All the numbers on October’s sales are rolling in. ICv2 has





big-trouble-in-little-china-escape-from-new-york-1Champions #1 is listed as having sold only 328,000 copies, less than the 400K that Marvel claimed. Apparently the Gamestop variant covers did not go through the typical Diamond mechanism. However, the Loot Crate effect was in the house, as  John Jackson Miller explains:

Well, we thought we were done with it. After an absence from the sales rankings of more than a year, the repackaging service Loot Crate again in October vaulted an unlikely lead comic book atop Diamond Comic Distributors chart of best-selling comics.

Boom StudiosBig Trouble in Little China/Escape from New York #1, in addition to having one of the longer names for any best-selling comic book, becomes the publisher’s first top-seller; back in May 2016, it just missed with its previous Loot Crate offering, the second-place Bravest Warriors: Tales from the Holo John #1. That was the last Loot Crate item to make a big statistical splash.

While it’s good to see comics circulating in a variety of places, neither issue was likely anywhere near a top-five book within the Direct Market. Diamond is well aware of the disconnect, as evidenced by its news release; the lead item is that Marvel’s Champions #1 was the distributor’s top comic in dollar terms, with the Boom title mentioned later in the first paragraph. Since Loot Crate variant copies do not result in many — if any — dollars to the distributor, Loot Crate copies add little to a book’s ranking on the dollar charts.

Diamond shipped 9.64 million comic books in the month, including those Loot Crate copies; the true  number going to comics shops is a few hundred thousand copies lower. But that’s still enough to be well ahead of October 2015‘s total — and the dollar total for the whole Direct Market, $51.29 million, is just slightly above the mark set a year earlier. That has the result of keeping the whole year on pace for an increase over last year, if just barely.

As you can see from all the above, October’s numbers are skewed a bit by Loot Crate, even though the 421,625 listed sales for Big Trouble are down a bit from previous Loot Crate books — Loot Crate has more than 600,000 subscribers worldwide.



  1. “Champions #1 is listed as having sold only 328,000 copies, less than the 400K that Marvel claimed. Apparently the Gamestop variant covers did not go through the typical Diamond mechanism. However, the Loot Crate effect was”

    The Gamestop covers did go through the system. remember that 328,000 is always an estimate, has consistently been proved wrong and does not include anything sold outside Diamond in North America. So none of the UK sales are recorded.

    And for that matter Doctor Strange & The Sorcerors Supreme #1 went through the Marvel Collectors Corp boxes.

  2. Loot Crate sales might not pay as much to the distributor, but they also involve almost no work for the distributor. 400,000 comics would probably fill a few containers coming out of the printer, and probably ship straight to Loot Crate’s packaging facility without ever actually being in Diamond’s possession. In fact, for a book like this where over 90% of the print run is the Loot Crate version, I wouldn’t be surprised if Boom just sent them the files and let them arrange their own printing (since they obviously have to deal with a printer for their own stuff). Much less work for Diamond then a regular comic, where they have to open every box, count out individual orders, mostly in the 1 to 10 copy range, and deal with the inevitable shortages and damages. If Diamond is getting just 1 cent per Loot Crate copy, o.25% of cover price, that’s $4000 for what can’t be more than a few hours work in invoicing and collections, maybe some logistics on the shipping side.

  3. Our Monday piece did not assert definitively that the Gamestop covers didn’t go through Diamond, just that they — or some other external-market variants — might possibly not have been counted in the tally. Something additional must be missing somewhere, because you usually can’t get from 328,000 to 400,000 on overseas sales alone. (Comichron has more than a dozen years of unpublished overseas monthly data from U.S. publishers who account for more than a third of the market, and judging from that, generally you wouldn’t see such sales equating to 22% the size of the North American draw. It’d need to be that much to make up the gap on its own.)

    It’s possible that reorders outside the calendar month were responsible for the balance, but it was a Week 1 book, so generally that effect is smaller. But that’s a fact that can be discovered: November’s reorders may suggest if that was what was outstanding.

    The Loot Crate drop we observed was not from the 600,000 number, but the last Loot Crate books to have been handled by Diamond — which were in the 400,000s.

    The Diamond figures are more than estimates, incidentally — it’s what left its hands in North America in the calendar shipping month. So those are exact measures of something. It’s only when we use them to approximate publishers’ total sales that they become estimates, and lacking in the regards we always mention.

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