Diamond Comic Distributors has released the initial market share data for comics sold in the direct market in June 2012, and its another split month where DC and Marvel can claim themselves the winner.
DC Comics took the unit share (most copies sold) during the month of June, while Marvel Comics gets to thumb its nose at the competition and claim it made the most money – though the margin difference is relatively small. Marvel captures 33.77% of the direct market dollar share in June, compared to DC’s 33.03%. At .75% difference, one could argue it’s close enough to be a tie, but that nearly one-percent difference is enough for the bean counters.
If someone were to look at only the Top Ten titles sold in June, Marvel took the top two spots with Avengers VS X-Men #6 and #5, but DC Comics claimed the next six titles on the list.
|1||AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #6||$3.99||MAR|
|2||AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #5||$3.99||MAR|
|4||JUSTICE LEAGUE #10||$3.99||DC|
|5||BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 (MR)||$3.99||DC|
|6||BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #1 (MR)||$3.99||DC|
|7||BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #1 (MR)||$3.99||DC|
|8||BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #1 (MR)||$3.99||DC|
|10||AVX VS #3||$3.99||MAR|
The month to month data is also telling, as there are some positive markers and negative trends that may concern comics fans. First the positive – compared to June 2011, the direct market is up nearly 15% on the dollar share and up just over 12% in single issues sold. Unfortunately, compared to May 2012, the trend is down over 6% for both the number of single issues sold and the amount of money made by all publishers.
Keep in mind that this represents only comics in the direct market – those sold to your local comic shop. It does not reflect digital comics sold through the various online distributors like comiXology, nor does it include titles sold through the retail market. If the percentage is correct, the digital market now accounts for 10% of comics sold in the direct market, so (and this is just speculation), overall comic sales could still be up nearly 5% combined compared to May 2012.
Overall, comic sales continue to trend upward for the year.
Comics sales for the first half of 2012 showed an increase of 20.47% over the first half of 2012, and graphic novel sales increased by 13.49% in the same period. Compared to sales in the first quarter of 2012, comics sales increased by 16.79% and graphic novels by 23.91%, continuing the year’s upward sales trend.
We should have the complete rundown of the top 300 comics sold in the direct market next week.