Diamond Comic Distributors has released the first wave of sales data for comics sold in the direct market in March 2018. The news isn’t great, as comics sales to the direct market climbed slightly, but overall sales for the year have fallen sharply.

The biggest area of falloff is in graphic novel sales, which traditionally have been an evergreen product. One wonders if this continued slide is due to electronic sales on sites like comiXology, or if readers are buying more collected trades and graphic novels from traditional books stores and online outlets like Amazon, rather than the local comic shop.

 DOLLARSUNITS
MARCH 2018 VS. FEBRUARY 2018
COMICS2.92%4.04%
GRAPHIC NOVELS10.36%3.69%
TOTAL COMICS/GN4.95%4.02%
TOYS5.32%-1.93%
MARCH 2018 VS. MARCH 2017
COMICS-13.20%-12.28%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-22.12%-25.63%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-15.96%-13.35%
TOYS-29.83%-38.04%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2018 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2017
(FIRST QUARTER 2018 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2017)
COMICS-7.09%-14.52%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-13.17%-12.28%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-8.92%-14.37%
TOYS-9.81%-12.36%
FIRST QUARTER 2018 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2017
COMICS-8.44%-7.25%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-21.69%-20.85%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-12.67%-8.38%
TOYS-14.91%-11.81%

Even though DC shipped the most titles in March 2018 (84 comics, 35 graphic novels), Marvel came out on top as the top dollar maker – which may be due to a higher cover price in general than DC. This looks to be supported when you compare the Top 10 Comics by Units Shipped vs. Top 10 Comics by Dollars Invoiced charts.

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED FOR MARCH 2018

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1DARK NIGHTS: METAL #6$4.99DEC170230-MDC
2DOOMSDAY CLOCK #4$4.99DEC170234-MDC
3AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797$3.99JAN180892-MMAR
4WEAPON H #1$4.99JAN180920-MMAR
5BATMAN #42$2.99JAN180260-MDC
6THE MIGHTY THOR #705$3.99JAN180888-MMAR
7INFINITY COUNTDOWN #1$4.99JAN180879-MMAR
8BATMAN #43$2.99JAN180262-MDC
9OBLIVION SONG BY KIRKMAN & DE FELICI #1$3.99JAN180587IMA
10BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #6$3.99JAN180268-MDC

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1DARK NIGHTS: METAL #6$4.99DEC170230-MDC
2DOOMSDAY CLOCK #4$4.99DEC170234-MDC
3WEAPON H #1$4.99JAN180920-MMAR
4AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797$3.99JAN180892-MMAR
5INFINITY COUNTDOWN #1$4.99JAN180879-MMAR
6DAREDEVIL #600$5.99JAN180911-MMAR
7THE MIGHTY THOR #705$3.99JAN180888-MMAR
8THE WALKING DEAD #177$3.99JAN180843-MIMA
9BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #6$3.99JAN180268-MDC
10OBLIVION SONG BY KIRKMAN & DE FELICI #1$3.99JAN180587IMA

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.

What are your reactions and thoughts to this information? I would be interested in reading your thoughts, which you can share in the comment section below.

via Diamond Comic Distributors

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Diz
    April 6, 2018 at 6:13 pm — Reply

    The fall in sales of graphic novels is probably Marvel’s fault. They had a big sale of graphic novels and collected editions for 99 cents on Comixology and Amazon last month. Also, they are offering some new collected editions, usually older comics, for 99 cents each week. My graphic novel reading list quickly filled up with these cheap books, and they are eating up my comic reading time.

    • April 6, 2018 at 8:56 pm — Reply

      That’s not it. The ComiXology 99-cent sales are for older trades, not brand new trades. This document is new graphic novel and trade paperback releases.

      • April 7, 2018 at 9:02 pm — Reply

        I want to correct myself here… ComiXology is offering day and date 99-cent collections of Marvel books, and at C2E2 a number of retailers brought this up, with several saying they would not buy any new trades from Marvel as long as this practice was ongoing.

        Here is a quote from Bleeding Cool on the subject.
        CB said that this will sound like a cop-out, but that comiXology and Amazon are able to set their own price points, and they are doing this without Marvel’s influence. One retailer said that he will not be ordering the Marvel Knights 20th anniversary products if they are available day and date for 99 cents.

        As I’ve stated on this week’s Finally Friday, we (comic readers) are not the demographic the big retailers are interested in pleasing, but rather the comic retailer. You may remember that retailers had a literal fit when comiXology first launched, and forced the publishers to set the day and date price for new single issues to be the same as digital prices. This has crippled the digital comics aspect of the market. While many may be crying for the retailer, they are strong-arming the industry – almost like they want it to fail.

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Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

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