For the week of 7/25/18, Saga rules the Comixology Sales charts and while this isn’t a totally new thing, Doomsday Clock has been beating out Saga for that #1 slot when they ship at on the same week. Not this time.
|Comixology Rank||Issue||Previous Issue Print Sales Est.||Previous Issue Diamond Rank|
|1||Saga Issue #54||37,050||38|
|2||Doomsday Clock (2017-) Issue #6||146,817||3-May|
|3||Action Comics (2016-) Issue #1001||N/A|
|4||Justice League Dark (2018-) Issue #1||N/A|
|5||Amazing Spider-Man (2018-) Issue #2||122,256||4|
|6||The Flash (2016-) Issue #51||54,265||24|
|7||Detective Comics (2016-) Issue #985||52,016||28|
|8||Infinity Wars Prime (2018) Issue #1||N/A|
|9||Injustice 2 (2017-) Issue #68||Digital First|
|10||Wonder Woman (2016-) Issue #51||34,129||45|
|11||Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps (2016-) Issue #49||27,825||70|
|12||Teen Titans (2016-) Issue #20||32,702*||49|
|13||The Terrifics (2018-) Issue #6||26,676||77|
|14||Marvel Two-In-One (2017-) Issue #8||27,602||72|
|15||Star Wars: Doctor Aphra (2016-) Issue #22||27,741||71|
|16||X-Men Blue (2017-) Issue #32||29,962||60|
|17||Venom (2018-) Issue #4||57,527||21|
|18||X-23 (2018-) Issue #2||N/A|
|19||Mr. and Mrs. X (2018-) Issue #1||N/A|
|20||Aquaman (2016-) Issue #38||24,076||89|
The first unanswered question is whether the hype around Saga’s sabbatical gave it slightly higher than normal sales or if Doomsday Clock‘s… relaxed schedule… caused it to slip a little bit? Either way, those are a couple big books on something of a top heavy week on the top 20 chart.
Doomsday Clock is followed by the relaunched Action Comics and Justice League Dark. Those are followed by the second issue of the relaunched Amazing Spider-Man and Spidey is followed by The Flash which is our first real guidepost for sales here. Flash has been on an upswing and moving ~54K+ copies in print. We can’t say for certain just how robust those launches are, but they’re the digital equivalents of 54K+ each. Possibly much higher. Justice League Dark is thus tracking quite a bit higher than its previous incarnation ended up at and DC can’t be too upset by that. Amazing Spider-Man seems like it must be retaining some readers in the relaunch.
The next three titles are Detective, Infinity War Prime and Injustice. Detective Comics generally hangs out just about 50K these days (the last issue we have an estimate for being~52K and Injustice being somewhere right around 45-50K, likely 50K, so that would put Infinity War Prime at the print equivalent of perhaps a hair over 50K. We’ll see if subsequent issues stay above Injustice, but this is the best showing for one of this sequence of Infinity War comics I can remember. And that also makes 8 issues selling above Injustice, which also makes for a good week at the top.
Wonder Woman is in 10th place on the chart, with the previous issue having been ordered in at ~34.1K in print. This is where it should be, relative to the other titles out this week.
Hal Jordan is the next title up and continues to over-perform in digital… probably. The comic that follows it is the new direction Teen Titans. The last issue to come out was actually a Justice League tie-in special that sold into the DM at ~32.7K and it isn’t immediately clear if that’s the number we should be expecting or not. It’s possible it is, since Hal Jordan has historically done proportionally better in digital.
Next there’s a trio of titles that sell ~26.6K – ~27.7K in print, so it’s not unusual to see them bunched together in digital: The Terrifics, Marvel Two-In-One and Doctor Aphra.
It’s possible that trio is over-performing a bit, as they’re followed by X-Men: Blue, whose last issue we have an estimate for was just under 30K.
The #17 slot is Venom. The previous issue of Venom was ordered into the DM at ~57.5K. Best case scenario, this one is the digital equivalent of 30K. More likely it’s mid 20Ks. For whatever reason, this book charts drastically lower in digital than it does in print. Could it be a sign that the speculators are back in print?
X-23 and Mr. & Mrs. X are in the #18 and #19 slots. Aquaman, previously ordered at ~24K is #20, so those relaunched X-books are like mid-20Ks in the equivalent for print. Which is kind of average Marvel sales right now but for a second and first issue, respectively, that could mean a big drop by issue 5 for both. We’ll have to see.
Methodology and standard disclaimers:
The initial methodology is to compare the current issue on the Comixology top 20 chart (issues pulled the evening of 7/29) with the last issue we have print sales estimates for from the Comichron June chart, with Doomsday Clock coming from the May 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