91DC
77Alpha Flight101$1.5008/20/91Marvel
79Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Modala Imperative4$1.7508/29/91DC
80Captain Planet1$1.0008/29/91Marvel
81Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Modala Imperative3$1.7509/03/91DC
82L.E.G.I.O.N. '9132$1.5009/03/91DC
83Star Trek24$2.9508/13/91DC
84Magnus Robot Fighter6$1.75Valiant
85Queen of the Damned1$2.50Innovation
87Justice Society of America7$1.0008/22/91DC
89Legend of the Shield4$1.0008/29/91DC
90Marvel Super-Heroes7$2.2508/15/91Marvel
93Wonder Woman59$1.0008/15/91DC
94Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles36$2.00Mirage
95Bill and Ted's Comic Book1$1.0008/08/91Marvel
96Star Trek: The Next Generation24$2.5008/27/91DC
97Marc Spector Moon Knight31$1.5008/27/91Marvel
98X-Men Classic64$1.2508/29/91Marvel
99Green Arrow53$1.5009/03/91DC

August 1991 Graphic Novel Sales to Comics Shops

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

This list includes all items on Diamond's Top Graphic Novel charts. If you don't see a book, Diamond released no data for it.

The links lead to title details on Amazon (paid links). You can also find the books at your comics shop.

It wasn't always clear which items belonged in Diamond's graphic novel grouping in this era; some higher-priced comics wound up in the comics charts, others in the graphic novel list. Diamond did not publish order index numbers for graphic novels in this era, so units cannot be estimated.

UnitsDollarsTrade Paperback titlePricePublisher
13Marvel Universe Master Edition #11$3.95Marvel
22Who's Who in the DC Universe #13$4.95DC
34Calvin and Hobbes: Scientific Progress$7.95Andrews McMeel
46Impact Comics Who's Who #2$4.95DC
511Groo Bazaar$8.95Marvel
61Marvel Masterworks Vol. 16: Spider-Man$34.95Marvel
78Creepy: The Classic Years$12.95Harris
87Hawkworld TPB$16.95DC
913Dark Horse Presents 5th Anniversary Special$9.95Dark Horse
1010Lieutenant Blueberry Vol. 3: General Golden Mane$14.95Marvel
1116Far Side: Unnatural Selections$7.95Andrews McMeel
1212Wild Cards TPB$14.95Marvel
1324From Hell Vol. 1$4.95Mad Love
149Star Trek: The Mirror Universe$19.95DC
1517What's Michael? Book 3$9.95Eclipse
1614Aliens Collected Edition$11.95Dark Horse
175Vampire Lestat Slipcase Set #1$49.95Innovation
18n.a.Who's Who in the DC Universe #10$4.95DC
1918Sandman TPB$12.95DC
20n.a.Marvel Universe Master Edition #7$3.95Marvel
2123Archie Americana Series: Best of the 40s$8.95Archie
22n.a.Judge Dredd: Tale of the Dead Man$8.95DC
2319Art of Spanking SC$15.50Eurotica
2425Daredevil: Born Again$9.95Marvel
25n.a.Trek Toons$7.95Starland
n.a.15Archie: His First 50 Years$29.95Archie
n.a.20Why I Hate Saturn$14.95DC
n.a.21EC Comics Sampler$56.00EC
n.a.22Arkham Asylum SC$14.95DC