Marvel Month-to-Month Sales: September 2011

By Paul O’Brien — It’s the column you’ve been waiting for! The September sales – for Marvel!

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

Okay, so September was DC’s month. And understandably, most publishers got out of the way, rather than trying to launch any new titles against the New 52 onslaught. Marvel had the second month of the Ultimate relaunch, and there are a couple of new Icon books in the form of BRILLIANT and the returning CASANOVA, but that’s really about it where new launches are concerned. Of course, there’s also the continuing crossovers of “Fear Itself”, “Spider-Island” and “Schism”, and Marvel’s standard practice these days would be to launch the new books after those events, not during.

For the first time in quite a while, DC had the biggest share of the market, leading Marvel by 43% to 38% in units, and a razor-thin 36% to 35% in dollars. (Incidentally, those market share figures apparently don’t apply the retainability discount which Diamond factored into the sales of individual issues.) If that seems closer than you expected, bear in mind that with 52 superhero comics, DC were actually cutting their line back. Marvel solicited almost 80 Marvel Universe superhero books for the same month – though that may not last, given that lower selling titles are now apparently being culled.

DC's decisive October win lifted a lot of boats

The month’s startling sales chars are analyzed at ICv2 with a look at the overall growth for the year. With so many relists on the charts, a number of books from other publishers were squeezed off. However the #300 book — Robert E Howards Savage Sword #3 — sold 5,167, according to the ICv2 metric. Last month, the #300 book — Stan Lee Starborn #10 — charts with 3,341 copies sold. So that’s exactly how much the rising tide lifted that boat.

It's Official: comiXology ships on the Kindle Fire

Since the feverish excitement over the announcement of the Kindle Fire, there has been much speculation over just who and what would be comics-based partners for the platform. Although the comiXology app was prominently displayed on promo materials, all involved were mum when asked about the pact. And there has also been speculation about whether Amazon’s panel view mode would be competition for comiXology’s Guided View.

Well, it is now official: the comiXology app will be available at the Kindle Fire’s debut:

Digital NARUTO precedes print from Viz

ICv2 catches the fact that two volumes of NARUTO will be released digitally before the print edition. Vol. 54 and Vol. 55 will be available as part of the shift to Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha, the digital weekly that’s replacing the print edition. The availability window is pretty steep — NARUTO Vol. 54 is available now; the print version drops January 3.

It’s just a scheduling anomaly but it is still startling to see one of the world’s best selling comics available in digital first.