Batman Sells (we get it…)
DC needs to figure out how to sell the rest of their line
No big revelations this month. Batman sells. 7 of the top 10 books are Batman (and yes, I count the “Metal” crossover with its ‘Batmanium’ metal and dark multiverse versions of Batman as a Batman title).
What is interesting to me is that for once Marvel did not significantly outship DC and win purely based on shipping significantly more titles. Marvel shipped 122 items, DC 119. That’s pretty close. Even so, Marvel beat DC on both dollars and unit sales. DC is riding high on Batman and what will possibly make a difference is getting fans to buy significant numbers of something that does not have Batman plastered all over it. They’re currently holding position by cranking out lots and lots of books with everyone’s favorite super-hero but that isn’t sustainable in the long term.
What to do? If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em (as the old saying goes). Or do the closest thing possible: hire away Marvel’s top talent and try to replicate their success with fans that way.
This week it was announced that Brian Michael Bendis will soon be a DC exclusive. The 17 year Marvel veteran who in many ways has been the creative force behind Marvel’s books for a long time will be coming to DC and speculation is rampant about what he’ll be taking over at DC. Love him or hate him, Marvel has certainly prospered while he has been there. And there are rumors of Jonathan Hickman making a similar move to DC; he was seen lunching with Jim Lee.
One thing is certain, taking key high profile creators away from Marvel will be a sure way of showing if comics buyers are buying Marvel for the stories told by creators or if they are just following the characters popularized in the movies.
Time will tell. We’re in for an interesting 2018.
– Bob Bretall (email@example.com)
Diamond’s Press Release:
(BALTIMORE, MD) — (November 10, 2017) — With Batman vanished, the Justice League battles his evil doppelgangers from the Dark Multiverse in DC Entertainment’s Dark Nights: Metal by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the best-selling comic book of October 2017 according to information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop culture merchandise.
Marvel Comics was October’s top publisher with a 36.38% dollar share and a 38.63% unit share. DC Entertainment was second with a 30.58% dollar share and a 35.48% unit share. In third was Image Comics with an 11.46% dollar share and a 9.84% unit share. In fourth was IDW Publishing with a 4.33% dollar share and a 3.31% unit share, followed by Dark Horse Comics with a 2.82% dollar share and a 1.74% unit share.
DC Entertainment had seven titles in the top ten. In addition to Dark Nights: Metal #3, Batman #32, the finale of “The War of Jokes and Riddles,” ranked #4 and Batman #33 ranked #5. Titles #7 though #9 respectively were Metal tie-in one-shots spotlighting evil versions of Batman from the Dark Multiverse: Batman: The Drowned #1, Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1, and Batman: The Merciless #1. Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight #1, a tale of a seemingly reformed version of The Joker with Batman as Gotham City’s criminal, came in at #10. Marvel Comics had three titles in the top ten, all Marvel Legacy titles: Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman’s The Mighty Thor #700 at #2, Amazing Spider-Man #789 at #3, and The Despicable Deadpool #287 at #6. Among the premier publishers, Image Comics’ The Walking Dead #172 ranked #22 for the month, IDW Publishing’s Star Wars Adventures #3 ranked #104, and Dark Horse Comics’ Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #8 ranked #122.
The Walking Dead: Here’s Negan, a hardcover collection of the comic strip by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn originally published in Image Comics’ IMAGE+ magazine, was October’s best-selling graphic novel and one of Image Comics’ six titles in the top ten. Also charting for Image Comics were Seven to Eternity Volume 2 at #3, Rat Queens Volume 4: High Fantasies at #4, I Hate Fairyland Volume 3: Good Girl at #6, Redneck Volume 1: Deep in the Heart at #7, and Low Volume 4: Outer Aspects of Inner Attitudes at #10. DC Entertainment had three titles in the top ten, led by Batman/The Flash: The Button Deluxe Edition at #2, followed by Super Sons Volume 1: When I Grow Up at #5 and Batman: Detective Comics Volume 3: League at #9. Marvel Comics’ Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel ranked #8 for the month.
Dark Horse Comics’ Overwatch Anthology Volume 1, a collection of background materials on the characters from the best-selling video game, was the best-selling book of October. In total, Dark Horse Comics had four titles in the top ten including The Art of Overwatch at #3, the Serenity: Everything’s Shiny Adult Coloring Book at #4, and The Art of Overwatch Limited Edition at #6. BOOM! Studio’s Jim Henson’s Labyrinth Adult Coloring Book ranked #2. IDW Publishing had two titles in the top ten: The Art of the Pulps: An Illustrated History at #7 and The Princess Bride: As You Wish: Memorable Quotes to Color at #8.
Good Smile’s Overwatch: Tracer “Classic Skin” Nendoroid, a figure based on one of the most popular characters from Blizzard’s Overwatch video game, was October’s best-selling toy product. DC Collectibles had six products in the top ten: the Batman Animated Series: Batcave Playset with Alfred Action Figure at #2; the DCTV The Flash: The Flash Season 3 Action Figure at #5; the Bat-Signal Prop, inspired by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, ranked #6; the Justice League Movie: Wonder Woman Statue ranked #7; the DC Icons: Batman Rebirth Action Figure ranked #9; and the Batman Black & White: Harley Quinn by Amanda Conner Statue ranked #10. Diamond Select Toys also had two titles among the top the: the Marvel Select: Spider-Man Homecoming: Spider-Man Action Figure ranked #3 and the Marvel Select: Netflix Daredevil Action Figure ranked #4. Finally, Funko’s POP! Marvel Heroes: Emma Frost Diamond Form Vinyl Figure, a PREVIEWS Exclusive figure released in conjunction with Halloween Comic Fest, ranked #8.
Cryptozoic Entertainment’s Rick and Morty: Total Rickall Card Game was October’s best-selling game product. Also in the top ten, IDW Games’ Atari: Centipede Board Game, based on the classic 1980s video game, ranked #7 for the month.
TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS
|DARK HORSE COMICS||2.82%||1.74%|
|ONI PRESS INC.||1.08%||0.76%|
|OTHER NON-TOP 10||7.70%||5.05%|
COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS
OCTOBER 2017 VS. SEPTEMBER 2017
OCTOBER 2017 VS. OCTOBER 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||15||18||0||33|
|OTHER NON-TOP 10||104||160||24||288|
TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
|1||DARK NIGHTS: METAL #3||$3.99||JUL170304-M||DC|
|2||THE MIGHTY THOR #700||$5.99||AUG170848-M||MAR|
|3||AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #789||$3.99||AUG170779-M||MAR|
|6||THE DESPICABLE DEADPOOL #287||$3.99||AUG170830-M||MAR|
|7||BATMAN: THE DROWNED #1||$3.99||JUL170311-M||DC|
|8||BATMAN: THE DAWNBREAKER #1||$3.99||JUL170310-M||DC|
|9||BATMAN: THE MERCILESS #1||$3.99||JUL170312-M||DC|
|10||BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #1||$3.99||AUG170269-M||DC|
TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS
|1||THE WALKING DEAD: HERE’S NEGAN HC (MR)||$19.99||JUL170766-M||IMA|
|2||BATMAN/THE FLASH: THE BUTTON DELUXE EDITION HC||$19.99||JUN170380-M||DC|
|3||SEVEN TO ETERNITY VOLUME 2 TP (MR)||$16.99||AUG170728||IMA|
|4||RAT QUEENS VOLUME 4: HIGH FANTASIES TP (MR)||$14.99||AUG170704||IMA|
|5||SUPER SONS VOLUME 1: WHEN I GROW UP TP||$12.99||JUL170465||DC|
|6||I HATE FAIRYLAND VOLUME 3: GOOD GIRL TP (MR)||$16.99||AUG170669||IMA|
|7||REDNECK TP VOL 01 DEEP IN THE HEART (MR)||$16.99||AUG170579-M||IMA|
|8||STAR WARS: THE SCREAMING CITADEL TP||$17.99||JUL171215||MAR|
|9||BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOLUME 3: LEAGUE TP||$19.99||JUL170458||DC|
|10||LOW VOL. 4: OUTER ASPECTS OF INNER ATTITUDES TP (MR)||$16.99||JUN170763||IMA|
TOP 10 BOOKS
|1||OVERWATCH ANTHOLOGY VOLUME 1 HC||$19.99||JUN170080||DAR|
|2||JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH ADULT COLORING BOOK TP||$16.99||JUN171331||BOO|
|3||ART OF OVERWATCH HC||$49.99||JUN170078||DAR|
|4||SERENITY: EVERYTHING’S SHINY ADULT COLORING BOOK TP||$14.99||JUN170101||DAR|
|5||WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S THE FORCE DOTH AWAKEN HC||$14.95||AUG172376||RAN|
|6||ART OF OVERWATCH LIMITED EDITION HC||$100.00||JUN170079||DAR|
|7||ART OF THE PULPS: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY HC||$49.99||MAY170545||IDW|
|8||THE PRINCESS BRIDE: AS YOU WISH MEMORABLE QUOTES TO COLOR TP||$16.99||JUN170544||IDW|
|9||THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 122 SC||$14.95||JUL172465||SAN|
|10||DECONSTRUCTING THE INCAL HC||$24.95||AUG171792||HUM|
TOP 10 TOYS
|1||OVERWATCH: TRACER “CLASSIC SKIN” NENDOROID||JAN178091||GOO|
|2||BATMAN ANIMATED: BATCAVE PLAYSET WITH ALFRED FIGURE||APR170463||DC|
|3||MARVEL SELECT: SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING ACTION FIGURE||FEB172613||DST|
|4||MARVEL SELECT: NETFLIX DAREDEVIL ACTION FIGURE||MAY172531||DST|
|5||DCTV THE FLASH: THE FLASH SEASON 3 ACTION FIGURE||AUG170365||DC|
|6||BAT SIGNAL PROP||MAY170373||DC|
|7||JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE: WONDER WOMAN STATUE||APR170460||DC|
|8||POP! MARVEL EMMA FROST DIAMOND FORM VINYL FIGURE||JUL170020||FUN|
|9||DC ICONS: BATMAN REBIRTH ACTION FIGURE||MAY170378||DC|
|10||BATMAN BLACK & WHITE: HARLEY QUINN BY AMANDA CONNER STATUE||APR170470||DC|
TOP 10 GAMES
|1||RICK AND MORTY: TOTAL RICKALL CARD GAME||AUG168447||CRY|
|2||MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: IXALAN BOOSTER PACKS||JUN173398||WIZ|
|3||SCOTT PILGRIM’S PRECIOUS LITTLE CARD GAME||JUN173385||REN|
|4||MARVEL HEROCLIX: THOR RAGNAROK MOVIE EXPANSION||JUN173414||NEC|
|5||PATHFINDER BATTLES: MAZE OF DEATH BOOSTER BRICK||JUN173415||NEC|
|6||YU-GI-OH! TCG: LEGENDARY DRAGON DECKS||AUG173192||KON|
|7||ATARI: CENTIPEDE GAME||AUG170531||IDW|
|8||MARVEL DICE MASTERS: X-MEN FIRST CLASS||FEB173226||NEC|
|9||DUNGEONS & DRAGONS RPG: TOMB OF ANNIHILATION HC||AUG173217||WIZ|
|10||MAGIC THE GATGHERING TCG: IXALAN BUNDLE PACK||JUN173399||WIZ|
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.