Star Wars #8.jpg

And as the month’s charts and solicitations roll out, here’s ICv2’s analysis for August. It is an unsettled time in the universe with some things slipping and others gaining.

Both Secret Wars and Star Wars titles are selling very well, but it’s worth noting that sales on both title groups are eroding over time, with secondary Secret Wars tie-in titles suffering the largest declines.  

DC did better in August than in July, placing seven titles in the Top 25, and posting increased sales on many of them.   It was a Bombshells month, with Bombshells #1 ranking #18 for the month, selling over 59,000 copies, and four DC titles in the Top 25 experiencing sales increases behind Bombshell variants.  DC’s two best sellers, Batman and Justice League, were both up in August.

ICv2 also suggests that


Marvel’s Scret Wars delays may be affecting the overall market:

One factor affecting the dollars shipped may be the significant delays on Marvel titles, particularly on Secret Wars and related titles.  Marvel announced 53 delays on Secret Wars titles in four weeks in May and June (see “Marvel Delays Hit Collections, ‘Secret Wars'”), and those delays are now playing out in the marketplace.  Delays on collections announced around the same time are also starting to hit.

That’s not necessarily all bad news at the retail level.  The numbers Diamond measures are sell-in to retailers, sell-through can be affected differently.  A slowing of the sell-in on Secret Wars titles, while aggravating and risking loss of momentum, can also improve sell-through on the massive number of issues in the event, giving fans time to keep up with more of the storyline as it plays out over multiple titles.


TOP 300 COMICS ACTUAL–AUGUST 2015 — want to see how much DC has slipped? If you can’t wait for David Carter read it and weep.


John Jackson Miller also looked at the month’s numbers, and he pegged both a bit of slippage in the middle while looking at the overall growth:

On the other end of the charts, the 300th-place title sold a smaller number of copies than has been sold since February 2014, suggesting that the middle-tier titles aren’t quite as strong this year as they have been. Overall periodical unit sales were flat, up just 0.02%.

But again, as discussed here Friday, the market was in significantly better shape this August relative to the August four years ago, back before the DC relaunch. We’re starting from a bigger base this time out, so it’ll be interesting to see what difference that makes.

Just to put that last comment into perspective, Miller pegs August 2015 at 6.52 million copies and $24.95 million. August 2011, just before the new 52 lifted all boats was 6.2 million copies and $21.55 million in sales.

It’s a little hard to find specific monthly estimates on Comichron, but I found October 2012 at random and the numbers then are 7.38 million copies and $27.03 million sales…quite a bit better than now but actually a then record setting month. The greater diversity in publishers hitting the top 100 is a healthier sign now, and sales ARE up generally, but this could be a worrying trend or a periodic market correction type thing. For nervous nellies, perhaps looking at this chart—a monthly graph of overall sales—could bring comfort—although it stops in January.


As you can see, growth had been at a steady rate. The GN chart shows a far steeper growth incline…oddly JJM does not includes a comics periodical breakout, but the periodical is here for a while longer.

In other words…it’s all developing.


  1. The second and third charts on the page are both for periodicals, in units and dollars. But they only run until the end of 2014 — need to update them soon. They represent just the Top 300s each month, but they go all the way back. Just 2012 through the start of 2015 can be found here:

    Also note that August 2011 did include Justice League #1, so the real pre-DC-relaunch part of it is really closer to 6.0 million copies. But comparing any two months is always a crapshoot, because it is hard to do randomly. Octobers are almost always better than Augusts, for example, and October 2012 had one more shipping week. The most complete figure to look at is still going to be the annual year-to-date comparative: unit sales are up 11% when comparing the first eight months of 2015 and 2014 — and up 27% when comparing with the recession of 2009.

  2. I remember reading here that you estimated the boost due to variants to be around 5k, am I right?
    And with the order for the Bombshells #1 being so high, obviously because the pin-up art covers would be a better selling point in print than in digital, it’s quite possible the variants gave their biggest boost this month.
    And if we estimate a 5,000 boost to all 21 titles involved… that would be 105,000 just for the variants, placing it as DC’s #2 seller after Batman.

  3. Preliminary look at the DC numbers: Those with freely-orderable variants saw a rise, as Bombshells round 2 proved more popular than last month’s Teen Titans Go. DCYou titles on their 3rd issues fell, as third issues always do, most between 10-20%. Vertigo sales continue to be moribund, though Mad Max is a relative bright spot. The big success was DC Comics Bombshells, which sold very, very well for a digital first comic. More in a week or two when I’ve had a chance to write the full column…

  4. “Marvel announced 53 delays on Secret Wars titles in four weeks in May and June…”
    (Behind the scenes: Art director, marketing people poring over the shoulders of the colorists, ranting and shaking their fists, clutching cell phones: “More lens flare! More bling! More lighting effects! More bricks on each and every building! More ants, and microbes on the street! More detail !!!!)

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