Home Publishers Image Image Comics Month-to Month Sales Chart January 2017: January Hymn

Image Comics Month-to Month Sales Chart January 2017: January Hymn

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by David Carter

Greetings, sales charts fans! It’s time once again to look at Image Comics’s sales figures.

Please refer to the July 2015 column for a preamble and explanation as to why sales standards for Image books are likely to be different than those for DC or Marvel.

Image shipped 45 comics in January, compared to 47 in December, 48 in November, 55 in October and 52 in September. They shipped 56 in January 2016.

Warning: The commentary below may contain reasoned analysis, speculation (unfounded and otherwise), opinion, and/or snark. Those looking for a more straightforward analysis are directed to John Jackson Miller’s excellent Comichron analysis, posted earlier this month over at Comichron!

Please consider the fine print at the end of the column. Thanks to Milton Griepp and ICv2.com for the permission to use their figures. An overview of ICv2.com’s estimates can be found here.

(Note that the percentage comparisons are done with total orders including reorder activity, as opposed to initial orders.)


5 - THE WALKING DEAD ($2.99)
01/2007: The Walking Dead #34  --  21,183
01/2012: The Walking Dead #93  --  31,596
01/2013: The Walking Dead #106 --  70,526 
01/2014: The Walking Dead #119 --  65,151  [64,992]
01/2014: The Walking Dead #120 --  65,286  [65,750]
01/2015: The Walking Dead #136 --  66,097  [66,799]
-----------------------------------------
01/2016: The Walking Dead #150 -- 156,166 (+138.8%) 
02/2016: The Walking Dead #151 --  67,381 (- 59.6%) 
03/2016: The Walking Dead #152 --  67,258 (-  0.2%) 
04/2016: The Walking Dead #153 --  67,358 (+  0.1%) 
05/2016: The Walking Dead #154 --  68,922 (+  2.3%) 
06/2016: The Walking Dead #155 --  71,755 (+  4.1%) 
07/2016: The Walking Dead #156 --  76,355 (+  6.4%) 
08/2016: The Walking Dead #157 --  97,689 (+ 37.0%) [104,596]
09/2016: The Walking Dead #158 --  94,316 (-  9.8%) 
10/2016: The Walking Dead #159 --  91,291 (-  3.2%) 
11/2016: The Walking Dead #160 --  88,367 (-  3.2%) 
12/2016: The Walking Dead #161 --  85,459 (-  3.3%) 
01/2017: The Walking Dead #162 --  85,395 (-  0.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: + 11.8%
1 year  : - 45.3%
2 years : + 27.8%
5 years : +170.3%
10 years: +303.1%

“Whisper War” and the Art Adams variant covers conclude, with very little drop-off from the previous issue.

50 - SAGA ($2.99)
01/2013: Saga #9  -- 45,629 
01/2014: Saga #18 -- 53,139  [54,388]
01/2015: -- 
---------------------------
01/2016: Saga #33 -- 50,415 (-  2.8%) 
02/2016: Saga #34 -- 49,363 (-  2.1%) 
03/2016: Saga #35 -- 48,845 (-  1.0%) 
04/2016: Saga #36 -- 48,957 (+  0.2%) 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: -- 
07/2016: -- 
08/2016: Saga #37 -- 50,016 (+  2.2%) 
09/2016: Saga #38 -- 48,106 (-  3.8%) 
10/2016: Saga #39 -- 46,749 (-  2.8%) 
11/2016: Saga #40 -- 44,944 (-  3.9%) 
12/2016: Saga #41 -- 43,628 (-  2.5%) [43,837]
01/2017: Saga #42 -- 42,567 (-  2.9%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 15.6%
2 years :    n.a.

The Saga numbers are a little confusing this month… Those of you looking at the Diamond chart will note that Saga appears twice: once for issue #41 and again for issue #42. But wait, you say, didn’t issue #41 appear on the December 2016 chart? Yes it did; but apparently there was a printing error and Diamond shipped replacements in January. Which is why is shows in the chart (and you’ll note its dollar ranking is #548, indicating that most of those copies were ‘free’). It also came in a couple hundred more copies than it did in December, which could be reorders or the like.

87 - REBORN ($3.99)
10/2016: Reborn #1  -- 74,967 
11/2016: Reborn #2  -- 41,484 (- 44.7%) 
12/2016: Reborn #3  -- 36,718 (- 11.5%) 
01/2017: Reborn #4  -- 31,102 (- 15.3%)

Continues to decline, but then there are also reprints of the previous issues.

128 - KILL OR BE KILLED ($3.99)
08/2016: Kill or Be Killed #1  -- 30,050 
09/2016: Kill or Be Killed #2  -- 23,812 (- 20.8%) 
10/2016: Kill or Be Killed #3  -- 23,883 (+  0.3%) 
11/2016: Kill or Be Killed #4  -- 22,889 (-  4.2%) 
12/2016: --
01/2017: Kill or Be Killed #5  -- 21,261 (-  7.1%)

Returns after a planned month off for a second story arc.

142 - OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA ($2.99)
01/2015: -- 
------------------------------
01/2016: Outcast #15 -- 22,195 (-  4.8%) 
02/2016: Outcast #16 -- 21,801 (-  1.8%) 
03/2016: Outcast #17 -- 21,426 (-  1.7%) 
04/2016: Outcast #18 -- 21,261 (-  0.8%) 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: -- 
07/2016: Outcast #19 -- 22,167 (+  4.3%) 
08/2016: Outcast #20 -- 21,919 (-  1.1%) 
09/2016: Outcast #21 -- 20,886 (-  4.7%) 
10/2016: Outcast #22 -- 20,347 (-  2.6%) 
11/2016: Outcast #23 -- 19,556 (-  3.9%) 
12/2016: --
01/2017: Outcast #24 -- 18,520 (-  5.3%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 16.5%
1 year  : - 16.6%
2 years :    n.a.

128 - CURSE WORDS ($3.99)
01/2017: Curse Words #1  -- 18,162

The new series from Charles Soule and Ryan Browne makes a respectable debut. (There were four different covers too…)

151 - SPAWN ($2.99)
01/2007: Spawn #164      -- 24,532 
01/2012: Spawn #215      -- 12,794 
01/2013: Spawn #226      -- 16,814
01/2013: Spawn #227      -- 17,172
01/2014: Spawn #239      -- 12,369 
01/2015: --  
----------------------------------
01/2016: -- 
02/2016: Spawn #260      -- 17,877 (+  5.7%) 
02/2016: Spawn #261      -- 16,949 (-  5.2%) 
03/2016: --
04/2016: Spawn #262      -- 18,775 (+ 10.8%) 
05/2016: Spawn #263      -- 16,109 (- 14.2%) 
06/2016: -- 
07/2016: Spawn #264      -- 17,157 (+  6.5%) 
08/2016: Spawn #265      -- 15,927 (-  7.2%) 
09/2016: -- 
10/2016: Spawn #266      -- 22,304 (+ 40.0%) 
11/2016: Spawn #267      -- 16,976 (- 23.9%) 
12/2016: Spawn #268      -- 16,652 (-  1.9%) 
01/2017: Spawn #269      -- 16,257 (-  2.4%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  5.2%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years :    n.a.
5 years : + 27.1%
10 years: - 33.7%

155 - MOONSHINE ($2.99)
10/2016: Moonshine #1  -- 34,533           [41,012]
11/2016: Moonshine #2  -- 20,217 (- 50.7%)
12/2016: Moonshine #3  -- 17,574 (- 13.1%)
01/2017: Moonshine #3  -- 17,574 (- 10.9%)

158 - SOUTHERN BASTARDS ($3.50)
11/2014: -- 
----------------------------------------
11/2015: Southern Bastards #12 -- 16,681 (-  3.6%) 
12/2015: --
01/2016: Southern Bastards #13 -- 15,627 (-  6.3%) 
02/2016: --
03/2016: --
04/2016: --
05/2016: Southern Bastards #14 -- 15,437 (-  1.2%) 
06/2016: --
07/2016: --
08/2016: --
09/2016: --
10/2016: --
11/2016: Southern Bastards #15 -- 15,554 (+  0.8%) 
12/2016: --
01/2017: Southern Bastards #16 -- 15,086 (-  3.0%) 
-----------------
6 months: +  0.8%
1 year  : -  6.8%
2 years :    n.a.

Seems to be having a problem keeping to its schedule; issue #17 was originally scheduled for February 8, but has been pushed back now to March 29. Allegedly this is a monthly comic, but given its publication history the creators may wish to rethink that schedule…

159 - DESCENDER ($2.99)
01/2016: Descender #9  -- 20,017 (-  4.7%) 
02/2016: Descender #10 -- 19,642 (-  3.4%) 
03/2016: Descender #11 -- 18,842 (-  2.6%) 
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: Descender #12 -- 19,782 (+  5.0%) 
07/2016: Descender #13 -- 17,783 (- 10.1%) 
08/2016: Descender #14 -- 17,296 (-  2.7%) 
09/2016: Descender #15 -- 16,386 (-  5.3%) 
10/2016: Descender #16 -- 15,963 (-  2.6%) 
11/2016: --
12/2016: Descender #17 -- 15,296 (-  4.2%) 
01/2017: Descender #18 -- 14,526 (-  5.0%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 18.3%
1 year  : - 27.4%

161 - GOD COUNTRY ($3.99)
01/2017: God Country #1  -- 18,162

New series from Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw & co.

164 - THE WICKED + THE DIVINE ($3.50)
01/2015: Wicked + Divine #7  -- 20,893  
--------------------------------------
01/2016: --
02/2016: --
03/2016: --
04/2016: Wicked + Divine #18 -- 17,722 (-  4.1%) 
05/2016: Wicked + Divine #19 -- 16,929 (-  4.4%) 
06/2016: Wicked + Divine #20 -- 17,831 (+  5.3%) 
07/2016: Wicked + Divine #21 -- 16,283 (-  8.7%) 
08/2016: Wicked + Divine #22 -- 15,969 (-  1.9%) 
09/2016: W + D 1831 one-shot -- 16,408 (+  2.7%) 
10/2016: -- 
11/2016: Wicked + Divine #23 -- 15,238 (-  7.1%) 
12/2016: Wicked + Divine #24 -- 14,666 (-  3.8%) 
01/2017: Wicked + Divine #25 -- 14,164 (-  3.4%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 13.0%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 32.2%

178 - MOTOR CRUSH ($3.99)
12/2016: Motor Crush #1  -- 21,801 
01/2017: Motor Crush #2  -- 12,643 (- 42.0%)

This second issue is listed as returnable, though the first issue was not. There was also a 2nd printing of the first issue (though it did not make the Top 300).

182 - LOOSE ENDS ($3.99)
01/2017: Loose Ends #1 of 4 -- 10,847

New crime comic miniseries from Jason Latour, Chris Brunner & Rico Renzi.

186 - BLACK SCIENCE ($3.99)
01/2014: Black Science #3  -- 23,965 
01/2015: -- 
------------------------------------
01/2016: Black Science #19 -- 13,966 (-  3.4%) 
02/2016: Black Science #20 -- 13,251 (-  5.1%) 
03/2016: Black Science #21 -- 13,092 (-  1.2%) 
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: -- 
07/2016: Black Science #22 -- 12,829 (-  2.0%) 
08/2016: Black Science #23 -- 12,466 (-  2.8%) 
09/2016: Black Science #24 -- 11,810 (-  5.3%) 
10/2016: Black Science #25 -- 11,425 (-  3.3%) 
11/2016: --
12/2016: Black Science #26 -- 11,041 (-  3.4%) 
01/2017: Black Science #27 -- 10,631 (-  3.7%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 17.1%
1 year  : - 23.9%
2 years :    n.a.

187 - THE FEW ($4.99)
01/2017: The Few #1 of 6 -- 10,571

New sci-fi miniseries from Sean Christopher Lewis & Hayden Sherman.

Lewis’s last Image series, Saints, didn’t make the Top 300 chart for seven of its nine issues, but it has been optioned for television. So maybe direct market floppy sales aren’t the end goal here.

214 - AUTUMNLANDS ($2.99)
01/2015: Autumnlands #3  -- 22,190 
----------------------------------
01/2016: -- 
02/2016: Autumnlands #9  -- 10,249 (-  7.7%) 
03/2016: -- 
04/2016: Autumnlands #10 --  9,751 (-  4.9%) 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: Autumnlands #11 -- 10,140 (+  4.0%) 
07/2016: Autumnlands #12 --  8,972 (- 11.5%) 
08/2016: -- 
09/2016: -- 
10/2016: Autumnlands #13 --  8,554 (-  4.7%) 
11/2016: --
12/2016: --
01/2017: Autumnlands #14 --  7,950 (-  7.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 11.4%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 64.2%

I don’t think the irregular schedule is helping things here.

217 - GREEN VALLEY ($2.99)
10/2016: Green Valley #1 of 9 -- 16,091 
11/2016: Green Valley #2 of 9 --  9,713 (- 39.6%) 
12/2016: Green Valley #3 of 9 --  8,219 (- 15.4%) 
01/2017: Green Valley #4 of 9 --  7,553 (-  8.1%)

221 - MANIFEST DESTINY ($2.99)
01/2014: Manifest Destiny #3  -- 12,034  
01/2015: --  
---------------------------------------
01/2016: -- 
02/2016: -- 
03/2016: -- 
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: Manifest Destiny #19 --  9,900 (-  5.7%) 
06/2016: Manifest Destiny #20 --  9,399 (-  5.1%) 
07/2016: Manifest Destiny #21 --  8,763 (-  6.8%) 
08/2016: Manifest Destiny #22 --  8,526 (-  2.7%) 
09/2016: Manifest Destiny #23 --  8,039 (-  5.7%) 
10/2016: Manifest Destiny #24 --  7,815 (-  2.8%) 
11/2016: --
12/2016: --
01/2016: Manifest Destiny #25 --  7,403 (-  5.3%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 15.5%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years :    n.a.

225 - BIRTHRIGHT ($2.99)
01/2015: Birthright #4  -- 13,506  
---------------------------------
01/2016: Birthright #13 --  9,931 (-  6.6%) 
02/2016: Birthright #14 --  9,519 (-  4.1%) 
03/2016: Birthright #15 --  9,344 (-  1.8%) 
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: Birthright #16 --  9,015 (-  3.5%) 
07/2016: Birthright #17 --  8,264 (-  8.3%) 
08/2016: Birthright #18 --  8,146 (-  1.4%) 
09/2016: Birthright #19 --  7,832 (-  3.9%) 
10/2016: Birthright #20 --  7,567 (-  3.4%) 
11/2016: --
12/2016: --
01/2017: Birthright #21 --  7,147 (-  5.6%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 13.5%
1 year  : - 28.0%
2 years : - 47.1%

229 - NAILBITER ($2.99)
01/2015: Nailbiter #9  -- 11,222  
--------------------------------
01/2016: Nailbiter #19 --  8,464 (-  4.4%) 
02/2016: Nailbiter #20 --  8,368 (-  1.1%) 
03/2016: -- 
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: Nailbiter #21 --  8,196 (-  2.1%) 
06/2016: Nailbiter #22 --  8,477 (+  3.4%) 
07/2016: Nailbiter #23 --  7,938 (-  6.4%) 
08/2016: Nailbiter #24 --  7,780 (-  2.0%) 
09/2016: Nailbiter #25 --  7,474 (-  3.9%) 
10/2016: -- 
11/2016: Nailbiter #26 --  7,239 (-  3.1%) 
12/2016: Nailbiter #27 --  6,989 (-  3.5%) 
01/2017: Nailbiter #28 --  6,666 (-  4.6%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 16.0%
1 year  : - 21.2%
2 years : - 40.6%

Antepenultimate issue.

241 - CANNIBAL ($3.99)
10/2016: Cannibal #1  -- 17,172 
11/2016: Cannibal #2  --  9,582 (- 44.2%) 
12/2016: Cannibal #3  --  7,340 (- 23.4%) 
01/2017: Cannibal #4  --  6,223 (- 15.2%)

254 - BLACK ROAD ($3.99)
04/2016: Black Road #1  -- 16,572 
05/2016: Black Road #2  -- 10,131 (- 38.9%) 
06/2016: Black Road #3  -- 10,484 (+  3.5%) 
07/2016: Black Road #4  --  7,292 (- 30.4%) 
08/2016: Black Road #5  --  6,912 (-  5.2%) 
09/2016: --
10/2016: --
11/2016: --
12/2016: --
01/2017: Black Road #6  --  5,748 (- 16.8%)

In today’s market, four months off for a low-selling comic is enough time for people to start to forget about you.

256 - VIOLENT LOVE ($3.99)
11/2016: Violent Love #1  -- 15,671 
12/2016: Violent Love #2  --  7,836 (- 50.0%) 
01/2016: Violent Love #3  --  6,278 (- 19.9%)

Diamond listed issues #1 and 3 as returnable, but not issue #2. Not sure if that was a mistake or reality.

274 - ROCKSTARS ($3.99)
12/2016: Rockstars #1  -- 10,048 
01/2016: Rockstars #2  --  4,923 (- 51.0%)

Oh dear…

281 - REVIVAL ($3.99)
01/2013: Revival #6  -- 17,396 
01/2014: Revival #17 -- 10,585 
01/2015: Revival #27 --  8,057  
------------------------------
01/2016: Revival #36 --  6,182 (-  5.0%) 
02/2016: --
03/2016: Revival #37 --  5,987 (-  3.2%) 
03/2016: Revival #38 --  5,826 (-  2.7%) 
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: Revival #39 --  5,826 (-  1.1%) 
06/2016: Revival #40 --  6,004 (+  4.2%) 
07/2016: Revival #41 --  5,527 (-  7.9%) 
08/2016: -- 
09/2016: Revival #42 --  5,434 (-  1.7%) 
10/2016: Revival #43 --  5,130 (-  5.6%) 
11/2016: Revival #44 --  5,001 (-  2.5%) 
12/2016: Revival #45 --  4,841 (-  3.2%) 
01/2017: Revival #46 --  4,661 (-  3.7%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 19.4%
1 year  : - 25.6%
2 years : - 44.3%

Penultimate issue.

282 - WAYWARD ($3.99)
01/2015: -- 
------------------------------
01/2016: Wayward #13 --  6,589 (-  6.1%) 
02/2016: Wayward #14 --  6,397 (-  2.9%) 
03/2016: Wayward #15 --  6,089 (-  4.8%) 
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: -- 
07/2016: -- 
08/2016: -- 
09/2016: Wayward #16 --  6,165 (+  1.2%) 
10/2016: Wayward #17 --  5,431 (- 11.9%) 
11/2016: Wayward #18 --  5,109 (-  5.9%) 
12/2016: Wayward #19 --  4,771 (-  6.6%) 
01/2017: Wayward #20 --  4,646 (-  2.6%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 29.5%
2 years :    n.a.

As of this writing no further issues have been scheduled; but then Wayward has come back from long breaks before, so ???

297 - SPREAD ($3.50)
01/2015: Spread #5  -- 11,115  
-----------------------------
01/2016: Spread #12 --  7,190 (+  3.2%) 
02/2016: Spread #13 --  6,401 (- 11.0%) 
03/2016: --
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: --
07/2016: Spread #14 --  5,783 (-  9.7%) 
08/2016: Spread #15 --  5,559 (-  3.9%) 
09/2016: Spread #16 --  5,162 (-  7.1%) 
10/2016: Spread #17 --  ????? (< 4,931) 
11/2016: --
12/2016: --
01/2017: Spread #18 --  4,061 (   ???%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 29.8%
1 year  : - 43.5%
2 years : - 63.5%

Returns from question mark purgatory.

Image titles shipping but not making the Top 300 in November (cutoff at 3,971) include: Arclight, Dante (one-shot), Demonic, Drifter, Horizon, Invisible Republic, Island, Mayday, No Mercy, Postal, Savage Dragon, She Wolf, Shutter, Stray Bullets, Surgeon X, They’re Not Like Us.

Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean that any of them are in danger of being cancelled; there are many reasons that the creators of these books may desire to keep them going.


The Fine Print (Disclaimers, et cetera)

The numbers above are estimates for comic-book sales in the North American direct market, as calculated by ICv2.com according to the chart and index information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors.

ICv2.com’s estimates are somewhat lower than the actual numbers, but they are consistent from month to month, so the trends they show are fairly accurate. Since it’s a “month-to-month” column, the comments, unless otherwise noted, are on the most recent month.

Bear in mind that the figures measure sales of physical comics to retailers, not customers. Also, these numbers do not include sales to bookstores, newsstands, other mass-market retail chains or the United Kingdom. Re-orders are included, so long as they either reached stores in a book’s initial calendar month of release or were strong enough to make the chart again in a subsequent month. Keep in mind that sales for some titles may include incentives to acquire variants and not every unit sold is necessarily even intended to be sold to a customer.

If additional copies of an issue did appear on the chart after a book’s initial calendar month of release, you can see the total number of copies sold in brackets behind those issues (e.g. “[36,599]”). Should more than one issue have shipped in a month which is relevant for one of the long-term comparisons, the average between them will be used.

Titles which are returnable have their numbers artificially adjusted down by Diamond. To make up for that this column increases the reported numbers for those titles by 10%. Which is likely also wrong, but it’s a different and likely less wrong kind of wrong, and experience has shown that this leads to sales figures which are more consistent.

Image is not a normal comics publisher, and the typical metrics for sales success may not apply. For many titles, collection sales tend to be a significant factor, so the numbers for those books should be taken with a grain of salt as well.

Please keep in mind that raw sales numbers do not tell us about how profitable a book is for a publisher or for the creators.

Above all, do not allow sales numbers to dictate your purchasing and enjoyment of a particular comic. If you enjoy reading a comic series then go right on buying and reading that comic, no matter what the sales figures say.

** Two asterisks after a given month in the average charts mean that one or more periodical release did not make the Top 300 chart in that month. In those cases, it’s assumed that said releases sold as many units as the No. 300 comic on the chart for that month for the purposes of the chart, although its actual sales are likely to be less than that.

Opinions expressed in this column are mine alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, Heidi MacDonald or anyone at The Comics Beat, the National Association of Home Builders, or my former neighbor’s dog Miles.

The author of this column does weekly snapshots of Amazon comic sales charts at http://yetanothercomicsblog.blogspot.com/ and tweets about comics and related subjects on Twitter at @davereadscomics (PM me there if you need to contact me).

As always, we welcome your comments and corrections below. Please try to keep things civilized.

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