Not only did Todd McFarlane’s Spawn enter the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running creator-owned comic book series, but issue #300 ruled the charts, according to information released by Diamond for September sales to comics specialty shops. The Hellspawn ruled in both units and dollars, and at $7.99 a pop that was a hefty win.

That math helped Image hit 11.01% of the dollars chart for publishers, while Marvel and DC had their usual 1-2 rankings.

Elsewhere, the Abrams family Spider-Man #1, various HoX/PoX titles and Harleen #1 charted in periodicals. In graphic novels, Batman: Damned led in both units and dollars.

MAR190571 - BATMAN DAMNED HC (MR) - HR_787797.jpgSince we’ve been talking so much about the shift in GN/periodical sales of late,  looking at the top 10 graphic novels in units is of interest. (The dollar chart is dominated by $100+ omnibus collections, so doesn’t give us much info.) Grouping these into rough categories we see:

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EVERYONE LOVE BATMAN
BATMAN: DAMNED HC (MR)
BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE HC
BATMAN VOL, 10: KNIGHTMARES TP
BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

MEDIA TIE-INS (I’ll count Joker as a media tie-in – fight me.)
UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 3: HOTEL OBLIVION TP
THE JOKER: HIS GREATEST JOKES TP

IMAGE CLASSICS
PAPER GIRLS VOLUME 6 TP
MONSTRESS VOLUME 4 TP (MR)
IMMORTAL HULK VOL. 4: ABOMINATION TP

“BLACK LABEL”
HEROES IN CRISIS HC

HiC isn’t actually a Black Label title, but it certainly comes under the heading of “serious, grown-up standalone tales” that fits the goal of the Black Label line.

As mentioned many times before, when you see how many copies The Killing Joke sells month after month after month, 30 years after it came out, you see why growing perennial backlist is such a key goal.

Batman: Nightwalker is yet another solid seller from DC’s YA team – call it Zoom, call it Ink, call it sneezel – these done in one GNs are hitting the mark for retailers and readers.

JUN190014 - (USE AUG199201) SPAWN #300 CVR A MCFARLANE - HR_787794.jpgAs pointed out by John Jackson Miller in his analysis, Raina Telgemeier’s Guts, which sold more than 75,000 copies in a week, is nowhere to be found on Diamond’s charts, although, anecdotally, I know many comics shops sold it. I’ll be curious to see where it ranks (if it does) in the top 300 charts, but obviously, comics shops are ordering this and other popular kids’ comics, from distributors other than Diamond. Which is fine, really: diversification is usually a sign of growth. You do see some of Diamond’s dilemma though: relying on a fairly flat category as its main product.

In monthly, yearly and quarterly comparisons, sales were generally up – September beat August in units by a wide margin, although it was mostly from periodicals. In year to date, totals comics/gns remain behind 0.25% in dollars and -3.79% in units.

According to Miller (quoted with permission):

Comics as a category saw improvements both over August and year-over-year. Retailers ordered 7.57 million copies, up 5%; the dollar value of those books was up 11%. Those gains come despite a smaller new release slate: publishers released 443 new comic books in September, a drop of 7%. Image’s number of new comics releases was down significantly, from 66 to 42; its 13% year-to-year sales improvement in September looks more impressive in light of that. Marvel released the exact number of comics it did in the previous September; its dollar sales were up 1%. Marvel is up 7% year-to-date.

So there you have it – September was kind of a month, nothing too shocking either way. Except maybe audacious stealing a march from his old collaborator Dave Sim (whose Cerebus lasted 300 issues – all written and drawn by him) on the 300 issue record!

Oh yeah, and Diamond increased the parallax on their pie charts. I guess they really are upgrading their software!

unit-sharedollar-share

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 38.81% 45.51%
DC 27.80% 29.15%
IMAGE COMICS 11.01% 8.32%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.26% 2.27%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.08% 2.92%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 2.70% 2.02%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.48% 2.53%
VIZ MEDIA 1.57% 0.62%
ONI PRESS 0.76% 0.63%
ARCHIE COMICS 0.65% 0.63%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 7.87% 5.42%

 

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

DOLLARS

UNITS

SEPTEMBER 2019 VS. AUGUST 2019

COMICS 5.20% 9.97%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 2.90% -1.98%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 4.60% 9.12%
TOYS -14.00% -33.26%

SEPTEMBER 2019 VS. SEPTEMBER 2018

COMICS 10.87% 5.25%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -11.54% -20.44%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 4.09% 3.13%
TOYS 9.99% -17.90%

YEAR TO DATE 2019 VS. YEAR TO DATE 2018

COMICS 2.05% -3.29%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -4.26% -10.04%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 0.25% -3.79%
TOYS 22.69% 25.47%

QUARTER 3 2019 VS. QUARTER 2 2019

COMICS 13.25% 8.20%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 1.68% 3.50%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 10.01% 7.88%
TOYS 29.24% 26.14%

QUARTER 3 2019 VS. QUARTER 3 2018

COMICS 5.41% 0.01%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -7.95% -15.17%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 1.59% -1.16%
TOYS 19.23% 22.45%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS 99 43 0 142
DC 83 26 0 109
IMAGE COMICS 42 19 0 61
DARK HORSE COMICS 19 21 0 40
IDW PUBLISHING 25 15 0 40
VIZ MEDIA 0 33 0 33
BOOM! STUDIOS 18 14 0 32
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 15 5 0 20
ARCHIE COMICS 11 3 0 14
ONI PRESS 4 4 0 8
OTHER NON-TOP 10 127 186 19 332
TOTAL 443 369 19 831

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

SPAWN #300

$7.99

JUN190014-M IMA

2

SPIDER-MAN #1

$4.99

JUL190833-M MAR

3

HOUSE OF X #5

$4.99

JUL190857-M MAR

4

POWERS OF X #5

$4.99

JUL190873-M MAR

5

POWERS OF X #4

$4.99

JUL190865-M MAR

6

HOUSE OF X #4

$4.99

JUL190849-M MAR

7

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #11

$4.99

MAR190507-M DC

8

ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #3

$4.99

JUL190885-M MAR

9

DCEASED: A GOOD DAY TO DIE #1

$4.99

JUL190514-M DC

10

HARLEEN #1 (MR)

$7.99

JUL190510-M DC

 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

SPAWN #300

$7.99

JUN190014-M IMA

2

SPIDER-MAN #1

$4.99

JUL190833-M MAR

3

HOUSE OF X #5

$4.99

JUL190857-M MAR

4

HARLEEN #1 (MR)

$7.99

JUL190510-M DC

5

POWERS OF X #5

$4.99

JUL190873-M MAR

6

POWERS OF X #4

$4.99

JUL190865-M MAR

7

HOUSE OF X #4

$4.99

JUL190849-M MAR

8

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #11

$4.99

MAR190507-M DC

9

ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #3

$4.99

JUL190885-M MAR

10

DCEASED: A GOOD DAY TO DIE #1

$4.99

JUL190514-M DC 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

BATMAN: DAMNED HC (MR)

$29.99

MAR190571 DC

2

UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 3: HOTEL OBLIVION TP

$19.99

MAR190279 DAR

3

PAPER GIRLS VOLUME 6 TP

$14.99

JUL190107 IMA

4

MONSTRESS VOLUME 4 TP (MR)

$16.99

JUL190105-M IMA

5

IMMORTAL HULK VOL. 4: ABOMINATION TP

$15.99

JUN191051 MAR

6

HEROES IN CRISIS HC

$29.99

JUN190600 DC

7

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE HC

$17.99

JUN190574 DC

8

BATMAN VOL, 10: KNIGHTMARES TP

$17.99

JUN190562 DC

9

BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

$16.99

MAY190358 DC

10

THE JOKER: HIS GREATEST JOKES TP

$19.99

JUN190604 DC

 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

BATMAN: DAMNED HC (MR)

$29.99

MAR190571 DC

2

UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 3: HOTEL OBLIVION TP

$19.99

MAR190279 DAR

3

MONSTRESS VOLUME 4 TP (MR)

$16.99

JUL190105-M IMA

4

MARVEL HORROR OMNIBUS HC

$150.00

MAR190992 MAR

5

HEROES IN CRISIS HC

$29.99

JUN190600 DC

6

PAPER GIRLS VOLUME 6 TP

$14.99

JUL190107 IMA

7

TIMELY’S GREATEST: GOLDEN AGE SUB-MARINER BY EVERETT HC

$150.00

MAR190993-M MAR

8

UMBRELLA ACADEMY LIBRARY EDITION VOL. 1 HC

$39.99

JUN190309 DAR

9

BATMAN ETERNAL OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

JAN190658 DC

10

SPIDER-MAN BY JOHN BYRNE OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

MAR191002 MAR

TOP 10 BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY 2019 EDITION

$19.95

NOV188362 PRI

2

FREE S$$T: THE CHARLES BURNS ZINE COLLECTION HC

$19.99

JUL191904 FAN

3

THE DARK CRYSTAL LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK

$4.99

JUL191956 GOL

4

GRIMM FAIRY TALES ADULT COLORING BOOK VOL. 1 SC

$12.99

OCT151871 ZEN

5

FRANK CHO: BALLPOINT BEAUTIES SC

$19.95

JUN191759 FLE

6

BLOODBORNE OFFICIAL ARTWORKS SC

$44.99

MAR172148 UDO

7

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOL. 144 SC

$14.95

MAY191887 SAN

8

MY LITTLE PONY: BEST GIFT EVER PERFECT PINKIE PRESENT LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK

$4.99

JUL191958 GOL

9

CATS OF THE LOUVRE MANGA HC

$29.99

JUL192406 VIZ

10

DOCTOR WHO: RESURRECTION OF THE DALEKS HC

$16.99

JUL191682 BBC

TOP 10 TOYS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

MARVEL GALLERY: AVENGERS ENDGAME: IRON MAN MK85 PVC FIGURE FEB198521 DST

2

DC MULTIVERSE 6-INCH FIGURES: LOBO WAVE NOV188888 MAT

3

ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: MARVEL NETFLIX: THE PUNISHER FIGURE MAR188817 MEZ

4

BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE BY MARC SILVESTRI STATUE FEB190627 DC

5

MARVEL SELECT: CAPTAIN MARVEL MOVIE FIGURE JAN192554 DST

6

DC COMICSl CATWOMAN RETURNS BISHOUJO STATUE JAN198158 KOT

7

DARK NIGHTS METAL: BATMAN THE DEVASTATOR STATUE FEB190623 DC

8

DC ESSENTIALS: RED HOOD ACTION FIGURE FEB190631 DC

9

POP! MARVEL: SPIDER-PUNK VINYL FIGURE SEP188215 FUN

10

JOHN WICK SELECT FIGURE SEP182329 DST

 

TOP 10 GAMES BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

PATHFINDER CORE RULEBOOK HC (P2) MAY193227 PAI

2

PATHFINDER: LOST OMENS WORLD GUIDE HC (P2) MAY193231 PAI

3

STARFINDER RPG: ALIEN ARCHIVE 3 HC JUN193098 PAI

4

MARVEL HEROCLIX: X-MEN ANIMATED SERIES DARK PHOENIX BOOSTER BRICK MAY193279 NEC

5

PATHFINDER BESTIARY HC (P2) MAY193229 PAI

6

CRITICAL ROLE: TAL’DOREI CAMPAIGN SETTING HC JUN173357 GRE

7

PATHFINDER: CORE RULEBOOK HC SPECIAL EDITION (P2) MAY193228 PAI

8

PATHFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK POCKET EDITION APR168770 PAI

9

PATHFINDER ADVENTURE PATH: AGE OF ASHES PART 2 (P2) MAY198358 PAI

10

PATHFINDER GM SCREEN (P2) MAY193238 PAI

How does Diamond calculate the charts? It all starts at the comic book shop.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Huh? So IMMORTAL HULK somehow qualifies as an “Image Classic”? And HEROES IN CRISIS as a “Black Label”, despite being very continuity heavy (how is it standalone if it has a separate companion book of crossovers https://www.previewsworld.com/Catalog/JUN190599) and not a mature readers book. But BATMAN DAMNED you don’t put under “Black Label”, despite it explicitly being that. THE KILLING JOKE is more of a Black Label, despite not being re-released with the actual logo. And putting UMBRELLA ACADEMY as a “Media Tie-In” doesn’t seem right, in the direct market at least, since it sold perfectly fine (maybe even better, in single issues at least) in the direct market a decade ago, before the Netflix series was even imagined.

  2. Oh, and someone should tell a Diamond the new pie charts are less clear and useful. You know what kind of charts don’t benefit from faux 3D? Pie charts.

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