Awfully unsurprising: Jeffrey Brown’s Vader’s LIttle Princess, a cute follow-up to Vader and Son, which imagines every iconic image in the original trilogy from the viewpoint of the father of a teenaged (or younger) girl—that dad being Darth Vader. It gives even the well worn tropes a fresh, human feeling and to the shock of no one…it’s selling like hotcakes:
Recent sales patterns continued in the April comics sales figures just released by Diamond. While DC had the top selling books with Batman #19. Marvel continue to dominate both units and dollars—especially units, where they opened up a 14% lead over DC.
In a month without a lot of strong graphic novels, The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye led the charts yet again. while Injustice: Gods Among Us, and DC Collectibles’ new Injustice: Deathstroke Vs. Green Arrow Action Figure 2-Pack led the video game and toy categories.
While Walking Dead and Saga lead the chart again, the big story this month is Jonathan Hickman’s East of West, blowing expectations out of the water with a strong debut. There aren’t that many new titles this month, although Image have four strong debuts, headed up by the infuriating Sex (you’ll see). Elsewhere it’s largely a month of consolidation, with many titles holding within a few percentage points of last month’s sales.
Chickens came home to roost in March.
With no gimmick-bloated #1 issues, strong crossovers or annuals of high-performing titles driving sales of the company’s periodical line, with the Before Watchmen project fading out on a whimper, and despite a deluge of high-selling issues tying in with a recent character death, estimated sales of the average new DC Universe comic book fell to 31,000, the lowest level since the big “New 52″ relaunch of September 2011.
The Marvel Now launches rumble on in March, with the first issues of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and the relaunched WOLVERINE, not to mention the long-awaited AGE OF ULTRON event. Meanwhile, as the first wave of Marvel Now launches start to settle into their runs, we’re beginning to get a clearer idea of which ones are working. (And which ones, well, not so much.)
Tweet Continuing a run of graphic novels on the bestseller charts, Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (The New 52) by Scot Snyder, Greg Capullo, Rafael Albequerque, Becky Cloonon and co debuted at #14 on the Bookscan/PW Hardcover Fiction Bestseller list, with 5205 copies sold. The numbers con’t include the DM figures which are […]
Walking Dead continues to dominate, but Star Wars and Saga both go from strength to strength. Strong debuts for Shadow Year One, Legend of the Shadowclan and the new GI Joe book are interspersed with increased sales for My Little Pony, Adventure Time and Hellboy. Elsewhere is the usual clutch of Image debuts, while further down a few series return to the charts after a period away.
As DC keeps clowning around and pushing hard to single-handedly choke the concept of irony to death by summer, the company’s average and total sales figures for new comic books performed solidly in the month of February.
After hiring Bob Harras, hiring Rob Liefeld, hiring every writer and artist who worked at Marvel in 1999, releasing a Green Lantern title especially for kids, releasing more Watchmen comics several of which written by J. Michael Straczynski, making a habit of hiring, promoting, then firing creative personnel on all kinds of titles every month, releasing Before Watchmen: Dollar Bill, hiring a raging homophobe to write Superman and announcing “WTF month,” in February 2013 DC released Justice League of America #1, a new high-profile Geoff Johns vehicle promoted with not one, not three, not 12, but 54 different cover choices, thus making it something like the lynchpin of gimmick-driven market gaming. I mean, the plastic-ring thing from a couple of years back was a fair stab, but this one is bolder.
Marvel Now rolls on into February. This month’s major events are the relaunch of UNCANNY X-MEN, the “Point One” prologue issue for GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, the return of NOVA with Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, and a new take on SECRET AVENGERS. More generally, the first wave of relaunched titles have now been around long enough that we’re starting to get a sense of which ones are already settling down, and which ones aren’t.
Though DC had the top selling book of the month – JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA – Marvel still had the largest share of the North American direct market, leading DC by 38% to 33% in units and 35% to 29% in dollars.
All you need to know about digital book sales, Amazon bestsellers, and making money from selling books
Between “Death of the Family,” “Throne of Atlantis” and “Rise of the Third Army,” any DC title selling 60,000 units or more in January took part in one of the three current major crossovers, which means all 10 of the company’s Top 25 books. In other words: Scott Snyder and Geoff Johns are running the DC Universe right now — and not much that’s not within their reach is working all that well.
Walking Dead sees a big rise as expected, while Saga and Buffy sandwich the new Star Wars book, and Invincible’s one hundredth issue. Elsewhere, it’s a good month for all-ages comics, and Image have their usual batch of debuts. Dynamite have a poorer month than usual for sales drops, but a round of relaunches are on the horizon.
Industry analyst John Jackson Miller has taken the Bookscan numbers posted by Brian Hibbs, and added them with the Diamond year-end sales charts, and then triangulated them with a cosine angle, trapped the outlines in their own layer, tossed the results with a bit of olive oil and garlic, and presented it all for you to read. The above infographic gives a visual representation of sales for each product (GNs and periodical) in various channels; as Miller points out, library and digital sales are not included and the Bookscan numbers are very low, but the end result is a combined comics market of more than $700 million, which Miller notes, is the first time comics sales have reached this level since 1993 or 1994, the high times of speculation and chromium covers.
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.