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The mighty Doomsday Clock returns and reminds Heroes in Crisis who rules the roost on the Comixology sales chart for the week of 9/26/18.

Issue Previous Issue Print Sales Est. Previous Issue Diamond Rank
1 Doomsday Clock (2017-) Issue #7 135,155 4-Jul
2 Heroes in Crisis (2018-) Issue #1 N/A
3 Action Comics (2016-) Issue #1003 61,916 17
4 Amazing Spider-Man (2018-) Issue #6 81,630 7
5 Justice League Odyssey (2018-) Issue #1 N/A
6 Justice League Dark (2018-) Issue #3 46,545 32
7 Extermination (2018) Issue #3 (of 5) 44,269 34
8 Detective Comics (2016-) Issue #989 51,362 24
9 The Wicked + The Divine: 1373 10,124 179
10 X-Men Red (2018-) Issue #8 39,634 39
11 The Flash (2016-) Issue #55 48,992 26
12 Titans (2016-) Issue #26 30,889 66
13 X-Men Blue (2017-) Issue #36 28,038 87
14 Spider-Geddon (2018-) Issue #0 (of 5) 32,608 59
15 The Terrifics (2018-) Issue #8 22,825 108
16 Wonder Woman (2016-) Issue #55 34,990 47
17 Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2016-) Issue #24 26,879 91
18 Marvel Two-In-One (2017-) Issue #10 29,323 74
19 Dark Nights: Metal: Deluxe Edition 2,168 23-tpb
20 Jessica Jones – Marvel Digital Original (2018) Issue #3 Digital First

I’m not sure if it should be a surprise that Doomsday Clock beats out Heroes in Crisis, even it’s a case of a #7 vs. a #1.  Doomsday Clock has topped almost all comers.  Since we started tracking these charts back in January, Doomsday Clock has been dethroned on its debut week exactly once, and that was by Saga.  While we can’t tell if Doomsday Clock has lost any sales momentum in digital, it hasn’t lost its perch at the top.  With Heroes in Crisis, we can’t really tell if it’s selling as well as Batman or just a little better than the #3 title of the week, Action Comics, for which the previous issue’s print orders were ~61.9K.

Following Action is Amazing Spider-Man, which has been behaving like a mid-50Ks title (possible mid-to-upper 50Ks) in digital, so this is about where we’d expect to see it.

The next four titles, #5-8 on the chart are Justice League Odyssey, Justice League Dark, Extermination and Detective Comics.  And this raises some questions.  First off, that’s probably a print equivalent of a mid-50Ks debut for Justice League Odyssey, which is a decent debut for a third Justice League title.  Past that, either Justice League Dark and Extermination are holding their digital audience very well or Detective is starting to slip.  Yes, previous issues of Justice League Dark and Extermination certainly did chart above Detective, but you’d think there might be some standard attrition and subsequent print orders were substantially higher than Detective, so either a couple are up and over-performing in digital or Detective is slipping (and perhaps retailer orders haven’t caught up with that yet).

The latest issue of The Wicked + The Divine follows Detective, and that’s where we’re used to seeing it (if it were above Detective, we’d have a stronger indicator of slippage) and it’s a title that vastly over-performs in digital.  And then we have another quandary:  is X-Men Red significantly up or is Flash significantly down?  We’ve seen each title moving in that respective direction in recent months, but the last Diamond estimates still have Flash as a significantly stronger seller in print.

Next we have a run of titles that seem to be doing a little better in digital: Titans, X-Men Blue, the #0 issue of Spider-Geddon and The Terrifics.  Nothing new here, except the Spider-Event, which is probably at a mid-30Ks number.  Everything else we’ve noted as having been up in recent months.

Wonder Woman comes in at #16 for the week and this is one where it’s possible the title is under-performing a little in digital, but we can’t really tell.  It seems more like the majority of reasons why other titles are leapfrogging it on the chart is those are over-performing.

#17 for the week is Doctor Aphra, which is likely over-performing, then Marvel Two-In-One, which is about where it’s supposed to be.

The top 20 ends with the digital edition of Dark Nights: Metal: Deluxe Edition, which was on sale this week, and the digital first Jessica Jones.  These two are probably behaving like mid-20K print sellers, possibly high 20Ks.  Which, in the case of Metal suggests it may have sold ~2400 -3000 digital copies, which is ballpark of its August print re-orders.  People love a good sale.

Probably time to keep an eye on the September/October order estimates for Detective and Flash.  It might be nothing or it might be early signs of audience attrition.

Methodology and standard disclaimers:

The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 9/23) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron August 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

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