And as the month’s charts and solicitations roll out, here’s ICv2’s analysis for August. It is an unsettled time in the universe with some things slipping and others gaining.
Both Secret Wars and Star Wars titles are selling very well, but it’s worth noting that sales on both title groups are eroding over time, with secondary Secret Wars tie-in titles suffering the largest declines.
DC did better in August than in July, placing seven titles in the Top 25, and posting increased sales on many of them. It was a Bombshells month, with Bombshells #1 ranking #18 for the month, selling over 59,000 copies, and four DC titles in the Top 25 experiencing sales increases behind Bombshell variants. DC’s two best sellers, Batman and Justice League, were both up in August.
ICv2 also suggests that
One factor affecting the dollars shipped may be the significant delays on Marvel titles, particularly on Secret Wars and related titles. Marvel announced 53 delays on Secret Wars titles in four weeks in May and June (see “Marvel Delays Hit Collections, ‘Secret Wars'”), and those delays are now playing out in the marketplace. Delays on collections announced around the same time are also starting to hit.
That’s not necessarily all bad news at the retail level. The numbers Diamond measures are sell-in to retailers, sell-through can be affected differently. A slowing of the sell-in on Secret Wars titles, while aggravating and risking loss of momentum, can also improve sell-through on the massive number of issues in the event, giving fans time to keep up with more of the storyline as it plays out over multiple titles.
TOP 300 COMICS ACTUAL–AUGUST 2015 — want to see how much DC has slipped? If you can’t wait for David Carter read it and weep.
John Jackson Miller also looked at the month’s numbers, and he pegged both a bit of slippage in the middle while looking at the overall growth:
On the other end of the charts, the 300th-place title sold a smaller number of copies than has been sold since February 2014, suggesting that the middle-tier titles aren’t quite as strong this year as they have been. Overall periodical unit sales were flat, up just 0.02%.
But again, as discussed here Friday, the market was in significantly better shape this August relative to the August four years ago, back before the DC relaunch. We’re starting from a bigger base this time out, so it’ll be interesting to see what difference that makes.
Just to put that last comment into perspective, Miller pegs August 2015 at 6.52 million copies and $24.95 million. August 2011, just before the new 52 lifted all boats was 6.2 million copies and $21.55 million in sales.
It’s a little hard to find specific monthly estimates on Comichron, but I found October 2012 at random and the numbers then are 7.38 million copies and $27.03 million sales…quite a bit better than now but actually a then record setting month. The greater diversity in publishers hitting the top 100 is a healthier sign now, and sales ARE up generally, but this could be a worrying trend or a periodic market correction type thing. For nervous nellies, perhaps looking at this chart—a monthly graph of overall sales—could bring comfort—although it stops in January.
As you can see, growth had been at a steady rate. The GN chart shows a far steeper growth incline…oddly JJM does not includes a comics periodical breakout, but the periodical is here for a while longer.
In other words…it’s all developing.
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.