by John Jackson Miller
[Originally posted at Comichron and reprinted with permission.]
February appears to be returning to form. The release ofDiamond Comic Distributors‘ data for the month was delayed by snow days and other scheduling issues, and the unusually harsh winter appears to have cast a chill on comics sales. Comics shops in North America ordered close to $37 million in new comic books, graphic novels, and magazines in February, down 6.71% from a year ago. The figure is still up 3% from February 2012.
February has historically been either the lowest or second-lowest volume sales month for the Direct Market: publishers in the past have tend to offer fewer titles than at other times of the year, and customers (and sometimes the comics!) have more difficulty reaching stores. This month saw 692 new releases, the first time in months that figure has been below 700. There were 30 fewer graphic novels released in February versus in January; more comics were released, but fewer magazines.
Comics sales were off nearly 15% in units and more than 10% in dollars:Batman #28 was the leader of the list.
Graphic novel dollars were up 2.83% over a year ago. Unit sales were led by the Locke & Key Vol. 6: Alpha and Omega hardcover. Based on its position in the unit sales rankings, odds are the $75 Infinity hardcover may come in at or near the top of the list in dollar sales. Graphic novel units were up by a much greater amount, which suggests that this month again had a high volume of graphic novels sold at greater-than-usual discounts.
The aggregate changes:
|FEBRUARY 2014 VS. JANUARY 2013|
|Total Comics/Graphic Novels||-5.17%||-3.65%|
|FEBRUARY 2014 VS. FEBRUARY 2013|
|Total Comics/Graphic Novels||-6.71%||-12.83%|
|YEAR-TO-DATE 2014 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2013|
|Total Comics/Graphic Novels||-5.89%||-10.15%|
The top-selling comic books:
|2||Forever Evil #5||$3.99||DC|
|4||Superior Spider-Man #27.Now||$3.99||Marvel|
|5||Justice League #28||$3.99||DC|
|6||Superior Spider-Man #28||$3.99||Marvel|
|7||Fantastic Four #1||$3.99||Marvel|
|8||The Walking Dead #121||$2.99||Image|
|9||The Walking Dead #122||$2.99||Image|
|10||All New X-Men #23||$3.99||Marvel|
The top-selling graphic novels:
|1||Locke & Key Volume 6: Alpha & Omega HC||$29.99||IDW|
|2||Fatale Volume 4: Pray For Rain||$14.99||Image|
|3||Adventure Time Volume 4||$14.99||Boom|
|4||Invincible Volume 19: The War At Home||$16.99||Image|
|5||Saga Volume 1||$9.99||Image|
|6||Star-Lord: Annihilation Conquest||$7.99||Marvel|
|8||My Little Pony Tales Volume 2||$17.99||IDW|
|9||Revival Volume 3: A Faraway Place||$14.99||Image|
|10||The Flash Volume 2: Rogues Revolution||$16.99||DC|
The market shares:
|Publisher||Dollar Share||Unit Share|
And the number of new releases:
|Comics shipped||Graphic novels shipped||Magazines Shipped||Total shipped|
Look for the full data to come. And check the Comic Shop Locator Service to find a comic shop near you!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.