Continuing our look at how the Comixology weekly sales in January compare with the Diamond estimates for print sales, here are Comixology’s Top 20 comics for the week of January 24th (measured on 1/27) compared with the January sales estimates for print.
Standard disclaimers apply: it’s not 100% clear what time period Comixology’s top sellers list covers, but it changes over weekly and reflects the new releases. It’s not exactly the same as monthly sales, but it’s the measurement we have available to us. One of the things that’s important to look at is whether the digital audience has slightly different buying habits than the print (Direct Market) audience. When Comixology launched, the sales ranks were thought to be largely the same and many publishers have said that digital sales are 10-15% of print. But is that still the case?
|Comixology Rank||Issue||Previous Issue Print Sales Est.||Previous Issue Diamond Rank|
|1||Doomsday Clock #3||157,714||1|
|2||Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins #4||Digital First||Digital First|
|3||Detective Comics #973||53,024||14|
|4||Action Comics #996||41,331||34|
|5||Injustice 2 #42||Digital First||Digital First|
|7||Phoenix Ressurection #4||46,517||24|
|8||Sex Criminals #21||14,337*||138*|
|10||Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps #37||28,655||71|
|11||Wonder Woman #39||36,269||48|
|12||Amazing Spider-Man #794||51,412||16|
|13||The Wild Storm #11||17,152||125|
|14||Marvel Two-In-One #2||32,711||56|
|15||Teen Titans #16||28,722||70|
|16||X-Men Blue #20||32,540||57|
|17||Black Panther #169||21,321||106|
|18||X-Men Blue Annual #1||38,522||39|
|20||Southern Bastards #19||12,466||146|
Hopefully you’re not in shock that Doomsday Clock is the bestseller of the week. That’s been the biggest book out there for a few months.
But after that, Critical Role? Come again?
That’s a digital first comic from Dark Horse based on a podcast/video podcast about a role-playing game. The name is a pun on a “critical roll” of the dice in games like Dungeons & Dragons. At it sells a lot of digital comics. We’ll see that title again as we look at other weeks, so best to remember it. It’s a little hard to say what to compare it to, for a print title. It’s outselling Detective, which is a 53K print title for the issue involved and there’s nothing out this week between Detective and Doomsday Clock from the print world. Is it comparable to Star Wars? To Walking Dead? To Batman? It’s impossible to say from a single data point like this. If we apply that 10%-15% rule of thumb to Detective, we can make a fairly safe bet that Critical Role moved at least 5300 – 8000 copies on Comixology. That’s what it would take to get above the 10%-15% of Detective’s print total, assuming Detective doesn’t outperform its siblings in digital. And it could be a lot more.
Action shows up a lot higher than you’d expect, raising the question of whether it’s the general audience appeal of Superman or it’s an appearance of Zod? A few slots down the list Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps is noticeably higher than where it would appear on print, so there’s some circumstantial evidence that Zod is going over well with the digital audience.
With Sex Criminals, there were two editions of that issue in print, so I added them up and that’s where the total would have landed on the Diamond chart for it’s rank. It’s nestled in between issues selling ~2.5x it’s print circulation. That’s impressive over-performance. That conventional wisdom about the Image A-list selling at a higher proportion of print than DC/Marvel? Monstress and Southern Bastards hold the #19 and #20 slots and seem to be more better seller in digital, relative to the market. Just not as dramatically as Sex Criminals.
Amazing Spider-Man is much lower on the list than you’d expect. Now perhaps all the titles above it just perform really well in digital, but that seems a bit extreme. Possible though.
The Wild Storm is selling among titles that are probably around double its print circulation. Warren Ellis selling better digitally? I’m shocked, shocked. Next thing, you’ll be telling me there’s gambling in this place.
It’s a little hard to whether Teen Titans is performing better or X-Men Blue is under-performing. Partially because the X-Men Blue Annual certainly does look like it’s under-performing in digital.
Marvel Two-In-One is probably about where it ought to be, but Black Panther is likely a bit higher. Remember, this is from January, so before the movie came out. A “diversity” candidate selling better? Possibly. Equally likely, if not more so, Coates might have a significant audience from his work at The Atlantic that wants to read his comic, but wouldn’t even know how to go about finding a DM shop.
So a fair amount of shuffling for the week of 1/24 when compared with the print sales estimates.
Want to learn more about how comics publishing and digital comics work? Try Todd’s book, Economics of Digital Comics