Diamond Announces Top Sales for May 2019

DC is Coming on Strong with Comics Fans
Marvel Wins Sales by Flooding the Market with Books

In May, Marvel beat DC on unit share by only ~1% -> 39.75% for Marvel, 38.58% for DC.  While Marvel won by ~12% on dollar share (because they are selling more expensive products overall) they are almost on par with DC on the number of comics being bought by shops.  The thing to consider here is that Marvel had to ship more that 50% more items to comics shops to win by that meager 1%!  Marvel shipped 154 total items to DC’s 93.  For comic books, Marvel almost doubled DC’s output, 118 to 60.

This tells me that Marvel is flooding the racks with lower selling books in an attempt to crowd out the competition.  I have noticed (at the comic shops I frequent here in SoCal) that they are not even racking all the items Marvel is blasting out each month.  They treat the bottom 30% of Marvel’s title list like low-end indie books… they order copies for people who have them on their pull list and maybe 1 copy for the rack that goes in a single pile as opposed to getting a solo rack slot.

It’s getting to be too much.  Marvel did this back in the 1990s as well, crowding out the competition with loads of reprints and titles with low circulation.  Today the reprints (and Marvel puts out a lot of them) are augmented by tremendous amounts of event tie-in books and multiple issues per month of popular titles.

The fact that DC can be at pretty much the same unit share shipping only 2/3rds of what Marvel ships tells me that concentrating on the DC core titles works.  I always point out that DC has a reliance on Batman, but that works for them AND for their fans. The Batman Who Laughs is a hit (at spot #5), outselling the core Batman title (at spots #8+9).  The new Black Label “Batman: Last Knight on Earth” outsold even that (coming in at spot #3).  DC held 6 of the top 10, 4 of those are Batman and the other 2 are events.

I’d love to see Marvel concentrating on putting out books that give Batman a run for his money at the top of the sales charts (which theoretically equates to fan interest) as opposed to going for the numerical win by putting out a large quantity of filler material.

– Bob Bretall (bob@comicspectrum.com)

(BALTIMORE, MD) — (June 10, 2019) — A techno-virus turns a tenth of Earth’s population into monstrous creatures and the Justice League is all that stands in the way of total disaster in Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, and Stefano Gaudiano’s DCeased #1 from DC Comics, the best-selling comic book of May 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 May’s top publisher with a dollar share of 40.46% and a unit share of 39.75%. DC placed second with a 28.22% dollar share and a 38.58% unit share. In third was Image Comics with a 6.88% dollar share and a 5.53% unit share. Dark Horse Comics ranked fourth with a 3.78% dollar share and 2.19% unit share, followed by IDW Publishing with a 3.61% dollar share and a 2.98% unit share, then BOOM! Studios with a 2.21% dollar share and a 1.76% unit share, VIZ Media with a 1.84% dollar share and a 0.65% unit share, and Dynamite Entertainment with a 1.78% dollar share and a 1.50% unit share.

dollar-shareunit-share

In total, DC had six titles in the top ten including Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Doomsday Clock #10 at #2, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman: Last Knight on Earth #1 at #3, Snyder and Jock’s The Batman Who Laughs #5 at #5, Batman #70 at #8, and Batman #71 at #9. Marvel Comics had four titles in the top ten: Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato’s Savage Avengers #1 ranked #4; Nick Spencer, Gerardo Sandoval, and Victor Nava’s Amazing Spider-Man #21 ranked #6; Al Ewing, Joe Bennett, and Ruy Jose’s The Immortal Hulk #17 ranked #7; and Spencer and Humberto Ramos’ Amazing Spider-Man #22 ranked #10. Among the premier publishers, Image Comics’ The Walking Dead #191 ranked #27; Dark Horse Comics’ Stranger Things: Six #1, a prequel to the Netflix series, ranked #82; BOOM! Studios’ Firefly #6 ranked #98; Dynamite Entertainment’s Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty & Veronica #1, a crossover with Archie Comics, ranked #107; and IDW Publishing’s Transformers #4 ranked #156.

Lauren Myracle and Issac Goodhart’s Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale, an original graphic novel from DC’s DC Ink imprint, was May’s best-selling graphic novel. Also in the top ten for DC, DC Super Hero Girls: Spaced Out ranked #6. Dark Horse Comics had three titles in the top ten: The Umbrella Academy volumes 1 and 2 ranked #2 and #4 respectively, and The Legend of Korra Part 1: Ruins of Empire ranked #8. Image Comics had four titles in the top ten: Skottie Young and Jorge Corona’s Middlewest Book 1 ranked #3, East of West Volume 9 ranked #5, Rat Queens Volume 6 ranked #9, and Saga Deluxe Edition Volume 3 ranked #10. Also in the top ten, Al Ewing and Joe Bennett’s The Immortal Hulk Volume 3: Hulk in Hell ranked #7.

VIZ Media’s My Hero Academia: School Briefs Volume 1 was May’s best-selling book.

1000 Toys’ Hellboy: Standard Version 1/12-Scale Figure was May’s best-selling toy. Funko’s PREVIEWS Exclusive POP! Marvel: Spider-Punk Vinyl Figure ranked #2 for the month. Diamond Select Toys had four products in the top ten, led by the Marvel Select: Rogue Action Figure at #3. DC Collectibles had three products in the top ten; their top-selling product, the DC Cover Girls: Wonder Woman by Joëlle Jones Statue, ranked #5.

Paizo Publishing’s Starfinder RPG Beginner Box, an introductory set to the space opera role-playing game, was May’s best-selling game product. Also, Hasbro’s Dungeons & Dragons: Stranger Things Edition, the best-selling game of April, remained in the top ten at #10 for the month.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

40.46%

39.75%

DC COMICS

28.22%

38.58%

IMAGE COMICS

6.88%

5.53%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.78%

2.19%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.61%

2.98%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.21%

1.76%

VIZ MEDIA

1.84%

0.65%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.78%

1.50%

ONI PRESS

0.84%

0.56%

TITAN COMICS

0.67%

0.49%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

9.72%

9.72%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

DOLLARS

UNITS

MAY 2019 VS. APRIL 2019

COMICS

15.60%

14.51%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

50.97%

44.63%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

24.51%

16.35%

TOYS

27.91%

46.27%

MAY 2019 VS. MAY 2018

COMICS

-7.81%

-4.30%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

5.36%

-5.36%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-4.15%

-4.38%

TOYS

40.65%

40.25%

YEAR TO DATE 2019 VS. YEAR TO DATE 2018

COMICS

-0.45%

-5.12%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-1.21%

-5.94%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-0.66%

-5.18%

TOYS

23.04%

30.09%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS

SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES

SHIPPED

TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

118

36

0

154

DC COMICS

60

33

0

93

IMAGE COMICS

38

23

0

61

IDW PUBLISHING

37

18

0

55

DARK HORSE COMICS

22

30

0

52

VIZ MEDIA

0

45

0

45

BOOM! STUDIOS

22

13

0

35

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

19

4

0

23

TITAN COMICS

10

6

2

18

ONI PRESS

9

5

0

14

OTHER NON-TOP 10

151

190

27

368

TOTAL

486

403

29

918

 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

DCEASED #1

$3.99

MAR190464-M DC

2

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #10

$4.99

JAN190585-M DC

3

BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #1 (MR)

$5.99

MAR190458-M DC

4

SAVAGE AVENGERS #1

$4.99

MAR190757-M MAR

5

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #5

$4.99

MAR190495-M DC

6

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #21

$3.99

MAR190831-M MAR

7

THE IMMORTAL HULK #17

$3.99

MAR190845-M MAR

8

BATMAN #70

$3.99

MAR190487-M DC

9

BATMAN #71

$3.99

MAR190489-M DC

10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #22

$3.99

MAR190835-M MAR

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

DCEASED #1

$3.99

MAR190464-M DC

2

BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #1 (MR)

$5.99

MAR190458-M DC

3

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #10

$4.99

JAN190585-M DC

4

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #5

$4.99

MAR190495-M DC

5

SAVAGE AVENGERS #1

$4.99

MAR190757-M MAR

6

THE IMMORTAL HULK #17

$3.99

MAR190845-M MAR

7

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #21

$3.99

MAR190831-M MAR

8

WAR OF REALMS #3

$4.99

MAR190765-M MAR

9

WAR OF REALMS #4

$4.99

MAR190773-M MAR

10

BATMAN #70

$3.99

MAR190487-M DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

UNDER THE MOON: A CATWOMAN TALE TP

$16.99

JAN190554 DC

2

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 1: THE APOCALYPSE SUITE TP

$17.99

SEP108136 DAR

3

MIDDLEWEST BOOK 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

MAR190092-M IMA

4

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 2: DALLAS TP

$17.99

DEC098005 DAR

5

EAST OF WEST VOL. 9 TP

$16.99

FEB190059 IMA

6

DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: SPACED OUT TP

$9.99

JAN190555 DC

7

THE IMMORTAL HULK VOL. 3: HULK IN HELL TP

$15.99

FEB190998 MAR

8

LEGEND OF KORRA PART 1: RUINS OF EMPIRE TP

$10.99

JAN190482 DAR

9

RAT QUEENS VOL. 6: INFERNAL PATH TP (MR)

$16.99

MAR190119 IMA

10

SAGA DELUXE EDITION VOL. 3 HC (MR)

$49.99

MAR190127 IMA

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN OMNIBUS VOL. 4 HC

$125.00

NOV181004-M MAR

2

SAGA DELUXE EDITION VOL. 3 HC (MR)

$49.99

MAR190127 IMA

3

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN BY J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI OMNIBUS VOL. 1  HC

$125.00

NOV181006 MAR

4

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 1: THE APOCALYPSE SUITE TP

$17.99

SEP108136 DAR

5

UNDER THE MOON: A CATWOMAN TALE TP DC INK

$16.99

JAN190554 DC

6

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 2: DALLAS TP

$17.99

DEC098005 DAR

7

EAST OF WEST VOL. 9 TP

$16.99

FEB190059 IMA

8

SIX DAYS: THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF D-DAY’S LOST CHAPTER HC

$24.99

FEB190468 DC

9

ABSOLUTE BATMAN: THE BLACK MIRROR HC

$99.99

AUG180594 DC

10

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT HC

$29.99

JAN198939 DC

TOP 10 BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

MY HERO ACADEMIA: SCHOOL BRIEFS VOL. 1 SC

$10.99

FEB192175 VIZ

2

LULU IS A RHINOCEROS

$16.99

FEB188267 WIC

3

DOCTOR WHO: SCRATCHMAN HC

$23.99

DEC181681 PEN

4

OVERLORD VOLUME 10 HC (MR)

$20.00

MAR192224 YEN

5

BLOODBORNE: OFFICIAL ARTWORKS SC

$44.99

MAR172148 UDO

6

TALES OF THE LOST CITADEL PROSE ANTHOLOGY SC

$15.99

JAN193197 GRE

7

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOL. 141 SC

$14.95

FEB191942 SAN

8

AVENGERS ENDGAME: OFFICIAL MOVIE SPECIAL HC

$19.99

JAN192125 TTN

9

DOCTOR WHO: 13 DOCTORS 13 STORIES SC

$17.99

DEC181677 PEN

10

DOCTOR WHO: THE WOMEN WHO LIVED HC

$23.99

FEB188707 PEN

TOP 10 TOYS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

HELLBOY: STANDARD VERSION 1/12-SCALE FIGURE MAY189233 100

2

POP! MARVEL: SPIDER-PUNK VINYL FIGURE SEP188215 FUN

3

MARVEL SELECT: ROGUE ACTION FIGURE SEP182338 DST

4

MARVEL GALLERY: SPIDER-MAN COMIC PVC FIGURE SEP182341 DST

5

DC COVER GIRLS: WONDER WOMAN BY JOELLE JONES STATUE OCT180633 DC

6

DARK KNIGHTS METAL: BATMAN THE DAWNBREAKER STATUE OCT180626 DC

7

MARVEL SELECT: JUGGERNAUT ACTION FIGURE JUN101512 DST

8

DC GALLERY METAL: THE RED DEATH PVC FIGURE OCT182228 DST

9

ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: MARVEL: BLADE ACTION FIGURE MAR188185 MEZ

10

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE: WHITE KNIGHT JOKER BY SEAN MURPHY NOV180600 DC

 TOP 10 GAMES BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

STARFINDER RPG BEGINNER BOX FEB193069 PAI

2

CRITICAL ROLE: TAL’DOREI CAMPAIGN SETTING HC JUN173357 GRE

3

THE EXPANSE RPG HC NOV182869 GRE

4

MY HERO ACADEMIA CARD GAME JUL183082 S7

5

STARFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK HC JUN173371 PAI

6

PATHFINDER PAWNS BESTIARY BOX FEB168541 PAI

7

TOME OF BEASTS HC JUN168476 PAI

8

THE EXPANSE RPG: GAME MASTERS KIT HC NOV182870 GRE

9

PATHFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK POCKET EDITION APR168770 PAI

10

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: STRANGER THINGS EDITION JAN198565 HAS

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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