A change in shipping patterns probably contributed to that improvement. Diamond did not ship new product to its retailer customers the last week of 2009, but did for the last week of 2010. December 2010 sales would have undoubtedly shown a decline vs. December 2009 had shipping patterns been the same.
Comics Sales overview, December 2010 — as previously noted, DC beat Marvel in unit sales for the first time in forever.
Top 300 Comics Actual–December 2010
Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual–December 2010
As usual, John Jackson Miller was standing by with analysis, and he confirmed — the top selling comic in December sold at a ten year low.
Preliminary estimates for December were confirmed in that no title for the month topped the 100,000 mark, and in fact, the top-seller, Batman: The Dark Knight #1, landed at almost exactly 90,000 copies, marking an all-time record low for a top-seller. First-month sales were actually 10,000 copies less than last month’s top seller, another Batman first issue priced at a dollar more. However, it’s unclear how Diamond’s holiday schedule figures into things. (Revision: There was a shipment on Dec. 29; it was in 2009 that Dec. 30 was a skip week. I indeed live in the past!)
Normally mild-manned Miller even suggests that 100,000 units sold may become a less useful benchmark in the Diminishing Teens.
BUT—see next post.