2014-08-16

Observations on July 2014 Comics Chart

This month let's just try going through the Top 300 Comics chart and commenting on anything that seems interesting. Mostly in order, though I've grouped together some books with common themes.


#1. ROCKET RACCOON #1 (MAR) - 293.9k copies
As has been mentioned elsewhere, this rather insane number is bolstered by a number of factors, chief among them a company called "Loot Crate" buying a custom branded cover edition for all their customers, numbering over 100k. There were also a few other custom branded variants and the usual array of Marvel first-issue sales inflating gimmicks. Obviously we'll see a massive drop with #2, probably to under 100k, which is still pretty good for a ROCKET RACCOON series. A year ago we'd probably have seen 30k for the first issue and cancellation numbers by #6.

I do find it curious that Marvel decided to funnel a 100k+ single issue single customer order through Diamond, rather than cutting out the middleman, but I don't know enough to guess whether that was to comply with their exclusive distribution contract with Diamond or a desire to have those numbers be a part of their marketshare in the direct market breakdown.

#2. BATMAN #33 (DC) - 118k copies - down 9.3%
Most of the DC books that saw big increases last month from the "bombshell" cover variants saw some decrease this month with the "Batman 75" variants, but still higher than their May sales. BATMAN is pretty typical, going from 107k to 130k to 118k.

#3. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4 (MAR) - 117.9k copies - up 8.2%
Starting a run of issues crossing over with ORIGINAL SIN, then another crossover after that. It's been several years since an on-going Marvel book has sustained sales over 100k for more than one or two issues, so this has to be seen as a success.

#4. ORIGINAL SIN #5 (MAR) - 91.4k copies - up 3.3%
#6. ORIGINAL SIN #6 (MAR) - 89.3k copies - down 2.3%
Pretty steady, will probably see a small jump with the last issues.

#5. SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1 (MAR) - 90.7k copies
Decent launch, higher than you'd expect (I'd have guessed 60-70k), and going to be involved in a Spider-Man crossover in a few issues which should keep the numbers steady.

#7. JUSTICE LEAGUE #32 (DC) - 88.2k copies - up 16.3%
A late "bombshell" variant cover boost.

#8. GRAYSON #1 (DC) - 81.4k copies
Better numbers than any issue of NIGHTWING managed, as far back as we have comparable numbers, over double what it was selling recently.

#9. LEGENDARY STAR LORD #1 (MAR) - 78.5k copies
Over twice what you'd have expected if the character weren't appearing in a new movie. I imagine most of the curiosity will be sated by the first issue, but the big launch should give it enough momentum to last longer than the 6-8 issues you'd expect from a STAR LORD series.

#10. HARLEY QUINN #8 (DC) - 76.8k copies - down 17.6%
#16. HARLEY QUINN INVADES COMIC CON #1 (DC) - 65k copies
#80. SECRET ORIGINS #4 (DC) - 37.2k copies - up 31.1%
The new HARLEY QUINN book has been surprisingly successful, down this month only because the popular "bombshell" variant was last month. The COMIC CON special sold in the expected range for an Annual, and the presence of Quinn gave a big boost to SECRET ORIGINS which should be all gone next issue.

#13. SANDMAN OVERTURE #3 (DC) - 72.6k copies - down 19.1%
Falling a bit fast, I don't think slipping from an already slow bi-monthly release schedule to once every four months helps it.  At this rate the ending is still a year away, while originally it should be ending in a few weeks.

#14. SUPERMAN UNCHAINED #7 (DC) - 69.5k copies - down 26.2%
A few issues left to stagger out, has to be seen as a disappointing showing for such a high profile creative team.

#15. BATMAN SUPERMAN #12 (DC) - 68.3k copies - up 27.7%
Another late "bombshell" cover.

#17. BATMAN ETERNAL #13 (DC) - 63.8k copies - up 7.4%
#18. BATMAN ETERNAL #14 (DC) - 63.1k copies - down 1.1%
#22. BATMAN ETERNAL #15 (DC) - 62.1k copies - down 1.6%
#23. BATMAN ETERNAL #16 (DC) - 61.1k copies - down 1.6%
#25. BATMAN ETERNAL #17 (DC) - 60k copies - down 1.9%
No longer returnable with #13, so that accounts for the small jump there as Diamond no longer takes off a portion of sales. Very steady seller overall.

#19. SUPERMAN #33 (DC) - 63k copies - down 34.4%
I'd have to think that they were hoping for a bit more with the new creative team that began with #32, but sales of the book were pretty anemic before.

#20. GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #17 (MAR) - 63k copies - up 14.9%
Small bump to have copies on hand for the film release, most should be gone by the next issue.

#27. LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36 (ARC) - 57.1k copies - up 2664.2%
#42. LIFE WITH ARCHIE #37 (ARC) - 48.8k copies - down 14.4%
#297. LIFE WITH ARCHIE MAGAZINE #36 (ARC) - 6.7k copies
This is the "Death of Alternate Universe Archie" story. Technically I suppose the sales comparison with #35 should be with the magazine version of #36 (which has the story content of the the standard comic version of #36 and #37), since that matched the format. The book always had anemic direct market sales, in the 2-3k range, selling primarily in the mass market until this finale. Don't expect the interest in this to translate to any future interest in any standard Archie books.

#32. OUTCAST #2 (IMA) - 55.1k copies - down 23.2%
Less of a drop than I expected, still returnable so probably shipped closer to 60k. I'll be most curious to see if the first collection can put up anywhere near WALKING DEAD numbers, and how the first issue after the collection does.

#35. TEEN TITANS #1 (DC) - 52.4k copies
#41. NEW SUICIDE SQUAD #1 (DC) - 49.3k copies
Both about twice the sales of the books they replace with similar/identical names. As a quick rule of thumb, an average relaunch will return to previous sales levels in six issues, so if #6 of either stays ahead of those levels I'd chalk it up as a success.

#44. JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #3 (DC) - 47.9k copies - down 23.9%
A bit of a delayed second issue drop thanks to the variant on #2.

#46. STORM #1 (MAR) - 47.6k copies
Seems to be about the expect range for recent solo X-Men books, with NIGHTCRAWLER at 49.4k and CYCLOPS at 47.4k. Given that trend, expect to see this in the 25k range within a few issues.

#59. DOCTOR WHO 11TH #1 (TIT) - 41.1k copies
#67. DOCTOR WHO 10TH #1 (TIT) - 39.7k copies
Interestingly, these sold over twice what any non-crossover DOCTOR WHO book from IDW did, and over four times what any previous Titan comic (in their current incarnation) has managed. Looks like a good marriage of publisher and licence for now, with DOCTOR WHO benefiting from being the biggest book at Titan rather than the fifth most important licensed title at IDW, and DOCTOR WHO being in the Titan listings maybe encouraging a few readers and retailers to pay more attention to those listings in the future. And Titan being a bigger deal outside the US direct market should mean a lot of sales in venues not included in this chart. It'll be interesting to see how the "12th Doctor" book does.

#78. MILES MORALES ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (MAR) - 37.2k copies - down 2.6%
Stabilized very quickly, not sure if the Ultimate line will continue with only one book, or if they'll permanently fold the character into the main Marvel Universe.

#86. MS MARVEL #6 (MAR) - 36k copies - up 6.6%
The endless hype the book has been getting finally translates to a modest increase in sales in the direct market.

#101. BLACK SCIENCE #7 (IMA) - 28.1k copies - up 13.1%
Decent uptick with the "first after collection" issue, and that collection has been selling very well.

#106. STAR WARS #19 (DAR) - 27.2k copies - down 2.5%
One more issue to go, it'll be interesting to see how the Marvel relaunch does. I'm guessing the initial numbers will be high, maybe the 100k range, but down to this range within a few issues, at least until the hype machine for the next movie really starts to rev up.

#111. SUPREME BLUE ROSE #1 (IMA) - 26.1k copies
Significantly higher than any of the previous "Extreme Studios" revivals have done, we'll see if it can sustain decent numbers (or the interest of its creators) for more than a handful of issues.

#115. AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #6 (ARC) - 25.7k copies - down 5.1%
So, turns out the secret to direct market success for Archie was death.

#134. ALL NEW X-FACTOR #10 (MAR) - 22.6k copies - down 4.9%
#135. ALL NEW X-FACTOR #11 (MAR) - 22.4k copies - down 0.6%
#136. ALL NEW INVADERS #7 (MAR) - 22.3k copies - down 4.8%
#137. ALL NEW GHOST RIDER #5 (MAR) - 21.8k copies - down 11.4%
#148. ALL NEW INVADERS #8 (MAR) - 19.9k copies - down 11%
#161. ALL NEW ULTIMATES #5 (MAR) - 18.2k copies - down 11.5%
#209. ALL NEW DOOP #4 (MAR) - 11k copies - down 12.9%
Maybe "All New" isn't as enticing a descriptor as Marvel thinks it is for anything but X-MEN...

#143. RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #33 (DC) - 20.7k copies - down 37.5%
#154. CATWOMAN #33 (DC) - 18.9k copies - down 43.8%
What happens when you go from having a "bombshell" variant to no variant.

#159. STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES GI ZOMBIE #1 (DC) - 18.8k copies
Taking the crown from INFINITY MAN AND THE FOREVER PEOPLE for lowest launching "New 52" book, by a wide margin. It'll be interesting to see if this gets even the usual 8-issue minimum that "New 52" books have gotten.

#163. MIRACLEMAN #8 (MAR) - 17.7k copies - down 7.7%
Not having quite the sales impact that might have been expected.

#169. NAILBITER #3 (IMA) - 16.6k copies - up 9.1%
A fairly rare jump for a third issue indicates some good word-of-mouth.

#172. INFINITY MAN AND THE FOREVER PEOPLE #2 (DC) - 15.9k copies - down 36.2%
Can't be long for the world at this rate.

#173. RAGNAROK #1 (IDW) - 15.6k copies
Decent launch for a creator-owned IDW book.

#184. GROO VS CONAN #1 (DAR) - 13.9k copies
Pretty good sales for both GROO and CONAN in 2014.

#191. DEVILERS #1 (DE) - 12.3k copies
First in a line of books which appear to be company owned but branded "Creators Unleashed". Still a leash on them if the company owns the property, I'd think. Not a bad launch for an original concept book from Dynamite.

#208. ARMOR HUNTERS #2 (VAL) - 11.2k copies - down 31.9%
Top Valiant book for the month, most of the line is under 10k, and some are starting to fall off the Top 300.

#228. LUMBERJANES #4 (BOO) - 10k copies - up 9.2%
Back to the sales level of #2.

#233. NEW VAMPIRELLA #2 (DE) - 9.4k copies - down 58.7%
Steep drop, but still double what OLD VAMPIRELLA finished with.

#267. UBER #15 (AVA) - 7.5k copies - down 0.5%
Coming soon, LYFT and HAXI.

#272. DOCTOR SPEKTOR #2 (DE) - 7.3k copies - down 55.6%
Another massive second issue drop from the new Gold Key revival. Not sure how long that line can continue, although I think it's surpassed the Dark Horse version.

#290. BLACK KISS XXXMAS IN JULY SPECIAL ONE SHOT (IMA) - 6.8k copies
Pretty much held the sales of the last issue of BLACK KISS II, which is pretty good for a book seven months late and double the price.

#299. ANGRY BIRDS COMICS #2 (IDW) - 6.6k copies - down 44.5%
Can't see this having any legs in the direct market, but maybe will be a successful in other markets.

2014-08-11

New Chart Day Link Roundup

Been slow on the linking lately, so some catch-up here on new chart day.

July numbers are up, Comichron has the charts, the market summary and  some commentary, as does ICV2 (comic chart, books chart, summary and analysis) and John Mayo at CBR (charts and commentary) It looks like the short period of Diamond releasing the Top 400 for comics is over, unfortunately. I looked briefly as what those extra 100 entries a month included over here, I was looking forward to seeing more as we got enough months of information.

And just catching up, we got the July Bookscan numbers from ICV2 up here. Basically a lot of Batman, a lot of ATTACK ON TITAN, Bryan Lee O'Malley's first post-SCOTT PILGRIM book doing very well  (even with the sales bifurcated by an exclusive edition in one major store).

Beat articles for June are up for DC and Marvel. Note that the writer of the Indie chart for The Beat is stepping down and they're looking for a replacement, so contact them if you're interested.

John Mayo's sales report podcasts are catching up from the convention season, June Trades episode is up now, expect the Comics one up soon, and the July episodes probably soon after that.

To be discussed here on the July numbers in the next few weeks, obviously the absurdly high sales of ROCKET RACCOON. There's the expected across-the-board drop in the DC books that got the "bombshell variant" bump last month, generally losing about half the increase, with most of them having "Batman 75" variants. There's the continuing success of HARLEY QUINN, which this month saw SECRET ORIGINS get a 30% bump with #4. The Books chart is about typical, with around 55% new books and 45% backlist (I'm still going through it trying to weed out a few "new editions" and deciding which should be counted as new books). As you'd expect, a new WALKING DEAD book is always going to dominate (unless a new SAGA comes in the same month). O'Malley's SECONDS does well there as well, it'll be interesting to see if it has the legs in the direct market that SCOTT PILGRIM did (the SCOTT PILGRIM books don't hit the Top 300 much anymore, but the first one was a pretty consistent presence there for about four years bracketing the release of the film adaptation). More soon.

2014-08-04

Observations on June 2014 Comics Chart - Launches

A few thoughts on some of the new series on the June 2014 charts.

OUTCAST #1 (IMA) - 71.8k
This was returnable, so it probably shipped closer to 80k in North America, plus no doubt a good amount to other markets, I wouldn't be surprised if this reports sales over 100k by the end of the year. It'll be interesting to see if this follows the standard current Image trends of a 30-40% drop with #2.

ORIGINAL SIN 3.x #1 (MAR) - 45.3k
Confusingly numbered tie-in to the current crossover from Marvel, not selling great compared to the main series, but better than the regular Hulk and Iron Man books that it most closely connects with.

SAVAGE HULK #1 (MAR) - 44.2k
The main Hulk title isn't likely to sell more than 35-40k these days, so you'd expect a spin-off to be doing good selling 25-30k, which this will be within a few issues.

WICKED & DIVINE #1 (IMA) - 42.9k
Strong start for an Image book, especially compared to the sub-5k sales on previous Image books by the same creators before their recent Marvel work.

ORIGINAL SINS #1 (MAR) - 39.7k
Also confusingly numbered as a plural of the parent series, selling about half the level of the main series.

BATMAN 66 MEETS GREEN HORNET #1 (DC) - 33k
A "digital first" book, but with a much smaller digital exclusive window than most of DC's digital first books (just a few weeks), and with an interesting hook. Should continue to do well.

INFINITY MAN AND THE FOREVER PEOPLE #1 (DC) - 24.9k
I think this is the lowest launch of any New 52 "on going" title, below even books like GREEN TEAM. So far every book has been given at least eight issues before cancellation, but this might beat that.

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA #1 (BOO) - 24.2k
Seriously, this is a comic being published in 2014.

NEW VAMPIRELLA #1 (DE) - 22.9k
Doesn't really seem too different from old Vampirella.

ARMOR HUNTERS #1 (VAL) - 16.5k


TMNT TURTLES IN TIME #1 (IDW) - 13.8k


RISE OF THE MAGI #1 (IMA) - 13.3k


TINY TITANS RETURN TO THE TREEHOUSE #1 (DC) - 13k
The previous series maintained sales in the 7-8k range a couple of years ago, this might wind up slightly ahead of that.

FIGMENT #1 (MAR) - 12.7k


WILDFIRE #1 (IMA) - 12.6k


STAR TREK CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER #1 (IDW) - 12k


ANGRY BIRDS COMICS #1 (IDW) - 11.9k


BLOOD QUEEN #1 (DE) - 10.4k


CARTOON NETWORK SUPER SECRET CRISIS WAR #1 (IDW) - 10.2k


RED CITY #1 (IMA) - 9.9k


WINTERWORLD #1 (IDW) - 8k


EMPTY MAN #1 (BOO) - 7.7k


WITCHFINDER MYSTERIES OF UNLAND #1 (DAR) - 7.4k


SUPERANNUATED MAN #1 (IMA) - 7.3k


AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL #1 (BOO) - 7.3k


THOMAS ALSOP #1 (BOO) - 6.3k


PAINKILLER JANE 22 BRIDES #1 (MAR) - 6.1k


PRINCESS UGG #1 (ONI) - 6k


DOODLE JUMP #1 (DE) - 5.9k


JIM BUTCHER DRESDEN FILES WAR CRY #1 (DE) - 5.8k


EYE OF NEWT #1 (DAR) - 5.1k


2014-08-03

Observations on June 2014 Comics Chart - Second Issue Drops

Always one of the first things I look at in the new chart, the drops on the second issues. And as usual, all of them were drops, though one came close to staying even. The average drop remains just over 30%.


RAI #2 (VAL) - down 54%
29.1k to 13.4k
Pretty typical for Valiant, especially when they make the first issue returnable. Should still remain above average for a Valiant book for a few more issues.

MADAME FRANKENSTEIN #2 (IMA) - down 52%
9.8k to 4.7k
A much higher than normal fall for an Image book these days, not sure why.

CHAOS #2 (DE) - down 47%
19.5k to 10.4k
Hard to believe that the Chaos line of comics was actually a pretty major seller in the 1990s (though primarily with the character Lady Death, not included in this revival). I don't expect any of the books in the line (and it looks like a lot of them are coming up) will be able to maintain sales higher than 10k.

LITTLEST PET SHOP #2 (IDW) - down 44%
8.2k to 4.6k


ORDINARY #2 (TIT) - down 40%
2.7k to 1.7k


BRASS SUN #2 (REB) - down 38%
2.8k to 1.7k


MPH #2 (IMA) - down 38%
35.6k to 21.9k


BEE AND PUPPYCAT #2 (BOO) - down 38%
12.2k to 7.6k


PATHFINDER CITY SECRETS #2 (DE) - down 35%
7.1k to 4.6k


COWL #2 (IMA) - down 35%
20.9k to 13.6k


CYCLOPS #2 (MAR) - down 34%
47.5k to 31.1k


NAILBITER #2 (IMA) - down 33%
22.7k to 15.2k


WOODS #2 (BOO) - down 33%
13.9k to 9.4k


DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU #2 (MAR) - down 32%
19.3k to 13.1k


DREAM POLICE #2 (IMA) - down 31%
11.8k to 8.1k
This is about an average second issue drop in 2014, so anything below this is doing relatively okay, if they stabalize quickly.

CLIVE BARKERS NIGHTBREED #2 (BOO) - down 27%
7.8k to 5.7k


UNITED STATES OF MURDER INC #2 (MAR) - down 27%
18.5k to 13.6k
Still well above the 10k that the long running POWERS from the same creators manages.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1.x #2 (MAR) - down 26%
116.6k to 86.3k
Still doing much better than it would be if it was an independently named and numbered mini-series.

GFT WARLORD OF OZ #2 (ZEN) - down 25%
7.8k to 5.8k


DEJAH OF MARS #2 (DE) - down 24%
7.1k to 5.4k


SHEENA #2 (MOO) - down 23%
3.9k to 3k


TREES #2 (IMA) - down 20%
31.9k to 25.5k
According to the writer final orders on this were just over 30k, which makes sense when you adjust for returnability and UK sales. There were also reportedly substantial re-orders for #1, but not enough to make the Top 300, which is all Diamond reported this month. Decent enough retention of first issue orders.

MILES MORALES ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #2 (MAR) - down 17%
45.9k to 38.2k
Held on to more of those first issue numbers than I expected it to, based on other Marvel launches, and especially recent Ultimate line launches.

ORIGINAL SINS #2 (MAR) - down 9%
39.7k to 36.1k
Spin-off to the ORIGINAL SIN crossover, the first issue was also in June. Selling less than half the parent book, which isn't that great, but at least maintaining those numbers.

STAR WARS DARTH MAUL SON OF DATHOMIR #2 (DAR) - down 7%
17.1k to 15.8k
One of the last Dark Horse STAR WARS comics before they lose the license. Looks like retailers had a good idea of the market for that.

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #2 (DC) - down 2%
64.2k to 62.9k
As already discussed, a beneficiary of DC's variant cover scheme this month. Most of the books got more than a 30% bump instead of their usual 2-3% drop. Without the variant, this probably would have been down below 50k, lower than any issue of the JLA title it replaced.

Observations on June 2014 Comics Chart - The Rising

Other than the already discussed "Bombshell" covers from DC, here are the comics in June which had significant increases over the previous issues.

MANIFEST DESTINY #7 (IMA) +45%
14.9k to 21.5k
First issue after the $10 tradepaperback, looks like there's some interest in the book.

WITCHBLADE #175 (IMA) +30%
6k to 7.8k
This title always gets a hefty bump every time the issue number is divisible by 25, and it always goes away with the next issue.

TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #12 (IDW) +25%
6.1k to 7.6k
Doesn't appear to be a specific reason for this, other than the amped up publicity for the characters with the upcoming movie.

NOVA #18 (MAR) +20%
21.7k to 25.9k
Tie-in with Marvel's current crossover, which gets a modest bump which will likely carry over for the next few crossover issues before dissipating.

SEX CRIMINALS #6 (IMA) +16%
22.6k to 26.3k
First issue after what's reprinted in the first collection, which has sold very well with over 16k in the direct market, and making the Bookscan Top 10 in May.

WOLVERINE #8 (MAR) +16%
35k to 40.5k
A small increase for the beginning of the storyline which permanently kills Wolverine for all time.

WORLD OF ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #40 (ARC) +13%
0.9k to 1.1k


FIVE GHOSTS #12 (IMA) +12%
5.7k to 6.4k
Last scheduled issue of the series when it came out, those it was since announced that it continues with #13 in the fall.

SIMPSONS ILLUSTRATED #11 (BON) +11%
2.8k to 3.2k


GHOST #5 (DAR) +11%
6.1k to 6.7k
New creative team and storyline.

ARCHIE #656 (ARC) +10%
3.7k to 4.1k


UNITY #8 (VAL) +9%
8.7k to 9.4k
Crossover with the ARMOR HUNTERS series launching this month at 16.4k

ADVENTURE TIME #29 (BOO) +8%
12.8k to 13.8k


ALL NEW INVADERS #6 (MAR) +7%
21.8k to 23.5k
Crossover

B & V FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #239 (ARC) +6%
1.2k to 1.2k


MANHATTAN PROJECTS #21 (IMA) +6%
14.3k to 15.1k
First issue after most recent collection, where the series has been selling solidly.

GHOSTBUSTERS #17 (IDW) +6%
6.1k to 6.4k


STAR TREK ONGOING #34 (IDW) +5%
9.7k to 10.2k

2014-07-14

DC Bombshell sales increases

For June, DC had variant covers scheduled for 21 of their books (19 of which actually came out in June) with the theme "Bombshells", modern takes on classic pin-up art. They've been doing such themed variant months for a while, with themes like "Scribblenauts" or "Robot Chicken" or "Batman 66", but previously the orders for the books were limited by retailer orders for the regular covers, usually 1 for 25 (retailers could order 1 variant for every 25 regular covers they ordered). Starting with the "Bombshells" one, they changed that to give retailers the option to order as many of the variants as they wished. This led to a massive across the board increase in sales for those 19 comics, with one interesting exception.

Sorted by percentage increase:

SUPERMAN == +119.9%
BATWOMAN == +81.6%
CATWOMAN == +67.3%
WONDER WOMAN == +57.3%
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS == +55.6%
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK == +50.8%
BATGIRL == +49.9%
HARLEY QUINN == +49.3%
GREEN LANTERN CORPS == +43.2%
AQUAMAN == +39.8%
FLASH == +37.8%
EARTH 2 == +36.9%
ACTION COMICS == +34.9%
DETECTIVE COMICS == +33.9%
BATMAN AND == +33.6%
SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN == +31.1%
GREEN LANTERN == +28.7%
BATMAN == +21%
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED == -2%

Of course, SUPERMAN also had a high-profile new creative team, so it would probably have had a big increase anyway, but probably not quite as high an increase.  The only one to drop in sales was JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED, which was the second issue. In normal circumstances, that #2 would have seen at least a 20% drop, so holding at just a 2% drop is effectively a large increase in the range of the other books.

Sorted by units:

SUPERMAN == +48.6k copies
HARLEY QUINN == +30.8k copies
BATMAN == +22.6k copies
DETECTIVE COMICS == +18.5k copies
WONDER WOMAN == +17.6k copies
BATGIRL == +15.8k copies
BATWOMAN == +15.1k copies
SUPERMAN WONDER WOMAN == +14.9k copies
ACTION COMICS == +14.3k copies
BATMAN AND == +14.2k copies
CATWOMAN == +13.6k copies
FLASH == +12.9k copies
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK == +12.9k copies
AQUAMAN == +12.8k copies
EARTH 2 == +12.7k copies
GREEN LANTERN == +12.5k copies
GREEN LANTERN CORPS == +12.3k copies
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS == +11.8k copies
JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED == -1.3k copies

Taking out the two special case extreme values, it looks like the gimmick was good for about an average of 15k copies, or a 45% increase.

The same open order variant covers continue with the themes for July ("Batman 75"), August ("Selfie") and October ("Monsters"), with September having the 3-D covers for their "Futures End" one-shots, so we'll see how the sales do with those themes. I suspect that they'll all decrease from the June numbers, but stay ahead of the May base numbers for a few months.

New Chart Day Link Roundup

June Diamond charts are up. For some reason it looks like Diamond went back to just releasing the Top 300 for the comics (plus some scattered lower entries from the Small Press / Indy charts), which is a shame. That extra information was potentially interesting, if you got a good long run of it together.

Comichron has John Jackson Miller's chart over here, and some analysis here. Miller also has some other interesting posts recently, like an overview of 54 years of Archie sales figures, and it looks like he'll have some overall market data for 2013 up soon.

ICV2 has their Comics chart here, and Graphic Novels here. Analysis here.

A few quick observations.  The Books chart is just over half backlist (144 new, 156 backlist), thanks partly to a lot of discount items from DC this time around (for example, ABSOLUTE SUPERMAN FOR TOMORROW shipped over 1800 copies at fire sale prices averaging over 80% last month, and it's a book which only shipped about 1200 copies in the first month of release back in 2009). SAGA is still king of the backlist, with the three volumes being the top three backlist items and in the Top 10 of all book items. And of course AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE was the biggest new release by a wide margin, a first for Archie in that format.

Over on the Comics side, a bit of an aberration thanks to DC's themed variant covers. Until now, the availability of those variants was limited by retailer orders of the main cover (1 for 25). Starting in June, with the "Bombshell variants", DC allowed retailers to order as many as they wished. This led to an average increase on books with the variant of about 45% (not counting SUPERMAN, which also had a high profile new creative team, and JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED which was on its second issue, and only fell 2% from sales of #1, which is effectively a 30%+ increase from expected sales). It remains to be seen if this particular variant theme was especially enticing or if the upcoming ones ("Batman 75" in July, "Selfies" in August, "Monsters" in October) deliver comparable results. I don't expect them to, but they should keep sales higher than the May base level.

Other than that, business as usual, lots of big second issue drops, averaging over 30%, a few surprisingly high launches, we'll see if any of them hold on to most of those numbers, and a few modest increases which might be sustainable content based rather than one-off gimmick based.