The State of the Industry, August 2017
The market of comic books has always been volatile. One month may show a massive increase in sales across the board, another might show a huge drop. August sales were one of those drops, with a reported 20% fall from July. What is causing such a stunning fluctuation, so soon after great strides from DC’s Rebirth initiative? Reader fatigue in cost? Trends changing too fast for the market to keep up? General interest on the wane? I’ll try to suss out an answer as State of the Industry pours over the Top 300.
The top ten comics for the month of August were:
- Dark Nights: Metal #1 (DC) – 262k
- Batman #28 (DC) – 105k
- Batman #29 (DC) – 101k
- Secret Empire #10 (Marvel) – 86k
- Generations: Wolverine and All-New Wolverine #1 (Marvel) – 85.7k
- Secret Empire #8 (Marvel) – 81k
- Secret Empire #9 (Marvel) – 77k
- Generations: Unworthy Thor and Mighty Thor (Marvel) – 76k
- Star Wars #34 (Marvel) – 66.6k
- Star Wars #35 (Marvel) 66k
Marvel once again dominates the top ten, but not in any great way. With only two titles selling over 100k, with both from DC, it’s looking justifiably strange at both Marvel and DC. Six titles filled out the list here, really stressing the multitude of solicitations for single titles. Considering that only Batman is still under 3 bucks, that’s a lot of money to a small portion of the ever-shrinking audience. It’s shameful.
Batman numbers dropped around an average of 1500 copies from July. Secret Empire was all over the place, with only the final issue holding the same numbers from initial orders of #6. Star Wars dropped about 9k, a significant loss from July. With sales at 20 percent lower than July, it’s unlikely that any of the remaining three titles will remain in the top ten for September. Sales were so low that the titles from July’s top ten fell considerably more than usual. Astonishing X-Men #2 fell 71k from July, all the way down to the 22nd spot on the chart. Deadpook Kills the Marvel Universe Again dropped an average of 20.5k copies between the two solicited issues. Even the steadfast Walking Dead shed about 2k over the month. Spider-Men II #2 lost 26k copies. Most of the losses here are not a new trend, just the norm.
As stated, Batman was the highest-selling title under $3. The Walking Dead held its reign as highest-selling independent series. As with last month, Marvel had a one-dollar title in the top 300. True Believers Kirby 100th Introducing the Mighty Thor #1 charted at 98 with sales of 23k, beating out titles such as Punisher and Batgirl.
The 100th title on the chart was Jessica Jones #11, selling 22.7k. Last month, Iron Fist held this spot, with about the same numbers. He fell to 129 on the chart, shedding 5k for the sixth issue.
#200 was the nineteenth issue of Low, from Image, with 10.1k in sales. That’s a few hundred copies more than Predator Hunters #3, which held this spot last month. That title fell 27 spots, shedding about 400 copies in sales.
And finally, in short:
- G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #242 (IDW) 5,882
- Kill the Minotaur #3 (Image) – 5,834
- Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers #4 (Udon) – 5,801
- Grass Kings #6 (Boom!) – 5,800 – tie
- James Bond: Kill Chain #2 (Dynamite) – 5,800 – tie
- Scooby Doo Team Up #29 (DC) – 5,778
- Rom vs. Transformers Shining Armor #2 (IDW) – 5,769
- Sex Criminals #20 (Image) – 5,691
- Hi-Fi Fight Club #1 (Boom!) – 5,671
- G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #243 (IDW) – 5,645
- Jimmy’s Bastards #3 (Aftershock) – 5,621
Much could be made for the sales figures being so much lower overall, but that just makes the Bottom of the Top 300 that much crazier. Numbers here were about 12-1500 copies higher per title than in July, not unusual for the fluctuations in sales per month. Suffice it to say, none of the titles listed here last month charted this month.
The current focus title, Unholy Grail from Aftershock, fell from #156 to #254 on the chart for its second issue. It lost about 5700 in sales, not a small drop from a first to second issue, but not one it can’t overcome, either. State of the Industry will continue to watch the title.
Next month, expect more fluctuations and more new titles creeping into the top ten.
The legal proprieties must be followed! All sales numbers are extrapolated from the ICv2 website, which can be found at www.icv2.com. They themselves get the list from Diamond Comics Distributors, Inc., which must have credit for the information, understandably. It should be made clear that these figures are only for Diamond sales for North America and does not include sales through Diamond UK or copies purchased by Diamond for their own inventory. Some companies also self-distribute as well as through Diamond. Self-distributed copies are not unaccounted for on this list. Diamond has its own website which you can find HERE.