Batman / Justice League in the 1-2 spots may be the new world order for the time being, but Marvel could be showing signs of life on the Comixology bestseller list for the week of 8/15/81
|Comixology Rank||Issue||Previous Issue Print Sales Est.||Previous Issue Diamond Rank|
|1||Batman (2016-) Issue #53||111,549||8|
|2||Justice League (2018-) Issue #6||77,023||13|
|3||Infinity Wars (2018) Issue #2 (of 6)||67,175||18|
|4||Extermination (2018) Issue #1 (of 5)||N/A||N/A|
|5||Thor (2018-) Issue #4||55,575||25|
|6||The Wicked + The Divine Issue #38||10,269||176-JUNE|
|7||Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #71||Digital First||Digital First|
|8||The Wild Storm (2017-) Issue #16||13,787||142|
|9||Tony Stark: Iron Man (2018-) Issue #3||43,557||37|
|10||Astonishing X-Men (2017-) Annual Issue #1||48,504||33|
|11||The Magic Order Issue #3||31,006||53|
|12||Doctor Strange (2018-) Issue #4||33,303||49|
|13||Aquaman (2016-) Issue #39||24,836||80|
|14||Star Wars: Poe Dameron (2016-) Issue #30||22,391||90|
|15||Green Lanterns (2016-) Issue #53||24,316||84|
|16||Pearl (2018-) Issue #1||N/A||N/A|
|17||Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man (2017-) Issue #308||25,198||78|
|18||Batgirl (2016-) Issue #25||26,457||78-JUNE|
|19||Hunt For Wolverine: Claws Of A Killer (2018) Issue #4 (of 4)||29,336||64|
|20||Multiple Man (2018) Issue #3 (of 5)||16,023||128|
It sure does look like the top of the list this week is something we should start getting used to. Batman still ruling the roost, but Justice League coming in a strong second.
This week, we see Infinity Wars #2 in the third slot of the chart. That ~67K number is actually from Infinity Wars Prime, but it looks like Infinity Wars #2 is likely doing the equivalent of something in between 55K-75K. Likewise, the X-Men Event mini, Extermination follows Infinity Wars in the 4th slot of the chart and likely falls somewhere in that range. It’s more interesting if these are the equivalent of 70K+ readers without the padding of variant covers to boost them. Frankly, that 60K circulation line is awfully hard for Marvel to cross and it looks like these two *might* have crossed that line, or at least it’s equivalent in digital.
Thor comes in 5th place ahead of Injustice, roughly where you’d expect to see it and provides the floor that Infinity Wars and Extermination must be selling above. Thor seems to have settled into its usual sales position, post-relaunch.
Also selling above Injustice, in 6th place, is The Wicked + The Divine. Talk about over-performing in digital, this is a book that orders into the DM at ~10.3K and sells alongside 50K sellers in digital. 4x-5x as popular in digital.
After Injustice, our natural breaking point that seems to be in the vicinity of 50K in terms of equivalent print sales, we have a nice bit of chaos.
The Wild Storm is a title that always sells drastically better digitally, so not a total surprise there, but it does make it a little harder to figure out where Tony Stark fits in, sales-wise. That’s roughly the area is was in for the previous digital issues, so it’s probably holding on to readers somewhere in the general vicinity of 40K-45K’s print equivalent. Not a hit, not a flop. The Astonishing X-Men Annual is likely selling a little slower than the last regular issue of the title (that’s where the ~48.5K number comes from).
Next up are The Magic Order and Doctor Strange, two titles with somewhat similar print orders in June. This week’s digital sales reverse that print sales order. Could be that The Magic Order sells a hair better digitally. Could be some standard attrition on Doctor Strange. A noticeable flip flop of positions, but not really that drastic.
From 13th to 18th place, it’s an apple cart upset of titles that tend to get ordered into the Direct Market between 22K and 26K. Aquaman and Poe Dameron are likely up a bit. Peter Parker and Batgirl are likely down a bit. Pearl, a Bendis Jinxworld title from DC, is probably doing roughly the equivalent of 24K print. The Jinxworld stuff will be interesting to watch. That’s certainly a better debut than anything non-Sandman DC’s had in recent months and probably better than it would have debuted at Icon, but this is also the sort of book that might do better in digital. Time will tell.
At the 19th place on the bestseller chart: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer appears to be under-performing in digital, but that’s been a trend.
Multiple Man rounds out the top 20, it’s possible it’s slightly over-performing in digital, but after Hunt for Wolverine, the weeks releases thin out a bit, so it might be just performing the same as its print edition.
Marvel should be happy it has signs of life with a couple Events and DC should be happy that Batman and Justice League appear to be a one-two punch for sales.
Methodology and standard disclaimers:
The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 8/12) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron July chart, with the exceptions of The Wicked + The Devine and Batgirl, who last issues were on the June chart.
The conventional wisdom that’s been handed down over the last few years is that he digital audience has more of less the same reading habits as the Direct Market Print audience. I’ve had multiple publishers tell me that digital sales of new issues are roughly 10-15% of print sales and the titles more or less have the same proportional popularity in digital as in print. Maybe a couple titles switch places on the sales ranking list, but largely the same. The bestsellers on the newsstand were not always the same bestsellers as in the Direct Market, so it doesn’t seem like that should necessarily be the case with digital. There will be a little bit of mismatch because these are more weekly than monthly ranks and it isn’t clear exactly how Comixology defines the reporting periods, but if you look at comics sales, you learn to live with the data available.
Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work? Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics