Top Comics by Year
Estimated Sales to North American Comics Shops
of the top-selling comic book from each month
as Reported by Diamond Comic Distributors
The figures below are the top-sellers from each year based on Comichron's analysis of reports from Diamond Comic Distributors.
The figures for 1992-2002 are estimated preorders from the month the books were solicited, and do not reflect reorders. So they are not the complete direct market circulations for each title. From 2003-2008, the figures aggregate final orders from all months in which the issues made Diamond's Top 300 list. So they are more inclusive, but not complete. From 2009 onward, the figures are based on the entire year's final orders, and are thus all-inclusive — except for 2016, when they are based only on the data from when the comic appeared in the monthly charts.
† Items marked with a dagger include between 200-400,000 copies sold by the repackager Loot Crate.
* Items with asterisks were returnable issues whose final orders may be higher or lower.
The links lead to current listings for each item on eBay. You can also find the books at your comics shop.
|300th Place Title||Issue||Price||Publisher||Est. sales|
|1991||X-Men Vol. 2*||1||$1.50||Marvel||8,014,500|
|1995||DC Versus Marvel||1||$3.95||DC||n.a.|
|1996||DC Versus Marvel||4||$3.95||DC||n.a.|
|2001||Dark Knight Strikes Again||1||$7.95||DC||188,700|
|2005||All Star Batman & Robin||1||$2.99||DC||276,000|
|2011||Justice League (including Combo Pack)||1||$3.99||DC||255,400|
|2012||Walking Dead (including Chromium)||100||$3.99||Image||384,800|
|2016||Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York||1†||$4.99||Boom||421,625|
Beginning in 2014, the bestsellers for the year all included sales to third-party repackagers, including several hundred thousand copies sent to Loot Crate for Star Wars #1 and Big Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1. Without those sales, Star Wars #1 still would have been the bestseller for 2015; for 2016 the bestseller would more likely have been either Civil War II #1 or Harley Quinn #1.
Note that the figures do not include newsstand sales, except for the asterisked X-Men #1 in 1991. Based on those sales, for example, 1999's Pokémon: The Electric Tale of Pikachu reportedly had sales of more than 1 million copies over multiple printings through 1999 and 2000. Spawn/Batman is asterisked in 1994 because Diamond listed an erroneous title as #1 that year.
The top-selling graphic novels in the comics shop market are as follows. Note that as we approach the present day, the top-seller in the mass market is likely different and outsells the amount sold to the comics shop market:
|Trade Paperback title||Price||Publisher||Est. sales|
|1994||Superman: Under a Yellow Sun||$5.95||DC||n/a|
|1995||Sandman Midnight Theater||$6.95||DC||n/a|
|1996||Batman Captain America||$5.95||DC||n/a|
|1998||Battle Chasers Collector's Ed.||$5.95||Image||n/a|
|1999||Batman War on Crime||$9.95||DC||n/a|
|2000||JLA Heaven's Ladder||$9.95||DC||n/a|
|2001||Wonder Woman Spirit of Truth Oversized||$9.95||DC||n/a|
|2002||September 11 Vol. 2||$9.95||DC||n/a|
|2003||Justice League Liberty & Justice||$9.95||DC||n/a|
|2004||Batman Hush Vol. 1||$12.95||DC||n/a|
|2005||Sin City Vol. 1 Hard Goodbye||$17||Dark Horse||n/a|
|2006||V For Vendetta||$19.99||DC||n/a|
|2010||Walking Dead Vol. 1 Days Gone Bye||$9.99||Image||43,900|
|2011||Walking Dead Vol. 1 Days Gone Bye||$9.99||Image||34,700|
|2012||Walking Dead Vol. 1 Days Gone Bye||$9.99||Image||74,700|
|2013||Saga Vol. 1||$9.99||Image||60,700|
|2014||Saga Vol. 3||$14.99||Image||62,182|
|2015||Saga Vol. 4||$14.99||Image||46,627|
|2016||Saga Vol. 6||$14.99||Image||47,968|
|2017||Saga Vol. 7||$14.99||Image||47,775|