Powers of X #1Chart time, as Diamond has just released their sales charts for July 2019. And what a month it was, with the new dynamic duo of House of X and Powers of X  leading the periodical charts, and the final issue of Walking Dead and Batman’s various books combining for a pretty strong month. Sales were up in all comparisons, although it was a five-week month. Marvel led publishers by their usual healthy margin.

The graphic novel charts consintued to show the kind of wildly eclectic titles. The Joker, a paperback edition of the Azzarello/Bermejo hit from a few years back, now under the Black Label banner, led graphic novel sales.  This book was originally published in 2008, and as I recall was something of a surprise sales smash for DC, led by Bermejo’s stunning art. It’s no wonder the duo teamed up again for Batman Damned, with more controversial results.

Further down the units list, we see the Brubaker/Phillips effort Bad Weekend, followed by the new Deadly Class then the NYT bestselling They Called Us Enemy, and then two more all ages-ish book, Adventures Zone #2 and Dear Justice League. A few years back the idea of seeing a First Second graphic novel in Diamond’s top ten would have seemed unlikely, but these are different times. Die Die Die, the Ahmed/Garon Miles Morales, Conan and Zdarsky’s Daredevil finish the top ten. Like I said, an ecelctic mix. GNs are still down 4.5% in units from last year, but they seem to be closing the distance.

The Joker.jpg

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After I gave him some mild ribbing in my last sales column, John Jackson Miller’s sales column this month has his own take on what is making 2019 a hard year to nail down. Quoted with permission:

Value judgments are tough to avoid in describing economic activity, even when the changes under discussion are very small. One person’s “stable” is another person’s “stagnant.” Much depends on expectations: if you think comics stores should be proliferating like sandwich shops, then “flat” is a bad word. If you think over-fast growth often leads to chaos, “steady” sounds just fine. 

The Comichron position is often seen as defaulting toward the positive — at least in headline copy! — but it’s a bit more nuanced than “ties go to the runner.” For the last 20 years, monthly periodical sales in comics shops have oscillated around a mean of about 7 million copies a month — all while the dollar volume of the comics market overall has nearly tripled thanks to graphic novels collecting those monthly comics. If you believe that a desirable level of comics sales is “whatever allows Direct Market stores to subsidize the serialization of enough stories to keep the bookshelves full,” then sales volume has clearly hit that level most years, and “unchanged” is, very much, “stable.” (Inherent in that is the strong belief that serialization is not just a necessary part of the publishers’ toolkit, but a valuable one; monthly comics amortize as they advertise, and feed a secondary market which many retailers also realize revenue from.)

Whichever way your adjectives go, a market constantly dipping above and below “no change” throws a constant series of choices at headline writers — and thus far, 2019 has been a workout for those of us looking for new descriptive terms. This year and last year haven’t tracked exactly, but the deviations have been small, like January, which saw the release of a lot of comics delayed from 2018. Or the fact that while Action Comics #1000 came out in April 2018, this year’s anniversary blockbuster, Detective Comics #1000, dropped in March. We see now from Diamond Comic Distributors that July, aided by a fifth shipping week, had another wobble, this time to the plus side; look here on Monday for the estimates for individual comics sales in July 2019.

I agree that we’re looking as incremental gains and losses at times, and we haven’t hit midnight on that Doomsday Clock just yet. But what does seem significant to me is the change in product mix – DC’s lessened output, the increase in material for younger readers. It’s a very different audience.

unit-sharedollar-share

 

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

41.38%

45.49%

DC

26.79%

27.63%

IMAGE COMICS

8.43%

8.64%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.22%

3.99%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.10%

2.42%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.31%

2.19%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.05%

1.86%

VIZ MEDIA

1.51%

0.58%

TITAN COMICS

0.74%

0.68%

ARCHIE COMICS

0.68%

0.75%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.80%

5.77%

 

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

DOLLARS

UNITS

JULY 2019 VS. JUNE 2019

COMICS

15.75%

12.25%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

5.58%

4.42%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

12.93%

11.72%

TOYS

48.78%

61.20%

JULY 2019 VS. JULY 2018

COMICS

4.99%

-0.73%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

12.83%

0.08%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

6.91%

-0.68%

TOYS

72.30%

84.85%

YEAR TO DATE 2019 VS. YEAR TO DATE 2018

COMICS

0.97%

-4.36%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-0.25%

-6.20%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

0.63%

-4.50%

TOYS

32.17%

35.90%

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

105

45

0

150

DC

86

24

0

110

IDW PUBLISHING

45

20

0

65

IMAGE COMICS

50

10

0

60

DARK HORSE COMICS

18

20

0

38

BOOM! STUDIOS

15

16

0

31

VIZ MEDIA LLC

0

23

0

23

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

16

5

0

21

ARCHIE COMICS

13

3

0

16

ONI PRESS

4

5

0

9

OTHER NON-TOP 10

143

150

23

316

TOTAL

495

321

23

839

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

HOUSE OF X #1

$5.99

MAY190690 MAR

2

POWERS OF X #1

$5.99

MAY190703 MAR

3

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25

$7.99

MAY190815 MAR

4

THE WALKING DEAD #193 (MR) [*]

$3.99

MAY190111 IMA

5

BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #2

$5.99

MAY190360 DC

6

BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #1

$4.99

MAY190356 DC

7

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #7

$4.99

JUN190448 DC

8

BLACK CAT #2

$3.99

MAY190834 MAR

9

IMMORTAL HULK #20

$3.99

MAY190775 MAR

10

BATMAN #74

$3.99

MAY190383 DC

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

HOUSE OF X #1

$5.99

MAY190690 MAR

2

POWERS OF X #1

$5.99

MAY190703 MAR

3

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25

$7.99

MAY190815 MAR

4

BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #2

$5.99

MAY190360 DC

5

THE WALKING DEAD #193 (MR) [*]

$3.99

MAY190111 IMA

6

BATMAN: CURSE OF THE WHITE KNIGHT #1

$4.99

MAY190356 DC

7

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #7

$4.99

JUN190448 DC

8

BLACK CAT #2

$3.99

MAY190834 MAR

9

IMMORTAL HULK #20

$3.99

MAY190775 MAR

10

VAMPIRELLA #1 [*]

$3.99

MAY190996 DE

 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

THE JOKER TP

$14.99

APR190556 DC

2

BAD WEEKEND HC (MR)

$16.99

MAY190040 IMA

3

DEADLY CLASS VOL. 8: NEVER GO BACK TP (MR)

$16.99

MAY190047 IMA

4

THEY CALLED US ENEMY TP

$19.99

MAR190630 IDW

5

ADVENTURE ZONE VOL. 2: MURDER ON ROCKPORT LIMITED GN

$19.99

MAY191698 FIR

6

DEAR JUSTICE LEAGUE TP

$9.99

MAR190470 DC

7

CONAN THE BARBARIAN VOL. 1: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF CONAN BOOK ONE TP

$19.99

APR190960 MAR

8

MILES MORALES VOL. 1: STRAIGHT OUT OF BROOKLYN TP

$17.99

APR190958 MAR

9

DIE DIE DIE VOL. 1 TP (MR)

$19.99

MAY190041 IMA

10

DAREDEVIL BY CHIP ZDARSKY VOL. 1: KNOW FEAR TP

$15.99

MAY190967 MAR

 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

CONAN THE BARBARIAN: ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC

$125.00

JAN191082-M MAR

2

THE JOKER TP

$14.99

APR190556 DC

3

MONSTRESS VOLUME 1 HC (MR)

$49.99

APR190054-M IMA

4

BAD WEEKEND HC (MR)

$16.99

MAY190040 IMA

5

DC UNIVERSE: BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS BY JACK KIRBY HC

$150.00

NOV180560 DC

6

ADVENTURE ZONE VOL. 2: MURDER ON ROCKPORT LIMITED GN

$19.99

MAY191698 FIR

7

THEY CALLED US ENEMY TP

$19.99

MAR190630 IDW

8

SUPERMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS VOL. 6 HC

$125.00

NOV180575 DC

9

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 11 HC

$75.00

JAN191092-M MAR

10

THANOS BY DONNY CATES HC

$34.99

JAN191088 MAR

 

TOP 10 BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL. 49 SC

$29.95

APR191757-M GEM

2

GEARS OF WAR RETROSPECTIVE HC

$49.99

MAY192131 UDO

3

OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL. 49 HC

$35.00

APR191758-M GEM

4

THE ART OF TEKKEN: A COMPLETE VISUAL HISTORY HC

$39.99

AUG181195 DE

5

I AM SHE-RA LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK

$4.99

MAY191727 RAN

6

I AM HE-MAN LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK

$4.99

MAY191726 RAN

7

DARK SOULS DESIGN WORKS VOL. 1 HC

$39.99

AUG131470 UDO

8

ART OF DARKSIDERS III

$49.99

DEC188955 UDO

9

BIG BIG OVERSTREET COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE VOL. 49

$49.50

APR191763 GEM

10

AVENGERS: BATTLE ON THE MOON LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK

$4.99

MAY191720 RAN

 

TOP 10 TOYS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

MARVEL GALLERY: X-FORCE: TACO TRUCK DEADPOOL SDCC 2019 STATUE JAN198204 DST

2

MARVEL COMICS EAA-077: SPIDER-GWEN FIGURE OCT188103 BEA

3

DC GALLERY: SPEED FORCE FLASH SDCC 2019 PVC STATUE JAN198205 DST

4

POP! MARVEL: NOVA PRIME VINYL FIGURE OCT188711 FUN

5

MARVEL GALLERY: X-FORCE: X-23 SDCC 2019 PVC STATUE JAN198206 DST

6

POP! DC HEROES: RED DEATH VINYL FIGURE OCT188710 FUN

7

POP! RICK & MORTY: PICKLE RICK GLOW-IN-THE-DARK SDCC 2019 VINYL FIGURE DEC188716 FUN

8

FALLOUT: X-01 POWER ARMOR QUANTUM VARIANT 1/6-SCALE FIGURE NOV188441 THR

9

DC/TMNT: MICHELANGELO AS BATMAN SDCC 2019 FIGURE JAN199284 DC

10

MARVEL: VENOM ARTFX+ STATUE OCT188699 KOT

 

TOP 10 GAMES BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

PATHFINDER CORE RULEBOOK HC (P2) MAY193227 PAI

2

PATHFINDER BESTIARY HC (P2) MAY193229 PAI

3

PATHFINDER CORE RULEBOOK SPECIAL EDITION HC (P2) MAY193228 PAI

4

THE EXPANSE RPG HC NOV182869 GRE

5

PATHFINDER BESTIARY SPECIAL EDITION HC (P2) MAY193230 PAI

6

PATHFINDER GM SCREEN (P2) MAY193238 PAI

7

STARFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK HC JUN173371 PAI

8

MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: WAR OF THE SPARK BOOSTERS JAN198652 WZK

9

PATHFINDER CONDITION CARDS DECK (P2) MAY193236 PAI

10

TOME OF BEASTS HC JUN168476 PAI

 

3 COMMENTS

  1. Man the sales charts analysis The Beat ran for so many years was the best thing on the site. Those vanish and THIS is what we get now? There’s less and less here that I enjoy and it’s a bummer.

  2. If you’re talking about the month-to-month tracking reports that various freelancers did using the shipping estimates, their accuracy was always in question — since, as we say at Comichron, the underlying estimates should not be used to track individual titles across time. The underlying information is correct, but the shipping calendar and the fact that some reorders are reported and not others means that cross-time tracking of individual titles is not very reliable.

    It’s like comparing movie box office when you include only opening weekends for some films, while for others you might include several months.

Comments are closed.