It’s pretty much as you were in a fairly quiet month for new books. Boom’s dollar-book Deathmatch and the return of Hellboy, alongside a new Adventure Time spin-off and Brian Wood’s new book Mara are the notable debuts. Walking Dead, Saga & My Little Pony top the chart again, elsewhere the Image Firsts reprint programme features strongly, and a few long running licensed books end ahead of relaunches.
It’s my FAVORITE day of the year, when Brian Hibbs posts the year-end sales from bookstores via the Bookscan chart. Now we know these numbers are significantly low, but as I always say, they present a metric.
The huge take away? Well, we all knew The Waking Dead was a juggernaut,—sales in this franchise would have made it the #3 publisher all by itself—but after that it’s kids comics all the way, led by the maybe-comics of Dork Diaries, but following by Big Nate, Ninjago, Ursula Vernon’s Dragonbreath, Drama and so on.
This month’s DC sales column is not being hosted at The Beat. However if you speak German you can read ithere. The column will return in an English language version next month.
The second month of Marvel Now titles arguably makes for more interesting sales data than the first. We’re starting to get a sense of where some of the books that had huge launch numbers in November are actually going to settle down. And we’re also seeing how the second-tier Marvel Now books are going to fare, with this month seeing the launches of CABLE & X-FORCE, THUNDERBOLTS and AVENGERS ARENA, as well as the relaunch of AVENGERS itself.
As always, Amazon’s best seller lists are only rolling snapshots, but it’s always interesting to peek into what’s selling. The Kindle isn’t known as an ideal comics reading platform, but the top 20 free and paid comics has both the usual suspects and some surprises. The paid list has the warhorses—Walking Dead, Big Nate, Geoff Johns—but the free list is a total mishmosh.
Walking Dead is only the number three indie book this month, as IDW’s My Little Pony, and Dynamite’s Masks take the top two spots on their first issues. Saga, Spawn & Adventure Time all see good jumps, and there are decent launches for Judge Dredd, Shadowman and Clone. Elsewhere it’s relatively quiet. There are a clutch of new books launching, notably Great Pacific, which is getting great write-ups, and the final series of Locke & Key, hitting new heights.
While Marvel keeps rolling out its latest round of relaunches, DC is sticking to its guns in November. There’s the “Death of the Family” crossover that continues running through various Batman titles. There’s the “Rise of the Third Army” crossover that continues running through the Green Lantern books. There are three minor crossover storylines running through various other titles. And there are, finally, the Before Watchmen and “digital-first” lines of books, both of which continue to expand in November.
We often wonder what writer/industry analyst John Jackson Miller does for fun. Is it really crunching sales charts? Looking at his extensive 2012 Comic Book Sales Figures round-up, it doesn’t seem to be anything else. The above link will give you his estimates of the top 100 comics and graphic novels for 2012. Here’s his analysis of these charts. Including this interesting metric:
While the Marvel Now! relaunch programme got under way in October, November saw it in full swing, with the first issue of ALL-NEW X-MEN, new creative teams (and new numbering) on HULK, IRON MAN, THOR, CAPTAIN AMERICA, X-MEN LEGACY, FANTASTIC FOUR and FF, and a new direction for JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY. With all the issue #1s supported by extensive promotion, the chart is turned upside down.
You won’t be surprised to hear that this gives Marvel the largest share of the North American direct market in November, leading DC by 40% to 33% in units and a rather closer 34% to 30% in dollars.
Marvel maintained its top publisher spot in both inits and dollars for December, as Diamond released preliminary charts for last month. The Marvel Now books made up 6 out of the top 10 comics, topped by the final issue of Amazing Spiderman. DC’s Batman titles had a strong showing, however.
Over in graphic novels, Image pretty much crushed it, not just with The Walking Dead but strong showings for Saga, Chew and Fatale as well, making for one of its strongest monthly shares in a while.
Here’s the top 500 selling graphic novels of 20912 courtesy of Diamond. We’ll have more analysis later but Marvel’s top GN was THANOS QUEST #1 coming in at #31, which is petty mind boggling. The Saga trade was #12, Watchmen #14. Otherwise it was all Walking Dead and New 52. Dark Horse’s best seller was AVATAR LAST AIRBENDER TP VOL 01 PROMISE PART 1 at #34, another sign that kids comics are on the ascendant.
Diamond released its preliminary year-end data for 2012 today, and it wasn’t a big surprise. The Walking Dead #100 was the top selling comics of the year, and the first Wlaking Dead trade toped the GN charts. Marvel was the top publishers over DC.
Sales were up for the year; even graphic novels, which had lagged at times because of the Borders debacle, ended up in double digits point over 2011. Comics sales overall were up nearly 15%—a healthy growth margin that reflects all the good things we’e been talking about.
Tweet For you number-lovers out there, and we know you are out there, here’s something a bit more speculative but still interesting. Retailer Matt Blind has used his very own arcane logarithm to calculate approximate Ebook sales numbers by dollars for the last few years. And here’s his chart, clickee for biggee. (Methodology is in [...]
Tweet It has somehow escaped our attention until this very moment that Deadline has been running ratings charts for all those YouTube channels that have been launching for the past year. Here’s the latest one. While Warner Music’s The Warner Sound was #1 with more than 7 million views, other channels we’ve mentioned here showed [...]
Tweet While we don’t know numbers for digital comics sales, you can always grab a snapshot at the iTunes bookstore. And pre-Wednesday, it’s all WALKING DEAD and MY LITTLE PONY, with only the Brian Haberlin/Skip Brittenham SF epicANOMALY breaking up the monotony. The appearance of ANOMALY is interesting since the book itself is a digital-proof [...]