The November charts are up

November numbers are up at the usual places, including Comichron. Check the other links in the sidebar. It might be the last fairly normal month for a while, with a lot of chart deforming events coming up, including a Loot Crate exclusive cover for BATMAN #36 which will probably more than double the 115k it shipped in November, various Star Wars launches at Marvel next year, with a print run for #1 reportedly already over 1 million (and dozens of covers), possibly not all of those going through the direct market.

Top book was AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9, which launched an event and had many extra covers. Not surprisingly, #10 dropped right down to normal sales for the title, which are still respectable in the current market. The actual main SPIDER-VERSE event it launched is down a bit further in the charts, about half of what #9 sold. Second issues continue to have average drops in the 33% range, which seems to be the new normal. A big increase for INHUMAN #8, about 70%, apparently engineered by shipping many free copies. The retail rank indicates that it saw a pretty big drop in actual paid copies. The 64% increase for the new creative team on WONDER WOMAN #36 was probably more genuine, though probably short-lived.

On the books chart, 161 new items, 139 backlist, which is about normal for a month without DC or Marvel doing a huge high-discount dump (although there is some of that on this chart). New WALKING DEAD TP book is of course on top, only a few books can ship over 20k out of the gate like that. TEEN TITANS EARTH ONE HC VOL 01 did pretty good at almost 9k, but still only about half the first month sales of the previous EARTH ONE books. SAGA DLX ED HC VOL 01 did remarkably well for a $50 book at over 8k, which also gives it the top retail rank.

Maybe more later this week if I have time, otherwise look forward to the year-end numbers coming up soon.


A look at some specific numbers - WYTCHES #1

Sorry I haven't been updating lately. I might have some time this month to do some of the playing with spreadsheets that I've been wanting to do, especially if the November numbers are reasonably normal. Check the links in the sidebar for the latest updated charts, articles and podcasts.

I did want to take a look at a rare example of a publisher giving precise sales numbers.


On WYTCHES #1 : "Image has confirmed that the issue has reached 92,131 copies between its first two printings, with the first printing netting 81,083 in initial retailer orders."

The second print didn't ship until November, so the October numbers should represent the first print numbers only (and the second print should make the November charts).

On the October charts, WYTCHES #1 came in at 67,996, However, it was returnable, and Diamond makes an adjustment for that. The common wisdom is that they reduce the number by 10%, which would put the estimates sales at 75,551. That still leaves a gap of 5532 copies. I'd assume that the number Image reported was the entire print run, including Diamond UK, which isn't included in the North American sales estimates. The common wisdom there is that Diamond UK represents around 10% of the the sales, but that varies wildly by specific book (and down to 0% for some items with licensing or content restrictions), so at about 7% that might seem a bit on the low side, but there were also a number of retailer-specific variant covers for WYTCHES #1 which would definitely lean the numbers more towards North America.

So the numbers would seem to make sense. My initial guess when I read about the print run was that the estimates would come in about 66,000, before I looked at the specific variants which would lean it towards North American sales.


New Chart Day Early Links

Some charts are up early this time around. I'll have the full summary of links up early next week, but until then here's ICV2's version of the Top 300 Comics and Top 300 Graphic Novels.

As you'd expect, last month's top comic, ROCKET RACCOON #1, took a big dive with #2, down over 80% to a still highly unrealistically high 56.6k. That's one of the biggest single issue drops on the chart in the time that we have comparable statistics (I suspect some early 1990s second issue drops beat it with ease), especially if you discount cases where the drop was after a bargain priced $1 first issue.. MULTIVERSITY is the top debut at 90.5k, which is pretty good for a $5 book, it'll be interesting to see how its release as a series of one-shots does. I'm guessing about 50-60k by the last issue. Two issues of HARLEY QUINN came out and demonstrate the difference between open order variants (#9, 71.5k) and limited variants (#10, 58.5k). Average second issue drops were about 35%.

Over on the Graphic Novels side, THANOS INFINITY REVELATION was the top book, and the most successful of Marvel's current series of original graphic novels. None of the previous ones have shown much legs as backlist, we'll see if this one is different. The Top 300 was almost evenly split new releases (155 books) and backlist (145). DC had a lot of backlist stuff on sale this time around. SAGA continues to do well as backlist, with all three books in the top 10, and representing the top three Image books.

More on these charts soon.


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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

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.

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


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

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



BLOOD QUEEN #1 (DE) - 10.4k


RED CITY #1 (IMA) - 9.9k


EMPTY MAN #1 (BOO) - 7.7k




THOMAS ALSOP #1 (BOO) - 6.3k



DOODLE JUMP #1 (DE) - 5.9k


EYE OF NEWT #1 (DAR) - 5.1k


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.

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

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

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.

7.8k to 5.7k

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.

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.

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.

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.