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 […]

Sales Chart: Graphic Novel sales and Guardians of the Galaxy

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In yesterday’s comments on the Mike Dawson Mid-career assessment, retailer Brian Hibbs stepped in with some comments, including this one

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales June 2014: A Change Could Do You Good

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Change is coming! As I researched and wrote this month’s article in the week before Comic Con, Marvel made several huge announcements. Mjolnir will now be wielded by a woman in a new Thor series. The Falcon will wield the shield in a new Captain America. The Avengers will see major Roster changes in Avengers Now.

Now if you’ve been following these sales articles, none of this should have surprised you. Sure the details are exciting and interesting, but we’ve known for a while now that sales on the Avengers books and the big 3 marvel heroes (Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor) have gotten stale. It was time for a change, what is exciting about these announcements is that these aren’t small changes but big changes that garnered national media attention and hopefully will mean big (and hopefully lasting) sales boosts. Let’s look at the numbers for this month.

Comics and Graphic Novel Market: $870 Million in 2013, up $65 mil

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As there will be no industry white paper at San Diego, where Milton Griepp traditionally releases his industry sales figures for the year, he and John Jackson Miller has teamed up for an estimate of the size of the comics market in 2013: $870 million. That’s up $135 million from 2012 — a very sizable increase. With sales this year generally flat it probably won’t be a big increase unless something really nutty happens, but that shows that it wasn’t just your imagination: 2013 was a pretty swell year for the comics.

Sales Charts: June Sales Estimates show size of “the long tail”

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The full estimates for June 2014 comics sales are now online, and as reported last weekend, at “halftime” we see a market that has rebounded from winter to bring this year’s sales even with last year.

Retailers spent almost the exact same amount of money on comics and graphic novels in the period in the first halves of this year and last year, but this year they bought slightly more graphic novels and slightly fewer comic books. But the losses in comic books mainly came during the winter; they’ve perked up since. We were down 4% in overall sales in the first quarter and up 4% in the second. (So there’s no “comics recession,” at least in the two-negative-quarters definition of the term.

Outcast #1 has sold more than 86,000 copies

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OUTCAST #1, the new book by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta has been a huge success, we’re told with orders surpassing The Walking Dead #128 with a print run of 86,000 copies. Even more impressive? The book shipped without ANY variants. However it still shows up on the Diamond chart at #11 because 10% of […]

Sales Chart: Apple iBooks Comics Bestsellers, June 29, 2014

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Sales Charts! You love them, I love them, and here’s one I haven’t linked to before. Publishers Weekly (my other job) is running category best sellers lists for Apple’s iBooks portal and here’s the line for the last week of June. I’m pubbing the whole list this time just to get you sale chart analysts ginned up, but in the future a link will do. Note these books are iBooks format and not via Comixology.

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: May 2014—Original Sales

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Original Sin is Marvel’s big new event and it debuted at 147k and then dropped down to 92k. But is that good for a major event book? For fun I pulled the numbers for #1 issues of the last several big event books from Marvel to see how Original Sin stacks up. As you can see out of these 7 books it ranks 5th. I did better than Siege and Fear Itself, but worse than Age of Ultron, AVX, Secret invasion or Civil War. Two other interesting trends to note is that events have become more frequent and sell worse. I cherry picked these events because they fell around the same time of year as Original Sin and were Avengers-focused, but the last few years have been very event heavy and sales have been dropping overall on these events. They are still the best-selling books of their month generally but Marvel has yet to recapture the excitement and sales of Civil War.

DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: May 2014 – Forever’s End

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Greetings, sales charts fans! It’s time once again to look at DC’s sales figures.

DC take five of the top ten spots on the Diamond sales charts, and after taking a shellacking on market share last month pull up nearly even to their Marvelous Competition, though in a month where the market was down from the previous year.

There are some good things to point to: DC’s strategy of canceling their low-selling ongoing DCU titles and replacing them with weekly titles is working, at least so far. With the exception of last September’s anomalous 3D cover month, May 2014 is the best average sales for the DCU line since in nearly two years, since June 2012. Most importantly, Batman Eternal and Futures End give them several comics in the 50-75K range, an area in which they have been sorely lacking as of late. Mind you this isn’t a long-term strategy, but it keeps the bears at bay for a few more months until the Next Big Event or line-wide gimmick comes along.

Indie Month-to-Month Sales: April 2014— Oh Those Southern Bastards

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Overall another quiet month, although excellent debuts from Jason Aaron’s Southern Bastards and Valiant’s Rai splash amongst the regular chart-toppers, and a few healthy new entries make their marks selling around the 10-15,000 copy mark .

151 indie titles charted in the top 300, slightly up on last month’s 150. Overall sales were up at 1,688,787, compared to last month’s 1,655,816 and the average sales this month are 11,184, up on last month’s 11,038. 19 titles went up in sales and 108 went down, with the rest made up of new entries and specials.

Image have another great month with a 9.34% dollar share and an 10.31% market share, while Dark Horse in second place have a 5.54% dollar share and 5.18% market share. IDW have a 5.10% dollar share and a 4.24% market share, Dynamite have a 2.49% dollar share and 2.47% market share and Boom! have a 2.07 % dollar share and 1.97% market share. Eaglemoss actually beat Dynamite on dollar sales at 2.14, but that equated to less than 0 .73% market share and were lumped in with the miscellaneous small publishers.

Marvel Month to Month Sales: April 2014 — Everything’s Coming up Spidey

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Welcome to the month of Spider-Man, the best-selling comic in over a decade. But with this one book breaking 500k, how is this the rest of the Marvel line doing? The last few months we’ve seen a lot of soft relaunches and some genuine new #1s, but while the new books like Ms. Marvel and Moon Knight are doing well, a lot of the new relaunches are floundering. Let’s break down a few overall statistics.

DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: April 2014 — Eternal Stormwatch of the Spotless Mind

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Greetings, sales charts fans! It’s time once again to look at DC’s sales figures.

DC take five of the top ten spots on the Diamond sales charts, all of them Batman-titled books thanks to the debut of the weekly Batman Eternal. However, DC fall to their lowest Dollar Share and Unit Share in quite some time due to a combination of Marvel’s relaunch of Amazing Spider-Man (with a boatload of order incentives and variant covers leading to over a half million in sales) and their own inability to get out many of their bestselling titles on a consistent schedule—Forever Evil, Sandman Overture and Superman Unchained) didn’t ship this month, with Forever Evil’s lateness causing a ripple effect through other titles like Justice League of America.

Indie Comics Month-to-Month Sales: March 2014 — Mark MIllar Makes His Mark

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By Chris Rice Hello, my name’s Chris, nice to meet you. For the last three years or so, I’ve been writing the indie chart under the nom de plume of Paul Mellerick, as for most of that time I was working for a certain well-known comic distributor here in the UK. They can be assured […]

Comichron: Amazing Spider-Man V.3 Issue #1 tops 532,000 copies

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  By John jackson Miller   [reprinted with permission from Comichron.com] The final comics sales estimates for April are out from Diamond Comic Distributors, and as reported here on Friday, Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 #1 was the best-selling title in the last 15 years in the comics market overall, and since the mid-1990s if we’re looking at just the […]

Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: March 2014 — the two types of All-New Marvel Now #1s

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Now before we get deep into the numbers, I want to point out a trend that I’ve been noticing, and would love to hear your thoughts on in the comments below.

So there are two types of All-New Marvel Now #1s. The first is something like Black Widow or She-Hulk, where the new #1 is a new series featuring a new or returning character and a new creative team, so basically a new book. The other is what I call the soft relaunch. They take an ongoing series with falling sales and they give it a new #1, but not much else changes, same creative team or if maybe the artists changes, the writer stays, and maybe a slight tweak on the storyline or premise. Examples of this are Secret Avengers or X-Factor.


DC Comics Month-to Month Sales: March 2014 — Forever Unchained Overture

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Greetings, sales charts fans! It’s time once again to look at DC’s sales figures.

DC take the top four spots on the Diamond sales charts, as all four of their bestselling titles (Batman, Forever Evil, Sandman Overture and Superman Unchained) actually shipped in the same month! Despite that, DC still fell short of their top competitor Marvel by about 9% in both dollar and unit share, as Marvel have many more comics that perform in the 50-70K unit space than DC does. And average sales hit the lowest level since the New 52 began.

Warning: The commentary below may contain reasoned analysis, speculation (unfounded and otherwise), opinion, and/or snark. Those looking for a more straightforward analysis are directed to John Jackson Miller’s excellent Comichron analysis, posted earlier this month right here at The Beat! All of the opinions expressed in this column are my own and do not reflect those of my employers, Heidi McDonald or anyone at The Beat, the Centers for Disease Control, or my neighbors’ dog Miles.