I’ll post John Jackson Miller’s analysis when it comes in, but sales for the year inched up, although down from Five Wednesday July. Image had more than 10% of unit sales, always a good mark for them. And sales analyst Miller weighs in pointing out this was the first “Normal” month in a while. After […]
The column is already running late, so I won’t belabor too many points here‚Ä¶
July 2014 was a record-setting month in many categories for the Diamond NA-served comics market (see John Jackson Miller’s analysis for the full skinny). DC shipped a whopping 83 comics this month (up from 68 in June).
As expected, the Batman 75th Anniversary covers don’t do as well as the Bombshell covers did last month. Whether this is because retailers (as a group) order-ordered on the Bombshell covers and were correcting, or because there was a perceived lesser demand for the Batman covers it is hard to tell; I suspect a combination of factors. It may be several months before things settle down in the new way of ordering variants.
Lots of new entries this month, including smash-hit new books from Robert Kirkman and Kieron Gillen and a first ever official comic for a cult film favourite. Elsewhere Valiant continue to falter despite the new Armor Hunters crossover, and Zenescope seem to be similarly slipping down and off the sales chart with their numbers dropping to new lows.
This is a pretty standard month. Overall, comics sales were strong this month, and while many ongoing Marvel books followed standard attrition rates, they made up for those losses with several anniversary specials and new debuts that posted strong numbers. The big brand to follow is Guardians of the Galaxy which launches several new spin-off series this month to capitalize on the movie release. Let’s look at a breakdown of this month’s Marvel books.
The comics industry in North America moved into positive territory for 2014 with a record-setting month of July, according to Comichron’s analysis of data released by Diamond Comic Distributors. Click to see the sales estimates for comics ordered in July 2014.
A much larger number of new comic book and graphic novel releases for the month helped July’s sales to set a number ofrecords for the Diamond Exclusive Era, which began in April 1997:
As expected, although still shockingly, Rocket Raccoon #1 by Skottie Young was the #1 comics periodical for July, according to Diamond’s just released stats. As reported earlier, RR #1 sold some 300,000 copies—100,000 of them through a single order from bulk seller Loot Crate. Even so, 200,000 copies is a high water mark for a character viewed as a minor oddity a few months ago. As usual, and perhaps comfortingly, Batman #33 took the second spot, but Harley Quinn #8 was also in the top 10, another sign of the audience diversity that is beginning to take hold.
In yesterday’s comments on the Mike Dawson Mid-career assessment, retailer Brian Hibbs stepped in with some comments, including this one
Change is coming! As I researched and wrote this month’s article in the week before Comic Con, Marvel made several huge announcements. Mjolnir will now be wielded by a woman in a new Thor series. The Falcon will wield the shield in a new Captain America. The Avengers will see major Roster changes in Avengers Now.
Now if you’ve been following these sales articles, none of this should have surprised you. Sure the details are exciting and interesting, but we’ve known for a while now that sales on the Avengers books and the big 3 marvel heroes (Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor) have gotten stale. It was time for a change, what is exciting about these announcements is that these aren’t small changes but big changes that garnered national media attention and hopefully will mean big (and hopefully lasting) sales boosts. Let’s look at the numbers for this month.
The big DC sales news for June was not (as I had expected) the new creative team on Superman, but rather the unexpected huge effect that DC’s Bombshell Variant covers had on those comics lucky enough to sport them.
Some background: For some time now DC has been doing theme variant covers on many of their best-selling rites each month: Steampunk variants, Robot Chicken variants, MAD variants, Batman 66 variants, etc. Prior to June these were always incentive variants, where retailers could order one variant cover for every so many of the regular cover they ordered (e.g. in May the Batman ’66 variant was a 1:25 variant, meaning that for each title retailers could order 1 Batman ’66 cover for every 25 regular covers they ordered on a title). Conventional wisdom is that this increased the number of issues sold, as retailers could mark up the price of the variant covers and sell them to collectors it was believed that they would order extra a copies in order to get to the incentive level.
Another decent month for Image, who have all of the top four new entries, including Warren Ellis’s return to creator-owned books. Elsewhere Valiant appear to be going through a radical shift in publishing model, and don’t look too healthy over-all. Stick around after the top 300, as there’s a bit of an extra this month.
149 indie titles charted in the top 300, slightly down on last month’s 151. Overall sales were up at 1,632,573, compared to last month’s 1,688,787 and the average sales this month are 10,957, down on last month’s 11,184. 16 titles went up in sales and 116 went down, with the rest made up of new entries and specials.
Image are number one again with an 8.86% dollar share and an 9.96% market share, IDW go up to second place with a 6.38% dollar share and 4.18% market share. Dark Horse have a 5.96% dollar share and a 5.50% market share, Dynamite have a 2.30% dollar share and 2.29% market share and Boom! have a 1.97 % dollar share and 1.84% market share.
As there will be no industry white paper at San Diego, where Milton Griepp traditionally releases his industry sales figures for the year, he and John Jackson Miller has teamed up for an estimate of the size of the comics market in 2013: $870 million. That’s up $135 million from 2012 — a very sizable increase. With sales this year generally flat it probably won’t be a big increase unless something really nutty happens, but that shows that it wasn’t just your imagination: 2013 was a pretty swell year for the comics.
OUTCAST #1, the new book by Robert Kirkman and Paul Azaceta has been a huge success, we’re told with orders surpassing The Walking Dead #128 with a print run of 86,000 copies. Even more impressive? The book shipped without ANY variants. However it still shows up on the Diamond chart at #11 because 10% of […]
Sales Charts! You love them, I love them, and here’s one I haven’t linked to before. Publishers Weekly (my other job) is running category best sellers lists for Apple’s iBooks portal and here’s the line for the last week of June. I’m pubbing the whole list this time just to get you sale chart analysts ginned up, but in the future a link will do. Note these books are iBooks format and not via Comixology.
Original Sin is Marvel’s big new event and it debuted at 147k and then dropped down to 92k. But is that good for a major event book? For fun I pulled the numbers for #1 issues of the last several big event books from Marvel to see how Original Sin stacks up. As you can see out of these 7 books it ranks 5th. I did better than Siege and Fear Itself, but worse than Age of Ultron, AVX, Secret invasion or Civil War. Two other interesting trends to note is that events have become more frequent and sell worse. I cherry picked these events because they fell around the same time of year as Original Sin and were Avengers-focused, but the last few years have been very event heavy and sales have been dropping overall on these events. They are still the best-selling books of their month generally but Marvel has yet to recapture the excitement and sales of Civil War.