Marvel Month to Month Sales Charts: October 2014 Variations on Variant Themes

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BY JASON ENRIGHT — Hello Sales Chart Analyzers! In October, there were a lot of books. So to start, let’s break down the numbers a bit. An interesting trend to look at this month is how variant numbers affect the sales. Several titles benefitted from being included in one or more of Marvel’s themed variant programs this month. In October, Marvel had 3 variant themes, the Anti-Bullying variants, Deadpool 75th anniversary variants and Hasbro toy variants. Many of these issues were in the middle of an arc and normally would have suffered standard attrition of -1 to -3%, but due to these variant programs they got a nice +3 to +5% sales boost. Variants are one of many incentive programs that companies use to boost sales. Recently Marvel and DC have been doing these themed variants across multiple books and they definitely seem to be working. Whether or not, they are actually good for comic sales in the long term is another question entirely. What do you think of variants? Let’s discuss it in the comments below. For now let’s dive into the numbers.

Must read: David Harper analyzes the changing state of the industry

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Out with the old, in with the new? As we’ve been reporting, October comics sales were pretty damn massive. It’s the culmination of a year that started a little rocky but has blossomed as new trends blew into town behind a strong trade wind. Multiversity’s David Harper has the much needed big think piece on what’s happening complete with CHARTS. First he points out that The Big Two are still the big two:

Comichron: October comics shop orders best in 17 years

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John Jackson Miller’s preliminary October sales analysis is up and the month was a Doozy. In my earlier piece I didn’t not that sales were up substantially, and it was a five week to five week comparison. Comichron projects the comic shop market will complete the year with orders totaling around $535-540 million; the smaller […]

The Walking Dead graphic novels sales are up again

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It’s a rite of autumn —The Walking Dead’s new season debuts on AMC, and Walking Dead graphic novels start selling like crack again. Here’s the feed from the Amazon graphic novels best seller’s list. Note that The Oatmeal has sold a gazillion copies, and Roz Chast is back in the top ten following her National Book Award shortlisting.

Per the usual pattern, Walking Dead GN sales will slow when the 8 episode season ends, and pick right back up when it returns next year. I know Robert Kirkman has made a buttload of money from the hit TV series, but he, Charlie Adlard and Tony Moore have also made a buttload from the books alone, given the Image deal.

(BTW, for long term Amazon trend analysis I refer you to Beat contributor David Carter’s weekly blog on the topic, which someday I will feature here every week. Lots of other interesting things on his site, as well.)

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The Walking Dead graphic novels sales are up again

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It’s a rite of autumn —The Walking Dead’s new season debuts on AMC, and Walking Dead graphic novels start selling like crack again. Here’s the feed from the Amazon graphic novels best seller’s list. Note that The Oatmeal has sold a gazillion copies, and Roz Chast is back in the top ten following her National […]

Sales Charts: DC tops September and takes a victory lap

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DC enjoyed its traditional September sales bump thanks to the “Future’s End” lenticular covers event, beating Marvel by 4 points in dollars and 6 in units. While I’m told retailers went a bit lighter on this, and there was no comic shop run as there was with the scarcer villain variants last year, it was […]

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales August 2014: A Tale of Two Spiders

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This was a tough month for Marvel. Original Sin is ending and none of their other events have really started yet. They also don’t have any real high profile series launches. So there are no books that really pop. There is a lot of attrition this month. Of the 72 books that also had an issue last month, only 12 saw growth in their numbers. That leaves 60 books that dropped in sales. 39 books dropped more than 5% or what might be considered a standard attrition. Luckily there are several major events coming soon which will drive sales up and a lot of books will be relaunching after these events which always bumps up the numbers at least temporarily. It is worrying however, that there are several series that just relaunched a year or for some 6 months ago and are already in trouble again. Let’s look at a breakdown of what came out this month:

DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: August 2014 – Multiversity Selfies

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It’s month three of DC’s new variant cover ordering scheme, where retailers can order as many of the month’s themed variant covers as they want at the regular price. As previously suspected, the Selfie variants do not attract as many additional orders as the Bombshell or Batman 75th variants did. It’s hard to tell if that is because of a perceived lack of interest in the covers, or an adjustment based on the previous months, or a combination of factors. Next month DC will have round two of the 3D motion covers, hoping to recapture some of the magic of last year’s 3D cover stunt.

This was a down month for DC. Several of their top sellers did not ship in August: Justice League, Superman Unchained and Sandman Overture. Vertigo sales are particularly moribund: the average Vertigo sales of 9,082 per title is the second lowest since Diamond started reporting actual sales back in 2003. (The lowest month was November 2010, at 9,034.) With The Wake over and Sandman Overture shipping sporadically, Vertigo’s top seller this month is short-timer Fables.

Indie Month-to-Month Sales July 2014: Let’s Kill Archie

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By Chris Rice A few interesting new entries this month, headed by, of all things, The Death of Archie! That’s joined by Rick Remender’s new book Low, and a pair of new Doctor Who books become Titan’s biggest selling comics yet. Lots of books not charting this month for reasons explained below. Marvel went a […]

Only two comics over 100K in August, but overall numbers creep up

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ICv2 has released its August sales analysis and only two comics were over 100K, Batman and Amazing Spider-Man, as they should be. I’m quoting this graph but not sure there shouldn’t be a “not” after did: But individually, comics did fare all that well.  August had two titles over 100K, down from July, which had […]

Thanos and Batman top August sales — UPDATED

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I’ll post John Jackson Miller’s analysis when it comes in, but sales for the year inched up, although down from Five Wednesday July. Image had more than 10% of unit sales, always a good mark for them. And sales analyst Miller weighs in pointing out this was the first “Normal” month in a while. After […]

DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: July 2014 – 75 Years of Batman

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The column is already running late, so I won’t belabor too many points here‚Ķ

July 2014 was a record-setting month in many categories for the Diamond NA-served comics market (see John Jackson Miller’s analysis for the full skinny). DC shipped a whopping 83 comics this month (up from 68 in June).

As expected, the Batman 75th Anniversary covers don’t do as well as the Bombshell covers did last month. Whether this is because retailers (as a group) order-ordered on the Bombshell covers and were correcting, or because there was a perceived lesser demand for the Batman covers it is hard to tell; I suspect a combination of factors. It may be several months before things settle down in the new way of ordering variants.

Indie Month-to-Month Sales June 2014: Outcast!

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Lots of new entries this month, including smash-hit new books from Robert Kirkman and Kieron Gillen and a first ever official comic for a cult film favourite. Elsewhere Valiant continue to falter despite the new Armor Hunters crossover, and Zenescope seem to be similarly slipping down and off the sales chart with their numbers dropping to new lows.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales July 2014: Raucous Raccoon Rockets up the Ranks

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This is a pretty standard month. Overall, comics sales were strong this month, and while many ongoing Marvel books followed standard attrition rates, they made up for those losses with several anniversary specials and new debuts that posted strong numbers. The big brand to follow is Guardians of the Galaxy which launches several new spin-off series this month to capitalize on the movie release. Let’s look at a breakdown of this month’s Marvel books.

Comichron: July 2014 was a sales record breaking doozy of a month

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The comics industry in North America moved into positive territory for 2014 with a record-setting month of July, according to Comichron’s analysis of data released by Diamond Comic Distributors. Click to see the sales estimates for comics ordered in July 2014

A much larger number of new comic book and graphic novel releases for the month helped July’s sales to set a number ofrecords for the Diamond Exclusive Era, which began in April 1997:

Correction: July 2014 was a HUUUUGE month with $53.6 million in sales

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Okay I stand corrected. When I saw the double digit rises in sales for July 2014 vs July 2013 I assumed it had to be because it was a five month vs four month, But according to John Jackson Miller it was five vs five making July 2014 the biggest month in the Diamond Exclusive […]