Amazing Spider-Man #1 was the top selling comics of 2014, and Marvel the #1 publisher according to charts just released by Diamond Comics. And more importantly, despite early flat sales, the year ended up, with overall sales up 4.39%, comics up 4.03% and graphic novels up 5.18%.
Image ruled the graphic novel charts, with 9 of the top 10 books for the year. Similarly, Marvel had nine out of 10 top periodical comics, with only The Walking Dead #132 breaking the skein.
Despite being shut out of the top 10, DC was the #2 publisher in periodicals, fairly close behind in uits sold, and a bifurther behind MArvel in dollars.
Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man #1 was the best-selling comic book published in 2014 based on total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture merchandise.
Written by Dan Slott and illustrated by Ramon K. Perez, Amazing Spider-Man #1 marked the return of Peter Parker as the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler and saw his return to heroism after a year and a half of Doctor Octopus in control of his body.
Comics and graphic novels continued their upward trend in 2014, with annual sales increasing 4.39% over the previous year, as comic book sales specifically were up 4.03%, while graphic novel sales rose by 5.18%.
Marvel Comics finished the year as the comic book specialty market’s top publisher, leading both Dollar and Unit Market Shares, with a 34.38% Dollar Market Share and a 36.78% Unit Market Share. Marvel Comics had nine of the year’s top ten comics, with the all four issues of the Death of Wolverine limited series among the top sellers, along with Rocket Raccoon #1, Thor #1, Original Sin #1, and Superior Spider-Man #31. On the year, Marvel had 53 of the 2014’s top 100 best-selling comics.
DC Entertainment was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2014 with a 28.86% Dollar Market Share and a 32.47% Unit Market Share. The publisher celebrated the Dark Knight’s 75th Anniversary throughout the year, publishing a number of bestselling titles and declaring July 23rd Batman Day with retailers and libraries nationwide. DC Entertainment’s top comic, Batman #32 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, charted at #14; overall, DC had 43 of the top 100 comics for the year.
The third volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ science fiction epic, Saga from Image Comics was the year’s top-selling graphic novel and boosted Image Comics to the year’s third largest comic book publisher, with a 9.23% Dollar Market Share and a 10.41% Unit Market Share. Image Comics took nine of the top ten graphic novel spots, including all four collections of Saga as well as four volumes from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, along with Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals Volume 1 at #7. Also among the top comics for the year from Image was Kirkman’s The Walking Dead #132, the #2 best-selling comic book for 2014.
IDW Publishing’s was the comic book specialty market’s fourth largest publisher, propelled by its licensed titles such as My Little Pony, Transformers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others. The company’s market share was 5.69% dollar market share for the year. Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe #1, pitting the beloved Hasbro toy franchises in battle, was IDW’s top-selling comic book for the year, and the publisher had two volumes of Joe Hill’s Locke & Key among the year’s top 100 graphic novels.
Dark Horse Comics mix of licensed comic books and creator-owned titles helped the company to be the fifth leading comic book publisher to the comic book specialty market in 2014 with a 5.07% retail dollar market share. Two volumes of Avatar: The Last Airbender, based on the Nickelodeon television series, ranked among the year’s top 100 graphic novels along with Mike Mignola’s Hellboy In Hell: Descent.
2014 TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS
|DARK HORSE COMICS||5.07%||4.25%|
|OTHER NON-TOP 10||8.75%||5.75%|
2014 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
|1||AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1||$5.99||FEB140672-M||MARVEL COMICS|
|2||WALKING DEAD #132 (MR)||$2.99||AUG148104-M||IMAGE COMICS|
|3||ROCKET RACCOON #1||$3.99||MAY140803-M||MARVEL COMICS|
|4||DEATH OF WOLVERINE #1||$4.99||JUN140593-M||MARVEL COMICS|
|5||DEATH OF WOLVERINE #4||$4.99||APR148362-M||MARVEL COMICS|
|6||THOR #1||$3.99||AUG140785-M||MARVEL COMICS|
|7||ORIGINAL SIN #1||$4.99||MAR140616-M||MARVEL COMICS|
|8||DEATH OF WOLVERINE #2||$4.99||APR148360-M||MARVEL COMICS|
|9||DEATH OF WOLVERINE #3||$4.99||APR148361-M||MARVEL COMICS|
|10||SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #31||$5.99||FEB140659-M||MARVEL COMICS|
2014 TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS
|1||SAGA TP VOL 03 (MR)||$14.99||JAN140556||IMAGE COMICS|
|2||SAGA TP VOL 01 (MR)||$9.99||AUG120491||IMAGE COMICS|
|3||WALKING DEAD TP VOL 20 ALL OUT WAR PT 1 (MR)||$14.99||JAN140559||IMAGE COMICS|
|4||SAGA TP VOL 02 (MR)||$14.99||APR130443||IMAGE COMICS|
|5||WALKING DEAD TP VOL 01 DAYS GONE BYE||$14.99||NOV128157-M||IMAGE COMICS|
|6||WALKING DEAD TP VOL 21 ALL OUT WAR PT 2 (MR)||$14.99||MAY140652||IMAGE COMICS|
|7||SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 01 (MR)||$9.99||JAN140558||IMAGE COMICS|
|8||WALKING DEAD TP VOL 22 A NEW BEGINNING (MR)||$14.99||SEP140657||IMAGE COMICS|
|9||BATMAN TP VOL 01 THE COURT OF OWLS||$16.99||DEC120323||DC ENTERTAINMENT|
|10||SAGA TP VOL 04 (MR)||$14.99||OCT140644||IMAGE COMICS|
2014 NUMBER OF TITLES SHIPPED
|DARK HORSE COMICS||432||260||0||692|
|AVATAR PRESS INC||130||29||7||166|
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.