The State of the Industry, July 2017
It’s been nearly a year since the last sales recap of State of the Industry, an unintentionally long respite between From the Hip and Pint O’ Comics. Your humble archivist apologizes, as these missives have become such an important part of at least one of you readers’ lives.
Many changes have occurred during the year, from the continued rise of DC’s Rebirth titles, the inception of DC’s new Young Animal line, the fall of many a Marvel title to the public backlash of much of what Marvel has been publishing. Adding to that, numerous new independent companies have risen, such as Aftershock and Black Mask, while companies such as Lion Forge and the venerable Valiant continue to shake their proverbial fists at the naysayers by publishing good, diverse product. It’s a good time to be a comic book reader, but do the sales trends agree?
The top ten comics for the month of July are:
- Dark Days: The Casting #1 (DC) – 128k
- Astonishing X-Men #1 (Marvel) – 122k
- Batman #26 (DC) – 107k
- Batman #27 (DC) – 102k
- Secret Empire #6 (Marvel) – 86k
- Secret Empire #7 (Marvel) – 81k
- Star Wars #33 (Marvel) – 75k
- Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again #1 (Marvel) – 74k
- The Walking Dead #169 (Image) – 68k
- Spider-Men II #1 (Marvel) 67k
Marvel dominates the list here, taking the majority of the top spots. Regardless of how disparate the opinions of the handling of Captain America, Secret Empire is still of interest to at least a small sum of Marvel’s shrinking readership. There seems to be some amount of curiosity in the upcoming Batman crossovers, enough to push the prologue book, Dark Days: The Casting, to the top of the month’s chart. After reorders and recounts over the next few weeks and months, I’m sure it’ll be a battle for final numbers between this and the first new Astonishing X-Men title (yawn). Deadpool still holds some sway, as does The Walking Dead, though overall numbers for all these books are down considerably from a year ago.
As this is essentially a rebooted State of the Industry, we’ll be starting from scratch as to watermark books and notable series. To whit, Marvel and DC split the top 25 with 12 titles each, leaving Image the lone other publisher in the top tier. The top-selling book for under $3 was Batman #26, but a Marvel reprint title at a $1 cover price, True Believers Amazing Fantasy Starring Spider-Man #1, took the 78th spot on the chart with 27k in sales. The best-selling independent title after The Walking Dead was Image Comics’ Saga #45, charting at 32 on the list.
At #100 on the list was the fifth issue of Iron Fist (Marvel Comics), selling 22k. At #200 was the third issue of Predator Hunters, a Dark Horse production, selling just over 9300 copies.
Of course, this writer’s favorite part of The State of the Industry, the bottom of the Top 300, is thus:
- Wayward #22 (Image) – 4,774
- Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #11 (DC) – 4,635
- Spongebob Comics #70 (Universal Plankton) – 4,574
- Howling #1 (Space Goat) – 4,552
- Adventure Time #66 (Boom!) – 4,547
- Unsound #2 (Boom!) – 4,520
- Rebels: These Free and Independent States #5 (Dark Horse) – 4,497
- Namwolf #4 (Albatross Funnybooks) – 4,492
- Casper the Friendly Ghost #1 (American Mythology) – 4,474
- Shadows on the Grave #6 (Dark Horse) – 4,435
As with the top ten, sales numbers are down from last year at this time. Of course, as is standard for the bottom ten, it’s not unusual to see figures in this range. It is certainly a good mix of companies, and should be interesting to see what remains here next month, or moves up the chart.
The focus title for the foreseeable future is Aftershock’s Unholy Grail, which charted at #156, selling 13k for its first issue. It sold better than New Super Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Blue Beetle for July. Let’s see if it stays that way in August.
The State of the Industry is back, and excited for the big return, now for Pint O’ Comics. Expect the usual fluctuations and incredulous commentary as the months progress.
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.