Detective Comics 80 Years of Batman.jpg
March comics sales figures have just been released by Diamond, and it was a rare win for DC in dollar market share, led by the 80 years in the making Detective Comics #1000. Marvel led in units, but let’s call this a win for DC.
While Detective #1000 was the 800 lb. gorilla, DC ws also buoyed by appearances from all its current hit books, including a new Batman who Laughs series, Doomsday Clock and Heroes in Crisis.
In year to year, quarter to quarter and month to month comparison, March was up in virtually every category. As John Jackson Miller posted, sales were up 13% from last March – which was, admittedly a very bad month for sales. Sales are not quite back to 2017 levels but they are climbing.
There’s one category that isn’t up though – total comics/GN unit sales were down -2.12% in Q1 19 from Q1 18. This would suggest that when Diamond says retailers are getting smarter about what they buy it also means that comics prices have risen, and the inflationary spiral is part of what’s helping comics bounce back.
One thing that has definitely bounced back: graphic novel sales were up in double digits from February and are growing again after a puzzlingly dismal 2018. The units were led by warhorses Walking Dead, Saga and Monstress, with a guest appearance by another Batman anniversary collection.
A little more from JJM, quoted with permission:

To no one’s surprise, Batman’s 80th anniversary dominated gave comics shop market orders a boost; retailers ordered more than $43.5 million in comic books, graphic novels, and magazines, 13% more than they did in March 2018.

That March, which also had four shipping weeks, was seen as a disappointment compared with the year prior; this March’s sales were $5 million greater, and doubtless having Detective Comics #1000 and the Detective Comics: 80 Years of Batman hardcover around made much of the difference. The month completes a $123.2 million first quarter, up 8% over the same quarter in 2018; that makes three growth quarters out of four. Essentially bookended by April 2018’s Action #1000 and March 2019’s higher-priced Detective Comics #1000, the last 12 months stand at $525.3 million, up from $511 million in the same period prior, an increase of 3%.

I always like to play glass half empty to Miller’s half full – clearly comics are doing fine overall, but the fate of the pamphlet remains a question mark long term, for reasons I’ll dig into one of these days.

 

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

DC

36.20%

34.00%

MARVEL COMICS

34.46%

40.94%

IMAGE COMICS

9.63%

9.36%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.26%

2.45%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.19%

3.19%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.19%

2.13%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.24%

1.08%

VIZ MEDIA

1.23%

0.50%

ARCHIE COMICS

0.80%

0.86%

ONI PRESS

0.74%

0.64%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

7.07%

4.85%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

DOLLARS

UNITS

MARCH 2019 VS. FEBRUARY 2019

COMICS

26.89%

9.90%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

21.20%

33.41%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

25.30%

11.52%

TOYS

-8.40%

-10.17%

MARCH 2019 VS. MARCH 2018

COMICS

15.82%

-3.32%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

6.35%

17.77%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

13.10%

-1.87%

TOYS

4.67%

8.49%

YEAR TO DATE 2019 VS. YEAR TO DATE 2018

COMICS

8.51%

-2.12%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

5.46%

3.95%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

7.64%

-1.68%

TOYS

20.14%

29.77%

FIRST QUARTER 2019 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2018

COMICS

-4.89%

-7.30%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

0.40%

2.03%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-3.46%

-6.66%

TOYS

14.61%

23.82%

FIRST QUARTER 2019 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2018

COMICS

8.51%

-2.12%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

5.46%

3.95%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

7.64%

-1.68%

TOYS

20.14%

29.77%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

99

44

0

143

DC

66

35

0

101

IMAGE COMICS

66

27

0

93

DARK HORSE COMICS

25

21

0

46

IDW PUBLISHING

29

10

0

39

BOOM! STUDIOS

25

10

0

35

VIZ MEDIA

0

21

0

21

ONI PRESS

9

7

0

16

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

12

3

0

15

ARCHIE COMICS

8

2

0

10

OTHER NON-TOP 10

138

207

17

362

TOTAL

477

387

17

881

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

DETECTIVE COMICS #1000

$9.99

JAN190542-MDC

2

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS: THE GRIM KNIGHT #1

$4.99

JAN190535-MDC

3

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9

$4.99

NOV180434-MDC

4

BATMAN #67

$3.99

JAN190576-MDC

5

BATMAN #66

$3.99

JAN190574-MDC

6

HEROES IN CRISIS #7

$3.99

JAN190558-MDC

7

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #17

$4.99

JAN190896-MMAR

8

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #18

$3.99

JAN190901-MMAR

9

SPIDER-MAN: CITY AT WAR #1

$3.99

JAN190967-MMAR

10

JUSTICE LEAGUE #20

$3.99

JAN190609-MDC

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

DETECTIVE COMICS #1000

$9.99

JAN190542-MDC

2

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS: THE GRIM KNIGHT #1

$4.99

JAN190535-MDC

3

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #9

$4.99

NOV180434-MDC

4

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #17

$4.99

JAN190896-MMAR

5

BATMAN #67

$3.99

JAN190576-MDC

6

SPIDER-MAN: CITY AT WAR #1

$3.99

JAN190967-MMAR

7

BATMAN #66

$3.99

JAN190574-MDC

8

HEROES IN CRISIS #7

$3.99

JAN190558-MDC

9

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #18

$3.99

JAN190901-MMAR

10

SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY #1

$4.99

JAN190927-MMAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 31 TP (MR)

$16.99

JAN190186IMA

2

DETECTIVE COMICS: 80 YEARS OF BATMAN HC

$29.99

DEC180641DC

3

SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

AUG120491IMA

4

MONSTRESS VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

APR160803IMA

5

THE WICKED & THE DIVINE VOL. 8: OLD IS THE NEW NEW TP

$17.99

JAN190247IMA

6

SEVEN TO ETERNITY VOLUME 3 TP

$16.99

OCT180111IMA

7

BATMAN VOLUME 9: THE TYRANT WING TP

$16.99

DEC180627DC

8

SUPER SONS: THE POLARSHIELD PROJECT TP

$9.99

DEC180509DC

9

SAGA VOLUME 9 TP (MR)

$14.99

JUL180297IMA

10

MERA: TIDEBREAKER TP

$16.99

DEC180508DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

DETECTIVE COMICS: 80 YEARS OF BATMAN HC

$29.99

DEC180641DC

2

SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOLUME 1 HC

$125.00

SEP181003-MMAR

3

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 31 TP (MR)

$16.99

JAN190186IMA

4

AVENGERS OMNIBUS VOLUME 4 HC

$100.00

SEP180999-MMAR

5

THANOS WARS: THE INFINITY ORIGIN OMNIBUS HC

$100.00

OCT181003-MMAR

6

UNCANNY X-MEN VOL. 1: X-MEN DISASSEMBLED TP

$39.99

DEC181034MAR

7

DARK NIGHTS METAL: DARK KNIGHTS RISING TP

$24.99

DEC180638DC

8

THE WICKED & THE DIVINE VOL. 8: OLD IS THE NEW NEW TP

$17.99

JAN190247IMA

9

EARTH X TRILOGY OMNIBUS OMEGA HC

$100.00

SEP180998MAR

10

SEVEN TO ETERNITY VOLUME 3 TP

$16.99

OCT180111IMA

TOP 10 BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

DOCTOR WHO: THIRTEEN DOCTORS 13 STORIES SC

$17.99

DEC181677BBC

2

FLCL ARCHIVES TP

$39.99

DEC182217UDO

3

SAMURAI PIZZA CATS OFFICIAL FAN BOOK SC

$39.99

NOV182128UDO

4

FAMILY TRAITS HC

$29.99

DEC182218UDO

5

THE OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOLUME 48 SC

$29.95

APR181580GEM

6

THE SAGA OF TANYA THE EVIL VOLUME 5 SC

$14.00

JAN192356YEN

7

MIDDLE-EARTH: JOURNEYS IN MYTH AND LEGEND HC

$39.99

SEP180284DAR

8

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 139 SC

$14.95

DEC182026SAN

9

BLOODBORNE OFFICIAL ARTWORKS SC

$44.99

MAR172148UDO

10

GRIMM FAIRY TALES ADULT COLORING BOOK VOLUME 1 SC

$12.99

OCT151871ZEN

TOP 10 TOYS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

OVERWATCH: REAPER FIGMAMAR188251GOO

2

MARVEL GALLERY: AVENGERS INFINITY WAR: IRON SPIDER-MAN PVC STATUEJUN182325DST

3

ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: DC COMICS: DARKSEID FIGUREMAR188264MEZ

4

KINGDOM HEARTS: SORA NENDOROIDJUN188352GOO

5

MARVEL SELECT: AVENGERS INFINITY WAR: THOR FIGUREAPR182167DST

6

BATMAN FAMILY: BATMAN MULTI PART STATUEAUG180672DC

7

BLACK PANTHER LEGENDS 6-INCH ACTION FIGURESJUL188376HAS

8

MARVEL SELECT: AVENGERS INFINITY WAR: CAPTAIN AMERICA FIGUREAPR182168DST

9

DC COVER GIRLS: MERA BY JOELLE JONES STATUEAUG180678DC

10

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE: STATUE BY KLAUS JANSONAUG180679DC

TOP 10 GAMES BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

CREATURE CODEX HCJUL183073PAI

2

STARFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK HCJUN173371PAI

3

PATHFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOKJUN091729PAI

4

PATHFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK POCKET EDITIONAPR168770PAI

5

TOME OF BEASTS HCJUN168476PAI

6

PATHFINDER ADVENTURE PATH: RISE OF THE RUNELORDS ANNIVERSARY EDITIONAPR121968PAI

7

STARFINDER RPG: ARMORY HCMAY182931PAI

8

PATHFINDER FLIP-MAT: BASIC (NEW EDITION)MAR138328PAI

9

D&D ICONS OF THE REALM WATERDEEP: MAD MAGE BOOSTER BRICKNOV182893NEC

10

DRAGON AGE RPG: FACES OF THEDAS SOURCEBOOKJAN182843GRE

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. I’m surprised the end of the of the Walking Dead era isn’t getting more notice, it’s lost 30% of its sales in the last 6 months and its trade debuts are down almost the same amount YOY

  2. “I’m surprised the end of the of the Walking Dead era isn’t getting more notice,”
    It’s remarkable that a comic that no one reads was able to lose 30% of its sales and still be around.
    The answer is that so few people actually read comics–that a comic selling 30% is not a big deal.

Comments are closed.