Diamond Announces Top Sales for December 2017

DC Beats Marvel for 2nd Month in a Row…but it’s really close
2017 Overall Sales Down ~10% Compared to 2016…
…but STILL 4th Largest Sales Year on Record

The sales total for the “Big Two” were very close in December, DC held the top slot on dollar sales by a narrow margin of less than 1% and lost unit sales by just over 1%.  Marvel shipped 9 more items than DC (128 to 119) and DC sales were again reliant on their keystone character Batman coupled with the “Doomsday Clock”, the #1 seller, and “Metal” events.   The Geoff Johns/Gary Frank DCU/Watchmen Doomsday Clock held the #1 sales spot with issue #2, and Metal held onto the #2 spot with issue #4, a testament to continued fan interest past the debut issues.  Marvel snuck in with “Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey #1” at the #3 spot, it will be interesting to see how this weekly shipping series does on issues #2-5 that will all hit shops in January, along with a 2nd printing of #1… Will they all manage to hit the top 10 and help Marvel take the top back from DC?

Sales response to Marvel’s “Legacy” continues to be weak in the “Events Sell” world at the top of the comics charts.  Marvel’s Top 10 entries were three #1 issues; 2 mini-series “mini events” and the return of Johnny Storm & Ben Grimm in Marvel Two-in-One #1, plus Amazing Spider-Man #792 (with Spidey being Marvel’s ‘Batman’, their most popular character).

Strengthening fan interest in properties that don’t feature the #1 character and #1 team (Batman/JLA for DC and Spider-Man/Avengers for Marvel) is the puzzle that both of the Big Two are struggling to solve.

It is worth noting that though 2017 sales overall were down ~10% compared to 2016, it was still the 4th strongest year of comics sales after all-time highs in 2015 and 2016 according to Diamond, so don’t start predicting doom and gloom just yet.  We’ll need to see if the downward trend continues in 2018 or if the industry is able to pull out of the slump.  Personally, I’d love to see non-super-hero books pick up some of the slack and help overall comics sales to a greater degree, because there’s a LOT to love that is not wearing tights and a cape.

I’ll also make note that Taschen took slots #3, 4, 5, and 7 on the Top 10 Books chart with their “Little Books” featuring Spider-Man, Avengers, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four.  While I don’t have any monetary stake in any of these, they’re all close to my heart since I loaned Taschen a bunch of comics to use for the pictures that each one is loaded with… which means that I have the unique pleasure of reading though them and thinking “Hey, that’s my copy of Amazing Spider-Man #12”, but any fan of these characters will have lots of images to geek out over, accompanied by color commentary from Roy Thomas.

– Bob Bretall (bob@comicspectrum.com)

Diamond’s Press Release:

(BALTIMORE, MD) — (January 12, 2018) — Ozymandias and Rorschach seek the two smartest people of the DC Universe in Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock #2 from DC Entertainment, the best-selling comic book of December 2017 according to information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop culture merchandise.

DC Entertainment was December’s top publisher in dollars with a 34.54% dollar share and a 37.65% unit share. Marvel Comics was the month’s top publisher in units with 38.81% unit share and a 33.80% dollar share. In third was Image Comics with an 8.69% dollar share and a 7.20% unit share. In fourth was IDW Publishing with a 3.92% dollar share and a 2.92% unit share, followed by Dark Horse Comics with a 2.69% dollar share and a 2.06% unit share.

dollar-shareunit-share

DC Entertainment had six of December’s top ten best-selling comic books. In addition to Doomsday Clock #2, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Dark Nights: Metal #4 ranked #2; Tom King and Clay Mann’s Batman #36, part one of the “Superfriends” story arc, ranked #4; King and Mann’s Batman #37 ranked #5; Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight #3 ranked #6; and Hawkman Found #1, a tie-in to Dark Nights: Metal, ranked #10. Marvel Comics had four titles in the top ten: Matthew Rosenberg and Leinil Yu’s Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey #1 ranked #3; Dan Slott, Mike Costa, and Ryan Stegman’s Amazing Spider-Man/Venom: Venom Inc. Alpha #1 ranked #7; Chip Zdarky and Jim Cheung’s Marvel Two-In-One #1, reteaming the Fantastic Four’s the Human Torch and The Thing, ranked #8; and Slott and Stegman’s Amazing Spider-Man #792 ranked #10. Among the premier publishers, Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead #174 was Image Comics’ top book in December at #12. Mike Mignola and Adam Hughes’ Christmas-themed Hellboy: Krampusnacht #1 was Dark Horse Comics’ top book at #96. Finally, IDW Publishing’s top book for the month was Star Wars Adventures #5 at #128.

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ award-winning Saga returned to the top of the sales charts as Image Comics’ Saga Volume 8 was December’s best-selling graphic novel. Also in the top ten for Image Comics were Shirtless Bear-Fighter at #7 and Deadly Class Volume 6 at #8. DC Entertainment had three titles in the top ten: Batman Volume 4: The War of Jokes and Riddles at #2, Batman: Detective Comics Volume 4: Deus Ex Machina at #4, and Justice League vs. Suicide Squad at #6. Marvel Comics had two titles in the top ten: Star Wars Volume 6: Out Among the Stars at #3 and Venomverse at #9. Dark Horse Comics’ Black Hammer Volume 2: The Event ranked #5. Finally, Oni Press’ Rick and Morty Volume 6 ranked #10.

A collection of Strangers in Paradise writer/artist Terry Moore’s personal sketches and art commissions, Abstract Studios’ Terry Moore: 25th Anniversary Sketch book: 8,800 Days of Blondes, Brunettes and Bozos was December’s best-selling book. Dark Horse Comics’ Overwatch Anthology Volume 1, a hardcover collection of sketches, webcomics, and background material on the popular video game, ranked #2 for the month.

Based on Blizzard Entertainment’s immensely popular team shooter Overwatch, Good Smile’s Overwatch: Mei “Classic Skin” Nendoroid was December’s best-selling toy product. Diamond Select Toys had three products in the top ten: the Marvel Gallery: Thor Ragnarok: The Hulk PVC Figure, inspired by Marvel Studios’ cinematic blockbuster, ranked #2; the Marvel Select: Spider-Gwen PVC Figure ranked #3; and the Marvel Gallery: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Drax and Baby Groot PVC Figure ranked #10.

Star Trek fans beamed into action with WizKids/NECA’s Star Trek HeroClix: Away Team Original Series Booster Brick, an expansion for the miniatures game and the best-selling game product of December. Diamond Select Toys’ Back to the Future Monopoly, a custom edition of the popular board game based on the film trilogy, ranked #3. IDW Games’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past Board Game ranked #6.

After achieving all-time highs in 2015 and 2016, the comic book specialty market took a step back in 2017 but still recorded its 4th highest year of sell-in to comic shops. Annual sales decreased -10.09% over the previous year; with comic book sales down -10.40%, while graphic novel sales were off by -9.38%. Over 89 million comic books were sold to comic book specialty stores in 2017, with over 7.4 million graphic novels units shipped.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

DC ENTERTAINMENT 34.54% 37.65%
MARVEL COMICS 33.80% 38.81%
IMAGE COMICS 8.69% 7.20%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.92% 2.92%
DARK HORSE COMICS 2.69% 2.06%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.28% 1.98%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 2.08% 1.84%
ONI PRESS 1.00% 0.52%
VIZ MEDIA 0.96% 0.35%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 0.96% 1.08%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 9.08% 5.59%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS

DECEMBER 2017 VS. NOVEMBER 2017

COMICS -16.13% -14.05%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -21.95% -10.88%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -18.11% -13.77%
TOYS -33.23% -30.05%

DECEMBER 2017 VS. DECEMBER 2016

COMICS -16.54% -24.11%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -10.17% -13.37%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -14.57% -23.23%
TOYS -27.60% -37.11%

FOURTH QUARTER 2017 VS. THIRD QUARTER 2017

COMICS -2.41% -5.19%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 8.49% 7.61%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 0.82% -4.24%
TOYS 9.14% 2.15%

FOURTH QUARTER 2017 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2016

COMICS -13.90% -19.53%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -1.77% -7.71%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -10.37% -18.66%
TOYS -15.67% -24.40%

YEAR 2017 VS. YEAR 2016

COMICS -10.40% -9.69%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -9.38% -11.86%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -10.09% -9.86%
TOYS -12.55% -19.90%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS SHIPPED GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED MAGAZINES SHIPPED TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS 85 43 0 128
DC ENTERTAINMENT 80 38 1 119
IDW PUBLISHING 35 32 0 67
IMAGE COMICS 55 10 0 65
BOOM! STUDIOS 24 7 0 31
DARK HORSE COMICS 19 9 0 28
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 21 5 0 26
VIZ MEDIA 0 16 0 16
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT 6 2 0 8
ONI PRESS 4 3 0 7
OTHER NON-TOP 10 118 164 27 309

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2 $4.99 OCT170204-M DC
2 DARK NIGHTS: METAL #4 $3.99 SEP170248-M DC
3 PHOENIX RESURRECTION: THE RETURN OF JEAN GREY #1 $4.99 OCT170824-M MAR
4 BATMAN #36 $2.99 OCT170225-M DC
5 BATMAN #37 $2.99 OCT170227-M DC
6 BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #3 $3.99 OCT170238-M DC
7 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN/VENOM: VENOM INC. ALPHA #1 $4.99 OCT170876-M MAR
8 MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #1 $3.99 OCT170834-M MAR
9 HAWKMAN FOUND #1 $3.99 SEP170253-M DC
10 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #792 $3.99 OCT170879-M MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 SAGA VOLUME 8 TP (MR) $14.99 OCT170715 IMA
2 BATMAN VOL. 4: THE WAR OF JOKES & RIDDLES TP $19.99 SEP170400 DC
3 STAR WARS VOL. 6: OUT AMONG THE STARS TP $19.99 AUG171044 MAR
4 BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 4: DEUS EX MACHINA TP $16.99 SEP170399 DC
5 BLACK HAMMER VOL. 2: THE EVENT TP $19.99 AUG170013 DAR
6 JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD TP $24.99 SEP170405 DC
7 SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER TP (MR) $16.99 SEP170681-M IMA
8 DEADLY CLASS VOLUME 6 TP (MR) $16.99 AUG170634 IMA
9 VENOMVERSE TP $15.99 OCT171003 MAR
10 RICK AND MORTY VOLUME 6 TP (MR) $19.99 SEP171801 ONI

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 TERRY MOORE 25TH-ANNIVERSARY SKETCHBOOK $16.99 OCT171030 ABS
2 OVERWATCH ANTHOLOGY VOLUME 1 HC $19.99 JUN170080 DAR
3 LITTLE BOOK OF SPIDER-MAN FLEXICOVER $9.99 AUG172292 TAS
4 LITTLE BOOK OF AVENGERS FLEXICOVER $9.99 AUG172289 TAS
5 LITTLE BOOK OF CAPTAIN AMERICA FLEXICOVER $9.99 AUG172290 TAS
6 THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 124 SC $14.95 SEP172221 SAN
7 LITTLE BOOK OF FANTASTIC FOUR FLEXICOVER $9.99 AUG172291 TAS
8 ROBOTECH VISUAL ARCHIVE: MACROSS SAGA HC $44.99 JUN172052 UDO
9 DOCTOR WHO: T IS FOR TARDIS HC $9.99 SEP168058 PEN
10 THE ART OF STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI HC $40.00 OCT172093 ABR

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 OVERWATCH: MEI “CLASSIC SKIN” NENDOROID FEB178956 GOO
2 MARVEL GALLERY: THOR RAGNAROK: THE HULK PVC FIGURE AUG172642 DST
3 MARVEL SELECT: SPIDER-GWEN FIGURE MAY172533 DST
4 DBZ: GOKU SUPER KAMEHAME-HA PREMIUM COLOR FIGURE JAN178994 BAN
5 ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: DC COMICS: BLACK ADAM FIGURE AUG168741 MEZ
6 ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: DC COMICS: SUPERMAN RED SON FIGURE AUG168743 MEZ
7 BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS: BORUTO FIGURE MAY178021 BAN
8 DRAGONBALL Z SCULTURES: TRUNKS SHINING FIGURE JAN178996 BAN
9 DRAGONBALL SUPER DRAGON STARS ACTION FIGURES DEC168933 BAN
10 MARVEL GALLERY: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2: DRAX & BABY GROOT PVC FIGURE MAY172524 DST

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 STAR TREK HEROCLIX: AWAY TEAM: ORIGINAL SERIES BOOSTER BRICK JUL173390 NEC
2 VALERIAN ALPHA MISSIONS BOARD GAME APR178031 ULT
3 BACK TO THE FUTURE MONOPOLY JUL152198 DST
4 DC HEROCLIX: HARLEY QUINN AND THE GOTHAM GIRLS BOOSTER BRICK JUN173406 NEC
5 STARFINDER RPG CORE RULEBOOK HC JUN173371 PAI
6 TMNT: SHADOWS OF THE PAST BOARD GAME APR160482 IDW
7 MOUSE GUARD ROLEPLAYING GAME BOXED SET (2ND EDITION) FEB151158 BOO
8 DOCTOR WHO: TIME OF THE DALEKS BOARD GAME JUL173367 GAL
9 STAR TREK HEROCLIX: AWAY TEAM: ORIGINAL SERIES STARTER SET JUL173391 NEC
10 YU-GI-OH!: CIRCUIT BREAK SPECIAL EDITION OCT172955 KON

 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.

diamond-logo-color

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.

Visit our website: http://www.comicspectrum.com/
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