Diamond Announces Top Sales for February 2019

Fans Love an Evil Batman Even More than “Batman Classic”
Tom King Proves You Don’t need to Be a Crossover Event to be
#1

DC has given up on trying to publish as many books as Marvel. As we reported last month, this means Marvel will be the #1 Publisher every month pretty much by default by virtue of putting out more product, so it’s pointless to talk about #1 Publisher any more.

What becomes more interesting is what individual books fans are flocking to.  To some extent this remains fairly predictable as well:

  • Batman
  • Events
  • Crossovers
  • Spider-Man
  • X-Men
  • Characters/Teams that get movies

DC seems to have hit a sweet spot in fans with their “Batman Who Laughs” character (an evil Batman from the Dark Multiverse introduced in the Dark Nights: Metal event).  This could be the same fan desire that was served by Lobo back in the 90s and continues to be served by anti-heroes like Venom, Wolverine and The Punisher.  A certain very populous part of comic book fandom seem to love books featuring characters that are not “good” for lack of a better characterization.  DC is running with it.  Issue #3 of The Batman Who Laughs was the #1 book for February.  #2 was the #2 book last month, beat only by a new Captain Marvel #1, driven likely by a big push for her new movie.  Batman Who Laughs #1 was the #1 book in December.  There seems no denying it: Fans are buying LOTS of this character… I’m going to go ahead and equate that to fans loving him.  You can look at the Top 10 in the charts below… the rest of the top 10 are filled out with books that correlate to the bullet list I have up above.

HOWEVER… The Collected Edition sales model is not generally dominated by the same fan preferences that create the Top 10 of periodical comics.  While crossovers and events pop on when they are collected, historically month after month it tends to be more story driven and will often have indie books that never hit the Top 10 for individual issues.
(Note: Keep in mind that collected editions are what some people like to call “Graphic Novels” when they like to make them sound fancy and distance them from being collections of individual issues of a comic book series.  I like to reserve Graphic Novel to refer to a work of graphic fiction that was originally published in book-length form. Every item on the Top 10 is a collection of individual components originally published elsewhere.)

In February  the collection of the Tom King Mister Miracle series topped sales for units shipped.  This series has received fairly universal praise, and it’s good to see something that is neither an event nor featuring an “A-List” character hitting #1.  My supposition her is that it is #1 based on the strength of the creative team and positive word of mouth in the fan community.

A bit of an anomaly this month is the lack of indie presence on the collected edition list.  1 entry by Viz (the popular manga My Hero Academia vol 17) and one by Image (the 1st volume of the new series Man-Eaters).  Marvel has been coming on strong last month and this month (7 of 10 spots this month and 5 of 10 in January).  I’m not sure if Marvel is starting to pump out more product in an attempt to dominate here like they do in periodicals or if this is an anomaly.  I’ll be keeping an eye on the collected edition lists in months to come.

– Bob Bretall (bob@comicspectrum.com)

Diamond’s Press Release:

(BALTIMORE, MD) — (March 15, 2019) — Infected by the Joker’s toxin, Batman faces the Grim Knight in Scott Snyder and Jock’s The Batman Who Laughs #3 from DC, the best-selling comic book of February 2019 according to information provided by Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop culture merchandise.

Marvel Comics was February’s top publisher, leading in dollar share with 40.20% and unit share with 44.48%. DC was second, with a dollar share of 28.69% and unit share of 30.64%. Image Comics was third, with a 9.49% dollar share and a 9.30% unit share. Dark Horse Comics was fourth with a 3.25% dollar share and a 2.58% unit share, followed by Dynamite Entertainment with a 2.58% dollar share and a 2.35% unit share, then IDW Publishing with a 2.55% dollar share and a 2.20% unit share, and BOOM! Studios with a 2.38% dollar share and a 2.26% unit share.

dollar-shareunit-share

DC had five titles in the top ten, including Joshua Williamson and Guillem March’s Batman #64 at #2; Williamson and March’s Batman #65 at #3; Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Clay Mann’s Heroes in Crisis #6 at #5; and Williamson and Rafael Sandoval’s The Flash #64 at #8. Marvel Comics also had five titles among the top ten: Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman’s Venom #11 ranked #4, Nick Spencer and Chris Bachalo’s Amazing Spider-Man #15 ranked #6, Matthew Rosenberg and Salvador Larroca’s Uncanny X-Men #12 ranked #7, Rosenberg and Larroca’s Uncanny X-Men #11 ranked #9, and Avengers: No Road Home #1 from an all-star line-up of writers and artists ranked #10. Among the premier publishers, Image Comics’ The Walking Dead #188 ranked #28, BOOM! Studios’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer #2 ranked #71, Dynamite Entertainment’s Red Sonja #1 ranked #98, Dark Horse Comics’ William Gibson’s Alien 3 #4 ranked #133, and IDW Publishing’s Sonic the Hedgehog #13 ranked #144.

Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ critically-acclaimed Mister Miracle from DC was February’s best-selling graphic novel. Marvel Comics had a strong month in February with seven titles among the top ten, led by Christos Gage and Clayton Crain’s Spider-Geddon at #2. Chelsea Cain and Kate Miemczyk’s Man-Eaters Volume 1 from Image Comics also made the top ten, ranked #7.

BBC Books’ Doctor Who: Scratchmen, an original novel by beloved Doctor Who actor Tom Baker based on his 1970s screenplay, was February’s best-selling book.

Based on the character from DC’s Dark Nights: Metal currently starring in his own mini-series, the POP! DC Comics: The Batman Who Laughs Vinyl Figure from Funko, a PREVIEWS exclusive, was the best-selling toy product of February. Diamond Select Toys’ Marvel Gallery: Squirrel Girl PVC Figure ranked #5. DC Collectibles had four products in the top ten, led by the DC Designer Series: Nightwing & Batman by Ryan Sook Statue at #6.

Based on the anime sensation, Shinobi 7’s My Hero Academia: The Card Game was February’s best-selling game product. Paizo Publishing had a strong month with four products in the top ten; the Pathfinder Pawns: Bestiary Box was their top product at #3. IDW Games had two products in the top ten, led by the Sonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course Board Game at #7.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

40.20%

44.48%

DC

28.69%

30.64%

IMAGE COMICS

9.49%

9.30%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.25%

2.58%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.58%

2.35%

IDW PUBLISHING

2.55%

2.20%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.38%

2.26%

VIZ MEDIA

1.78%

0.67%

ST. MARTINS PRESS

0.60%

0.16%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.56%

0.39%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

7.91%

4.96%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

DOLLARS

UNITS

FEBRUARY 2019 VS. JANUARY 2019

COMICS

-21.31%

-18.10%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-26.09%

-25.43%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-22.71%

-18.65%

TOYS

-19.93%

-35.10%

FEBRUARY 2019 VS. FEBRUARY 2018

COMICS

-6.06%

-8.47%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-3.16%

-8.47%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-5.27%

-8.47%

TOYS

20.34%

18.44%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2019 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2018

COMICS

4.82%

-1.51%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

5.00%

-2.56%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

4.87%

-1.59%

TOYS

27.83%

39.44%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS
SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

86

40

0

126

DC

59

28

1

88

IMAGE COMICS

47

19

0

66

DARK HORSE COMICS

24

13

0

37

IDW PUBLISHING

22

11

0

33

BOOM! STUDIOS

21

10

0

31

VIZ MEDIA

0

27

0

27

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

20

1

0

21

SEVEN SEAS ENTERTAINMENT

0

21

0

21

ONI PRESS

4

3

0

7

OTHER NON-TOP 10

106

131

22

259

TOTAL

389

304

23

716

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #3

$4.99

DEC180539-M DC

2

BATMAN #64

$3.99

DEC180510-M DC

3

BATMAN #65

$3.99

DEC180515-M DC

4

VENOM #11

$3.99

DEC180962-M MAR

5

HEROES IN CRISIS #6

$3.99

DEC180521-M DC

6

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15

$3.99

DEC180951-M MAR

7

UNCANNY X-MEN #12

$3.99

DEC180906-M MAR

8

THE FLASH #64

$3.99

DEC180512-M DC

9

UNCANNY X-MEN #11

$7.99

DEC180896-M MAR

10

AVENGERS: NO ROAD HOME #1

$4.99

DEC180831-M MAR

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #3

$4.99

DEC180539-M DC

2

UNCANNY X-MEN #11

$7.99

DEC180896-M MAR

3

BATMAN #64

$3.99

DEC180510-M DC

4

BATMAN #65

$3.99

DEC180515-M DC

5

VENOM #11

$3.99

DEC180962-M MAR

6

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #16

$4.99

DEC180953-M MAR

7

HEROES IN CRISIS #6

$3.99

DEC180521-M DC

8

RETURN OF WOLVERINE #5

$4.99

NOV180950-M MAR

9

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15

$3.99

DEC180951-M MAR

10

UNCANNY X-MEN #12

$3.99

DEC180906-M MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

MISTER MIRACLE TP (MR)

$24.99

OCT180598 DC

2

SPIDER-GEDDON TP

$24.99

NOV181026 MAR

3

INFINITY WARS TP

$34.99

NOV181024 MAR

4

IMMORTAL HULK VOLUME 2: GREEN DOOR TP

$15.99

NOV181036 MAR

5

MY HERO ACADEMIA VOLUME 17 GN

$9.99

DEC182240 VIZ

6

DEADPOOL: SECRET AGENT DEADPOOL TP

$14.99

NOV180967 MAR

7

MAN-EATERS VOLUME 1 TP

$12.99

DEC180123 IMA

8

INFINITY GAUNTLET: DELUXE EDITION TP

$34.99

AUG181075 MAR

9

CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 1: WINTER IN AMERICA TP

$17.99

NOV181022 MAR

10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN BY NICK SPENCER VOL. 2 TP

$15.99

NOV181033 MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

MISTER MIRACLE TP (MR)

$24.99

OCT180598 DC

2

HE MAN & THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE OMNIBUS HC

$150.00

JUL180761 DC

3

CAPTAIN MARVEL/MS. MARVEL: A HERO IS BORN OMNIBUS HC

$100.00

AUG181069-M MAR

4

VENOMNIBUS HC VOL 02

$125.00

AUG181071 MAR

5

INFINITY WARS TP

$34.99

NOV181024 MAR

6

INFINITY GAUNTLET: DELUXE EDITION TP

$34.99

AUG181075 MAR

7

SPIDER-GEDDON TP

$24.99

NOV181026 MAR

8

STAR WARS BY JASON AARON OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

SEP180997 MAR

9

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: LUKE CAGE POWER MAN VOL. 3

$75.00

AUG181073-M MAR

10

WONDER WOMAN BY PHIL JIMINEZ OMNIBUS HC

$75.00

AUG180663 DC

TOP 10 BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

DOCTOR WHO: SCRATCHMAN HC

$23.99

DEC181681 BBC

2

ALAN MOORE: WRITING FOR COMICS GN (MR)

$5.95

STAR18707 AVA

3

FAST ENOUGH: BESSIE STRINGFIELD’S FIRST RIDE HC

$17.99

NOV181857 LIO

4

JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH: A DISCOVERY ADVENTURE HC

$14.99

OCT181271 BOO

5

MARVEL SUPERHERO ADVENTURES: MIGHTY MARVELS SC

$4.99

DEC181953 MAR

6

COMICS JOURNAL #303

$14.99

NOV181771 FAN

7

WORLD OF READING: THIS IS CAPT MARVEL SC

$4.99

DEC181955 MAR

8

GRIMM FAIRY TALES ADULT COLORING BOOK VOLUME 1

$12.99

OCT151871 ZEN

9

BLOODBORNE OFFICIAL ARTWORKS SC

$44.99

MAR172148 UDO

10

MARVEL: POWERS OF A GIRL HC

$16.99

DEC181952 MAR

TOP 10 TOYS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

POP! DC HEROES: THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS VINYL FIGURE JUN188595 FUN

2

ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: MARVEL: IRON MAN STEALTH ARMOR FIGURE JUN178877 MEZ

3

OVERWATCH: WIDOWMAKER FIGMA JAN188448 GOO

4

FINAL FANTASY VII ADVENT CHILDREN PLAY ARTS KAI: CLOUD STRIFE & FENRIR FIGURE MAY188937 SQU

5

MARVEL GALLERY: SQUIRREL GIRL COMIC PVC FIGURE AUG182582 DIA

6

DC DESIGNER SERIES: NIGHTWING & BATGIRL BY RYAN SOOK STATUE JUL180809 DC

7

OVERWATCH: JUNKRAT “CLASSIC SKIN” NENDOROID MAY189432 GOO

8

DC ESSENTIALS: NIGHTWING FIGURE AUG180673 DC

9

DC ESSENTIALS: SHAZAM & BLACK ADAM ACTION FIGURE 2-PACK JUN180604 DC

10

DC ESSENTIALS: HARLEY QUINN FIGURE AUG180675 DC

 TOP 10 GAMES BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

MY HERO ACADEMIA CARD GAME JUL183082 SHI

2

MARVEL HEROCLIX: EARTH X BOOSTER BRICK JUL188756 NEC

3

PATHFINDER PAWNS BESTIARY BOX FEB168541 PAI

4

TOME OF BEASTS HC JUN168476 PAI

5

WORLD OF LAZARUS: MODERN AGE RPG CAMPAIGN SETTING HC MAR182717 GRE

6

STARFINDER PAWNS: ALIEN ARCHIVE 2 PAWN BOX DEC183290 PAI

7

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG: CRASH COURSE BOARDGAME MAY180772 IDW

8

INVADER ZIM: DOOMSDAY DICE GAME AUG180835 IDW

9

MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: RAVNICA ALLEGIANCE BOOSTER PACKS AUG183195 WIZ

10

STARFINDER ADVENTURE PATH: FIRE STARTERS PART 1 DEC183289 PAI

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

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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