For the week of 8/1/18, The Walking Dead was the bestselling comic on the Comixology sales chart.
|Comixology Rank||Issue||Previous Issue Print Sales Est.||Previous Issue Diamond Rank|
|1||The Walking Dead Issue #182||71,196||13|
|2||Batman (2016-) Issue #52||121,836||5|
|3||Justice League (2018-) Issue #5||86,001||10|
|4||Mister Miracle (2017-) Issue #10||39,367||34|
|5||Infinity Wars (2018) Issue #1 (of 6)||52,369||27|
|6||Captain America (2018-) Issue #2||34,434||43|
|7||Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #69||Digital First|
|8||Star Wars (2015-) Issue #52||49,655||31|
|9||Immortal Hulk (2018-) Issue #4||84,153||11|
|10||Paper Girls Issue #23||21,981||99|
|11||Adventures of the Super Sons (2018-) Issue #1||N/A|
|12||Astonishing X-Men (2017-) Issue #14||28,513||65|
|13||X-Men Gold (2017-) Issue #33||88,238||9|
|14||Nightwing (2016-) Issue #47||26,242||79|
|15||Deathstroke (2016-) Issue #34||38,535||35|
|16||Death of Superman, Part 1 (2018-) Issue #1||Digital First|
|17||X-Men Gold (2017-) Annual Issue #2||88,238||9|
|18||Green Lanterns (2016-) Issue #52||24,157||88|
|19||Cosmic Ghost Rider (2018) Issue #2 (of 5)||N/A|
|20||Hunt For Wolverine: Weapon Lost (2018) Issue #4 (of 4)||33,118||48|
The chart starts off the way you’d expect it to: The Walking Dead, Batman and Justice League as Justice League seems to be settling into a slot below Batman. Next comes Mister Miracle, which has enjoyed a proportionally higher digital readership dating back to the first issue (likely aided by the first issue having been under-ordered by most retailers).
Then we get our first surprise: the #5 seller of the week is Infinity Wars #1. Marvel wasn’t having the best of luck with digital for the myriad of preludes, countdowns and so forth, but when the actual event finally drops, it appears to be selling at a pace that’s over the equivalent of 50K, possible a fair amount over that.
After that we see Captain America #2 in the sixth sales slot, followed by Injustice. This indicates that Captain America is likely an over 50K print equivalency rate and has held onto a few readers after the first issue of the relaunch. It seems to be up quite a bit from the end of the previous series.
Star Wars is the #8 book, which is about where you’d expect to see a title that’s be selling in the high 40Ks lately.
And then things get a little ambiguous.
Our guideposts are X-Men Gold in the #13 spot and Deathstroke in the #15 spot. The previous issue of Deathstroke had ~38.5K print orders into the Direct Market. X-Men Gold is not as clear, since the last issue with have order information was the wedding issue at ~88.2K, but the issue before that was ~36.4K, so it’s probably safe to assume that the wedding brought in a few more readers.
With that in mind, Paper Girls is in the #10 spot, with an A-list Image title that’s always over-performed in digital. The debut of The Adventures of the Super Sons is the #11 seller of the week. This slot suggests a low-to-mid 40Ks print equivalence. Astonishing X-Men is the #12 book, which seems to be retaining an audience bump from the new creative team.
Nightwing is in the 14th spot, continuing to over-perform in digital.
The Death of Superman digital first comic is at #16 moving at a print equivalent of something in the mid-30Ks. This is followed by the X-Men Gold Annual, which is also likely in the mid-30Ks, but could conceivably be a bit lower.
Green Lanterns is next, the previous issue of which was ordered into the DM at ~24.1K. This is usually around where Green Lanterns shows up on the chart.
#19 and #20 are Cosmic Ghost Rider and Hunt For Wolverine: Weapon Lost. That could be a reasonably large drop from #1 to #2 for Cosmic Ghost Rider, but the various Hunt For Wolverine titles have been under-performing in digital.
Methodology and standard disclaimers:
The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 8/5) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron June chart.
The conventional wisdom that’s been handed down over the last few years is that he digital audience has more of less the same reading habits as the Direct Market Print audience. I’ve had multiple publishers tell me that digital sales of new issues are roughly 10-15% of print sales and the titles more or less have the same proportional popularity in digital as in print. Maybe a couple titles switch places on the sales ranking list, but largely the same. The bestsellers on the newsstand were not always the same bestsellers as in the Direct Market, so it doesn’t seem like that should necessarily be the case with digital. There will be a little bit of mismatch because these are more weekly than monthly ranks and it isn’t clear exactly how Comixology defines the reporting periods, but if you look at comics sales, you learn to live with the data available.
Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work? Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.