The October 2008 comics sales estimates are online at The Comics Chronicles, and it turned out to be a record-setting month in a number of categories.
The Top 300 Comics Dollar sales were the highest they’ve been since the beginning of the Diamond Exclusive era, in April 1997. Likewise, the Top 300 Comics Plus Top 100 Trade Paperbacks (although only the Top 25 and then the Top 50 trades were reported up until a few years ago). The Overall Comics, Trade Paperback, and Magazine sales figure also set the highest mark since that category became trackable in 2003.
And the average cost and average weighted cost of new comics in the Diamond Top 300 is higher than at any time in the Diamond era, and almost certainly in the history of comics. The average cost of all comics in the Top 300 was $3.38 — and the weighted average, total dollars divided by total units, was $3.31. The Top 25 comics had an average price of $3.39, so the top of the list was particularly pricey.
Obviously, rising comics prices had much to do with it, but as we pointed out earlier, and Miller affirms, the overall sales on the chart were much higher than in the past, with even the #300 book selling over 4000 copies. In January 2005, the #300 comic sold 679 copies. (Emphasis mine.)
What does this mean in light of all the recession gloom and doom? We’re not quite sure. Momentum has a lot to do with it, but it does seem that a more diversified base of readers will help smooth out the transition when Marvel and DC inevitably raise their cover prices in the next year.