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Comic Orders Awesome in August

Double Digits vs. Last Two Years

Published: 07/25/2002 12:00am
The top dollar book
in August

Comic and graphic novel orders (dollars) to Diamond US by pop culture stores for August were up sharply, increasing 14% over 2001 orders and 21% over 2000.  The category was also up 6% over July, making August the new top month of 2002.  Periodical comics, led by retro revivals (see 'Retro Influence Grows on Top Comic Sellers'), showed more strength than graphic novels.  Comics were up 19% and 22% vs. 2001 and 2000, respectively; while graphic novels were down 20% vs. 2001 and 7% vs. 2000.  The strong growth over both of the last two years was an especially positive sign; for much of this year orders have been up over 2001, but still down or flat vs. 2000. 

 

Marvel's numbers killed in August, with 35% increases vs. 2001 and 65% vs. 2000.  DC's rate of change was more negligible, at a 2% increase vs. last year and a 6% decline vs. 2000.  Image had a good month, with 14% and 11% increases vs. 2001 and 2000, respectively.  Dark Horse had unfavorable comparisons, with a 29% decline vs. 2001 and a 6% decline vs. 2000.  And of course Dreamwave, nowhere a year ago, is now pushing the dial on the totals by noticeable amounts.

 

The quantities in this chart are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in August 2002.  They do not include orders placed with Diamond UK, late orders, advance reorders, distributor over-orders, or reorders. 

 

 

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 over-view and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in August, see 'Retro Influence Grows on Top Comic Sellers.'

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

For an over-view and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in July, see 'Retro Rules Again In July.'

 

For an analysis of the dollar trends in July, see 'July Comic & Graphic Novel Orders Up 5% Over 2001.'
 
 
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