Event & Batman on Top…Nothing New!
X-Men Back on Top? Will it Last?
Is Digital Behind the Drop in Print Sales?
It should be no surprise to people who follow sales numbers that the top 10 once again confirm the lemming-like tendency of comic shops to order piles of event comics (Secret Wars #0 at #1), Batman, and gimmick covers. Putting a gimmick cover on a Batman crossover? No big surprise that’s a top seller (Batman #21, “The Button part one”, lenticular cover at spot #2). What is somewhat surprising to me is that the X-Men have come back to the Top 10 after a long absence with their new #1 entries X-Men Gold #1 (at spot #3) and X-Men Blue #1 (at spot #4). The more telling question will be if X-Men can hold onto top sales positions as the new series get up to really high issue numbers (like #3 and #4). We also had Flash #21 (lenticular cover), Batman #20, and Batman #21 (regular cover) at spots #5-7 respectively. The regular cover of Flash #21 didn’t crack the Top 10.
Marvel was #1 publisher, but they had to pump out 93 books to DC’s 78 (20% more books) in order to beat DC by ~4% on both units & dollars, so Marvel is winning to top spot, to some extent, by flooding the market with more product.
Once again Image Comics grabs their ~10% share in both dollars and units, placing Walking Dead #166 at spot #10. Not fully equal footing with Marvel/DCs dominant positions, but they are holding a steady and decent market share each month, just waiting for a larger portion of the comic shop fan-base to develop a taste for something outside of costumed characters walloping one another.
It is also worth noting that April 2017 comics and graphic novel sales are down, in both dollars and units when compared to both March 2017 and last year, April 2016. How much of that is attributable to a readership shifting to digital? There’ no way to make a precise comparison since no specific digital sales data is released to the public, but my gut feel is that a rise in digital consumption is one of the big reasons behind the drop in print sales. I know far too many people who have made the shift, either completely or in part, to reading comics digitally for me to not acknowledge the part that is playing here.
– Bob Bretall (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Diamond’s Press Release:
(BALTIMORE, MD) — (May 5, 2017) — Steve Rogers unleashes his plan for Hydra domination of the Earth in Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuna, and Rod Reis’ Secret Empire #0 from Marvel Comics, the first chapter of Marvel’s summer crossover event and April’s best-selling comic book according to information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop culture merchandise.
Marvel Comics was April’s top publisher with a 34.95% dollar share and a 38.23% unit share. DC Entertainment was second in April with a 30.49% dollar share and a 34.34% unit share. In third was Image Comics with a 10.54% dollar share and a 9.86% unit share. In fourth was Dark Horse Comics with a 4.46% dollar share and a 3.06% unit share, followed by IDW Publishing with a 3.63% dollar share and a 2.95% unit share.
Marvel Comics had five titles in March’s top ten. In addition to Secret Empire #0, Marc Guggenheim and Ardian Syaf’s X-Men Gold #1 ranked #3, Cullen Bunn and Jorge Molina’s X-Men Blue #1 ranked #4, Jason Aaron and Salvador Larroca’s Star Wars #30 ranked #8, and Greg Pak and Greg Land’s Weapon X #1 ranked #9.
Also dominating the sales charts was DC Entertainment’s Batman #21 lenticular and regular format issues from Tom King and Jason Fabok, the first chapter of “The Button,” a four-part storyline that unites The Dark Knight and The Fastest Man Alive as they explore the mystery behind an iconic blood-stained smiley button embedded in the Batcave wall. The lenticular edition of Batman #21 ranked #2; the lenticular edition of Joshua Willingham and Howard Porter’s The Flash #21, the second chapter of “The Button,” ranked #5; King and David Finch’s Batman #20, the finale of “I Am Bane,” ranked #6; and the regular edition of King and Fabok’s Batman #21 ranked #7. The non-lenticular edition of The Flash #21 fell just outside April’s top 10 at #11.
Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead #166 from Image Comics ranked #10. Among the premier publishers, Dark Horse Comics’ Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #2 ranked #66 for the publisher’s top book, and Star Trek/Green Lantern Volume 2 #5 was IDW Publishing’s top-ranked book for April at #158.
Batman leads a team into Santa Prisca to find Bane in Tom King and Mikel Janin’s Batman Volume 2: I Am Suicide from DC Entertainment, the best-selling graphic novel of April. In total, DC Entertainment had six titles in the top ten including Superman Volume 2: Trials of the Super Son at #4, Scott Snyder and John Romita, Jr.’s All-Star Batman Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy at #5, Batman Volume 10: Epilogue at #7, Justice League Volume 2: Outbreak at #8, and Red Hood and the Outlaws Volume 1: Dark Trinity at #10. Mike Mignola and Gary Gianni’s original graphic novel Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea ranked #2 and was one of Dark Horse Comics’ two titles among the top ten; also in the top ten from the publisher was Avatar: The Last Airbender Volume 9 at #9. Image Comics rounded out the top ten with two volumes of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga: Saga Volume 7 ranked #3 and the Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 2 hardcover ranked #6.
Hachette’s Wonder Woman: Talking Figure and Illustrated Book Kit was April’s best-selling book. Dynamite Entertainment’s Masters of Spanish Comic Book Art ranked #2. Kodansha Comics’ Attack on Titan Adventure, a Choose Your Own Adventure-style book, ranked #5. Dark Horse Comics had two artbooks in the top ten: The Legend of Zelda: Art and Artifacts ranked #6 and The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia ranked #7.
Medicom’s Suicide Squad: Harley Quinn MAF EX Figure, an action figure based on Margot Robbie’s performance in the Suicide Squad film, was April’s best-selling toy. DC Collectibles had six products in the top ten: the Harley Quinn: Red White and Black Statue by Jim Lee at #2, the DC Icons: Wonder Woman Action Figure at #3, the DC Comics Bombshells: Raven Statue at #4, the Harley Quinn: Red White and Black Injustice 2 Statue at #7, the DC Icons: Deathstroke Action Figure at #8, and the DC Designer Series: Starfire by Amanda Conner Statue at #9. Diamond Select Toys’ best-selling product in April was the perennial best-selling Marvel Select: Deadpool Action Figure at #13.
Wizard of the Coast’s Magic the Gathering TCG: Shadows over Innistrad Booster Packs were April’s best-selling game product. IDW Games’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Board Game ranked #5. Also of note, BOOM! Studios’ Mouse Guard Roleplaying Game Boxed Set (Second Edition) ranked #6 for the month.
TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS
|DARK HORSE COMICS||4.46%||3.06%|
|OTHER NON-TOP 10||8.73%||5.55%|
COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS
APRIL 2017 VS. MARCH 2017
APRIL 2017 VS. APRIL 2016
YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016
NEW TITLES SHIPPED
|PUBLISHER||COMICS SHIPPED||GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED||MAGAZINES SHIPPED||TOTAL
|DARK HORSE COMICS||20||21||0||41|
|ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS||12||3||0||15|
|OTHER NON-TOP 10||108||112||31||251|
TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
|1||SECRET EMPIRE #0||$4.99||FEB170758-M||MAR|
|2||BATMAN #21 LENTICULAR EDITION (THE BUTTON)||$3.99||NOV169200||DC|
|3||X-MEN GOLD #1||$4.99||FEB170777-M||MAR|
|4||X-MEN BLUE #1||$4.99||FEB170767-M||MAR|
|5||THE FLASH #21 LENTICULAR EDITION (THE BUTTON)||$3.99||NOV169204||DC|
|7||BATMAN #21 (THE BUTTON)||$2.99||NOV169198-M||DC|
|8||STAR WARS #30||$3.99||FEB170955-M||MAR|
|9||WEAPON X #1||$3.99||FEB170790-M||MAR|
|10||THE WALKING DEAD #166 (MR)||$2.99||FEB170686||IMA|
TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS
|1||BATMAN VOLUME 2: I AM SUICIDE TP||$16.99||JAN170376||DC|
|2||HELLBOY: INTO THE SILENT SEA HC||$14.99||DEC160056||DAR|
|3||SAGA VOLUME 7 TP (MR)||$14.99||JAN170850||IMA|
|4||SUPERMAN VOL. 2: TRIALS OF THE SUPER SON TP||$16.99||JAN170383||DC|
|5||ALL-STAR BATMAN VOL. 1: MY OWN WORST ENEMY HC||$24.99||JAN170374||DC|
|6||SAGA DELUXE EDITION VOLUME 2 HC (MR)||$49.99||FEB170708||IMA|
|7||BATMAN VOLUME 10: EPILOGUE TP||$16.99||JAN170385||DC|
|8||JUSTICE LEAGUE VOLUME 2: OUTBREAK TP||$16.99||JAN170380||DC|
|9||AVATAR THE LAST AIRBENDER VOL. 15 TP||$10.99||DEC160088||DAR|
|10||RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS VOL. 1: DARK TRINITY TP||$16.99||JAN170381||DC|
TOP 10 BOOKS
|1||WONDER WOMAN TALKING FIGURE & ILLUSTRATED BOOK KIT||$12.95||FEB172203||HAC|
|2||MASTERS OF SPANISH COMIC BOOK ART HC||$39.99||NOV161453||DE|
|3||THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 116 SC||$14.95||JAN172333||SAN|
|4||STAR WARS BIG GOLDEN BOOK: A NEW HOPE||$10.99||FEB172246||RAN|
|5||ATTACK ON TITAN ADVENTURE SC||$10.99||DEC161774||KOT|
|6||LEGEND OF ZELDA: ART & ARTIFACTS HC||$39.99||JUL168360||DAR|
|7||LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA HC||$34.99||SEP120055||DAR|
|8||TOKYO GHOUL: PAST SC NOVEL||$12.99||FEB172098||VIZ|
|9||STAR TREK: CATS HC||$14.95||FEB172242||CHR|
|10||STAR WARS: CLASSIC STICKER BOOK SC||$12.95||FEB172243||ABR|
TOP 10 TOYS
|1||SUICIDE SQUAD: HARLEY QUINN PX MAF EX||AUG162979||MED|
|2||HARLEY QUINN: RED WHITE & BLACK STATUE BY JIM LEE||SEP160380||DC|
|3||DC ICONS: WONDER WOMAN ACTION FIGURE||OCT160343||DC|
|4||DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS: RAVEN STATUE||OCT160332||DC|
|5||POP! MARVEL: BLADE VINYL FIGURE||JUL168820||FUN|
|6||STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES 40TH-ANNIVERSARY 6-INCH FIGURES||JAN178152||HAS|
|7||HARLEY QUINN: RED WHITE & BLACK STATUE: INJUSTICE 2||OCT160338||DC|
|8||DC ICONS: DEATHSTROKE ACTION FIGURE||OCT160344||DC|
|9||DC DESIGNER SERIES: STARFIRE BY AMANDA CONNER STATUE||SEP160381||DC|
|10||POWER RANGERS LEGACY 6-INCH ACTION FIGURES||NOV169036||BAN|
TOP 10 GAMES
|1||MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: SHADOWS OVER INNISTRAD BOOSTERS||FEB162979||WIZ|
|2||PATHFINDER ROLEPLAYING GAME: BEGINNER BOX NEW EDITION||SEP138188||PAI|
|3||MARVEL HEROCLIX: MERCS FOR MONEY FAST FORCES 6-PACK||NOV162999||NEC|
|4||MARVEL HEROCLIX: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY||OCT168616||NEC|
|5||TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SHADOWS OF THE PAST BOARD GAME||APR160482||IDW|
|6||MOUSE GUARD ROLEPLAYING GAME BOXED SET (2ND EDITION)||FEB151158||BOO|
|7||TRIVIAL PURSUIT: STAR WARS GAME||OCT168253||HAS|
|8||YU-GI-OH! DUELIST SAGA||FEB173203||KON|
|9||DC HEROCLIX: THE JOKER’S WILD BOOSTER BRICK||JUL163367||NEC|
|10||SUPERNATURAL TRIVIAL PURSUIT||FEB173217||USA|
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.
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.