The pamphlet is back! Whoo hoo! Buckle down, Winsocki! ICv2 reports that comics sales were up in April , for the first time this year:

Comic sales rebounded in April from a lousy March (see “No Comic over 100k in March”), with sales at both the top and bottom of the Top 300 list improving substantially. The #1 title in April, Detective Comics #853 (part two of a long delayed Neil Gaiman story), sold around 9% more than the #1 title in March, Dark Avengers #3. And of the top 25 titles, 13 sold more than the corresponding issues in the previous month, an unusually high percentage.

Sales at the top of the list were heavily influenced by multiple covers; nine of the top ten titles had variant versions.

Dollar trends.
Top 300 Comics Actual–April 2009
Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual–April 2009.

DC rebounded strongly in April, as well, with the top two comics, and half of the top ten, led by new storylines for Green Lantern, Flash and Batman, which must have many people breathing a sigh of relief.


  1. I purchased Detective 853, which is probably the sales surge we’re seeing. Seriously though, I was very disappointed in the second part to that story. It will be a little while before I can be hyped into preordering another issue of Detective or Batman.

  2. Yeah, the entire Gaiman Batman story was a big disappointment. I say that despite–or because–I’m a big fan of both.

  3. Yeah, I don’t know if this is really anything to get excited about yet. Still feels like a lot of easy triggers pulled. What happens in 6-9 months when these storylines have run their course? I’m just not convinced we’re seeing anything but better bandaids on a gangreneous wound.

  4. Jim, presumably there will be other hot items being published to replace these ones in 6-9 months. But, yeah I don’t know if we should be having a parade just yet.

    Yes it’s good news but how much of that was due to there being a 5th week of sales and maybe some heavy ordering in preparation for Free Comic Book Day.

    Having said that, I think this might be one of the first times that comics went up while graphic novels/trades went down. At least, since these lists started paying attention to graphic novels. So that’s something.

  5. I really don’t see a gangrenous wound in the comics market. I see a more volatile market than in earlier eras, but this seems like a much healthier field than most. Fingers crossed, of course.

  6. “Yes it’s good news but how much of that was due to there being a 5th week of sales and maybe some heavy ordering in preparation for Free Comic Book Day.”

    FCBD–yes. 5 weeks–not so much. 4 or 5 times a year, there are 5 delivery weeks for the month. And perhaps some of the re-ordering was pent up demand caused by Diamond closing their warehouse for a month.

  7. The big loser, of course, is Marc-Oliver Frisch, who may not be able to be quite so snarky when he does the DC sales chart.

    I’m confident he’ll find a way.

  8. I’ll celebrate when this sales increase is due to an increase in actual readership and not due to gimmicks/stunts like variant covers and event crossovers, which is the MAIN reason why sales rose this month on many books in April.

  9. to Wraith – then that would be never.

    We are currently in a day and age where a majority of top tier books are always going to be involved in a company wide crossover (Final Crisis/Secret Invasion), character specific crossover (Battle for the Cowl/War of Kings), branding (Dark Reign) or have variant covers (Wolverine Appreciation Month). All in an attempt to boost sales. But now, due to the frequency, its’ more so to keep sales.

    I lean more towards DC for characters and Marvel for writers so I’m happy to see Flash, GL, etc. selling better. History tells us these numbers will probably drop, I just hope they won’t.