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 49 comics in February, compared to 45 in January, 47 in December, 48 in November, 55 in October and 52 in September. They shipped 50 in February 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!

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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.)

NR, 6 - THE WALKING DEAD ($0.25, $2.99)
02/2007: The Walking Dead #35  --  21,387
02/2012: The Walking Dead #94  --  32,361
02/2013: The Walking Dead #107 --  63,575 
02/2014: The Walking Dead #121 --  65,244  [65,318]
02/2014: The Walking Dead #122 --  64,810  [64,954]
02/2015: The Walking Dead #137 --  65,620  [65,681]
-----------------------------------------
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%) 
02/2017: The Walking Dead #163 -- 750,000 (+778.3%) **
02/2017: The Walking Dead #164 --  83,999 (- 88.8%) 
------------------
6 months: + 298.7%
1 year  : + 518.9%
2 years : + 534.9%
5 years : +1188.6%
10 years: +1849.8%

Two issues of Walking Dead this month: #163 was the specially priced 25 issue; Diamond didn’t report sales in its Top 300, but separately sales of the issue (and its incentive variants) were reported as being “more than 750,000,” so that’s the number I’m using here.

Oddly sales for the following issue, #164, were down from #162, even though it carried an Image tribute Variant (which as we’ll see below gave a boost to other series). The previous six issues of WD also had variants, but one would suppose that having oodles of 25 copies of issue #163 available would have led retailers to think that maybe some readers would come on board to the Walking Dead, but this does not appear to be the case.

NR - OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA ($0.25)
02/2015: -- 
------------------------------
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%) 
02/2017: Outcast #25 -- ?????? 
-----------------
6 months:    ???%
1 year  :    ???%
2 years :    n.a.

Like Walking Dead above (and Invincible below), Outcast had a special 25 issue in February. But unlike Walking Dead I haven’t seen any reports of how many copies were ordered by retailers. But I don’t think we’d be going out too much on a limb to say that it sold better than Paper Girls, but not as many as Walking Dead #163.

174, NR - INVINCIBLE ($2.99, $0.25)
02/2007: Invincible #36  -- 13,296
02/2012: Invincible #88  -- 14,405
02/2012: Invincible #89  -- 14,048
02/2013: -- 
02/2014: --
02/2015: Invincible #117 -- 12,627  
----------------------------------
02/2016: --
03/2016: --
04/2016: Invincible #127 -- 12,038 (-  3.2%) 
05/2016: Invincible #128 -- 11,982 (-  0.5%) 
06/2016: Invincible #129 -- 12,510 (+  4.4%) 
07/2016: --
08/2016: Invincible #130 -- 11,921 (-  4.7%) 
09/2016: -- 
10/2016: -- 
11/2016: Invincible #131 -- 11,579 (-  2.9%) 
12/2016: -- 
01/2017: -- 
02/2017: Invincible #131 -- 11,505 (-  0.6%) 
02/2017: Invincible #132 -- ?????? 
-----------------
6 months:    ???%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years :    ???%
5 years :    ???%
10 years:    ???%

Like the other two Kirkman series, Invincible had a 25 issue in February; and like Outcast, I wasn’t able to find any sales estimate. But it was probably lower than Outcast.

77 - PAPER GIRLS ($2.99)
02/2016: Paper Girls #5  -- 37,206 (-  2.8%) 
03/2016: -- 
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: Paper Girls #6  -- 36,385 (-  2.2%) 
07/2016: Paper Girls #7  -- 35,392 (-  2.7%) 
08/2016: Paper Girls #8  -- 33,731 (-  4.7%) 
09/2016: Paper Girls #9  -- 32,320 (-  4.2%) 
10/2016: Paper Girls #10 -- 32,119 (-  0.6%) 
11/2016: -- 
12/2016: -- 
01/2017: -- 
02/2017: Paper Girls #11 -- 30,562 (-  4.8%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  9.4%
1 year  : - 17.9%

Paper Girls returns from its hiatus down nearly 5%, but 30K is still quite good for an Image series.

91 - 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%) 
02/2017: Kill or Be Killed #6  -- 26,312 (+ 23.8%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 12.4%

Kill or Be Killed gets an Image Tribute Variant cover this month, and like most comics that did so gets a good-sized boost. (KoBK’s tribute was to Walking Dead #1, which may have added to its appeal.)

98 - OLD GUARD ($3.99)
02/2017: Old Guard #1  -- 23,867

The new modern fantasy/war series from Greg Rucka & Leandro Fernandez has a good start.

133 - MONSTRESS ($3.99)
02/2016: --
03/2016: Monstress #4  -- 22,406 (-  2.3%) 
04/2016: Monstress #5  -- 21,820 (-  2.6%) 
05/2016: Monstress #6  -- 20,850 (-  4.4%) 
06/2016: --
07/2016: --
08/2016: --
09/2016: --
10/2016: Monstress #7  -- 20,799 (-  0.2%) 
11/2016: Monstress #8  -- 18,830 (-  9.5%) 
12/2016: Monstress #9  -- 17,515 (-  7.0%) 
01/2017: -- 
02/2017: Monstress #10 -- 19,345 (+ 10.4%)
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :    n.a.

If you’re guessing Image Tribute Variant cover, you’re correct.

125 - GOD COUNTRY ($3.99)
01/2017: God Country #1  -- 14,322           [19,357]
02/2017: God Country #2  -- 17,701 (-  8.6%)

An Image Tribute Variant cover helps put sales for issue #2 above the first-month sales of issue #1, but that’s not the only thing driving sales as a second print of the first issue lands on the chart with an additional 5,035 copies. Additional printings of the first two issues hit stores in March, so this may be a bona fide modest hit.

130 - EAST OF WEST ($3.99)
02/2014: --
02/2015: East of West #17 -- 23,482  
-----------------------------------
02/2016: --
03/2016: --
04/2016: East of West #25 -- 19,297 (+  4.5%) 
05/2016: East of West #26 -- 17,645 (-  8.6%) 
06/2016: East of West #27 -- 18,146 (+  2.8%) 
07/2016: East of West #28 -- 17,019 (-  6.2%) 
08/2016: East of West #29 -- 16,613 (-  2.4%) 
09/2016: --
10/2016: --
11/2016: --
12/2016: East of West #30 -- 15,635 (-  5.9%) 
01/2017: -- 
02/2017: East of West #31 -- 16,964 (+  8.5%) 
-----------------
6 months: +  2.1%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 27.8%

East of West gets a nice little boost from its Image Tribute Variant cover.

141 - SPAWN ($2.99)
02/2007: -- 
02/2012: Spawn #216      -- 12,671 
02/2013: Spawn #228      -- 16,343  
02/2014: Spawn #240      -- 11,827 
02/2015: Spawn #250      -- 60,357 
----------------------------------
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%) 
02/2017: Spawn #270      -- 15,778 (-  2.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  0.9%
1 year  : -  9.4%
2 years : - 73.9%
5 years : + 24.5%
10 years:    n.a.

No tribute cover for Spawn (though there was some kind of incentive variant), but as one of only two remaining original Image series, I guess you could say that Spawn is a tribute in and of itself.

142 - DESCENDER ($2.99)
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%) 
02/2017: Descender #19 -- 15,753 (+  8.4%) 
-----------------
6 months: -  8.9%
1 year  : - 19.8%

Descender gets a nice little boost from its Image Tribute Variant cover.

143 - THE WICKED + THE DIVINE ($3.99)
02/2015: Wicked + Divine #8  -- 20,515  
--------------------------------------
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%) 
02/2017: Wicked + Divine #26 -- 15,651 (+ 10.5%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 13.0%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 32.2%

The Wicked + The Divine gets a nice little boost from its Image Tribute Variant cover.

147 - CURSE WORDS ($3.99)
01/2017: Curse Words #1  -- 18,162 
02/2017: Curse Words #2  -- 15,248 (- 16.0%)

The Image Tribute Variant cover helps to mitigate the second-issue drop-off. There have also been 2nd printings of the first two issues, and issue #1 has had a 3rd printing (though so far none of the extra printings have charted).

148, 220 - SEX CRIMINALS ($3.50/$4.69)
02/2014: --
02/2015: --
--------------------------
02/2016: Sex Criminals #14 -- 26,435 (- 10.0%) 
03/2016: --
04/2016: Sex Criminals #15 -- 25,937 (-  1.9%) 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: -- 
07/2016: -- 
08/2016: -- 
09/2016: -- 
10/2016: -- 
11/2016: -- 
12/2016: -- 
01/2017: -- 
02/2017: Sex Criminals #16 -- 22,494 (- 13.3%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  : - 14.9%
2 years :    n.a.

Combined sales for the regular and XXX variants. There was also an Image Tribute Variant cover, but that couldn’t counter the negative effects of the huge gaps in the irregular schedule.

154 - 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 #4  -- 17,574 (- 10.9%)
02/2017: Moonshine #5  -- 17,574 (-  7.0%)

No tribute variant, just a regular ol’ variant cover (like with all the previous issues).

185 - BLACK SCIENCE ($3.99)
02/2014: Black Science #4  -- 25,713 
02/2015: -- 
------------------------------------
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%) 
02/2017: Black Science #28 -- 10,478 (-  1.4%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 15.9%
1 year  : - 20.9%
2 years :    n.a.

189 - DEADLY CLASS ($3.99)
02/2014: Deadly Class #2  -- 21,159 
02/2015: Deadly Class #11 -- 12,805 
-----------------------------------
02/2016: --
03/2016: Deadly Class #19 -- 10,440 (-  0.4%) 
04/2016: Deadly Class #20 -- 10,366 (-  0.7%) 
05/2016: -- 
06/2016: Deadly Class #21 -- 10,892 (+  5.1%) 
07/2016: -- 
08/2016: -- 
09/2016: Deadly Class #22 --  9,865 (-  9.4%) 
10/2016: -- 
11/2016: Deadly Class #23 --  9,215 (-  6.6%) 
11/2016: Deadly Class #24 --  8,757 (-  5.0%) 
12/2016: Deadly Class #25 --  8,567 (-  2.2%) 
01/2017: -- 
02/2017: Deadly Class #26 --  9,760 (+ 13.9%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 21.3%
1 year  : - 22.4%
2 years :    n.a.

Deadly Class gets a nice little boost from its Image Tribute Variant cover.

194 - MANIFEST DESTINY ($2.99)
02/2014: Manifest Destiny #4  -- 13,291  
02/2015: Manifest Destiny #13 -- 17,891  
---------------------------------------
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: --
01/2017: Manifest Destiny #25 --  7,403 (-  5.3%) 
02/2017: Manifest Destiny #26 --  9,007 (+ 21.7%) 
-----------------
6 months: +  5.6%
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years : - 49.7%

Manifest Destiny gets a nice little boost from its Image Tribute Variant cover.

195 - MOTOR CRUSH ($3.99)
12/2016: Motor Crush #1  -- 21,801 
01/2017: Motor Crush #2  -- 12,643 (- 42.0%) 
02/2017: Motor Crush #3  --  9,757 (- 22.8%)

Returnable, so adjusted up 10% what the numbers derived from Diamons-NA’s figures (for why this is done, please see the fine print at the end of the column).

Not really catching on in floppy format, so collection sales will have to be its saving grace.

202 - THE FEW ($4.99)
01/2017: The Few #1 of 6 -- 10,571 
02/2017: The Few #2 of 6 --  8,431 (- 20.2%)

An Image Tribute Variant cover helps keep the 2nd issue drop to be fairly mild. There have also been a second & third printings of the first issue.

Gabriel Hardman’s one-shot The Belfry clocks in at position #205 moving 8,084 units.

213 - THE FIX ($3.99)
04/2016: The Fix #1  -- 14,959 
05/2016: The Fix #2  -- 10,433 (- 30.3%) 
06/2016: The Fix #3  -- 11,128 (+  6.7%) 
07/2016: The Fix #4  -- 11,115 (-  0.1%) 
08/2016: -- 
09/2016: The Fix #5  -- 10,463 (-  5.9%) 
10/2016: The Fix #6  --  9,425 (-  9.9%) 
11/2016: --
12/2016: The Fix #7  --  8,246 (- 12.5%) 
01/2017: -- 
02/2017: The Fix #8  --  7,569 (-  8.2%)
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.

222 - 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%) 
02/2017: Green Valley #5 of 9 --  7,187 (-  4.8%)

225 - BIRTHRIGHT ($2.99)
02/2015: Birthright #5  -- 13,218  
---------------------------------
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%) 
02/2017: Birthright #22 --  7,025 (-  1.7%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 13.8%
1 year  : - 26.2%
2 years : - 46.9%

236 - NAILBITER ($2.99)
02/2015: Nailbiter #10 -- 10,889  
--------------------------------
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%) 
02/2017: Nailbiter #29 --  6,574 (-  1.4%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 15.5%
1 year  : - 21.4%
2 years : - 39.6%

Penultimate issue.

243 - REVIVAL ($3.99)
02/2013: Revival #7  -- 16,639 
02/2014: -- 
02/2015: --  
------------------------------
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%) 
02/2017: Revival #47 --  6,325 (+ 35.7%) 
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :    n.a.
2 years :    n.a.

Final issue + Image Tribute Variant cover = nice little sales boost.

247 - THE BEAUTY ($3.99)
02/2016: -- 
03/2016: -- 
04/2016: -- 
05/2016: The Beauty #7  --  9,178 (- 13.4%)
06/2016: The Beauty #8  --  9,577 (+  4.3%)
07/2016: The Beauty #9  --  8,340 (- 12.9%)
08/2016: -- 
09/2016: The Beauty #10 --  7,986 (-  4.2%)
10/2016: The Beauty #11 --  7,210 (-  9.7%)
11/2016: -- 
12/2016: -- 
01/2017: -- 
02/2017: The Beauty #12 --  6,179 (- 14.3%)
-----------------
6 months:    n.a.
1 year  :    n.a.

Returns for a new story arc and a drop of over 1,000 copies.

255 - SUN BAKERY ($4.99)
02/2017: Sun Bakery #1  -- 5,876

A one person anthology comic from Corey Lewis. I’m pretty sure the first four issues of this are reprinting last year’s series from Press Gang (but I’m not 100% sure…) So for a $5 reprint comic those sales numbers aren’t all that bad.

256 - LOOSE ENDS ($3.99)
01/2017: Loose Ends #1 of 4 -- 10,847 
02/2017: Loose Ends #2 of 4 --  5,858 (- 46.0%)

259 - PLANETOID PRAXIS ($4.99)
02/2017: Planetoid Praxis #1  -- 5,753

New series from Ken Garing.

267 - 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%) 
02/2017: Black Road #7  --  5,340 (-  7.1%) 
-----------------
6 months: - 22.7%

271 - VIOLENT LOVE ($3.99)
11/2016: Violent Love #1  -- 15,671 
12/2016: Violent Love #2  --  7,836 (- 50.0%) 
01/2017: Violent Love #3  --  6,278 (- 19.9%) 
02/2017: Violent Love #4  --  5,130 (- 18.3%)

Image titles shipping but not making the Top 300 in February (cutoff at 4,044) include: Drifter, Horizon, Mayday, Postal, Rockstars, Savage Dragon, She Wolf, Shutter, Snowfall, Southern Cross, Spread, Stray Bullets, Surgeon X, They’re Not Like Us, Throwaways.

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 for Gifted Children, 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.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Bah, as always I used TextWrangler’s ‘Zap Gremlins’ feature, and ended up not-so-cleverly stripping out all the ‘¢’ signs where I was referring to the 25¢ comics. So just mentally throw those in while you’re reading this please. Thanks!

  2. Does anyonbe know how those variant programs work for the Image titles?
    Because each title is its own editor.

    So what’s the deal? Does image propose something like: if you wanna participate in our special variant program of the month, please make a cover on the theme and probably have a sales boost -but then perhaps the profit going to Image is a lttle higher this special month.
    and for those who don’t want, that’s ok, they can choose not to but will probably not see their sales go higher? (but will keep their “integrity” and perhaps not suffer a less % profit.

  3. I think history has shown (and since we already have the March numbers, it continues to be confirmed) that retailers don’t think that a 25 cent issue will have any notable impact on sales of the following issues, so they’ll pretty much just order in line with what the trend on the title was. They’re happy to order the bargain issues at 5x or 10x the numbers of the surrounding issues, maybe they sell, maybe they get the retailer some variant covers, maybe they have some impact on collected edition sales.

    GOD COUNTRY is doing pretty well for an Image title done by someone not already a well-established DC/Marvel creator, actually increasing in initial sales over the first issue. It’ll be interesting to see how REDNECK does this month.

  4. I think a title should have a 25 cent comic available at all times as a low cost intro issue to an ongoing series. That way, if I want to jump on, I can get up to speed with the cheapie issue to feel like buying it at say issue 31. The 25 cent issue would be a Wiki issue, truncating the story down to 16 pages or something, judt the essentials…

  5. That quote of 5000 issues of Savage Dragon was dated 2014. I’d think if it was still 5000 it would show up as #300 on the sales list every so often…

  6. Here are the figures for when Savage Dragon made the Diamond-NA chart in the past few years:

    Jan 2013: SD #184: 4,366
    Mar 2013: SD #185: 4,457
    Jun 2013: SD #188: 4,319
    Aug 2013: SD #190: 5,078
    Feb 2014: SD #193: 4,979
    Dec 2014: SD #200: 6,798
    Oct 2016: SD #217: 5,390 (Spawn crossover)

    So yeah, back in 2014 Savage Dragon was selling around 5000; that was when the Top 300 cutoff was around that same amount. In more resent times the Top 300 cutoff has fluctuated around the low to mid-4K range, but the only time SD made the chart was for the Spawn crossover. So if I had to guess it’s probably selling around 4K these days? But Erik keeps doing it, and I don’t think there’s any danger of him stopping as long as he’s enjoying it (one of the advantages of a creator-owned comic is there’s no one to tell you to stop!) And who knows—maybe Savage Dragon is huge in Germany!

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