Home Sales Charts Diamond: no sign of a sales rebound in July numbers

Diamond: no sign of a sales rebound in July numbers

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Diamond July figures are out and they are still sluggish. Marvel is ahead of DC by the usual margins again, but sales are down a massive amount from July 2016 – which is because a year ago Rebirth was all the rage. Last summer was one of the biggest periods in recent comics sales for number of books shipped, with REbirth and Marvel’s Star Wars hitting. This year…not so much, and Marvel’s rebound program, Legacy is pretty much dead in the water.

The year to year comparisons are still drab, with total comics and GNs down 8.69% in dollars and 3.41% in units. GNs alone are still down in double digits for the year.

Dark Days: The Casting #1 was the biggest periodical of the month, and DC had three of the top ten titles.; The Walking Dead was the #9 book.

Monstress Volume 2 led the GNs list. with Oni’s Rick and Marty Vol 1 the #2 book. The Legend of Korra, from Dark Horse, and two Batman/TMNT collections from DC and IDW were also in the top ten – the swing to GNs for younger readers is all over the direct sales market as well.

John Jackson Miller’s analysis at Comichron puts the current market in context of previous periods, pointing out we’re back where we were in 2014.

The last real period of decline in comics began in earnest in 2009. The first decade of the 2000s had seen a vibrant recovery after the disaster of the 1990s; the graphic novel format surged to first supplement the periodical sector — and, with sales outside the Direct Market, surpass it in dollar terms. The Great Recession of 2008, however, combined with escalating prices and creative exhaustion to produce three years that were off — though very slightly: low single digits, percentage-wise. 

The trajectory changed in the fall of 2011 with DC’s New 52 relaunch, which spurred several years of strong growth. By 2014, that rate of growth was leveling off — but in January 2015 another shot of adrenaline hit, with Marvel getting Star Wars, which added more than $30 million to the Direct Market that year on its own. And when the pace again began slowing down in the spring of 2016, DC’s Rebirth provided another booster shot.

There has been no booster shot in 2017 so far; not many big launches. In July 2016, a $50 million month, the average issue number in the Top 10 was 1.8, and the median was 1. Almost everything was a first issue, thanks to Rebirth. In July 2017 — With no Marvel Legacy titles increasing the numbering, in July 2017 the average issue number in the Top 10 was 27.2, and the median 6.5.

You should definitely read the whole column as it has many useful comparisons and stats. That said, John is a glass half full type guy and I’m an “I’m thirsty!” type gal. We’re going throgh a market correction, that much is certain. I also feel strongly that we’re going to see a rather different configuration of the market when this period is over. Or maybe we already have stabilized at a lower number? See previous story. 

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

36.89%

39.53%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

26.94%

31.15%

IMAGE COMICS

11.47%

9.73%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.83%

3.26%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.40%

2.55%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.32%

2.33%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.16%

2.04%

ONI PRESS INC.

1.63%

0.96%

VIZ MEDIA

1.12%

0.41%

TITAN COMICS

0.95%

0.94%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

9.29%

7.11%

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

DOLLARS

UNITS

JULY 2017 VS. JUNE 2017

COMICS

-13.55%

-11.04%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-6.41%

-18.21%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-11.56%

-11.61%

TOYS

-10.76%

11.81%

JULY 2017 VS. JULY 2016

COMICS

-23.18%

-26.60%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-8.33%

-10.96%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-19.31%

-25.64%

TOYS

-18.79%

-25.46%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016

COMICS

-7.01%

-2.52%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-12.39%

-13.18%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-8.69%

-3.41%

TOYS

-5.09%

-9.26%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

93

40

0

133

DC ENTERTAINMENT

76

32

0

108

IMAGE COMICS

52

20

1

73

IDW PUBLISHING

41

12

0

53

DARK HORSE COMICS

20

22

0

42

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

23

8

0

31

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

24

3

0

27

TITAN COMICS

18

8

1

27

VIZ MEDIA

0

27

0

27

ONI PRESS INC.

8

5

0

13

OTHER NON-TOP 10

131

133

18

282

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

DARK DAYS: THE CASTING #1

$4.99

MAY170193-M DC

2

ASTONISHING X-MEN #1

$4.99

MAY170806-M MAR

3

BATMAN #26

$2.99

MAY170211-M DC

4

BATMAN #27

$2.99

MAY170213-M DC

5

SECRET EMPIRE #6

$4.99

MAY170763-M MAR

6

SECRET EMPIRE #7

$3.99

MAY170769-M MAR

7

STAR WARS #33

$3.99

MAY170924-M MAR

8

DEADPOOL KILLS MARVEL UNIVERSE AGAIN #1

$3.99

MAY170819-M MAR

9

THE WALKING DEAD #169 (MR)

$2.99

MAY170730 IMA

10

SPIDER-MEN II #1

$3.99

MAY170813-M MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

MONSTRESS VOLUME 2 TP (MR)

$16.99

APR170834-M IMA

2

RICK AND MORTY VOLUME 1 TP

$19.99

JUL151482-M ONI

3

STAR WARS VOLUME 5: YODA’S SECRET WAR TP

$17.99

MAR171131 MAR

4

CURSE WORDS VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

MAY170612-M IMA

5

THE FLASH VOLUME 3: ROGUES RELOADED TP

$16.99

APR170413 DC

6

THE LEGEND OF KORRA VOL. 1: TURF WARS PT 1 TP

$10.99

FEB170063 DAR

7

BATMAN/TMNT TP

$16.99

APR170419 DC

8

BATMAN/TMNT ADVENTURES TP

$19.99

APR170539-M IDW

9

BLACK SCIENCE VOLUME 6 TP (MR)

$16.99

MAY170662 IMA

10

SERENITY VOLUME 5: NO POWER IN THE ‘VERSE HC

$19.99

MAR170077 DAR

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL. 47 SC

$29.95

APR171765-M GEM

2

OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL. 47 HC

$35.00

APR171766-M GEM

3

JIM HENSON’S THE DARK CRYSTAL TALES HC

$16.99

MAR171409 BOO

4

LEAD POISONING: THE PENCIL ART OF GEOF DARROW HC

$34.99

MAR170037 DAR

5

BE A STAR WONDER WOMAN PICTURE BOOK

$15.95

MAY172129 CAP

6

BEDTIME FOR BATMAN BOARD BOOK

$7.99

MAY172130 CAP

7

SPIDER MAN: NIGHT OF VULTURE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK

$4.99

MAY172147 RAN

8

BIG! BIG! OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL 47

$47.50

MAY171625 GEM

9

MIGHTY THOR: THUNDER STRIKE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK

$4.99

MAY172146 RAN

10

STAR WARS: JEDI ACADEMY VOL. 5: FORCE OVERSLEEPS HC

$12.99

MAY172182 SCH

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

LEGEND OF ZELA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS: ZELDA FIGMA AUG168805 GOO

2

DRAGONBALL SUPER: DRAGON STARS ACTION FIGURES DEC168377 BAN

3

SUPERMAN ANIMATED: SUPERMAN & LOIS LANE FIGURE 2-PACK JAN170424 DC

4

DC DESIGNER SERIES: WONDER WOMAN BY ADAM HUGHES STATUE JAN170426 DC

5

MARVEL: SQUIRREL GIRL BISHOUJO STATUE DEC162884 KOT

6

MARVEL GALLERY: GWENPOOL PVC FIGURE DEC162562 DST

7

HARLEY QUINN: RED WHITE & BLACK STATUE BY TERRY DODSON JAN170429 DC

8

MARVEL UNIVERSE VARIANT PLAY ARTS KAI: WOLVERINE FIGURE DEC168151 SQU

9

MARVEL GALLERY: CLASSIC IRON MAN PVC FIGURE JAN172648 DST

10

BATMAN 1966: SHAKESPEARE HEAD BUST BANK JUN162388 DST

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

DC HEROCLIX: 15TH-ANNIVERSARY ELSEWORLDS BOOSTER BRICK MAR173391 NEC

2

MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: AETHER REVOLT BOOSTER PACKS NOV162988 WIZ

3

RICK AND MORTY: ANATOMY PARK BOARD GAME MAY173183 CRY

4

D&D: ICONS OF THE REALM MINIATURE BOOSTER BRICK MAR173387 NEC

5

MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: HOUR OF DEVESTATION BOOSTER PACKS APR173295 WIZ

6

MACHI KORO CARD GAME MAY142831 IDW

7

DRINKING FLUXX CARD GAME APR173273 LOO

8

DC HEROCLIX: 15TH-ANNIVERSARY ELSEWORLDS STARTER SET MAR173392 NEC

9

KING OF CREEPIES GAME APR170672 IDW

10

MARVEL HEROCLIX: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 OCT168616 NEC

 

 

25 COMMENTS

  1. It’s worse, June’s figures were still up year on year, 2016 v 2017, but as of July, they are below 2016. That’s the first time, and its due to a 25% drop month on month, high even for a five week/four week comparison.

  2. The link to the report is here: http://blog.comichron.com/2017/08/dark-days-tops-charts-as-direct-market.html

    …and includes a graphic showing that where we are to date is off more — relative to the previous year! — than any July position we’ve seen in a long time.

    As to the glass and how I see what’s in it, I started collecting during the collapse of the 1970s and got into the business just in time for the 1993 collapse, so I freely admit that my sense of scale was influenced by those near-industry-death experiences. But a downturn doesn’t have to include the loss of half the market (as in those cases) to be worth talking about, and I do commit a lot of copy to the depth of the hole.

  3. The only June figures that were still up year-on-year were comics units and comics/GN combined units, and those were illusory — the margins were small and almost certainly composed of Marvel’s overships and Image’s 25-cent books.

    I don’t see any 25% drop month-on-month. Comics units dropped 26.6% versus last July, because of Rebirth’s launch and Civil War II. Comics dollars did drop 13.55% from June 2017 to July 2017, both of which had four weeks, but that’s the worst month-to-month change.

  4. @ RICH JOHNSTON

    You not only made it up the 25% figure to use as a clickbait headline in your blog but you also felt the need to come here to repeat the same lie (or show of ignorance, I don’t know what would be worst honestly)?

  5. “…and Marvel’s rebound program, Legacy is pretty much dead in the water.”

    While I agree that buzz around Marvel’s Legacy moves is not good overall and that it would be a giant surprise for Marvel Legacy to be the “booster shot” for 2017, it isn’t clear to me that Marvel Legacy is particularly relevant to July 2017 market performance because Marvel Legacy hasn’t even shipped yet. Even if there was strong positive anticipation for Marvel Legacy #1 and the subsequently published Marvel titles, why would you expect that to have any impact on July 2017 sales?

    I understand “glass half-full” and I understand “glass half-empty”, but to somehow imply that the market’s performance so far this year is linked to the predicted performance of comics that haven’t even hit the stands yet strikes me as being negative to an unnecessary degree. Let’s save the Marvel Legacy bashing for August 2017 market reports when it will be relevant, yes?

  6. I looked at Rich’s post and I see what happened: a misreading of the Diamond table. The first set of numbers on the table is versus last month; the second set, with the 26.6% comics unit drop and 25.46% comics-and-GNs unit drop, is against July 2016, which had all those Rebirth copies. So the correct headline would be “July 2017 sold 25% fewer comics and graphic novels than July 2016.”

    I tend not to pay much mind to comics-and-GN units because they’re easily distorted by overships, stunt pricing, and deep discounts on GNs — all of which 2017 has had. The dollars figure is the more reliable measure.

  7. I read the sales charts, I read blogs, Previews, and listen to comic podcasts. After all that, I cast my vote with my wallet.

    What will my meagre entertainment budget allow this month? Well, this month, 90% of the comic pie is going to Alterna Comic titles; newsprint, $1.50 comics with all their drama contained between the covers, not between creative teams. I’m just spending my money on good reading material these days, and tired of the hype.

  8. Bottom line for me is that comics are still too expensive and I’ve gotten tired of stunts and re-brands and re-boots and re-births. I’m off to a comic book convention today where I can go through the dollar and two dollar bins and and probably pick up most of the comics I”ve skipped over the past two years. As a consumer I don’t really care about trends or sales anymore than as a movie goer I care about how much a movie grossed at the box office. Give me a good story for a reasonable price and I’m there and comics haven’t been doing that for a long while now.

  9. I think it’s unfair to point the “mansplain” finger at Rich.

    This isn’t a gender issue. Rich is equally offensive to everyone all along the gender spectrum. He’s a know-nothing, bottom feeding, talentless troll. He’s a blight on the comics industry, and our collective toleration of his bullshit is a black mark on all of our souls.

  10. Three and four bucks (and up!) for comics you can read in 15 minutes, tops, that – mind bogglingly! – are STILL about brightly-costumed mesomorphs throwing cars and apartment buildings at one another – what’s not to love? (Where oh where is NEMO magazine when you need it most?)

  11. Brimstone, you obviously have extensive real-world marketing experience; given that retailers have to wade through hundreds of new solicitations each month (many with littie more than a cover and brief description) do you have any lessons learned and/or suggestions for other new publishers who might have books that are undreordered?

    LL

  12. Why are the 2 Secret Empire books different prices? Was #6 oversized compared to #7?

    I cant wait to see how Metal sells this month. Over 200k maybe?

  13. JJM: “I tend not to pay much mind to comics-and-GN units because they’re easily distorted by overships, stunt pricing, and deep discounts on GNs — all of which 2017 has had. The dollars figure is the more reliable measure.”

    I thought overship copies were not included in final Diamond numbers?

  14. Brimestone wrote: “But the retailers sabotaged it because it wasnt the 1000th DC Event!”

    Stop blaming retailers for the failure of your comic book.

  15. Diamond definitely includes overships in the numbers. Watch what happens to GOTG issues 5 and 6. (The overships stopped with issue 4.)

    LL

  16. Sam: “Why are the 2 Secret Empire books different prices? Was #6 oversized compared to #7?”

    Secret Empire #6 had 48 pages, iirc.

    I’m actually quite surprised that Marvel seems to be capping Secret Empire at $4.99 and they even had a number of $3.99 issues with 40 pages. Typical Marvel pricing based on page count, all of Secret Empire would’ve been $4.99 with the occasional $5.99 issue.

  17. DAREDEVIL issue 24 sold approximately 25,500 copies which is about 5,000 copies fewer than the previous issue. (There were a few other significant drops in July.) Anybody have any ideas why DD would drop so drastically?

    LL

  18. Figured it out: DD issue 23 was artificially boosted by a moldy Jim Lee variant (1:000?). DD issue 24 resumes standard attrition. DD was regularly selling over 30,000 copies not too long ago; time for a new direction. Maybe Karen Page could go blind and be the new DD (unless she’s dead — I’ve lost track since she was a junkie).

    LL

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