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'JLA' Double Dips in December

Two Manga in Top 5 on GN List

Published: 01/16/2007 12:00am
JLA #4

Brad Meltzer's Justice League of America #4 and #5 took the top two spots on Diamond Comic Distributors' list of the best-selling periodical comics in North America in December.  While the JLA numbers slipped slightly from the previous issues, the series has definitely managed to maintain its considerable momentum.


Brian Michael Bendis had two titles in the top five, New Avengers at #3 and New Avengers: Illuminati in the #5 spot.  Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men #19, which begins Whedon's last story arc on the series, registered one of the few gains among top titles -- an increase that can be traced to the fact that issue #19 had a second variant cover (50/50 ratio).


DC Comics dominated the top portion of the list with six of the top ten and eight out of the top 12 titles although Marvel had 14 out of the top 25 and maintained a lead in both dollar and unit market share. 


In contrast to November, which had a Civil War title, no December comic came close to the 200K mark, and while 12 November titles topped 100K only eight December books did. 


Batman #660 was down substantially reflecting the fact that the Grant Morrison/Kubert team was no longer on the title.


Fables Volume 8 topped the graphic novel list, which was no surprise since that Vertigo series has topped the list several times before, but the fact that Tokyopop's Fruits Basket Vol. 15 was the Diamond's second best-selling graphic novel of the month was surprising -- even for a month that did not feature that many strong graphic novel releases.  But the fact that Viz Media's Naruto Vol. 12 was #4, Dark Horse's Berserk Vol. 14 came in at #7 and Viz Media's Bleach Vol. 16 at #8, giving manga four out of the top 10 titles was astounding. 


While it's easy to make too much out of what could be an aberration, it is interesting to note that while traditional American graphic novels are doing better in the bookstore market, manga appears to be making increasing inroads in the direct market.


Here are ICv2's estimates of the sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic stores on the top 25 comic titles in December:


136,709                       Justice League of America #4

132,460                       Justice League of America #5

122,670                       New Avengers #26

121,300                       Astonishing X-Men #19

103,952                       New Avengers: Illuminati #1

102,990                       Justice Society of America #1

100,657                       Iron Man/Captain America Casualties of War

100,596                       52 Week 31

  99,634                       52 Week 32

  99,431                       52 Week 33

  98,887                       Justice #9 (of 12)

  98,379                       52 Week 34

  97,948                       Civil War Frontline #9

  85,995                       Uncanny X-Men #481

  84,895                       Fantastic Four #541

  84,771                       Civil War: War Crimes One-Shot

  84,733                       Wolverine: Origins #9

  81,716                       Superman/Batman #31

  78,807                       Wolverine #49

  78,114                       X-Men #194

  76.967                       Batman #660

  76,251                       Ultimate Spider-Man #103

  75,512                       Batman #661

  73,388                       Iron Man #14

  70,148                       Ultimate Power #3


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 December, see '2006 Was a Very Good Year (for Comics).'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2006.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2006.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during November, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--November 2006.'

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during November, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--November 2006.'

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through December 2006, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index.'
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