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Sales Slip in Seasonal Softness

Identity Crisis Bucks Trend

Published: 10/18/2004 12:00am
Identity Crisis #4
showed gains

Sales on the top comic titles slid across the board in September, in a normal seasonal decline in sales compared to August.  Identity Crisis was the only title in the top five that bucked the trend with an increase, and Teen Titans the only other title in the top 25 that grew. 

 

The increase in sales of Identity Crisis between #3 and #4 wasn't the only sign of strength for the title; #3 sold another 10,000 copies in September, and #2 sold 8,800. 

 

DC had a slightly better showing at the top of the list than usual, with three of the top four books and eight of the top 25.  Marvel had the rest of both lists. 

 

Graphic novel numbers were uninspiring, with the top title, the latest Ultimate X-Men volume, selling only around 7,000 copies.  The Bone collection, at $39.95, was the top dollar graphic novel, a strong showing for an indy title.  

 

The top 25 comic titles in September, with our estimate of the number sold to comic stores by Diamond Comic Distributors, are as follow:

 

139,516            Superman/Batman #12

131,552            Astonishing X-Men #5

128,837            Identity Crisis #4

116,827            Superman #209

  94,965            Ultimate X-Men #51

  94,708            Uncanny X-Men #448

  94,174            Ultimate Spider-Man #65

  93,839            Uncanny X-Men #449

  93,105            Avengers #502

  91,054            Avengers #501

  90,591            X-Men #161

  89,878            X-Men #162

  87,620            Ultimate Fantastic Four #11

  87,236            Amazing Spider-Man #512

  87,221            Ultimate Nightmare #2

  84,001            X-Men: The End Bk 1 Dreamers & Demons #3

  79,578            Wolverine End #5

  71,492            Marvel Knights Spider-Man #6

  71,236            Batman #632

  65,046            Wolverine #19

  64,177            Teen Titans #16

  63,136            Teen Titans #15

  60,836            JLA #105

  59,974            Strange #1

  59,838            JLA #106
 

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 September, see 'Comics and Graphic Novels Up 7% in September.'

 

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 2004.'

 

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 2004.'

 

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 2004.'

 

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 2004.'

 

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through September 2004, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index.'

 
 
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