Saga01

It’s been a while (5 years)  since we looked at Diamond’s monthly backlist chart, and now, as then, it reveals a VERY DIFFERENT ranking for publishers. In the backlist, DC is king by a wide margin, with about 30% of the market. Marvel is only a tich above Image in units, while Image books dominate the top ten with Saga, Walking Dead, and Sex Criminals. On the manga side, Attack on Titan rules, no surprise given the way it’s single handedly revitalized the category.

Backlist charts reflect perennial graphic novel sellers that sell out over time rather than the more volatile monthly periodicals. It’s also a source of steady income for publishers; once you get ahit on the backlist you just sit back and fill order.

Marvel actually charts with a bunch of Deadpool books, and DC has fewer tites, mostly Batman. Why the discrepancy? While I’ll have to investigate the chart more fully in months to come, its no secret that DC has the most well developed backlist of any publisher. Although they aren’t showing up in this particular chart, I’d guess that classics like Watchmen, Frank Miller, Neil Gaiman, and the ongoing New 52 program is doing very well. They are much more focused on this particular channel.

It’s interesting to see Marvel books here given all their well documented problems keeping books in print. Thanks to Diamond for permission to reprint this information.

 


SEPTEMBER 2014 BACKLIST MARKET SHARES

Vendor

Dollar Share

 

Vendor

Unit Share

DC COMICS

30.51%

DC COMICS

29.76%

MARVEL COMICS

19.02%

MARVEL COMICS

17.40%

IMAGE COMICS

10.98%

IMAGE COMICS

15.28%

DARK HORSE COMICS

10.71%

DARK HORSE COMICS

10.58%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.35%

VIZ LLC

3.72%

RANDOM HOUSE

3.27%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.38%

VIZ LLC

2.55%

RANDOM HOUSE

3.34%

FUNKO

1.50%

FUNKO

1.93%

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

1.42%

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

1.67%

DIAMOND SELECT TOYS LLC

1.28%

ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

1.17%

OTHER

14.43%

OTHER

11.77%

TOTAL

0.94%

TOTAL

100.00%

Larger Versions
Dollar
/ Unit


SEPTEMBER 2014
 BACKLIST TOP SELLERS

TOP 25 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

Qty Rank

Rtl Rank

Item Code

Description

Price

Vendor

1

6

AUG120491D

SAGA TP VOL 01 (MR)

$9.99

IMA

2

1

JAN140556D

SAGA TP VOL 03 (MR)

$14.99

IMA

3

2

APR130443D

SAGA TP VOL 02 (MR)

$14.99

IMA

4

15

JAN140558D

SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 01 (MR)

$9.99

IMA

5

7

NOV128157D

WALKING DEAD TP VOL 01 DAYS GONE BYE

$14.99

IMA

6

8

MAR130727D

DEADPOOL TP VOL 01 DEAD PRESIDENTS NOW

$15.99

MAR

7

34

JUN130466D

EAST OF WEST TP VOL 01 THE PROMISE

$9.99

IMA

8

14

MAY140652D

WALKING DEAD TP VOL 21 ALL OUT WAR PT 2 (MR)

$14.99

IMA

9

13

DEC120323D

BATMAN TP VOL 01 THE COURT OF OWLS (N52)

$16.99

DC

10

12

NOV070226D

BATMAN THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL ED HC

$17.99

DC

11

3

APR140949F

BRYAN LEE O MALLEY SECONDS GN (C: 1-1-0)

$25.00

RAN

12

43

MAY140626D

DEADLY CLASS TP VOL 01 REAGAN YOUTH (MR)

$9.99

IMA

13

17

JUL130235D

BATMAN TP VOL 02 THE CITY OF OWLS (N52)

$16.99

DC

14

49

JAN140555D

RAT QUEENS TP VOL 01 SASS & SORCERY (MR)

$9.99

IMA

15

4

APR130732D

DEADPOOL BY DANIEL WAY COMPLETE COLL TP VOL 01

$34.99

MAR

16

16

NOV118095D

BATMAN DARK KNIGHT RETURNS TP

$19.99

DC

17

9

JUL110745D

INFINITY GAUNTLET TP

$24.99

MAR

18

11

MAY090178D

BATMAN HUSH COMPLETE TP

$24.99

DC

19

27

AUG120709D

DEADPOOL KILLS MARVEL UNIVERSE TP

$14.99

MAR

20

57

MAR140535D

BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL 01 HOW TO FALL FOREVER (MR)

$9.99

IMA

21

29

SEP088204D

WALKING DEAD TP VOL 02 MILES BEHIND US (NEW PTG)

$14.99

IMA

22

24

FEB140248D

BATMAN TP VOL 03 DEATH OF THE FAMILY (N52)

$16.99

DC

23

35

JUL100030V

SERENITY SHEPHERDS TALE HC (C: 0-1-2)

$14.99

DAR

24

36

DEC130494D

EAST OF WEST TP VOL 02 WE ARE ALL ONE

$14.99

IMA

25

22

SEP110038V

SERENITY HC VOL 01 THOSE LEFT BEHIND 2ND ED

$17.99

DAR

TOP 10 MANGA

Qty Rank

Rtl Rank

Item Code

Description

Price

Vendor

1

1

MAR121101F

ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 01 (C: 1-1-2)

$10.99

RAN

2

6

JUN121182F

ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 02 (C: 1-1-2)

$10.99

RAN

3

5

NOV101063E

DEATH NOTE BLACK ED TP VOL 01 (C: 1-0-1)

$14.99

VIZ

4

8

SEP131224F

ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 09 (C: 1-1-1)

$10.99

RAN

5

9

JUL111150F

SAILOR MOON TP KODANSHA ED VOL 01 (C: 0-1-2)

$10.99

RAN

6

11

JAN141232F

ATTACK ON TITAN BEFORE THE FALL GN VOL 01 (C: 1-0-0)

$10.99

RAN

7

3

AUG131498E

UZUMAKI 3IN1 DLX ED HC (C: 1-0-1)

$27.99

VIZ

8

13

SEP121137F

ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 03 (C: 1-1-2)

$10.99

RAN

9

14

APR141262F

ATTACK ON TITAN NO REGRETS GN VOL 01 (C: 1-0-0)

$10.99

RAN

10

16

FEB141327F

ATTACK ON TITAN GN VOL 12 (C: 1-1-0)

$10.99

RAN

TOP 10 BOOKS

Qty Rank

Rtl Rank

Item Code

Description

Price

Vendor

1

3

APR141239E

OVERSTREET COMIC BK PG SC VOL 44 BATMAN CVR

$29.95

GEM

2

4

SEP120055V

LEGEND OF ZELDA HYRULE HISTORIA HC (C: 1-1-2)

$34.99

DAR

3

2

DEC131413F

MARVEL ENCYCLOPEDIA HC 75TH ANNIV ED (C: 0-1-0)

$40.00

DK

4

5

APR141240E

OVERSTREET COMIC BK PG HC VOL 44 BATMAN

$35.00

GEM

5

10

MAY131402F

ADVENTURE TIME ENCYCLOPEDIA HC

$19.95

ABR

6

1

MAR140463J

MIKE MIGNOLA HELLBOY ARTIST ED (NET)

$95.00

IDW

7

16

FEB121318H

DARTH VADER AND SON HC (C: 0-1-1)

$14.95

CHR

8

20

MAY131497F

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE STAR WARS HC (C: 0-1-1)

$14.95

RAN

9

9

APR141241E

OVERSTREET COMIC BK PG SC VOL 44 VAMPIRELLA CVR

$29.95

GEM

10

21

MAY141838F

GOODNIGHT DARTH VADER HC (C: 0-1-0)

$14.95

CHR

TOP 10 TOYS

Qty Rank

Rtl Rank

Item Code

Description

Price

Vendor

1

2

OCT120316Y

DC COMICS NEW 52 SUPERMAN ACTION FIGURE

$24.95

DC

2

6

SEP130327Y

DC COMICS SUPER VILLAINS HARLEY QUINN AF

$24.95

DC

3

8

FEB140306Y

DC COMICS NEW 52 RED HOOD AF

$24.95

DC

4

25

JUN132334I

POP TMNT MICHELANGELO VINYL FIG (C: 1-1-2)

$10.99

FUN

5

27

JUN132333I

POP TMNT DONATELLO VINYL FIG (C: 1-1-2)

$10.99

FUN

6

10

FEB140307Y

DC COMICS NEW 52 STARFIRE AF

$24.95

DC

7

1

NOV138235Y

DC COMICS NEW 52 JUSTICE LEAGUE 7 PACK AF BOX SET

$99.95

DC

8

9

FEB108045U

DOCTOR WHO 11TH DOCTOR SONIC SCREWDRIVER (C: 1-1-3)

$34.99

UND

9

7

JAN140403Y

DC COMICS SUPER VILLAINS ARMORED LEX LUTHOR DLX AF

$49.95

DC

10

18

JUL128115Y

DC COMICS NEW 52 BATMAN ACTION FIGURE

$24.95

DC

TOP 10 GAMES

Qty Rank

Rtl Rank

Item Code

Description

Price

Vendor

1

1

JUN118204J

RISK LEGACY (C: 1-1-4)

$32.99

HAS

2

2

OCT128266I

WALKING DEAD COMIC ED PX MONOPOLY (C: 1-1-2)

$39.99

USA

3

4

JAN120128U

GAME OF THRONES PLAYING CARDS (C: 1-0-0)

$4.99

DAR

4

3

OCT128267I

WALKING DEAD COMIC ED PX RISK (C: 1-1-2)

$49.99

USA

5

12

MAY142826E

DC DECK BUILDING GAME CRISIS EXP PK 1 (C: 1-1-2)

$20.00

CRY

6

6

NOV074603G

SETTLERS OF CATAN NEW ED (C: 0-1-2)

$42.00

ALL

7

5

MAY132319I

FIREFLY BOARD GAME (C: 0-1-2)

$49.99

ALL

8

9

SEP122060E

BATMAN ARKHAM CITY ESCAPE BOARD GAME (C: 1-1-3)

$45.00

CRY

9

10

MAR043750G

TICKET TO RIDE (C: 4)

$50.00

DOW

10

7

JUN138233G

DC HEROCLIX BATMAN CLASSIC TV 24 CT GRAVITY FEED DS

$71.76

NEC

TOP 5 PRINTS & POSTERS

Qty Rank

Rtl Rank

Item Code

Description

Price

Vendor

1

1

JUN140748D

GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #18 BY ALEX ROSS POSTER

$8.99

MAR

2

2

MAY140951D

ROCKET RACCOON #1 POSTER

$8.99

MAR

3

3

MAY140950D

CAPTAIN AMERICA #22 75TH ANNIV BY ROSS POSTER

$8.99

MAR

4

4

MAY138368D

AVENGERS VS X-MEN BY YOUNG POSTER NEW PTG

$8.99

MAR

5

5

MAR140788D

DEADPOOL WEDDING BY KOBLISH POSTER

$8.99

MAR

TOP 5 APPAREL

Qty Rank

Rtl Rank

Item Code

Description

Price

Vendor

1

1

JUN128314J

ADVENTURE TIME DLX FINN HAT (NET) (C: 1-1-2)

$9.95

ZOO

2

2

JAN120131U

GAME OF THRONES PIN HAND OF KING (C: 3)

$12.99

DAR

3

3

STAR00972U

BATMAN SYMBOL I BLK T/S LG

$18.95

GRA

4

5

NOV111316U

SUPERMAN 52 SYMBOL T/S MED (C: 1-1-3)

$18.95

GRA

5

6

NOV053538U

FANTASTIC FOUR FOURRIOR BLK T/S XL (C: 0-1-3)

$16.99

MAD

TOP 5 NOVELTIES

Qty Rank

Rtl Rank

Item Code

Description

Price

Vendor

1

2

JUL121877I

SW DEATH STAR SILICONE TRAY (C: 1-1-4)

$9.99

KOT

2

16

DEC050058U

COOP KEEP EM HONEST PLAYING CARDS (C: 0-1-2)

$4.99

DAR

3

6

JAN120134U

GAME OF THRONES COASTER SET HOUSE SIGIL (C: 1-0-0)

$9.99

DAR

4

22

AUG110057U

MASS EFFECT PLAYING CARDS (C: 0-1-2)

$4.99

DAR

5

10

APR120059U

GAME OF THRONES COASTER SET SEASON 2

$9.99

DAR

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. Elephant in the Room:
    DC has developed almost no new backlist titles since the New 52.
    Batman sells, partly because there is an architect writing the series.
    Otherwise, superhero backlist titles expire after a year, at best.
    For DC, their backlist strength is in Vertigo, Elseworlds, and done-in-one DCU titles, all which began before 2011.

    I suspect that Brian Hibb’s BookScan review will prove this.

  2. I don’t know what sandpile Torsten’s head’s been buried, but he’s wrong. My shop welcomed just this week DC trades and/or HCs of Batman ’66, Earth 2 N52, Justice League 3000 N52, and restocked Essential Batman 1 N52, Flash Gorilla Warfare N52 . . . well, between Forever Evil, Green Arrow and Lantern, and Red Lantern about a dozen MORE N52 titles. That’s all in the one week, dude. Plus DC recently released all the Before Watchman trades too.

    I suspect that Torsten Adair is a Marvel fan.

  3. Torsten is a fan…of COMICS. And a very smart guy. New 52 collections have been pretty successful, however, with Batman leading the way. I doubt they’ll surpass the greats, but there is interest in them, according to the figures I’ve seen.

    Also, DC IS leading the backlist. It has to be with something.

  4. Mr. Sturgeon,
    The titles you mention are new. These are known as FRONTLIST in the book trade.
    A publisher makes its money in BACKLIST, older titles which sell consistently, methodically, even mathematically year after year. This is why Stephen King makes millions per title; his publishers know that new readers will want to read his older work, and those sales will eventually make a profit.

    Go to a Barnes & Noble and check the graphic novel shelves. How many of the fifty-two New 52 Volume One volumes are on the shelf?
    How many does your local comics shop stock?

  5. Okay… Scratched the itch…
    I went to Edelweiss, which posts online catalogs from publishers.
    I searched DC Comics for: new 52 vol.1
    102 titles were found. These include 8 new titles not yet published, as well as paperback editions of hardcovers.
    90 are still active. 10 are currently out of stock (7 are hardcovers). One has been cancelled (The Green Team).

    You can do the same at BN.com:
    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/-The-New-52-Vol-1-?store=allproducts&keyword=%22The+New+52%22+%22Vol.1%22
    Sort by “bestselling”. Usually, when you scroll down on each title’s page, you’ll see a sales rank.
    Batman is the top seller, at #18,790 of all titles sold.

    Interesting… DC has not made any DCU titles published after June 2011 out-of-print. That could be a result of their partnership with Random House.

  6. So I don’t understand, has DC developed new backlist or not?
    Thou I’d say thats way too early to say that considering that most of first arcs of new52 concluded in 2012 and were published in collected addition later. That makes them, 2 years old?

  7. DC was smart to let Karen Berger start up Vertigo and spend over a decade having top tier talent writing and drawing good stories with a beginning, middle, and end to sell on the bookstore market forever. They also have a lot of super contained, single book sized super-hero stories from top creators to sell, many of which (coincidentally I’m sure) star their most popular character. Stuff like Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke, Batman Year One, etc.

  8. Much as I’m ambivalent about his writing, it does seem like Snyder’s New 52 Batman will turn into a perennial seller, at least the earlier volumes. Will Zero Year collections keep pace with Year One collections five years from now? I doubt it. But I think there have been a handful of New 52 titles (including Johns’ Justice League and Azzarello’s Wonder Woman) that will see at least moderate backlist action in the next decade.

    When comparing that activity to DC classics like Dark Knight Returns, Killing Joke, Watchmen, Sandman, Preacher… Well, I’m not sure it matters. What DC caught lightning with what Frank Miller and Alan Moore did for them for a couple years in the mid-’80s. Faulting DC (or anyone else) for not (re)capturing that kind of magic golden goose is kind of harsh. DC struck gold again with Vertigo, which has given them several titles that sell very well on a longterm basis.

    Honestly the only time I’ve seen that sort of stable duplicated to any comparable extent is with Image, right now, with Saga, Walking Dead, East of West and a couple others. If Image keeps the winning streak going for a few more years, maybe they’ll have a murderer’s row comparable to Sandman, Preacher, Invisibles, Transmet, Fables, American Vampire, etc. Vertigo’s catalogue is just so deep and so strong.

    It’s no surprise to me that DC is continuing to rule the backlist roost. It’s not easy to put together what Karen Berger was able to put together over there for a time. And it’s not easy to happen upon Alan Moore and Frank Miller at the peak of their powers when both of them want to work for the same company.

    But, really, I think the lead is kinda getting buried here: Deadpool has clearly emerged as Marvel’s premier backlist property, and he’s a major player now on this level.

Comments are closed.