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Top Comics Drop in June

But Threes the Charm

Published: 05/30/2002 12:00am

Initial piece orders from comic stores on the top comic titles were weaker in June, with orders dropping on seventeen of the top 25 titles.  This follows a similar performance in May, when orders on sixteen of the top 25 comics were lower (see 'Spider-Man, Batman Up in May').  'Threes' were the charm in June, though, with two third issues in the top fifteen increasing -- Transformers #3 from Dreamwave (still #1), and Captain America #3 from Marvel.  Those increases indicate strong sales on the first issues of those two titles, pushing retailers to order more on the first issues' orders they could catch. 

 

One thing to keep in mind in interpreting these numbers is that these orders were place by retailers based on what was happening in their stores during April.  They do not reflect the sales during what has been by many reports a torrid May.  Presumably if retailers were selling out during May, the orders for books shipping in July will reflect that fact.

 

Marvel had its typical nine out of the top ten titles and nineteen out of the top 25.  DC slipped to three out of the top 25, with none in the top ten.  Image had two of the top 25 titles with GI Joe and Micronauts.

 

Lone Wolf held its normal spot atop the graphic novel best-seller list, but Witchblade Obakemono was a close second with a manga-style $9.95 one-shot.

 

The estimated raw initial orders to Diamond on the top 25 titles for June 2002 are as follow:

 

131,586            Transformers Generation One #3

118,204            Spider-Man/Black Cat Evil that Men Do #1

  99,672            New X-Men #127

  99,473            Ultimates #6

  99,018            New X-Men #128

  96,537            Amazing Spider-Man #42

  92,815            Ultimate X-Men #19

  88,448            Uncanny X-Men #407

  87,521            Ultimate Spider-Man #23

  68,040            Spider-Man Blue #2

  67,554            Green Arrow #15

  67,450            Wolverine #177

  67,445            Captain America #3

  67,390            Wolverine #176

  67,195            X-treme X-Men #14

  65,836            GI Joe #7

  59,684            JLA #67

  53,231            Spider-Man Peter Parker #45

  52,081            Micronauts #1

  51,495            Avengers #55

  48,768            Detective Comics #771

  47,328            Daredevil #34

  46,355            Incredible Hulk #41

  45,942            Incredible Hulk #42

  45,756            Punisher #13 

 

The quantities in this chart are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in June 2002. 

 

Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image distribute 100% of their comic store orders through Diamond.  Some other publishers distribute directly to stores or through other distributors and as a result this analysis may underestimate their sales. 

 

Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image distribute some of their titles through channels other than comic specialty stores, e.g., newsstands and bookstores.  These quantity estimates do not reflect distribution through those channels. 

 

The quantities above do not include advance reorders, late orders, or reorders.

 

Most of the titles on this chart are also distributed to Europe by Diamond UK, which can account for significant sales for the publisher, ranging from 3-20% of the US numbers.   Sales by Diamond UK are not included in the numbers above.

 

Even given the above, however, it is probably safe to say that these quantities reflect 80% or more of the total North American sales by the publisher on most periodical comics.   

 

One other factor to consider is that sales through Diamond and other comic distributors are non-returnable to retailers.  That means that there is a considerable unknown percentage of books unsold at the retailer level.  If that percentage is 10-20% of sales (a reasonable assumption), the estimates above may be quite close to actual sales to consumers.

 

For an analysis of the dollar trends in June, see 'Comic and Graphic Novel Orders up 19% in Second Quarter.'

 

For a list of the top comics in June, see 'Top 300 Comics -- June 2002.'

 

For a list of the top graphic novels in June, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels -- June 2002.'

 

For a list of the top comics in May, see 'Top 300 Comics -- May.'

 

For a list of the top graphic novels in May, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels -- May.'

 

For an over-view and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in May, see 'Spider-Man, Batman Up in May.'

 

For an analysis of the dollar trends in May, see 'May Comic and Graphic Novel Orders Continue Sharp Increases.'
 
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