BP!

If you were looking for signs that comics sales are getting out of their funk in 2016, April’s Diamond figures didn’t help. Black Panther #1 was the top selling comic, as expected, but a  16.19% drop in dollars and 21.49% drop in units from April 2015 was steep.

Wonder Woman Earth One was the number one graphic novel; sales on this have been a monster.

As John Jackson Miller explained, April 2015 was the biggest month of modern times, and  a five week month to boot, so comparisons were bound to be bleak, but even so sales in 2016 were down. And the culprit was a drop in product of middle tier publishers including IDW, Image, Boom and Dynamite all releasing fewer books.

That is a steep drop: 23% fewer new comic books were released in April 2016 versus the year before. That figure is higher than the actual 18% drop in new comics dollar sales year-over-year, and much higher than we would expect from the usual four-to-five-week month difference. (The number of graphic novel releases was about the same.) Put another way, publishers released 30% more new comic books in April 2015 than in the following April.

You might think that the addition of a fifth week would result in an increase of 25% in new material — and a decrease of 20% when that fifth week is gone — but the numbers are usually much lower. Comics are monthlies, not every-four-weeks; publishers don’t always increase their slates just to accommodate the extra week. Offerings tend to spread out a little more. This drop in the number of comics offered is significantly higher, and points to reduced offerings by publisher design.

What’s the source of the drop? The middle-tier publishers, whose increased offerings in recent years helped bulk up the market. IDW is the biggest source of the drop, offering 43 periodicals this April versus 63 last April. Image is down from 74 to 56 titles, Dynamite 35 to 19, Boom down from 39 to 27. The middle-tier publishers are playing it more conservatively in 2016, and one result is lower overall volume.

Looks like we’ve reached the saturation point for the DM sponge, with several publishers cutting back the number of titles, as discussed at last fall’s Diamond summit.

Marvel whupped DC again, to boot. Rebirth better be good.

unit-sharedollar-share

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 42.98% 47.87%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 25.82% 25.13%
IMAGE COMICS 8.72% 8.95%
IDW PUBLISHING 4.41% 3.67%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.07% 2.42%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.39% 2.45%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.53% 1.45%
TITAN COMICS 1.10% 1.09%
VIZ MEDIA 0.97% 0.38%
ONI PRESS 0.87% 0.63%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.12% 5.96%

 


NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS SHIPPED GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED MAGAZINES SHIPPED TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS 92 35 1 128
DC ENTERTAINMENT 80 31 1 112
IMAGE COMICS 56 17 1 73
IDW PUBLISHING 43 21 0 64
DARK HORSE COMICS 27 19 0 46
BOOM ENTERTAINMENT 27 8 0 35
TITAN COMICS 22 3 1 26
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 19 6 0 25
VIZ MEDIA 0 21 0 21
ONI PRESS INC. 8 4 0 12
OTHER NON-TOP 10 46 139 26 211

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS
APRIL 2016 VS. MARCH 2016
COMICS 8.18% 8.19%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -8.81% -8.22%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 2.06% 6.50%
APRIL 2016 VS. APRIL 2015
COMICS -18.05% -22.28%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -11.99% -12.42%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -16.19% -21.49%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2016 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2015
COMICS -7.84% -13.05%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 4.87% 5.23%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -4.06% -11.69%

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 BLACK PANTHER #1 $4.99 FEB160740-M MAR
2 STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #1 $4.99 FEB160747-M MAR
3 DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #4 $5.99 JAN160219-M DC
4 STAR WARS SPECIAL: C-3PO #1 $4.99 OCT150933 MAR
5 BATMAN #51 $3.99 FEB160185-M DC
6 GWENPOOL #1 $4.99 FEB160762-M MAR
7 STAR WARS #18 $3.99 FEB160935-M MAR
8 DARTH VADER #19 $3.99 FEB160938 MAR
9 HARLEY QUINN & SUICIDE SQUAD APRIL FOOL’S SPECIAL #1 $4.99 FEB160121-M DC
10 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 $3.99 FEB160792-M MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 WONDER WOMAN: EARTH ONE BOOK 1 HC $22.99 DEC150215 DC
2 STAR WARS: VADER DOWN TP $19.99 JAN160962 MAR
3 RAT QUEENS VOLUME 3: DEMONS TP (MR) $14.99 JAN160696 IMA
4 I HATE FAIRYLAND VOL. 1: MADLY EVER AFTER TP (MR) $9.99 JAN160644-M IMA
5 THANOS: THE INFINITY FINALE OGN HC $24.99 DEC150873 MAR
6 CIVIL WAR TP $24.99 JAN072436 MAR
7 DEADPOOL: WORLD’S GREATEST VOLUME 1: A MILLIONAIRE WITH MOUTH TP $15.99 JAN160939 MAR
8 BLACK MAGICK VOL. 1: AWAKENING PART ONE TP (MR) $9.99 JAN160635-M IMA
9 BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL EDITION HC $17.99 NOV070226 DC
10 RICK & MORTY VOLUME 2 TP $19.99 FEB161683-M ONI

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 SPAWN ADULT COLORING BOOK $14.99 FEB160614 IMA
2 STAR WARS LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK: THE FORCE AWAKENS $4.99 FEB162187 RAN
3 THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 105 SC $14.95 JAN161934 SAN
4 STAR WARS CHARACTER ENCYCLOPEDIA UPDATED EXPANDED HC $16.99 MAR162015 DK
5 FIREFLY DICTIONARY AND PHRASEBOOK HC $21.95 JAN161711 RAN
6 NARUTO: SAKURA STORY SC $10.99 MAR161867 VIZ
7 LEGO DC COMICS SUPER HEROES CHARACTER ENCYCLOPEDIA $18.99 MAR161976 DK
8 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FIRST AVENGER HC $24.99 MAR161964 DK
9 STAR TREK: MAD LIBS $4.99 FEB162184 PUT
10 DC SUPER HEROES: MY FIRST BOOK OF GIRL POWER BOARD BOOK $9.99 SEP148145 POC

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 BATMAN V SUPERMAN DAWN OF JUSTICE: BATMAN STATUE AUG150303 DC
2 GHOSTBUSTERS SELECT SERIES 2 ACTION FIGURES JAN162250 DST
3 MOVIE REALIZATION STAR WARS: TEPPO ASHIGARU SANDTROOPER ACTION FIGURES JUL158518 BLU
4 HATSUNE MIKU PLAY ARTS KAI: TETSUYA FIGURE SEP152434 SQU
5 DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS: THE JOKER & HARLEY QUINN STATUE 2ND EDITION AUG150309 DC
6 POP! STAR WARS: RANCOR WITH LUKE & SLAVE OOLA 3-PACK SEP158902 FUN
7 MARVEL SELECT: DEADPOOL ACTION FIGURE MAR101468 DST
8 MARVEL SELECT: BLACK WIDOW ACTION FIGURE SEP118154 DST
9 GHOSTBUSTERS SELECT SERIES 1 ACTION FIGURES MAY152168 DST
10 BATMAN PREMIUM COLLECTION: MAD LOVE HARLEY QUINN STATUE JUL158013 DST

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 MARVEL HEROCLIX: UNCANNY X-MEN BOOSTER BRICK MAR162746 NEC
2 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES HEROCLIX JAN162805 NEC
3 SHADOWS OVER CAMELOT FEB054009 DAY
4 SMALL WORLD FEB095181 DOW
5 MARVEL HEROCLIX: CAPTAIN AMERICA CIVIL WAR FEB162982 NEC
6 MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: SHADOWS OVER INNISTRAD BOOSTERS FEB162979 WIZ
7 DC HEROCLIX: BATMAN ARKHAM ORIGINS QUICK START KIT JAN160053 NEC
8 MEMOIR ’44 APR044222 DOW
9 TICKET TO RIDE MAR043750 DOW
10 DC DICE MASTERS: WORLDS FINEST JAN162799 NEC

 

How does Diamond calculate the charts? It all starts at the comic book shop.

Comments

  1. Kim says

    “but a 16.19% drop in dollars and 21.49% drop in units from April 2015 was steep.”

    April 2015 was a 5 wednesday month, which saw 11 books over 100k, like 5 issues of Convergence, Kanan #1, and Leia, Vader and Star Wars.

    April 2015 was 17.75% dollars and 21.40% units bigger than april 2014. Context is important; this wasn’t, really, a steep drop from april 2015. It was just that april 2015 was unusually big and 5 wednesdays.

  2. Brian Lichner says

    Sure, but 2016 was 127% diversier than 2015. That’s way more important. Who cares if nobody is buying any books as long as they’re all extraordinarily diverse? Another medium successfully destroyed for your protection.

  3. Chris Hero says

    Diversification has nothing to do with this. There is literally evidence supporting the idea diversification is good for business. The Black Panther book selling so well and the Wonder Woman book’s sales both show the market is eager for diversification.

  4. Skottie says

    “Another medium successfully destroyed for your protection.”

    Your tears are delicious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *