March 2015 Diamond Charts available

The March 2015 Diamond numbers are up. Here's John Mayo's version at CBR, see the sidebar for links to other charts and columns.

The Graphic Books chart has 147 new items and 153 backlist items, give or take, depending on whether you choose to count the movie cover edition of KINGSMAN or the new edition of DRAGONLANCE CHRONICLES (previously from Devil's Due, now from IDW) as new or backlist. I counted both of those as new.

The top 10 backlist items were:


Over on the Comics chart, a few anomalies with Star Wars still having a big effect with its recent publisher shift, now accounting for four of the top 10. Presumably this will continue through the year as the hype machine for the the next movie grinds on and more comics directly dealing with the movie (preludes, adaptations and probably eventually follow-ups) come out. DC had kind of an odd month, with several of their top books (most notably BATMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE) running late and missing the month. It'll be quite a while before there's anything approaching a normal month again, with DC's CONVERGENCE and subsequent launch of almost two dozen new books and Marvel's SECRET WARS and whatever comes after that both taking up the next few months.

Second issues averaged a drop of 37%, although that somewhat unfairly includes the 97.9% drop of ORPHAN BLACK #2 after the Loot Crate propelled half-million sales of #1. Without that the #2 drop was around 34%, which is close to normal.


Various new charts

Brian Hibbs has his analysis of the 2014 Bookscan charts in his Tilting at Windmills column, including a link to a spreadsheet of the top 750 comics.

ICV2 has their Bookscan Top 20 for February up now. Note for those comparing past charts, this particular chart was recently changed to include non-fiction, so now includes several books (those by Roz Chast and John Lewis this month) which wouldn't have been included before.

The February 2015 Diamond numbers are also up at the usual places, including Comichron. See sidebar for links to the other usual charts and articles.

A few quick notes on the Diamond numbers, since I probably won't get around to any longer post this month. Obviously, as noted everywhere, the ORPHAN BLACK debut at #1 with 497k is almost entirely due to it being included in Loot Crate. For comparison, the previous highest selling IDW book was MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #1 in 2012, at 80k. Also, note that it only ranked #3 in Diamond's Dollar Rank, indicating a higher than normal discount off cover price (previous Loot Crate propelled #1 books outsold the other books that month by such a margin that a higher discount wouldn't be evident).

It would be incredibly surprising if #2 sells more than 10% of what #1 did. Which means the 84% drop that STAR WARS #2 posted probably won't last as the highwater mark for second issue drops (if you ignore books with promotionally priced $1 first issues). Second issues as a whole dropped an average of 35%.

The Top 300 Graphic Novels chart was almost evenly split, 152 new items, 148 backlist, which seems to be about normal now in months where there's no evidence of massive backlist sales from Marvel or DC. There are around 90 books which you can count on to chart almost every month (I'll try to update that list this month), not too many surprises overall.


January 2015 Diamond Charts

Diamond has up the preliminary January 2015 numbers, Top 100 Comics here, Top 100 Graphic Novels here and Top Charts here. The usual sources should have the full Top 300 charts and estimates up tomorrow.

The index value should wind up being around 1120-1140. That should mean that STAR WARS #1 will just make it over 1 million copies (it needs the index value to be over 1118 to hit that mark).

Looks like I guessed on the high side, with the numbers at Comichron coming in with an index of 1102.32, putting STAR WARS just 14k shy of 1 million. It probably makes that up with Diamond UK numbers, and the second printing in February will put it over for Diamond US.


Observations on the Diamond 2014 Charts

Comichron has the Diamond Top 1000 Comics and Graphic Novels charts over here.

No big surprises in the Comics chart that you couldn't glean from the monthly charts. The two big anomalies are AVENGERS #35 and WINTER SOLDIER BITTER MARCH #1. The monthly charts suggest sales around 50.6k and 31.1k respectively, while the year-end numbers come in at 105.5k and 65.7k, slightly more than double the expected sales. Apparently Marvel double shipped those books to retailers, and Diamond didn't count the free copies in the monthly numbers, but did in the year-end. Another double-shipped book, INHUMAN #8, counted the free copies in both the monthly year-end charts. Other than those anomalies, most books are within a few percentage points of their expected sales from the monthly charts, with a few moving up or down a few places due to their monthly numbers being reduced for returnability or having consistent below-the-radar reorder activity.

The Top 1000 Graphic Novels list is much more interesting, because it's actually possible for a book to never make the monthly Top 300 but still accumulate enough sales over the year to make the Top 1000. The list bottoms out at 1749 copies in 2014, which means an average monthly sale of 146 copies will get you on the list. I discussed the topic for the 2013 charts over here. For 2014, there were 145 titles on the chart that were never on the monthly list.

Three can be dismissed as categorization errors:
46 Minecraft Official Mojang Essential Handbook HC - 10711
824 Mike Mignola Hellboy Artist Ed - 2054
902 Steranko Nick Fury Agent of Shield Artist Ed HC - 1918

Those were put on the "Books" chart by Diamond in their initial release months, but moved to the "Graphic Novel" chart for year-end numbers. Other Minecraft and Artist Edition books were sometimes classed as "Books", other times as "Graphic Novels".

That leaves 142 books which stayed under-#300 during the year but still sold over 1749 copies. The top book in that category is #288, Aquaman Vol. 2 The Others, with 4101 copies, or about 342 a month on average.  Here's the breakdown of the 142 by publisher:

DC -- 90
Marvel -- 14
Image -- 12
Dark Horse -- 10
Oni -- 4
Boom -- 3
IDW -- 2
Scholastic -- 2
Abstract -- 1
Avatar -- 1
Dynamite -- 1
Random House -- 1
Viz -- 1

DC has a lot of Vertigo (Fables, Y The Last Man, Sandman, etc) and a lot of Batman, plus early volumes of their New 52 books and some old crossovers (including Crisis on Infinite Earths).

Deadpool is the most common Marvel book in this category with five books, plus two each of Hulk and X-Men and some single books.

Image has a few later volumes of series like Chew and Fatale, a few first volumes of on-going books and some Walking Dead hardcovers.

Dark Horse has two each of Serenity and Umbrella Academy, plus various single books, mostly first volumes.

Oni is all Scott Pilgrim, the new colour volumes mostly.

Boom has their cartoon adaptations, Adventure Time and Bravest Warrior.

IDW is all Locke & Key.

Scholastic has the first volumes of Bone and Amulet.

Abstract, Avatar, Dynamite, Random House and Viz all are represented by the first volumes of Crossed, Sailor Moon, Boys, Rachel Rising and Legend of Zelda, not necessarily in that order.

More on the charts later.


December 2014 Diamond Charts

Diamond charts for December are starting to come out. Here are ICV2's versions of the Comics and Graphic Novels Top 300. Other usual sources will update in the next few days, use the links in the sidebar.

First thing to note, DC does not appear to have used Diamond as the middleman in the Loot Crate version of BATMAN #36, which has the potential to be an order in the range of 250k. This probably cost them slightly in the Diamond marketshare, but saved them a lot otherwise.

No big comics debuts this month, so the top two comics and only ones over 100k are BATMAN and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Top debut is SHIELD at #3 with 94.5k. The AVENGERS AND X-MEN AXIS event finished weakly at under 70k for the last issue. ANGELA ASGARD'S ASSASSIN debuts at 61.4k, expect that to be down in the 30k range within a few issues. SANDMAN OVERTURE took a pretty big tumble with #4, over 19%, but it's marked as returnable (presumably for lateness) so sales might have been adjusted down. MULTIVERSITY continues to underwhelm, dropping below 48k.

Average second issue drop is up to 37%, and that's with SPIDER-VERSE TEAM UP keeping down the average with just a 3% drop. Biggest drop was GEORGE PEREZ SIRENS at over 60%, but INTERSECT, HUMANS and ALL NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA not far behind at over 58% each.

Only a few noteworthy increases this month. SAVAGE DRAGON makes the Top 300 for the first time in almost a year with #200, hard to quantify the increase without more data, but probably over 50%.  Likely out of the Top 300 again with #201. SHUTTER and EAST OF WEST return from short breaks with new storylines launching and 40%+ increases in orders. INFINITY MAN AND THE FOREVER PEOPLE got a 20% increase for tying in with the Green Lantern books. That increase will be gone soon, as will the title. DOCTOR WHO 11TH saw a small 8% increase for some reason while AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE returned from a long unscheduled publishing gap with a 6% increase.

Haven't had a chance to really go over the Graphic Novels chart yet, but it looks like it's nearly evenly split with 157 new items and 143 backlist. SAGA TP VOL 04 did very well, outselling the next item that should be on the chart by a better than five to one margin (the #2 book, Marvel's CAPTAIN AMERICA PEGGY CARTER AGENT OF SHIELD #1 should be on the comics chart based on most factors). Overall it was a pretty standard month on the charts. More when I have the full numbers and the year-end numbers.


Hibbs on retailer ordering

Brian Hibbs has an interesting column this month about the number of titles currently being published and how he orders them for his stores. There are a huge number of titles which get little or no sales in his stores, either through pre-orders or shelf copies. Looking at the total market numbers from Diamond, I'd guess that's true of a lot of stores.


2014 Year End Sales

We're starting to get the 2014 year end sales. I'll update this post with relevant links as they come in.

Diamond's Top 500 Comics with index
Diamond's Top 500 Graphic Novels with index

The index point for those charts will probably end up being around 1133 [edited to add, turned out to be 1132.55 according to Comichron, so almost nailed it. Here are the definitive Top 1000 charts, if I ever cite 2014 Diamond sales that's the page I'm using].

Using that, on the Comics chart AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 will come in at about 559k, WALKING DEAD #132 at 326k, BATMAN #32 at 133k, SERENITY LEAVES ON THE WIND #1 at 70k and LIFE WITH ARCHIE COMIC #36 at 57k.

On the books side, SAGA TP VOL 03 is about 62.2k, BATMAN TP VOL 01 THE COURT OF OWLS is about 24.8k, GUARDIANS OF GALAXY TP VOL 01 COSMIC AVENGERS is about 23.8k, AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE TP VOL 01 is about 13.8k, AVATAR LAST AIRBENDER TP VOL 07 RIFT PART 1 is about 11.5k, NEMO ROSES OF BERLIN HC is about 10.8k.

ICV2 has the Top 1000 for each category (501-1000 for Comics, 501-1000 for Graphic Novels). Unfortunately no index values, although they do have the retail rank which points out a few interesting anomalies, like comics which the publisher overshipped or older books which were blown out at high discounts. I'll wait to see if the info is posted elsewhere with index values or estimated sales (at Comichron, most likely) before looking too closely, but here are the top publishers by number of entries on each chart:

Comics - Entries in Top 1000
Marvel - 512
DC - 407
Image - 57
Dark Horse - 14
Archie - 4
Titan - 3
Dynamite - 1
Valiant - 1
IDW - 1

Graphic Novels - Entries in Top 1000
DC - 393
Marvel - 251
Image - 115
Dark Horse - 88
IDW - 36
Random House - 25
Boom - 19
Viz - 17
Oni - 10

The Beat has five Top 100 charts, one for Manga and two each (Comics and GNs) for Small Press and Indie publishers, as Diamond defines them. There's a lot of overlap in those categories, if you combine them you get 367 distinct titles.