Diamond Announces Top Selling Comic Books & Graphic Novels of 2015

Star Wars #1 Bestselling Comic Book of the Year; Marvel Comics Top Comic Book Publisher; Comic Book & Graphic Novel Sales Up Over 7%

Marvel beat out DC by ~14%, about the same ~14% margin that DC beat out #3 publisher Image.  Star Wars and the undeniably successful (at least in sales) Secret Wars event led Marvel to a great 2015.

With BOOM!s Bravest Warriors: Tales From Holo John #1 taking #3 top selling comic of the year and IDW’s Orphan Black #1 taking the #4 slot, we should all appreciate the impact that getting selected to be in one of the monthly subscription “boxes” like LootCrate can have on sales.

And Saga…..what a dominant force on the Collected Edition charts with 5 of the Top 10 selling volumes!  Looks like Walking Dead finally has some competition from another top selling fan-favorite franchise.

Diamond’s Press Release:

(BALTIMORE, MD) — (January 6, 2016) — Star Wars returned to Marvel Comics in January with the million-selling Star Wars #1 from Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, kicking off a blockbuster year of Star Wars success that climaxed with Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattering box office records worldwide, earning Marvel not only the best-selling comic book published in 2015 but the best-selling single issue in over two decades with Star Wars #1, based on total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture merchandise.

Written by Jason Aaron and illustrated by John Cassaday, Star Wars #1 debuted in January, 2015 and each subsequent issue has consistently been a monthly top five bestselling title for Marvel Comics. The entire Star Wars comic book publishing line was a success in 2015, with Star Wars: Vader Down #1 (#6), Darth Vader #1 (#9), and Princess Leia #1 (#10) joining Star Wars #1 in the Top-10.

Overall, comic books and graphic novels continued their positive trends, with 2015’s annual sales increasing 7.17% over the previous year; comic book sales specifically were up 8.99%, while graphic novel sales rose by 3.14%. Over 98 million comic books were sold to comic book specialty stores in 2015, an increase of 6 million units over 2014, with just over 8 million graphic novels units shipped.

Marvel Comics finished the year as the comic book specialty market’s top publisher, leading in both Dollar and Unit Market Shares, with a 38.74% Dollar Market Share and a 41.82% Unit Market Share. Marvel Comics had seven of the year’s top ten comics; in addition to the four Star Wars titles, Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic’s Secret Wars #1, Spider-Gwen #1 (a spin-off from Spider-Verse), and Invincible Iron Man #1 (the launch title for the All-New All-Different Marvel relaunch) were among the top ten. On the year, Marvel had 78 titles placed in the top 100 best-selling comics.

DC Entertainment was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2015 with a 25.75% Dollar Market Share and a 27.35% Unit Market Share. DC Entertainment’s top comic book, Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 by Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, John Romita., Jr., and Klaus Janson charted at #5 for the year, while perennial graphic novel bestseller, Batman: The Killing Joke HC, charted as the #5 graphic novel for the year. Several issues of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman run and the Convergence main issues from Jeff King contributed to a strong showing for DC among the top 100 comics for the year.

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Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ science fiction epic, Saga from Image Comics 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 10.70% Unit Market Share. Image Comics took seven of the top ten graphic novel spots, including all five collections of Saga as well as two volumes from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead series. The best-selling comic book for the year from Image was another Brian K. Vaughn bestseller, We Stand on Guard #1, at #124 for the year.

IDW Publishing’s was the comic book specialty market’s fourth largest publisher, propelled by its licensed titles such as My Little Pony, Star Trek, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others. The company’s Dollar Market Share was 5.59% for the year. Based upon the hit BBC America show, Orphan Black #1 was IDW’s top-selling comic book landing at #4 for the year.

Dark Horse Comics’ creator-owned titles helped the company to be the fifth leading comic book publisher to the comic book specialty market in 2015 with a 3.79% Dollar Market Share. Dark Horse’s top comic book for the year was Fight Club 2 #1 at #129, a sequel to the cult-classic movie penned by writer Chuck Palahniuk.

2015 TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 38.74% 41.82%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 25.75% 27.35%
IMAGE COMICS 9.93% 10.70%
IDW PUBLISHING 5.59% 4.87%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.79% 3.10%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.28% 2.46%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.99% 1.79%
TITAN COMICS 1.03% 0.95%
EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS 0.94% 0.20%
VIZ MEDIA 0.93% 0.35%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 9.00% 6.41%

2015 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 STAR WARS #1 $4.99 AUG158711-M MARVEL COMICS
2 SECRET WARS #1 $4.99 JUL158548-M MARVEL COMICS
3 BRAVEST WARRIORS: TALES FROM HOLO JOHN #1 $4.99 MAR151109-M BOOM! STUDIOS
4 ORPHAN BLACK #1 $3.99 DEC140468-M IDW PUBLISHING
5 DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #1 $5.99 SEP150179-M DC COMICS
6 STAR WARS VADER DOWN #1 $4.99 SEP150827-M MARVEL COMICS
7 DARTH VADER #1 $4.99 AUG158716-M MARVEL COMICS
8 SPIDER-GWEN #1 $3.99 APR158276-M MARVEL COMICS
9 INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1 $3.99 JUL150696-M MARVEL COMICS
10 PRINCESS LEIA #1 $3.99 JAN150733-M MARVEL COMICS

2015 TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 SAGA VOLUME 4 TP (MR) $14.99 OCT140644 IMAGE COMICS
2 SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR) $9.99 AUG120491 IMAGE COMICS
3 SAGA VOLUME 5 TP (MR) $14.99 JUL150565 IMAGE COMICS
4 CIVIL WAR TP $24.99 JAN072436 MARVEL COMICS
5 THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 23: WHISPERS INTO SCREAMS TP $14.99 FEB150545 IMAGE COMICS
6 BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL EDITION HC $17.99 NOV070226 DC COMICS
7 SAGA VOLUME 2 TP (MR) $14.99 APR130443 IMAGE COMICS
8 THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 1: DAYS GONE BYE TP $14.99 NOV128157-M IMAGE COMICS
9 SAGA VOLUME 3 TP (MR) $14.99 JAN140556 IMAGE COMICS
10 STAR WARS VOLUME 1: SKYWALKER STRIKES TP $19.99 MAY150811 MARVEL COMICS

2015 NUMBER OF TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS GRAPHIC NOVELS MAGAZINES TOTAL
MARVEL COMICS 917 390 2 1309
DC ENTERTAINMENT 963 331 6 1300
IMAGE COMICS 773 187 0 960
IDW PUBLISHING 527 265 0 792
DARK HORSE COMICS 378 234 0 612
BOOM ENTERTAINMENT 385 94 0 479
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 301 68 0 369
VIZ MEDIA 0 270 0 270
TITAN COMICS 120 67 35 222
EAGLEMOSS 0 0 152 152
OTHER 1157 1518 315 2990

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

Data for Diamond’s sales charts — which includes the monthly market shares and all top product charts — are compiled by Diamond Comic Distributors from sales made to thousands of comic book specialty shops located in North America and around the world. Additional sales made to online merchants and other specialty retailers may be included as well.

Unit and dollar market shares are calculated based upon orders for comic books, graphic novels, and magazines invoiced and shipped to Diamond customers during any given month, which comprises pre-orders, advance reorders, and reorders, minus any copies that are received back from a title marked as returnable. Please note that comics marked with an asterisk (*) have had their reported quantities reduced due to retailer returnability, and thus may rank lower on the charts than their actual sales would reflect.

The New Titles Count Chart includes all titles that were invoiced by Diamond to retailers for the first time during the month and is not the official solicited title count for the month. Variant edition comic books and graphic novels at the same price point count as a single SKU. Variant edition comic books, lenticular covers, digital combo packs, and graphic novels at different price points count as separate SKUs for each edition.

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ABOUT DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS (DCD)—Diamond is at the nexus of comics and pop culture merchandise. Based in Baltimore, MD, DCD is the world’s largest distributor of English-language comic books and pop-culture related merchandise, servicing thousands of specialty retailers worldwide. For more information, visit Diamond on the web at www.diamondcomics.com.

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