By Todd Allen
Over the weekend, I did a rough estimate of Diamond Top 100 sales chart. Good ‘ole Walking Dead turns out to have sold 32,361 in the “official” estimates vs. the 31,596 from January I used for the estimate. That +2.4%, which is just barely outside standard deviation, so it looks like the initial estimates were close again.
As for the official estimates, Comichron and ICV2 look like they’re in agreement on the numbers. You know the standard disclaimers: you should probably add in the neighborhood of 15% for overseas orders, etc. You may not see reorders right away, etc.,etc.
Justice League is still the #1 book with 135,374 regular copies and 5,445 copies of the digital combo pack (most of which aren’t going to be redeemed, according to DC’s experience, so this gives us a feel for the completest/variant market).
Marvel’s top book does indeed fall below the 60K estimate point for the first time in recent memory with Uncanny X-Men #6 estimated at 59,834. Applying that formula, unless there are significant reorders, I’d say the real number is just under 70K. Either way, a very disappointing top spot for Marvel as they get ready for their big move with Avengers Vs. X-Men.
Here’s the thing that gets me about AVX — Avengers X-Sanction is pretty clearly touted as the lead-in series and #3 is only estimated at 53,730 copies. There’s noise about AVX selling 200K. Is this a condemnation of Jeph Loeb’s writing or just a massive amount of marketing for AVX. Something doesn’t add up here, and if AVX is the smash hit we’re being hyped about, Avengers X-Sanction might get some after-the-fact interest in it. Otherwise, there may be some smoke and mirrors involved.
For all the soft top, February has proven to be a better than expected month, with the rising tide of the independent comics continuing to rise, even as Marvel’s top line and DC’s lower tier continue to sag. John Jackson Miller has a nice write-up of this and notes that the #300 title is 4,185 copies — a very high number for that position on the chart.
Some debut issues:
Multiple independent debuts over 10K? Over 15K? Interesting. Another Mars comic and still over 8K? The comics are doing better than the movie (domestically, anyway).
What kind of reorder activity showed up?
- Batman 1 $2.99 DC 5,626
- Fatale 1 $3.50 Image 5,506
- Fear Itself Fearless 1 $2.99 Marvel 5,459
- Detective Comics 1 $2.99 DC 4,964
Batman and Detective you might have guessed. Fatale seems to be a bonafide hit for Image with #2 estimated at 20,315 and a lot more reorders poised to show up in the March charts, from what I hear. Fear Itself: The Fearless… did a new fanbase just discover it? Maybe some sudden heat with the news of Cullen Bunn writing Wolverine? Reorders are good things, but that last one is a bit of a surprise.
I’m also counting 36 independent comics with sales estimates over 10K… which seems like it might be the highest it’s been in a while. A lot of that is licensed material, but not all of it. Thief of Thieves had a very nice debut. Fatale is solid. March’s chart will see Saga and reorders on Prophet and Glory. Adventure Time and TMNT are up there. Are the little guys gaining momentum? I’d say the “slowly, but surely” path is continuing.
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.