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Top Comics Slide in October

Lee's Batman Tops Piece Sales

Published: 10/05/2002 12:00am

Orders on the top comic titles almost uniformly dropped in October compared to September orders, with only one of the top 25 titles, Daredevil, eking out a gain.  Captain America #6, which as a resolicited title can serve as a directly comparable bellwether, dropped around 3% vs. its original solicitation for September release. 

 

For the first time since we've been doing these reports, a regularly-priced DC title topped the comic piece sales; Jim Lee's first Batman issue, the start of a twelve-issue storyline, was the #1 title this month, with robust raw initial U.S. comic store orders of over 113,000 copies.  A Transformers title was the top dollar comic for October, reflecting its higher cover price. 

 

Graphic novels held up better, with the Lone Wolf and Cub volume in October selling within a few copies of its September equivalent.  DC's Dark Knight Strikes Again hardcover was the top dollar graphic novel in October.

 

Here are the initial raw orders from pop culture stores on the top 25 comic titles for October:

 

113,061            Batman #608

102,829            Ultimates #9

  99,528            Transformers: War Within #1

  98,092            New X-Men #133

  98,001            Amazing Spider-Man #46

  92,099            Ultimate Spider-Man #28

  91,953            Ultimate Spider-Man #29

  90,053            Ultimate X-Men #23

  88,956            Spider-Man/Black Cat #5

  83,699            Uncanny X-Men #414

  81,766            Transformers: Armada #4

  69,374            Thundercats #3

  68,334            G.I. Joe: Frontline #1

  65,937            Wolverine #182

  64,083            Spider-Man Blue #6

  63,744            X-Treme X-Men #19

  60,895            Captain America #6

  60,352            JLA #73

  60,148            JLA #74

  59,425            G.I. Joe #11

  56,463            Peter Parker: Spider-Man #48

  53,919            Green Arrow #18

  53,772            Avengers #59

  53,252            Daredevil #38

  51,805            Fantastic Four #62

 

Notes on this chart:

Some titles have been truncated or abbreviated for space reasons.

Publisher abbreviations have also been used.

Mar = Marvel

Dar = Dark Horse

Dre = Dreamwave

Ima = Image

Bla = Black Bull

Car = Cartoon Books

Har = Harris

Cro = Crossgen

Bon = Bongo

Tok = Tokyo Pop

Cha = Chaos

 

The quantities in this chart are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in October 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 analysis of the dollar trends in October, see 'Comic Orders Down for October.'

 

For the top 300 comics in October, see 'Top 300 Comics--October 2002.'

 

For the top 50 graphic novels in October, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels--October 2002.'

 

 

For the top 300 comics in September, see 'Top 300 Comics -- September 2002.'

 

For the top 50 graphic novels in September, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels -- September 2002.'
 
For an overview and analysis of the dollar orders for September and Q3, see 'Ultimate September.'
 
For an analysis of the dollar trends in September, see 'Comic Growth Rate Slows in Q3.'
 
 
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