For the week of 5/30/18, Doomsday Clock ruled the Comixology bestseller chart (as it is wont to do) and the DC launches seem to be doing well.
|Comixology Rank||Issue||Previous Issue Print Sales Est.||Previous Issue Diamond Rank|
|1||Doomsday Clock (2017-) Issue #5||149,581||2-Mar|
|2||Saga Issue #52||38,094||41|
|3||Man of Steel (2018-) Issue #1||N/A|
|4||Justice League: No Justice (2018-) Issue #4||N/A|
|5||Amazing Spider-Man (2015-) Issue #800||192,609||3|
|6||Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #60||Digital First|
|7||Batman: Prelude to the Wedding: Robin vs. Ra’s Al Ghul (2018-) Issue #1||N/A|
|8||X-Men Red (2018-) Annual Issue #1||56,531||16|
|9||Marvel Two-In-One (2017-) Issue #6||34,198||50|
|10||X-Men Blue (2017-) Issue #28||31,165||58|
|11||Lazarus Issue #28||9,523||186|
|12||Ms. Marvel (2015-) Issue #30||13,588||151|
|13||Infinity Countdown: Captain Marvel (2018) Issue #1||67,963*||12|
|14||Green Lanterns (2016-) Annual Issue #1||24,173||96|
|15||Green Arrow (2016-) Annual Issue #2||21,269||112|
|16||Kill Or Be Killed Issue #19||16,240||134|
|17||Daredevil (2015-) Issue #603||30,153||67|
|18||Descender Issue #30||11,793||164|
|19||Star Wars: Lando – Double Or Nothing (2018) Issue #1 (of 5)||N/A|
|20||Sonic The Hedgehog (2018-) Issue #5||13,225||152|
We start the chart out with our normal territory. Doomsday Clock as the top seller and Saga as the number 2, with Saga selling proportionally much higher in digital.
From here on down, it gets a little fuzzy.
Injustice is in the #6 position and it tends to be sitting around the equivalent of 40K-45K print sales. In digital format, Amazing Spider-Man normally sells less than Injustice, for whatever reason – lack of variants or more general popularity in the print world. There’s definitely a sales bump for #800, but it’s probably not selling like Doomsday Clock. Man of Steel debuts in the #3 slot, with Justice League: No Justice in the #4 slot. Both are ahead of Spidey, but we can’t be sure how far ahead. So it appears that DC’s still having a decent performance with their new launches, relative to the previous incarnations, we just can’t be sure how big the gains are in digital.
Beneath Injustice on the charts are two books we’d have to look at as having slightly disappointing sales. A Batman wedding prelude and the X-Men: Red Annual. The Annual would appear to be on the wrong side of Injustice, lower than it’s parent title. With the Bat-book, I’m sure DC was hoping they could pull Detective numbers with it, but that doesn’t quite appear to be the case. The Robin special is pulling better numbers than an issue of Nightwing, so I suppose if that’s where your expectations lie, it’s a win.
Marvel Two-In-One and X-Men: Blue appear about where you’d expect them to as low-to-mid 30Ks titles in print. Lazarus sells much better in digital, it sells roughly 2x-3x what you’d expect the average DC or Marvel title to sell, based on print sales. Ms. Marvel sells proportionally around twice as well in digital, again, not a surprise.
The comparison number for Infinity Countdown: Captain Marvel is for the previous month’s Infinity Countdown #2. While that might not be a bad number for a Captain Marvel comic (looks like it’s selling in digital as though it were a 25K print seller), it sure doesn’t seem like there’s a huge demand for spin-offs to that Event in the digital world.
The Green Lanterns and Green Arrow Annuals are roughly where you’d expect them based on the regular series. Kill or Be Killed gets that Image A-list bump.
Daredevil… it might actually be up a little? That 30K number is for #601 and seemed to have a halo effect after the anniversary issue. It normally sells well below 30K in print.
Descender gets the Image A-list bump. Star Wars: Lando is not launching very well. It’s a little hard to get an exact bead on the print comparison, but I’d say low-to-mid 20Ks at best from this slot. Are Star Wars fans wanting to see Billy Dee’s likeness on the cover, instead?
And then in the #20 slot, a bit of a surprise. Sonic the Hedgehog didn’t chart for issues #1-4 digitally, but the print comics went into multiple printings. Is Sonic on the rise or is it just benefiting from weaker competition on a 5th week of the month? Possibly a little bit of both, but it sure is interesting to observe.
Methodology and standard disclaimers:
The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 6/3) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron April chart, with the exception of the last issue of Doomsday Clock being from March.
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