Diamond Announces Top Sales for 2017

Marvel Legacy #1 Comic of 2017 – Marvel Top Publisher of 2017
DC Comics Finishes with 5 of the Top 10 Comics
Image Dominates Graphic Novels Chart with 8 out of the Top 10 Titles

Marvel finished as #1 Publisher by a bit over 6% is $ sales and a bit over 4% in units for 2017.   DC managed to sneak by them as #1 in December in $ sales and in November in unit sales, but it was too little, too late to affect the whole year totals.

DC placed all of the 1st 4 issues of their “Metal” event/mini-series in the top 10 sellers for the year, as well as Doomsday Clock #2.  Doomsday Clock #1 sales were split between the regular and lenticular covers that charted separately, which seems to have kept the #1 issue out of the Top 10.  As is typical with comics fandom, one thing is the prevailing “buzz” on the internet, and then sales show something else.  Fans are “burned out on events”, but 9 of the top 10 comics of the years are event comics or mini-series that feel pretty “event-y”.

Marvel Legacy was getting a lot of hate on the internet, but to be fair, that was primarily directed at the “pseudo event” embodied in the relaunching of many many series with lenticular covered issues, not against the one-shot comic that came in at #1 and seemed to be received pretty well as a standalone story.  The Legacy “event” had retailers up in arms because of the ordering thresholds they needed to meet in order to get the lenticular covers.  It had fans complaining because the stories didn’t really seem to feel “legacy” at all, they mostly carried on directly from what had been going on before and lacked the direct return of fan-favorites like the original Thor,  Iron Man, and Hulk (who are prominently featured in the Marvel movies).

So, we see that super-hero events dominated the monthly issue sales, what about the collected editions?  Super-heroes didn’t fare so well there, with only Batman Vol. 1 making the top 10 at #5.  8 of the 10 slots were Image comics with the sci-fi, horror, and fantasy genres scoring big: Saga (3 slots), The Walking Dead (2 slots), Paper Girls, Monstress, and Seven to Eternity.  Oni Press rounded out the top 10 with Rick & Morty Vol. 1 coming in at #8.

It’s interesting to see this dichotomy between superheroes dominating the Top 10 comics while Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror top the collected edition list, since the non-super-hero genres also dominate my own comics reading.  Super-Heroes are still king of all comics sales, but as readership shifts to collected editions will traditional fiction genres begin to become even more prominent?  Time will tell.

– Bob Bretall (bob@comicspectrum.com)

Diamond’s Press Release:

(HUNT VALLEY, MD) — (January 12, 2018) — Marvel Comics returned to the essence of its core characters in 2017 with the publication of Marvel Legacy #1, the best-selling comic book published in 2017, 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 featuring an all-star line-up of artists led by Esad Ribic and wrapped in a cover by Marvel Comics Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, Marvel Legacy #1 successfully captured fans’ attention and launched a new direction for the Marvel publishing line.

Marvel Comics finished the year as the comic book specialty market’s top publisher, leading in both Dollar and Unit Market Shares, with a 36.36% Dollar Market Share and a 38.30% Unit Market Share.  Marvel Comics had five of the year’s top ten comics; in addition to Marvel Legacy #1, Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #1, Secret Empire #0, Secret Empire #1, and Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey #1 were among the top ten.

DC Entertainment was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2017 with a 30.07% Dollar Market Share and a 33.93% Unit Market Share. DC Entertainment’s top comic book, Dark Nights: Metal #1, the first chapter in the publisher’s epic crossover by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, and Jonathan Glapion, charted at #2 for the year. Overall, DC had five titles in the top ten comics for the year, including subsequent issues #2-4 of Dark Nights: Metal, as well as Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock #2 as the eighth best-selling comic book for 2017.

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 9.80% Dollar Market Share and a 10.12% Unit Market Share. Image Comics took eight of the top ten graphic novel spots, with Saga Volume 7 as the best-selling graphic novel for 2017. Saga Volumes 1 and 4 also placed in the top ten, along with Paper Girls Volume 1 (#4), Monstress Volume 1 (#6), and Seven to Eternity Volume 1 (#10). The best-selling comic book for the year from Image was Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s The Walking Dead #146 at #82.

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 4.54% for the year. Star Wars Adventures #1, a kid-friendly title based on the iconic film franchise, was IDW’s top-selling comic book, landing at #381 for the year.

Dark Horse Comics’ creator-owned titles helped the company to be the fifth-ranked publisher in the comic book specialty market in 2017 with a 3.12% Dollar Market Share. Dark Horse’s top comic book for the year was Neil Gaiman’s American Gods: Shadows #1, an adaptation of the acclaimed novel by P. Craig Russell and Scott Hampton, at #292.

2017 TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS 36.36% 38.30%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 30.07% 33.93%
IMAGE COMICS 9.80% 10.12%
IDW PUBLISHING 4.54% 3.66%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.12% 2.25%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.10% 1.85%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.90% 2.04%
TITAN COMICS 1.15% 0.97%
VIZ MEDIA 1.15% 0.41%
ONI PRESS 1.00% 0.64%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.81% 5.83%

Marvel Legacy #1

2017 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

QTY

RANK

RETAIL

RANK

DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 1 MARVEL LEGACY #1 $5.99 JUL170990-M MARVEL COMICS
2 2 DARK NIGHTS: METAL #1 $4.99 JUN170233-M DC ENTERTAINMENT
3 4 PETER PARKER: SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1 $4.99 APR170970-M MARVEL COMICS
4 19 SECRET EMPIRE #0 $4.99 FEB170758-M MARVEL COMICS
5 10 SECRET EMPIRE #1 $4.99 MAR170901-M MARVEL COMICS
6 14 DARK NIGHTS: METAL #3 $3.99 JUL170304-M DC ENTERTAINMENT
7 15 DARK NIGHTS: METAL #2 $3.99 JUL170300-M DC ENTERTAINMENT
8 6 DOOMSDAY: CLOCK #2 $4.99 OCT170204-M DC ENTERTAINMENT
9 16 DARK NIGHTS: METAL #4 $3.99 SEP170248-M DC ENTERTAINMENT
10 5 PHOENIX RESURRECTION: THE RETURN OF JEAN GREY #1 $4.99 OCT170824-M MARVEL COMICS

2017 TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

QTY

RANK

RETAIL

RANK

DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 1 SAGA VOLUME 7 TP (MR) $14.99 JAN170850 IMAGE COMICS
2 14 SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR) $9.99 AUG120491 IMAGE COMICS
3 6 THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 27: WHISPERER WAR TP $14.99 AUG168569 IMAGE COMICS
4 24 PAPER GIRLS VOLUME 1 TP $9.99 JAN160645 IMAGE COMICS
5 4 BATMAN VOLUME 1: I AM GOTHAM TP $16.99 OCT160291-M DC ENTERTAINMENT
6 28 MONSTRESS VOLUME 1 TP (MR) $9.99 APR160803-M IMAGE COMICS
7 3 RICK AND MORTY VOLUME 1 TP $19.99 JUL151482-M ONI PRESS
8 5 THE WALKING DEAD: HERE’S NEGAN HC (MR) $19.99 JUL170766-M IMAGE COMICS
9 12 SAGA VOLUME 8 TP (MR) $14.99 OCT170715 IMAGE COMICS
10 38 SEVEN TO ETERNITY VOLUME 1 TP $9.99 DEC160767-M IMAGE COMICS

Data for Diamond’s sales charts — which includes the 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 2017, which comprises pre-orders, advance reorders, and reorders, minus any copies that are received back from a title marked as returnable.  The category tables in this press release are ranked by units sold by Diamond to its accounts for the comic books and graphic novels categories.

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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The goal of ComicSpectrum is to provide a one-stop reference for everything about & related to comics and comics culture.
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