The breakdown of Top Seller charts for October 2015

EDITOR’S NOTES:  A continuation of our last article with specific breakdowns, courtesy Diamond Distribution. . . . .

from the official press release . . . . . .

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.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR SHARE

UNIT SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

43.65%

48.26%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

21.85%

22.92%

IMAGE COMICS

9.17%

9.27%

IDW PUBLISHING

6.16%

4.96%

DARK HORSE COMICS

4.04%

3.10%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.41%

1.93%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.60%

1.53%

TITAN COMICS

1.21%

1.16%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.92%

0.99%

VIZ MEDIA

0.88%

0.34%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.12%

5.54%

EDITOR’S NOTES:  It’s important to note that these Top Publisher numbers are based on the amount of orders received by Diamond prior to the actual release of the books in October.  It doesn’t mean that 43-48% of titles sold by a comic store in October were published by Marvel.  For example, one individual comic store might pre-order 40 copies of a new #1 title by Marvel.  They may not sell all 40 copies.  However, Diamond’s figures are the only type of statistics that seem to be collected and publicized on a regular basis.  To the best of our knowledge, there is no report being generated that surveys the comic shops etc and reports actual sales in a similar amount of detail.  

 NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

DC ENTERTAINMENT

78

34

1

113

MARVEL COMICS

68

33

0

101

IMAGE COMICS

55

14

0

69

IDW PUBLISHING

41

22

0

63

DARK HORSE COMICS

36

25

0

61

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

29

12

0

41

TITAN COMICS

12

9

4

25

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

18

6

0

24

VIZ MEDIA

0

19

0

19

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

10

5

0

15

OTHER NON-TOP 10

98

99

15

212

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. 

EDITOR’S NOTES:  Statistics can be manipulated to make a number of statements that may not be as significant as implied. For example, it would be logical for someone to look at the Top Comic Book Publisher (the first graph above) and conclude that not only are Marvel and DC the top two publishers with the greatest percentage of dollar share and unit share but also that they are producing the most popular books. The reality is that they are producing the most number of pre-ordered books.  And if you look at the second graph above, the reasons why become even more apparent (and it’s not about popularity or quality of the books).  When you publish 78 (DC) and 68 (Marvel) titles in a  single month, and 34 (DC) and 33 (Marvel) graphic novels in a single month  - - versus another publisher who only publishes 29 (Boom) and 10 (Valiant) titles in a single month plus 12 (Boom) and 5 (Valiant) - -  then those numbers (DC and Marvel) are going to crush the smaller publisher (Boom and Valiant) numbers.  That is more indicative of why Marvel and DC dominate these monthly pre-order statistics. Also read the explanation by Diamond Distribution directly below the chart and realize that variant covers count as separate units. Another aspect of the industry that is not going away (On the upside, it’s nice to see some variation in cover art. Some variant covers are flat out gorgeous.)

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

page3image89736

UNITS

page3image91408

OCTOBER 2015 VS. SEPTEMBER 2015

COMICS

page3image94152

22.33%

page3image95824

20.47%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-7.57%

-17.96%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

11.91%

page3image104192

16.59%

page3image106368

OCTOBER 2015 VS. OCTOBER 2014

COMICS

page3image109456

-7.49%

page3image111744

-12.27%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-14.27%

-14.94%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-9.55%

page3image119328

-12.47%

page3image121600

YEAR-TO-DATE 2015 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2014

COMICS

page3image124632

5.37%

page3image126304

4.21%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

4.45%

5.80%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

5.08%

4.33%

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.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The best takeaway from the graph directly above is that comic and graphic novel pre-orders are up 5.08% overall versus year-to-date last year.  Again, as long as those pre-ordered books all sold, then it says that the comics market is still a growing one. While the September and October comparisons above might contradict some of that information, it’s based on the ups and downs that occur from month to month. The year-to-date statistics are more telling.  

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #1

$3.99

JUL150696-M

MAR

2

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1

$5.99

AUG150700-M

MAR

3

SPIDER-GWEN #1

$3.99

AUG150805-M

MAR

4

SECRET WARS #6

$3.99

JUN150680-M

MAR

5

DOCTOR STRANGE #1

$4.99

AUG150741-M

MAR

6

STAR WARS #10

$3.99

JUL150764-M

MAR

7

CHEWBACCA #1

$3.99

AUG150855-M

MAR

8

JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: SHATTERED EMPIRE #2

$3.99

JUL150772-M

MAR

9

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1

$3.99

AUG150760-M

MAR

10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2

$3.99

AUG150712-M

MAR

EDITOR’S NOTES: The Top 10 Comic Books in October were all published by Marvel.  That’s some real dominance.  Before one assumes that Marvel must be the best publisher around with the best books, keep in mind that these are pre-orders and not actual sales. Also note that 6 of these 10 books are #1 debut issues.  If you ever wondered why comic companies re-boot their titles so often and start over the reason is right here. Number One issues out-sell regular titles.  You can expect the big publishers to re-boot their iconic titles every year.  If you object to that, then don’t support it.

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

STAR WARS VOLUME 1: SKYWALKER STRIKES TP

$19.99

MAY150811

MAR

2

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER VOLUME 1: VADER TP

$19.99

JUL150827

MAR

3

BITCH PLANET VOL. 1: EXTRAORDINARY MACHINE TP (MR)

$9.99

MAY150482-M

IMA

4

DEATHSTROKE BOOK AND MASK SET

$29.99

JUN150300

DC

5

MARVEL SUPER HERO: CONTEST OF CHAMPIONS VOL. 1 TP

$7.99

AUG150846

MAR

6

THE WALKING DEAD COMPENDIUM VOLUME 3 TP

$59.99

AUG150497

IMA

7

SAGA VOLUME 5 TP (MR)

$14.99

JUL150565

IMA

8

OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA VOLUME 2 TP (MR)

$14.99

JUL150633

IMA

9

LUMBERJANES VOLUME 2 TP

$14.99

AUG151216

BOO

10

INJECTION VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

AUG150488

IMA

EDITOR’S NOTE: At least we see more diversity of publishers as well as genres other than super-hero when we look at the top graphic novels and trade paperbacks pre-ordered for October. 

TOP 10 BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 100 SC

$15.95

AUG151992

SAN

2

DOC SAVAGE DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 84 SC

$14.95

JUL151868

SAN

3

ADVENTURE TIME: THE ENCHIRIDION & MARCY'S SUPER SECRET SCRAPBOOK

$24.95

MAY151741

ABR

4

WINTERWORLD BOOK 1: MECHANIC'S SONG TP

$9.99

DEC140570

IDW

5

LEGEND OF ZELDA: HYRULE HISTORIA HC

$34.99

SEP120055

DAR

6

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN'S GAME OF THRONES COLORING BOOK

$16.95

SEP151841

RAN

7

SWORD ART ONLINE: PROGRESSIVE VOLUME 3 NOVEL

$14.00

AUG151853

HAC

8

MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS ENCYCLOPEDIA HC

$40.00

AUG151909

DK

9

THE BIG BANG THEORY KIT

$9.95

JUL151853

RUN

10

NARUTO: KAKASHI'S STORY NOVEL SC

$10.99

SEP151696

VIZ

 TOP 10 TOYS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT PLAY ARTS KAI: HARLEY QUINN FIGURE

MAR158227

SQU

2

BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES: BATMOBILE

APR150335

DC

3

DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS: BATWOMAN STATUE

MAR150325

DC

4

DC COMICS BOMBSHELLS: CATWOMAN STATUE

APR150342

DC

5

MARVEL UNIVERSE VARIANT PLAY ARTS KAI: SPIDER-MAN FIGURE

MAR158235

SQU

6

BATMAN ANIMATED: BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES: BATMAN FIGURE

JUN150336

DC

7

BATMAN ARKHAM KNIGHT: ARKHAM KNIGHT FIGURE

SEP140355

DC

8

BATMAN ANIMATED: NEW BATMAN ADVENTURES: BATGIRL FIGURE

JUN150337

DC

9

GOTHAM SELECT ACTION FIGURES

MAY152171

DST

10

MARVEL: WASP BISHOUJO STATUE

APR152483

KOT

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

SUPERFIGHT CARD GAME CORE DECK

AUG150606

IMA

2

MOUSE GUARD: THE ROLEPLAYING GAME HC BOXED SET (2ND ED)

FEB151158

BOO

3

MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: BATTLE FOR ZENDIKAR BOOSTER PACKS

AUG152925

ALL

4

BACK TO THE FUTURE MONOPOLY

JUL152198

DST

5

MOUSE GUARD: THE ROLEPLAYING GAME HC (2ND ED)

FEB151159

BOO

6

MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: BATTLE FOR ZENDIKAR FAT PACK

AUG152927

WIZ

7

FIREFLY PLAYING CARDS

MAR158605

QUA

8

DC HEROCLIX: SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN FAST FORCES 6-PACK

SEP152649

NEC

9

MINECRAFT: OFFICIAL MOJANG COMBAT HC (UPDATED EDITION)

JUN152753

SCH

10

ADVENTURE TIME FLUXX CARD GAME

MAY152758

LOO

EDITORS NOTE:  Hope you got this far, because I’m not finished commenting on these statistics.  Am I doing this because I think you want me to do the analysis for you?  Heck no. You don’t need me for that.  Am I trying to identify heroes and villains among the publishers?  No. They are all heroes. The quality of writing and art in current comics is quite advanced compared to prior decades. It’ s better than ever.  Am I trying to call out Diamond Distribution for manipulating statistics?  Not at all.  These are the only type of statistic they are able to furnish.  It’s as accurate and complete as it can possibly be.  And Diamond doesn’t analyze the data and draw any conclusions or play favorites. They just put it out there.  What i am interested in is that the future of the comic book business will continue to involve mom and pop brick and mortar comic book stores.  What can these numbers possibly have to do with that?  That will be the subject of some future opinion columns on this site.  Your feedback is welcome and encouraged. 

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