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Infinite Crisis--A Million Dollar Book!

Leads DC Surge in October

Published: 11/15/2005 12:00am
Infinite Crisis #1
(Jim Lee cover)

DC Comics' Infinite Crisis #1 dominated sales of periodical comics during October as the total retail value of sales of the book through Diamond Comic Distributors reached nearly a million dollars.  In unit sales of comics so far in 2005, Infinite Crisis #1, with a total of 249,265, is second only to Frank Miller and Jim Lee's All Star Batman and Robin, The Boy Wonder #1, which sold 261,046 in July, although because of its higher cover price ($3.99 vs. $2.99 for ASB&R) Infinite Crisis #1 is the number one comic book of 2005 so far in total dollars.  In fact it is the first book to come this close to totaling a million dollars in retail sales in a single month since the first issue of JLA/Avengers (helped by its hefty $5.95 cover price) topped the million-dollar mark in September of 2003.  The success of Infinite Crisis #1, which had two covers, certainly won't do anything to dampen publisher's enthusiasm for variant covers.

 

Infinite Crisis #1 was largely responsible for the 6% overall gain in sales of periodical comics in October (vs. October 2004).  Most of the other top comics treaded water during October--only four titles sold over 100,000 units and only six of the top 25 comics gained in circulation, while 17 titles declined.  Most of the gains were modest, although Marvel Knights Spider-Man #19 posted a substantial 28% increase over issue #18 thanks to a major crossover event, The Other.

 

Just as Infinite Crisis #1's $3.99 cover price helped periodical comics to a substantial gain in sales versus October 2004, graphic novel sales through Diamond in October 2005 benefited from the release of a number of high dollar items including Watchmen Absolute Edition ($75), X-Men Complete Age of the Apocalypse Vol. 2 ($29.99), Green Lantern Rebirth Hardcover ($24.99), Harvey Pekar's Quitter ($19.99), and the V for Vendetta Hardcover ($24.99).  Actual unit sales of graphic novels via Diamond in October were mediocre. The Vertigo First Offenses trade topped the list with sales of 6,844 units, followed by Dark Horse's Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Vol. 4 at 6,487 and Marvel's X-Men Complete Age of the Apocalypse Vol. 2 at 6,088.  DC's Watchmen Absolute Edition, which sold 4,814 copies, was the top dollar graphic novel of the month with sales nearly doubling the total of the second place title.

 

Although DC continues to dominate direct market graphic novel sales, with five of the top ten titles, Marvel improved its performance in the graphic novel category in October.  Harvey Pekar's Quitter hardcover for DC was the top-selling 'alternative' title, with sales of nearly 4,000 copies, which earned it the #12 position in unit sales (it came in #5 in dollars).

 

Dark Horse's Berserk Vol. 9 was the top manga title, coming in fourteenth, followed closely by Tokyopop's Battle Royale Vol. 14.  Berserk and Battle Royale are action-packed, blood-soaked manga titles that consistently perform much better in the direct market than in bookstores. Tokyopop's Samurai Champloo Vol. 1, which came in 25th, was the only other manga title among the top 25 titles in Diamond's Graphic Novel list.

 

The top 25 comic titles in September with our estimates of the number sold to North American comic shops through Diamond Comic Distributors are:

 

249,265            Infinite Crisis #1

134,429            House of M #7 (of  8)

127,949            New Avengers #12

125,115            Justice #2

  85,761            Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #1

  84,271            Uncanny X-Men #465

  83,907            Villains United #6 (of 6)

  82,892            JLA #120

  79,520            Amazing Spider-Man #525

  78,869            JLA #121

  75,664            Wolverine #34

  75,118            Ultimate X-Men #64

  74,670            Ultimate Spider-Man #84

  74,635            X-Men #176

  73,684            Wolverine #35

  71,375            Rann Thanagar War #6 (of 6)

  70,549            Ultimate Fantastic Four #24

  69,975            Batman #646

  69,688            Ghost Rider #2

  68,925            Green Lantern Corps Recharge #2 (of 6)

  67,638            Superman #222

  66,581            Teen Titans #28

  66,140            Marvel Knights Spider-Man #19

  64,909            Ultimate Secret #4

  63,873            Young Avengers #8

 

We are estimating actual sales by Diamond U.S. (primarily to North American comic stores), using Diamond's published sales indexes and publisher sales data to estimate a sales number for Batman (the anchor title Diamond uses in its calculations), and using 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 accuracy.

 
For an analysis of the dollar trends in October, see 'Comic Sales Rise in October.'
 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during October, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--October 2005.'

 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during October, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--October 2005.'

 

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 2005.'

 

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 2005.'

 

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through October 2005, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index.'

 
 
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