January was the cruelest month for comics sales, as the ICv2 headline starkly puts it: Only One Comic Above 100K. The one book was Batman #27 which sold 115,492 copies, according to ICv2. The site noes, perhaps ominously, that the last time we had a month with only one book over 100K copies was August 2011, the month before the New 52 launch, and the book was Justice League #1. Periodical comics sales were flat, down 42%, while graphic novels sales were way down with a 14.28% decline, and backlist dominating the list.
While this is troubling, I wouldn’t necessarily say doom is at hand. January is always a slow month, and we’re still above where we were pre-New 52.
Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual–January 2014
Top 300 Comic Books Actual–January 2014
And here’s John Jackson Miller on the month, reprinted with permission:
The first comics sales reports for the year have been released by Diamond Comic Distributors, and 2014 is off to a slow start, relative to some recent big Januaries. Click to see comics sales estimates for January 2014.
The top seller for the month, Batman #27, sold fewer copies than any monthly top-seller since May 2011, before the DC relaunch. But while the second-place title, Detective Comics#27 (boy, that issue sounds familiar) sold more than 87,000 copies to Batman’s more than 115,000, it cost twice as much, and thus was by far the biggest comic book in dollar terms in the month.
Comics shops sold nearly $39 million worth of comic books and graphic novels in January, off 5% from last January. Comic book dollar orders were essentially unchanged, but the graphic novel category dropped against difficult competition from the previous year.
RECORDS: Thanks in part to the impact of Detective #27, the average price of all comics retailers ordered within the Top 300 was $3.77, the highest ever. It beat out the $3.73 mark set in October and November. Click to see more Diamond Exclusive Era records.