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Three Comics Top 175K

In May

Published: 06/21/2004 12:00am
#1 in May

Three comic titles sold over 175,000 copies in the direct market in May, all with sales driven by variant cover promotions.  Marvel's Astonishing X-Men #1 beat DC's Superman #205 by less than 1%, with an estimated 209,389 copies (vs. 208,105 for Superman) shipped from Diamond Comic Distributors to retailers.  Superman/Batman #10 came in third, with a still healthy 178,865 copies shipped.  With this kind of results, it's probably safe to assume that the current mini-boom in variant covers (see 'Variant Covers -- Are They Back?') will continue. 

 

The two other books rounding out the top five are also worthy of note.  Secret War Book Two outsold Book One substantially, an extremely rare occurrence in the comics biz.  And Uncanny X-Men #444 jumped substantially over #443.

 

Marvel was slightly less dominant than usual at the top of the chart, with eight of the top ten, and 18 of the top 25 books. 

 

Thirteen of the top 25 books were down vs. the previous issues, nine were up.

 

The top 25 comic titles in May, with our estimates of the numbers sold by Diamond Comic Distributors to North American comic retailers, are as follow:

 

209,389            Astonishing X-Men #1

208,105            Superman #205

178,865            Superman/Batman #10

116,611            Secret War Book Two

112,129            Uncanny X-Men #444

107,185            X-Men #157

  99,320            Marvel Knights Spider-Man #2

  96,698            Ultimate X-Men #45

  96,652            Ultimate X-Men #46

  90,963            Ultimate Spider-Man #58

  89,863            Ultimate Spider-Man #59

  81,944            Amazing Spider-Man #507

  76,885            Batman #627

  76,416            New X-Men Academy X #1

  74,348            Batman #628

  71,757            Excalibur #1

  69,965            JLA #98

  69,058            JLA #99

  68,728            Wolverine #15

  67,813            Teen Titans #11

  63,292            Supreme Power #10

  55,711            Avengers #82

  55,280            Avengers #83

  54,012            Daredevil #60

  51,036            Spectacular Spider-Man #14
 
We are estimating actual sales by Diamond U.S. (primarily to North American comic stores) rather than pre-orders (as we did for the past several years) because Diamond recently changed its reporting and began basing its indexes on actual sales (see 'ICv2 Kicks Off New Top 300 Reporting').  We use those indexes and publisher sales data to estimate a sales number for Batman (the anchor title diamond uses in its calculations), and use 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 accurcy.
 
Because of that change, we will not be able to do year over year comparisons until February of 2004, but in general, it's an improvement to have actual numbers to work with rather than preorders, which have significant differences from sales.

 

 

For an analysis of the dollar trends in May, see 'Comics Up 12% in May.'

 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during May, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--May 2004.'

 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during May, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--May 2004.'

 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during April, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--April 2004.'

 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during April, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--April 2004.'

 

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through May 2004, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 50 GNs Index.'

 
 
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