Comixology Sales Charts: Nightwing Jumps Up the Digital Comics Chart and Vertigo has Decided to Hang Around – Sales Chart for the week of 10/3/18

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The conventional top 3 of Walking Dead, Batman and Justice League head up the Comixology sales chart for the week of 10/3/18… and then things get unpredictable.

Issue Previous Issue Print Sales Est. Previous Issue Diamond Rank
1 The Walking Dead Issue #184 65,101 14
2 Batman (2016-) Issue #56 99,191 4
3 Justice League (2018-) Issue #9 75,156 10
4 Star Wars (2015-) Issue #55 48,439 27
5 Nightwing (2016-) Issue #50 26,467 92
6 Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark: Witching Hour (2018-) Issue #1 N/A
7 Paper Girls Issue #25 20,542 118
8 Tony Stark: Iron Man (2018-) Issue #4 48,332 29
9 X-Men: Black – Magneto (2018) Issue #1 N/A
10 Superior Octopus (2018) Issue #1 N/A
11 Adventures of the Super Sons (2018-) Issue #3 36,794 42
12 Cosmic Ghost Rider (2018) Issue #4 (of 5) 47,653 31
13 The Magic Order Issue #4 30,801 67
14 The Dreaming (2018-) Issue #2 N/A
15 Doctor Strange (2018-) Issue #6 32,603 60
16 Green Lanterns (2016-) Issue #56 23,923 100
17 Champions (2016-) Issue #25 16,667 135
18 Asgardians of the Galaxy (2018-) Issue #2 N/A
19 Heroes in Crisis (2018-) Issue #1 N/A
20 Green Arrow (2016-) Issue #45 20,241 120

Walking Dead / Batman / Justice League is getting to be a fairly normal pecking order to see, with the nod to Walking Dead for over-performing in digital.  And then things get interesting.

Star Wars is the #4 book.  That’s a title that’s been a bit under 50K in print lately and has roughly looked like it sells proportionally about the same in digital (whereas Darth Vader appears to over-perform in digital).  Call it a ~48K title.  The #5 book is Nightwing #50.  That’s a lot higher in the pecking order than Nightwing usually appears.  Granted, Nightwing typically over-performs in digital, but most of this  particular issue’s jump would seem to be the fallout from Nightwing getting shot over in Batman.  This hasn’t been as big a news story as you might expect and I haven’t been hearing a ton of hype about it, but the needle definitely moved in digital.

This is followed by the Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour Event title, which is perhaps a bit ahead of where Justice League Dark might appear and definitely ahead of where a regular issue of Wonder Woman would be, so initial interest for this weekly Event seems to be at least adequate, as long as the audience sticks around.

Paper Girls is the #7 book.  It drastically over-performs in digital and usually behaves like a mid-to-high 40Ks titles, perhaps 45K-48K.

Tony Stark: Iron Man is #8.  The previous issue was ~48.3K in print, but his seems like it’s probably a bit lower than that.  Could be some attrition between issues #3 and #4 of a new series and that wouldn’t be weird.

And below #8 on the list it quickly becomes the wild west.

#9 and #10 are the X-Men Black: Magneto one-shot and the debut issue of Superior Octopus.  #11 is Adventures of the Super Sons, which is followed by Cosmic Ghost Rider and Magic Order.

How well did those #1 do?  That’s a real guessing game.  The last issue of Magic Order we have a print estimate for is ~30.8K and its looked like a title that might be slightly over-performing in digital.  Super Sons, while it looks like 36K might be about right, that’s the DM order for #1, so it’s almost certainly over-performing in digital.  Cosmic Ghost Rider isn’t helping us find the level because it’s been under-performing in digital, though probably not as drastically this time out.  So figure those #1s are somewhere between maybe 32K – 42K print equivalent?  Not tanking, not best sellers.

The Dreaming is the #14 book, probably down a little from the first issue.  It’s followed by Doctor Strange, for which the last issue we have a number for did ~32.6K in the DM.

Green Lanterns is next, a slow selling title in the DM that seems like this is about where it should be.  Then Champions, which over-performs a bit in digital.

#18 is the second issue of Asgardians of the Galaxy.  We don’t have a print number for this title yet, but the digital seems to be performing like a ~20K-23K print book.

#19 is interesting.  It’s Heroes in Crisis, which dropped the previous week.  Which is to say, this comic picked up significant sales after it’s first weekend on the market and that suggests some positive word of mouth.  It’s fairly unusual for an issue to make the top 20 for consecutive weeks.

Finally, #20 is Green Arrow which sells about ~20.2K in print.

Lots of chaos this week – launch/relaunch season continues and a Vertigo title makes the top 20 with consecutive issues, which is a bit of a novelty in the current market.

Methodology and standard disclaimers:

The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 10/8) 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