[Editor's note: I've posted today's complete charts and numbers for May 2014 along with commentary from John jackson Miller from Comichron. My own comments are in itals thus.]
Marvel’s Original Sin #1 led the market in a month that included a Spider-Man movie release and what Diamond Comic Distributors reported was its best Free Comic Book Day yet. That’s according to Diamond’s just-released report on what comics shops in North America ordered in the month of May.
Retailers purchased a little over $43 million in comic books in May, down 4.52%; periodical sales were down only 2%. It was a four-week month versus a five-week month last year, so that performance is not bad, if unremarkable. The slate of new titles was much lighter than we’ve seen in a while: 427 new comic books came out, down 54 from April. It’s the lowest number of new comic releases in six months.
Year-to-date sales are now essentially flat at a little less than $208 million, down about a third of a million dollars versus the same period in 2013. The comparative sales statistics:
|MAY 2014 VS.
|MAY 2014 VS.
2014 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2013
Again, May included Free Comic Book Day, and Diamond announced at its May seminar and on Twitter that its retailers had overwhelmingly reported in a survey that day was their best sales day ever. The problem is that it’s difficult to put a dollar figure to such a statement — and also we do not know how long the retailers surveyed have been operating.
The single best sales day in all of comic shop history in dollar terms is almost certainly the day that the “Death of Superman” issue, Superman Vol. 2 #75, was released in November 1992: reports at the time were of a $30 million day that day, more than $50 million when adjusted for inflation. There were more than double the number of comic shops then than exist now. A $30 million day today would require more than $10,000 in sales per location ($17,000 inflation-adjusted). Since all the new product retailers ordered in the entire month amounted to $43 million, odds are the “Death of Superman” day still holds the crown — but Diamond probably on the mark that it’s the best Free Comic Book Day, given its finding that retailers said sales were up 38% over last year’s event.
Once again, Original Sin, featuring the death of the perennial murder witness known as The Watcher, was the top title, passing the second — and 1.1 — issues of last month’s blockbuster, Amazing Spider-Man. The top sellers:
|1||Original Sin #1||$4.99||Marvel|
|2||Amazing Spider-Man #2||$3.99||Marvel|
|5||Forever Evil #7||$4.99||DC|
|6||Original Sin #2||$3.99||Marvel|
|7||Justice League #30||$3.99||DC|
|8||The Walking Dead #127||$2.99||Image|
|9||New 52 Futures End
|10||Batman Eternal #5*||$2.99||DC|
Meanwhile, the Batman Volume 4: Zero Year: Secret City hardcover led the graphic novel list:
or Trade Paperback
|1||Batman Volume 4: Zero
Year: Secret City HC
|2||Batman Volume 3:
Death Of The Family
|3||Black Science Vol. 1:
How To Fall Forever
|4||X-Men: No More Humans
|5||Black Canary And
Zatanna: Bloodspell HC
|7||Hellboy In Hell
Volume 1: Descent
|8||Saga Volume 3||$14.99||Image|
Vol. 4: Four Disciplines
In the market share department:
|PUBLISHER||DOLLAR SHARE||UNIT SHARE|
Finally, a look at the number of titles released. Again, it was the lightest slate since November on the comics side:
|Publisher||New Comics||New Graphic
|New Magazines||Total New Items|