Comics sales up for June

We haven’t had time to post all the sales charts from the month, but ICv2 is out with their analysis and it’s boffo all the way. Overall sales up up significantly from last year.

Sales of comics and graphic novels in comic stores were up 18.16% for the first half of 2012 compared to the first half of 2011, according to numbers released by Diamond Comic Distributors today. June helped that total, but actually pulled the average down a little, with total comics and graphic novel sales in June 2012 up 10.74% compared to June 2011. As we pointed out last month (see “Comic Sales Soar in May”, the 43.76% increase in sales in May 2012 over May 2011 was partially fueled by a difference in the number of sales weeks in the month; June evened things out a bit.

The comics chart has a similar boost, with a huge leap in comics with numbers over 100,000 thanks to Before Watchmen:

Two months with eight or more comic bestsellers in a single year (November 2011 and June 2012) hadn’t been seen since August of 2007 and January of 2008. The scene was similar on the graphic novel front. There were three graphic novels that sold over 10,000 copies in comic stores in June, and two over 20,000. That hadn’t happened since November of 2007, which also had two titles over 20,000 and three over 10,000.

While it is important to point out what might be called the Frisch Algorithm—sales are just back to where they were five years ago—maybe it’s time to admit that five years ago was a bit of a surge, and getting back to that level is a mark of a widening audience for comics.

We haven’t had time to post all the charts that came out today, but here’s a peek at the Top 300 Comics Actual–June 2012

Top 300 Graphic Novels–June 2012


Top 300 GNs — June 2012

Rank

Index

Title

Price

Pub

Est.Qty

1

21.71

WALKING DEAD TP VOL 16 A LARGER WORLD (MR)

$14.99

IMA

    28,284

2

15.84

LOEG III CENTURY #3 2009 (MR)

$9.95

TOP

    20,638

3

8.73

WATCHMEN TP

$19.99

DC

    11,369

4

4.18

BOYS TP VOL 11 OVER THE HILL W/T SWORDS OF A THOUSAND MEN (M

$19.99

DE

      5,442

5

4.16

BATMAN DETECTIVE COMICS HC VOL 01 FACES OF DEATH

$22.99

DC

      5,421

6

3.86

FATALE TP VOL 01 DEATH CHASES ME (MR)

$14.99

IMA

      5,026

7

3.21

BATWOMAN HC VOL 01 HYDROLOGY

$22.99

DC

      4,188

8

3.08

WALKING DEAD TP VOL 01 DAYS GONE BYE

$9.99

IMA

      4,011

9

3.07

DMZ TP VOL 12 THE FIVE NATIONS OFNEW YORK (MR)

$14.99

DC

      4,005

10

2.85

MORNING GLORIES TP VOL 03 P.E.

$14.99

IMA

      3,714

And Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual–June 2012

. You’ll note it was a great month for creator-owned comics, and perennials Walking Dead and Alan Moore.


TOP 300 COMICS — June 2012

Rank

Index

Title

Price

Pub

Est.Qty

1

146.40

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #6

$3.99

MAR

  190,705

2

143.21

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5

$3.99

MAR

  186,555

3

100.00

BATMAN #10

$3.99

DC

  130,265

4

97.56

JUSTICE LEAGUE #10

$3.99

DC

  127,090

5

82.54

BEFORE WATCHMEN MINUTEMEN #1 (MR) [*]

$3.99

DC

  107,517

6

79.95

BEFORE WATCHMEN COMEDIAN #1 (MR) [*]

$3.99

DC

  104,142

7

79.04

BEFORE WATCHMEN SILK SPECTRE #1 (MR) [*]

$3.99

DC

  102,955

8

77.76

BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #1 (MR) [*]

$3.99

DC

  101,297

9

72.58

SPIDER-MEN #1

$3.99

MAR

    94,548

10

72.57

AVX VS #3

$3.99

MAR

    94,528

Comments

  1. comicsatemybrain says:

    “…and getting back to that level [of five years ago] is a mark of a widening audience for comics.”

    A widening of the audience would mean a larger number of individual customers. An increase in sales could be a widening of the audience. Or it could be the same individuals buying more stuff. Or some combination of the two. There is no way to make that determination from the data presented here.

  2. Nawid says:

    I’m curious what the drops for the Before Watchmen books will be like, considering the dissapointing quality of them.

    Not surprised that Batman is topping Justice League. Consistent art really helps.

  3. “There is no way to make that determination from the data presented here.”

    How about trusting the word of people who sell comics for a living: customer counts are way way up.

    I’m sure several other retailers (or at least, if they’re not down at SDCC) will come along any moment and say the same.

    -B

  4. Customer counts at our 3 stores are up easily 30% on average for us.

  5. Once again Alan Moore to the rescue. Let’s see how long this lasts, once the Before Watchman boost subsides. DC had a good year strategy between New 52 and BW. I just wonder what the next plan is the Third Army better be brilliant otherwise it’s going to be After Watchmen.

  6. rahonaivs says:

    Pete,
    that is interesting because, as the article says, sales are up 18%. So if you and Brian are right that means people are buying less then they did last year.

    Now given that this year has seen two massive public moves by DC (the reboot and BW) and a huge Avengers movie (with a rebooted spiderman, a new Batman movie in the wings and the success of the walking dead growing) it begs the question: is this sustainable? Will this be another 5 year cycle with this being the next peak and it falling off after.

    After next years superman DC has no new movies till 2015 (at the earliest), Marvel has Iron Man 3 next year, but does anyone think it will pass the other two? So without a major movie draw and no big publicity stunts from the big two (marvel’s soft reboot won’t get advertised in the theater like DC’s was I will bet) I would wager that you will see a decline year on year starting in November (ignore Sept and Oct, the reboot skews those numbers).

    Basically its a good time for comics, but it seems that they are destined for another Boom and bust cycle.

    But I hope I am wrong and both of you guys see continued growth as you make your living from these things.

  7. Sales of Before Watchmen and response have been very favorable at my store.

  8. Otistfirefly says:

    <<<>>>

    HUH?? Alan Moore had nothing to do with the success or failure of “before watchmen.” That is the equivalent of saying “once more Bob Kane to the rescue” when the bat books are topping the chart, or “John Broome to the rescue (or Bill Finger)” when the Green Lantern books are selling up a storm.

  9. Otistfirefly says:

    Don’t know what happened to the quote – should have have had “Once more Alan Moore to the rescue” at the beginning…

  10. “that is interesting because, as the article says, sales are up 18%. So if you and Brian are right that means people are buying less then they did last year.”

    Not necessarily. It could just mean that new readers buy fewer comics than existing readers, so they’re dragging the average down.

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