This shouldn’t be a surprise, but the bestselling digital comic on the Comixology charts for the week of 5/9/18 was Justice League: No Justice #1. And yes, Infinity Gauntlet’s previously-sale priced digital edition turned up in the top 20 again. If Infinity War is #1 at the movie box office, this shouldn’t really come as that much of a surprise.
|Comixology Rank||Issue||Previous Issue Print Sales Est.||Previous Issue Diamond Rank|
|1||Justice League: No Justice (2018-) Issue #1||N/A||N/A|
|2||Batman: White Knight (2017-) Issue #8||73,194||11|
|3||Detective Comics (2016-) Issue #980||50,049||21|
|4||Darth Vader (2017-) Issue #16||47,956||24|
|5||The Flash (2016-) Issue #46||45,402||28|
|6||Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #57||Digital First||Digital First|
|7||Venom (2018-) Issue #1||32,364*||55|
|8||Hunt For Wolverine: Adamantium Agenda (2018) Issue #1 (of 4)||138,584*||4|
|9||Wonder Woman (2016-) Issue #46||34,296||49|
|10||Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps (2016-) Issue #44||27,871||75|
|11||X-Men Blue (2017-) Issue #27||31,165||58|
|12||Domino (2018) Issue #2||89,107||8|
|13||Runaways (2017-) Issue #9||12,963||154|
|14||Southern Bastards Issue #20||12,466||147-JAN|
|15||Exiles (2018-) Issue #3||23,749||99|
|16||Monstress Issue #16||15,923||132-Mar|
|17||Star Wars: Thrawn (2018) Issue #4 (of 6)||34,345||48|
|19||Red Hood and the Outlaws (2016-) Issue #22||19,590||118|
|20||The Immortal Men (2017-) Issue #2||48,567||22|
Justice League: No Justice #1 launches big. But how big? That’s a book you’d kind of like to see how it compares to Batman, which is generally a 90K-100K seller in print. It’s selling better than Batman: White Knight, which is a good sign. With Metal over and Doomsday Clock on a *cough* relaxed publishing schedule *cough*, Batman: White Knight’s the presumptive #3 title if No Justice has lapped it. We just don’t have a clear indication if it’s quite as big as seller as Metal was digitally or not.
Following White Knight, we have Detective, Darth Vader, Flash and Injustice all in a row, pretty much like you’d expect to see. And then things get a little jumbled.
Venom’s new #1 is probably up a little from where the previous volume left off, but how much? If we assume Wonder Woman is selling proportionally to print, the new Venom would be at the equivalent of perhaps 35K-45K print copies. So either a small bump or a medium bump for digital. The print totals will doubtless be higher for #1, but you know all about Marvel’s order incentives and variants – they end up having the final print totals for #1’s bearing little resemblance to the actual number of readers more often than not. Similarly, we have the next Hunt for Wolverine mini’s #1. The first issue of the March-debut Hunt mini (collect them all) had an estimate of ~138.5K copies ordered into the Direct Market… and, naturally, the digital numbers didn’t remotely reflect that. This one is going to be somewhere in the same print equivalency as Venom.
Hal Jordan is likely over-performing in digital, something we’ve seen before. X-Men Blue is right where you’d expect it to be. Domino #2 is an interesting one. You can throw out the print total from the first issue. Domino #2 is probably doing the print equivalent of somewhere between 20K-30K, but it’s awful hard to narrow it down. I suppose that’s above average for a current Marvel title, pending the result of the current relaunch. Certainly, it’s decent for the character.
Underneath Domino on the chart, Runaways and Southern Bastards are clearly over-performing in digital, possibly performing at double their print sales, relative to the other books on the chart. The sticky wicket is that the new Exiles series is a little too new to know whether it’s over-performing relative to print or not. It might be. Below Exiles, Monstress is definitely over-performing. The thing is, Star Wars: Thrawn, the book below it on the chart, is one that’s appeared to have been under-performing, and we don’t have good markers around it with all the over-performing titles.
Below Thrawn is our old friend the digital trade paperback of Infinity Gauntlet, which was still on sale for $3.99 for part of the week, though that sale is finally over. Beneath Infinity Gauntlet is Red Hood and it’s somewhat likely that the ~19.5K print copies the previous issue sold are at least somewhat close to proportional to digital, though it’s possible that Red Hood is over-performing. Which would mean Infinity Gauntlet likely sold at least another 2,000 downloads this week. Popular book.
And finally, coming in at #20 for the week is the second issue of The Immortal Men with a digital audience that’s likely less than half the print orders for its first issue. The Terrifics seems to be the “New Age of Heroes” title that’s getting some traction at Comixology.
Methodology and standard disclaimers:
The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 5/13) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron April chart, or in the cases of Southern Bastards (numbers from January ’18) and Monstress (numbers from March ’18).
The conventional wisdom that’s been handed down over the last few years is that the 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