The Infinity Gauntlet.jpg

Diamond has just released its year-end charts, and Action Comics #1000 was the best-selling comic book published in 2018, based on total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers. The landmark issues was celebrated by an all-star line-up of talent, including Jim Lee and Brian Michael Bendis.

Infinity Gauntlet was the #1 graphic novel in comics shops. The 28-year-old story by Jim Starlin, Ron Lim and George Perez formed some of the backstory of the Avengers iIfinity War blockbuster.

Marvel led publishers by a wide margin, followed by DC and Image, which came thisclose to cracking the 10% mark in units.

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In something of a surprise to those who say the comics market is dying,  periodical sales to comics shops were up +3.3% for the year, while graphic novel sales dipped -6.6% from 2017.

Action Comics #1000.jpg

The final result was an uptick of .6% – about as close to flat as could possibly be. Keep it locked here to the Beat where we’ll have more commentary on that later today and ongoing.

Brian K. Vaughan continues to be the superstar of the graphic novel in comcis shps, withfour books in the top ten, including three volumes of Saga. Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress also made the top 10.

Saga Volume 8.jpg

Four of Marvel’s major #1 relaunches made it into the top 10, as did two of the lead-in issues to Amazing Spider-Man #800, Marvel’s top periodical of the year. You’ll note that Heroes in Crisis #1 did not make the top of the charts.

More of Diamond’s PR is included below, with listings of the top comics for the top 6 publishers.

Marvel Comics finished the year as the comic book specialty market’s top publisher, leading in both Dollar and Unit Market Shares, with a 38.24% Dollar Market Share and a 40.4% Unit Market Share. Marvel Comics top comic book, Amazing Spider-Man #800, the ten-year landmark issue led by Dan Slott and Stuart Immomen, charted at #2 for the year. Overall, Marvel had seven titles in the top ten comics of the year, including the preceding Amazing Spider-Man #798 and #799, as well as Fantastic Four #1, Amazing Spider-Man #1, Return of Wolverine #1, and Venom #1. Marvel Comics also had the top graphic novel of the year with The Infinity Gauntlet, the epic crossover event from Jim Starlin, George Pérez, and Rom Lim that helped form the storyline for Marvel’s blockbuster Avenger’s Infinity War movie.

DC Entertainment was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2018 with a 30.04% Dollar Market Share and a 33.82% Unit Market Share. DC Entertainment had three of the year’s top ten comics; in addition to Action Comics #1000, Batman #50 and The Batman Who Laughs #1 were among the top ten.

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ award-winning science fiction epic, Saga from Image Comics once again dominated the top ten graphic novels chart and solidified Image Comics as the year’s third largest comic book publisher, with a 9.93% Dollar Market Share and a 9.9% Unit Market Share. Image Comics took six of the top ten graphic novel spots, with Saga Volume 9 charting as the #2 best-selling graphic novel for 2018. Saga Volumes 1 and 8 also placed in the top ten, along with The Walking Dead Volume 29 Lines We Cross (#6), Paper GirlsVolume 1 (#7), and Monstress Volume 1 (#10).  The best-selling comic book for the year from Image was Mark Millar’s The Magic Order #1 at #18.

IDW Publishing was the comic book specialty market’s fourth largest publisher, propelled by its licensed titles from Hasbro, Disney, and Lucasfilm. The company’s Dollar Market Share was 3.83% for the year. Marvel Action: Spider-Man  #1, was IDW’s top-selling comic book, landing at #460 for the year.

Dark Horse Comics’ mix of creator-owned and licensed titles helped the company to be the fifth-ranked publisher in the comic book specialty market in 2018 with a 2.92% Dollar Market Share. Dark Horse’s top comic book for the year Stranger Things #1, based upon the popular Netflix series, at #184.

BOOM! Studios was the sixth ranked publisher at 2.24%, and Dynamite Entertainment was seventh at 1.86%. Viz Media, Titan Comics, and Oni Press rounded out the top ten comic book publishers for 2018.

dollar-shareunit-share

 

 

2018 TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 38.24% 40.40%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 30.04% 33.82%
IMAGE COMICS 9.93% 9.90%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.83% 3.30%
DARK HORSE COMICS 2.92% 2.10%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.24% 1.90%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.86% 1.73%
VIZ MEDIA 1.22% 0.46%
TITAN COMICS 0.87% 0.61%
ONI PRESS 0.83% 0.54%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.01% 5.25%

 

2018 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

QTY

RANK

RETAIL

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

1

ACTION COMICS #1000

$7.99

FEB180142-M DC ENTERTAINMENT

2

2

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800

$9.99

MAR180831-M MARVEL COMICS

3

3

BATMAN #50

$4.99

MAY180450-M DC ENTERTAINMENT

4

4

FANTASTIC FOUR #1

$5.99

JUN180771-M MARVEL COMICS

5

5

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1

$5.99

MAY180784-M MARVEL COMICS

6

6

RETURN OF WOLVERINE #1

$4.99

JUL180968-M MARVEL COMICS

7

9

VENOM #1

$4.99

MAR180803-M MARVEL COMICS

8

10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #798

$3.99

FEB180832-M MARVEL COMICS

9

8

BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1

$4.99

OCT180464-M DC ENTERTAINMENT

10

13

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #799

$3.99

FEB180836-M MARVEL COMICS

 

2018 TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

QTY

RANK

RETAIL

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

1

INFINITY GAUNTLET TP

$24.99

JUL110745 MARVEL COMICS

2

4

SAGA TP VOL 09 (MR)

$14.99

JUL180297 IMAGE COMICS

3

19

SAGA TP VOL 01 (MR)

$9.99

AUG120491 IMAGE COMICS

4

6

SAGA TP VOL 08 (MR)

$14.99

OCT170715 IMAGE COMICS

5

2

ACTION COMICS 80 YEARS OF SUPERMAN HC

$29.99

DEC170241 DC ENTERTAINMENT

6

8

WALKING DEAD TP VOL 29 LINES WE CROSS

$16.99

JAN180844 IMAGE COMICS

7

38

PAPER GIRLS TP VOL 01

$9.99

JAN160645 IMAGE COMICS

8

7

BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT TP

$19.99

JUL180733 DC ENTERTAINMENT

9

3

DARK NIGHTS METAL DELUXE ED HC

$29.99

JAN180379 DC ENTERTAINMENT

10

33

MONSTRESS TP VOL 01 (MR)

$9.99

APR160803-M IMAGE COMICS

4 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder how many “normal” people bought the Infinity Gauntlet, loved it for being an ever better version of the Avengers movie, then were utterly perplexed when they tried to pick up a contemporary comic and discovered the storytelling is practically in a different language from either the movie or the book?

    Mike

  2. @MBunge I agree with you, it’s one of those rare instances where I liked a movie more than the book it’s based upon. The original IG miniseries I bought when it was first published, right after Thanos Quest 2-volume which was already a stretch storywise. It’s so mired in tie-ins and crossovers and the story is so deux-ex-machina to put everything back together in the end that it felt very forced and artificial. And generated a truckload of more “events” that were sadder and sadder to read. First the Magus was back then the “goddess”, then… Enough already. The story loses all meaning if the villain is seemingly all-powerful. at least Starlin is a better writer than overrated fanboys like Waid or Morrison who tried to top it in their own projects later, but even he should have laid it to rest after Mar-Vell died.

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