1999 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 $219.85 Million
(down 3% year-over-year)
Another losing year, where the only bright spot was in the graphic novel category.
January was a down month to kick off a slow year. Another soft February saw several of Jim Lee's Wildstorm titles resolicited by their new publisher, DC — boosting the publisher over Marvel even in the narrow Top 300 shares. Pokémon, the trading card game, had become a major phenomenon in many comics shops, and Viz's second comics series by that name debuted with three times the orders of the first in March.
Weakness versus the year before continued in April, a month during which Viz broke into the Top 10 publishers. The release of the first Star Wars prequel in May gave Dark Horse its largest market share to date. Weaker year-over-year sales continued in June with only two titles above the 100,000-copy mark.
A softer summer season continued in July and August. Finally, in September, DC's weekly Day of Judgment helped comics dollar sales nudge slightly ahead of the same month the previous year. So much for small victories in 1999.
October was another weak month, except for strength among trade paperbacks thanks to the colossal Sandman: Dream Hunters hardcover. Tomb Raider hit big in November, the first non-X-Men issue to top the charts all year. A basically flat December drew a lackluster year to a close.
Pokemon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu #1 is known to have eventually sold a million copies through 1999, but most were reprints outside the Direct Market.
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.
|14||Spawn The Dark Ages||1||$2.50||Marvel|
|30||X-Men Magneto War||0||$2.99||Marvel|
|32||Wolverine Metallic Foil Cvr.||145||$3.99||Marvel|
|33||Spawn The Dark Ages||79||$1.95||Image|
|35||Spawn The Dark Ages||80||$1.95||Image|
|36||Spawn The Dark Ages||81||$1.95||Image|
|39||Spawn The Dark Ages||82||$1.95||Image|
|43||Spawn The Dark Ages||83||$1.95||Image|
|46||Spawn The Dark Ages||84||$1.95||Image|
|49||Spawn the Undead||1||$1.95||Image|
|90||Spawn The Dark Ages||2||$2.50||Image|
|98||Peter Parker Spider-Man||3||$1.99||Marvel|
1999 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
DC and Dark Horse dominated the graphic novel charts in a year that saw growth only in that category.
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.
My analyses of preorders from Diamond Comic Distributors for individual months can be found here: