With all the rushing around, I never got to the Top 10 charts for September. I’ve posted the relevant charts below—short version: another good month. In fact a GREAT month, especially for DC, which crushed it. DC sent out a press release announcing they sold four million comics, the most since the initial New 52 launch three years ago. And kudos to them.
To explain the bigger picture, we turn, of course, to John Jackson Miller, who notes the record sales:
• Highest dollar volume for Top 300 Comics sales in a single month: $30.05 million
• Highest dollar volume for Top 300 Comics and Top 300 Trade Paperbacks combined for a single month: $37.61 million
• Highest dollar volume for All Comics, Trade Paperbacks, and Magazines ordered in a single month: $48.07 million
• Highest dollar volume for All Comics, Trade Paperbacks, and Magazines ordered in a single QUARTER: $113.16 million
• Highest weighted average price for all comics ordered within Diamond’s Top 300 Comics list: $3.69 (tied with November 2010)
• Most copies sold by a 300th place title in a four-week month: 6,448
So yeah a great month.
Of course, that didn’t stop retailers from being troubled by it. For this I recommend you turn to CBR’s interview with retailer Mike Sterling. While you should read the whole thing, here’s the nut graph:
How were sales on Villains Month overall?
Sales were great, all things considered, and once word started to spread that these items were in short supply, the rush to find the 3D covers was on. As the weeks went on, more and more people started waiting outside the front door Wednesday mornings, with a lot of people fast-trotting to the new comic racks to get their hands on them. Fortunately, I didn’t have the shoving or fistfights I was hearing about at other shops!
Had all things worked out like they should have, with DC able to fill all orders, I would like to believe my actual order numbers would have sufficed for the demand I anticipated. However, since I didn’t anticipate DC not being able to hold up their end of the transaction, there was no accommodating the increased demand caused by everyone knowing the items were in limited supply. If there wasn’t a shortage, would there have been as much demand? Would there simply have been a general bump in interest just from people seeing the 3D covers and thinking they were neat, as opposed to the frenzy we saw?
There’s no question but that Villains Month was a mess as far as allocations went, and retailers were grumpy. The 2D covers appear to have been a bust in some stores. While I’m pretty sure DC didn’t plan for it to be a mess, the natural lesson would be that next time time for printing should be built into the ordering schedule. But, the fact is…it was the best month for comics sales in the Diamond Era. The hint of scarcity definitely sent everyone into collector mode. I’ve seen a few conspiracy theories that this was intended all along, but let’s give everyone the benefit of the doubt here.
So were the villains good or bad? The comics themselves seem to have been all over the place quality wise, as our Steve Morris reported. But my own takeaway is that no matter how many times retailers say they are “evented out” they still have extreme FOMO every time they hear the word event. And in this case, it all worked….despite itself.
I think a bigger, more optimistic view is that although DC had the biggest sales, it didn’t necessarily take away sales from other publishers. In other words, the pie was still big enough for everyone—but for that, we’ll wait until our own Marvel and Indie sale charts come in.
What do you think, Beat Industry Pundits? Was Villains Month a Bust…or a Boom?
NOTE: I’ve posted some the other sales charts for smaller publishers on their own pages:
PUBLISHER MARKET SHARES
NEW TITLES SHIPPED
|PUBLISHER||COMICS SHIPPED||GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED||MAGAZINES SHIPPED||TOTAL SHIPPED|
|DARK HORSE COMICS||27||19||0||46|
COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS
|SEPTEMBER 2013 VS. AUGUT 2013|
|SEPTEMBER 2013 VS. SEPTEMBER 2012|
|YEAR-TO-DATE 2013 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2012|
|THIRD QUARTER 2013 VS. SECOND QUARTER 2013|
|THIRD QUARTER 2013 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2012|
TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
|1||FOREVER EVIL #1||$3.99||JUL130149-M||DC|
|4||X-MEN:BATTLEOF ATOM #1||$3.99||JUL130658-M||MAR|
|5||BATMAN #23.1: THE JOKER||$3.99||JUL130185||DC|
|6||BATMAN #23.2: THE RIDDLER||$3.99||JUL130186||DC|
|7||MIGHTY AVENGERS #1||$3.99||JUL130582-M||MAR|
|8||BATMAN #23.4: BANE||$3.99||JUL130188||DC|
|10||BATMAN #23.3: THE PENGUIN||$3.99||JUL130187||DC|
TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS
|1||EAST OF WEST VOLUME 1: THE PROMISE TP||$9.99||JUN130466||IMA|
|2||JUSTICE LEAGUE VOL. 3: THE THRONE OF ATLANTIS HC||$24.99||MAY130218||DC|
|3||STAR WARS VOLUME 1: IN THE SHADOW OF YAVIN TP||$19.99||MAY130061||DAR|
|4||THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 9 HC (MR)||$34.99||JUL130491||IMA|
|5||THE WALKING DEAD 100 PROJECT TP (MR)||$12.99||JUL130500||IMA|
|6||JUSTICE LEAGUE VOL. 2: THE VILLAINS’ JOURNEY TP||$16.99||JUN130261||DC|
|7||SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR)||$9.99||AUG120491||IMA|
|8||SAGA VOLUME 2 TP (MR)||$14.99||APR130443||IMA|
|9||MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC VOLUME 2 TP||$17.99||JUL130301||IDW|
|10||SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN VOLUME 1 HC||$34.99||APR130716-M||MAR|
TOP 10 BOOKS
|1||STAR WARS: JEDI ACADEMY HC||$12.99||JUN131516||SCH|
|2||NEIL GAIMAN: FORTUNATELY THE MILK HC||$14.99||JUL131502||HAR|
|3||DC SUPER HEROES WONDER WOMAN: ATTACK OF THE CHEETAH SC||$4.95||JUN131469||CAP|
|4||DOCTOR WHO: CYBERMAN BUST & BOOK KIT||$9.95||JUL131466||RUN|
|5||THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA HC||$34.99||SEP120055||DAR|
|6||DC SUPER HEROES BATMAN: TWO-FACE’SDOUBLE TAKESC||$4.95||JUL131459||CAP|
|7||DC SUPER HEROES WONDER WOMAN: MONSTER MAGIC||$4.95||JUN131470||CAP|
|8||FRANK FRAZETTA: ART AND REMEMBRANCES HC||$49.99||MAY131406||HER|
|9||DC SUPER HEROES WONDER WOMAN: CREATURE OF CHAOS||$4.95||JUN131468||CAP|
|10||MARVEL CHRONICLE: A YEAR BY YEAR HISTORY HC||$50.00||JUL131453||DK|
TOP 10 TOYS
|1||DC COMICS COVER GIRLS: BATGIRL STATUE||APR130281||DC|
|2||DC COMICS VARIANT PLAY ARTS KAI: WONDER WOMAN FIGURE||MAR138269||SQU|
|3||DC COMICS VARIANT PLAY ARTS KAI: BATMAN FIGURE||MAR138267||SQU|
|4||MARVEL SELECT: THE WOLVERINE MOVIE FIGURE||APR131745||DST|
|5||DOCTOR WHO TITANS SERIES 2 MINI-FIGURES||APR131875||TTN|
|6||DC THE NEW 52: TRINITY WAR ACTION FIGURE BOX SET||MAY130271||DC|
|7||BATMAN: HUSH: SCARECROW/NIGHTWING/POISON IVY ACTION FIGURE 3-PACK||MAY130286||DC|
|8||DC COMICS VARIANT PLAY ARTS KAI: GREEN LANTERN FIGURE||MAR138268||SQU|
|9||DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS: SUPERGIRL STATUE||MAR130317||DC|
|10||MARVEL UNIVERSE ACTION FIGURES||MAY131824||HAS|
TOP 10 GAMES
|2||DC HEROCLIX: BATMAN ’66 CLASSIC TV SERIES EXPANSION||JUN138233||NEC|
|3||DC HEROCLIX: BATMAN ’66 CLASSIC TV SERIES BATMOBILE||JUN138232||NEC|
|4||MY LITTLE PONY MONOPOLY||MAY132328||USA|
|5||MARVEL HEROCLIX: WOLVERINE & X-MEN BOOSTER BRICK||JUN132403||NEC|
|6||THE WALKING DEAD TV BOARD GAME||JUL112137||CRY|
|7||YU-GI-OH! TCG 2013 WAVE 1 COLLECTIBLE TINS||MAY138246||KON|
|8||THE WALKING DEAD COMIC BOARD GAME||JUL112185||ALL|
|9||MAGIC THE GATHERING CCG DUEL DECKS: HEROES VS. MONSTERS||JUN138373||ALL|
|10||PATHFINDER ADVENTURE CARD GAME: RISE OF THE RUNELORDS BASE SET||JUN132383||PAI|
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.