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'World War Hulk' Conquers Again

Zombies Rule the Graphic Novel Category

Published: 10/15/2007 12:00am
World War Hulk remained on top for the second month in a row, dropping fewer than 3,000 from its chart-topping performance in August.  World War Hulk remains the biggest 'event' in comics today.  The various WWH tie-in books are performing well; WWH #2 sold an additional 2,300 copies; and a reprint of that issue with a new Romita cover sold a whopping 10,995 copies.  Meanwhile Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man #544 posted the biggest issue-to-issue gain thanks to the start of the 'One More Day' storyline (and aided by two covers with a 50/50 split). 
 

JLA #13 came in at #3, but was down from #12, which was the final Brad Meltzer issue.  Dark Horse's Buffy the Vampire Slayer reappeared in the top ten with issue #6 -- and every other issue of the series made the Top 300 list, a good indication that new fans are jumping on this 'Buffy Season 8' series plotted by series creator Joss Whedon.

 

DC's Countdown series lost some circulation but actually moved up in the top 25 versus their positions in August.  Following a pattern that has held through 2005 and 2006, comic sales were down from August to September, a decline that was reflected in the top 25 where fifteen titles were down, while seven posted gains (3 were #1 issues).  Marvel took seven out of the top ten spots, while DC held two places and Dark Horse one.  Overall DC had 11 titles in the top 25.

 

Graphic novels posted the big gains in September led by Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead Vol.7 -- the latest volume in a series that has become dominant in the direct market and is picking up considerable momentum in the bookstores.  The first Walking Dead trade paperback also made the list, testimony to the serious velocity that the backlist of this zombie series continues to exhibit.  The Marvel Zombies/Army of Darkness Marvel/Dynamite zombie crossover was the second most popular trade paperback and further proof that we are living in the golden age of the undead.

 

DC's 52 Vol. 3 and Dark Horse's Hellboy Vol.7 posted typically strong performances, but mention should be made of Brian Wood's daring near future political thriller DMZ from Vertigo, a title that is still growing in the direct market and which has considerable potential in the bookstores.

 

Despite some shipping issues Viz Media's first trifecta of simultaneously-released Naruto volumes performed solidly with all landing in the top ten.  The only other manga in the top 25 were both seinen series from Dark Horse, Berserk Vol. 19 (at #16) and Path of the Assassin Vol.7 (at #25).  Another interesting phenomenon is the performance of the first volume of Viz Media's Death Note manga, which sold 1220 copies in September even though the series ended in July -- an indication that the series is still attracting new readers.  In the bookstores the first volume of Death Note also sells extremely well, though it lags behind the initial volumes of Naruto and Bleach, but that is not the case in the direct market where Death Note was the only backlist manga #1 to make the top 50.

 

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

 

148,610           World War Hulk #4

146,215           Amazing Spider-Man #544

119,471           Justice League of America #13

112,815           New Avengers #34

109,964           Thor #3

100,582           All Star Batman & Robin #7

  96,385           Incredible Hulk #110

  96,556           Buffy the Vampire Slayer #6

  87,952           Uncanny X-Men #490

  85,652           X-Men #203

  84,117           Justice Society of America #9

  82,537           Countdown #34

  81,744           Countdown #33

  81,097           Countdown #32

  80,127           Countdown #31

  79,554           Captain America #30

  79,084           Green Lantern #23

  74,588           Wolverine #57

  74,184           Avengers Initiative #6

  73,471           Batman #669

  72,075           JLA Wedding Special #1

  67,527           Captain America Chosen #1

  67,476           Ultimate Spider-Man #113

  66,682           Ultimate Spider-Man #114

  65,911           Tales of Sinestro Corps Parallax #1

 
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 September, see 'Comics Post 6% Growth in Q3.'

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

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

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

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

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

 
 
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