Sales of comics to the direct market by Diamond Comic Distributors slipped 7% in the first quarter of 2008 vs. the year ago period, the first quarterly drop since Q4 of 2004, when comic sales were down 4%. Graphic novel sales were up 5% for the quarter, ameliorating the over-all decline to 5% for the quarter in combined comic and graphic novel dollars. Q1 2008 was also the first over-all decline since Q4 of 2004, when combined comic and graphic novel sales were down 3% vs. the year ago period.
March was the ugliest month of the quarter for comic sales, with a 15% drop in comic sales vs. March 2007. Graphic novels were up 4%, bringing the over-all annual rate of change to a positive 4% for the month.
The comparison is a WEE bit unfair, since last March was the month of the Captain America $26 insanity — but a drop in sales is still a drop in sales. More: