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'Civil War' Dominates

Event Comics Drive Sales

Published: 02/20/2007 12:00am

Event comics such as Marvel's Civil War and DC Comics' weekly 52 played an inordinate role in the boom in sales of periodical comics in 2006 and continued to drive sales in January of 2007.  Marvel's Civil War #6 suffered less than a 5% decline from issue #5, but still sold more than twice as many books as its nearest competitor, another Civil War title, Civil War Return. 


Marvel dominated the top of the list with seven out of the top ten and 15 out of the top 25 titles.  Seventeen titles in the top 25 suffered declines versus only six that posted gains.  Particularly notable among the titles that gained circulation were Wolverine #50 (a landmark issue w/ a new creative team), Moon Knight #7, Ultimate Spider-Man #104 (the finale of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley's The Clone Saga) and Thunderbolts #110 (the first Warren Ellis issue).


The third trade paperback collection of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men topped the graphic novel list, which was aided by a number of strong backlist sellers.  The reprint of the Marvel Zombies hardcover, which was originally released in August, was the highest dollar graphic novel title (and number 2 in units), while Dark Horse's hardcover edition of Frank Miller's 1998 300 graphic novel just barely missed the second highest dollar total among graphic novels.


Dark Horse placed two titles in the top ten in unit sales on the graphic novel list:  Hellboy Animated Vol. 1, which came in third and Star Wars: Clone Wars Vol.7, which ended up fifth. Wizard's Twisted Toyfare Theater Vol. 8 continued the strong performance of previous volumes in the series with a seventh place finish.


Viz Media's Death Note Vol. 9 was the first manga title at #15 (in unit sales) followed by Full Metal Alchemist Vol.11 at #16 and Trigun Maximum Vol. 11 at #25. 


With retailers preparing for the February release of the Ghost Rider movie, there were three Ghost Rider trades in the top 25 led by Garth Ennis' Ghost Rider: Road to Damnation at #14.


Here are ICv2's estimates of the sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic stores on the top 25 comic titles in January:


259,264                       Civil War #6 (of 7)

125,713                       Civil War: The Return

115621                        Wolverine #50

114,802                       Amazing Spider-Man #537

108,082                       Ultimate Spider-Man #104

105095                        52 Week 35

  99,795                       Civil War: Frontline #1

  98,802                       All Star Superman #6

  97,881                       Wolverine Origins #10

  96,815                       52 Week 36

  96,612                       52 Week 37

  95,945                       52 Week 38

  94,865                       52 Week 39

  87,970                       Punisher War Journal #2

  86,180                       Justice Society of America #2

  84,338                       Fantastic Four #542

  83,860                       Uncanny X-Men #482

  76,921                       Moon Knight #7

  76,900                       X-Men #195

  72,499                       Batman #662

  70,143                       Punisher War Journal #3

  66,409                       Ultimate X-Men #78

  66,105                       Green Lantern #16

  64,966                       Thunderbolts #110

  62,342                       Eternals #6 (of 7)       


We are estimating actual sales by Diamond U.S. (primarily to North American comic stores), using Diamond's published sales indexes and publisher sales data to estimate a sales number for Batman (the anchor title Diamond uses in its calculations), and using that number and the indexes to estimate Diamond's sales on the remaining titles.  We can check the accuracy of our numbers by comparing the Batman number that we calculate using multiple data points; our numbers for Batman are within 1/10 of 1% of each other, ensuring a high degree of accuracy.

For an analysis of the dollar trends in January, see '2007 Off to a Strong Start.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during January, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--January 2007.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during January, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--January 2007.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2006.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2006.'

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through January 2007, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index.'
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