It’s our favorite day of the year! The day retailer Brian Hibbs posts the complete BookScan chart for the previous year, with his own analysis. You can download the entire chart for your own edification in the first link above, but we’ll just cut to the chase. Here are the top 20 GNs for the year:
Diamond’s initial December figures are out, and Marvel eked out a 1 point lead over DC in dollars and a 2 point lead in units in December — but they did it the hard way with a ground war fought one ship week at a time — DC basically sat out the fifth week and Marvel went for it. Of course they are also double shipping and so on. This is the war of the trenches.
Elsewhere, comics were up a tetch for the year, with GNs down 5% in dollars. And GNs have just had a massive slide — down 10%in units for the year. This seems to be one of the underreported sales stories of the year for us. In the department of no surprise, JL was the best selling comic and WALKING DEAD the best selling GN.
Comics Alliance has run this amazing infographic by Tim Leong, based on the year’s NY Times graphic novel bestsellers. This is a topic ripe for study since it has contained many many surprises — like appearances by DAVID B. on the list? Awesome sauce.
What is not a surprise is that WALKING DEAD and SCOTT PILGRIM have dominated the charts for most of 18 months. The future of comics is masterful, multi-volume media tie-ins that speak to contemporary life, it seems.
Buffy continues in the top spot, while a double-shipping Walking Dead takes second and third places. Turtles creeps back up to fourth, and Star Trek/ Legion of Superheroes gets off to a very promising start. Further down, Orchid benefits from a rock star contributor, Garth Ennis & John Byrne launch new titles and a remarkable success story finishes off the month.
This month everyone wants to know how DC’s New 52 has affected the sales of everyone else’s books. It’s a little too early to tell, the re-charting DC books have pushed a lot of indies off the charts, but while the indie publishers have a lot less titles charting this month, their market and dollar share have only dropped a little, suggesting that sales are up overall. The next three months will show the effects far more clearly.
Only 87 indie books charted this month, down from last month’s high of 127 and again the number 87 book sold around the same as the number 87 book last month. The bottom book sold 5,167 compared to last month’s 3,341. In total those books sold approximately 921,878, well down on last month’s 1,053,116. That said, last month the average sales were 8,292 per book, this month it’s 10,596. As usual, UK and European sales from Diamond UK are not reported in this chart.
A look over the sales seem to suggest that the better-selling books have weathered okay, but a lot of books further down the charts have suffered serious drops, with retailers maybe choosing to spend their re-stock money on DC books rather than indies.
This month Image were the number three publisher, with 4.49% dollar share and a 3.98 market share thanks to two issues of
Writer Ivan Brandon gives voice to the frequently-stated among creators idea that sales charts are a dangerous thing for the business, and may actually help put people out of work. He was most upset by the recent iFanboy piece that looked at all the Marvel books that seemed to be below the line that spelled cancellation:
Buffy returns in the top spot, although with sales far down on the beginning of the last Season, with Angel in third place. Sandwiched in between is Game of Thrones’ debut issue, while TMNT drops to fourth place after being last month’s best-selling indie. Further down the charts IDW’s other new licensed ongoing titles seem to be benefiting from the increased awareness the new DC books seem to be bringing, while many of Dynamite’s licenses seem to be tanking, the aforementioned Game of Thrones apart.
There were 127 indie books in the chart this month, well up on last month’s 103. The 103 book this month sold almost exactly what the 103 book last month sold, so this was certainly due to less Marvel and DC books released this month rather than stronger Indie sales. In fact those 103 books sold almost 35,000 less copies than last month, although top 300 indie sales are 1,053,116, almost 55,000 up on August. The bottom book sold 3,341 compared to last month’s 4,514. As usual, UK and European sales from Diamond UK are not reported in this chart.
This month Dark Horse were the number three publisher, with 4.76% dollar share and a 3.51 market share, followed by IDW with 4.13% dollar share and 3.10% market share, Image with a 4.08% dollar share and a 3.29% market share, Dynamite with a 3.07% dollar share and a 3.02% market share, and Boom with 1.39% dollar and 0.94% market share. That’s the same order as last month, although all but Dynamite have reduced figures.
John Jackson Miller has posted his estimates for October 2011 sales ( ICv2′s will be out tomorrow) and it was a month of records:
Looks like that risky relaunch really paid off, as DC had 51% of the comics unit share in October, according to just released Diamond figures. That was a whopping 21 points over Marvel. DC led 42% to 30% in dollars. Justice League #2 topped the comics chart, joined by Green Lantern, Batman, Detective Action, Superman and the Flash in the top 10. Marvel’s top seller was Incredible Hulk #1.
While we can’t answer that question, one creator, Michael Jasper has been making his percentage of sales available for IN MAPS AND LEGENDS, a fantasy comic with touches of steampunk and SF. It got its start as a Zuda competition winner but has since returned to the creators and they’ve been selling it digitally everywhere. Since IN MAPS AND LEGENDS is available on every platform, and is in a universally popular genre it’s an interesting chart:
It’s been a while since we took a look at The New York Times’ Graphic Novel best sellers lists. Let’s take a peak shall we?
Okay, so comics sales were kinda crap in March, based on year-to-year comparisons, although better than February. Plus, the top book popped its head above the 100,000 mantle. But ICv2 reports that GN sales were even more problematic:
Diamond has released the figures for March and things are looking up — at least from February, with comics up 17.13 percent and graphic novels up 13.86 percent. But sales in the first quarter were still down from 2010: Comic sales declined by 8.57 percent and GNs declined by 7.24 percent. Marvel led the month ins dollars and units. PR and charts below. BUT, see John Jackson MIller’s analysis: