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2006 Was a Very Good Year (For Comics)

(And Graphic Novels)

Published: 09/18/2007 12:00am

Sales of periodical comics were up 14% in 2006 over 2005 -- a major improvement over the 4% gain from 2004 to 2005, in fact the strongest year-over-year gain the market has posted since ICv2 began tracking sales in 2001.  Marvel's Civil War, Astonishing X-Men and New Avengers, DC's Infinite Crisis, 52 and Justice League of America all contributed to a very special year for comic book sales that featured plenty of potent event comics as well as the constant reinvigoration of continuing series by a the addition of great writing talent from both inside and outside the industry.

 

Comic book sales for the fourth quarter were up 14%, with December registering a 10% gain after November's breathtaking 27% boost over sales in the same month of 2005.  Graphic novel sales were up 10% for the fourth quarter and the combined comics and graphic novel total was up a very strong 13% for Q4 and 14% for the year.

 

Graphic novel sales were up 8% for the year and 10 % for the quarter.  December graphic novel sales were down 1% and November's were down 2%, but October's total, which was driven by a number of potent hardcovers including Fables 1001 Nights of Snowfall, Infinite Crisis, Absolute Sandman, Wolverine Origin, and Marvel Zombies, was up an astounding 38% over October 2005.  Because of the growing number of releases and the importance of backlist sales, the 9% growth rate for graphic novels sales in 2006 definitely masks a good deal of sales growth in the format because the 9% number is based only on the Top 100 best-selling graphic novels each month, which means that it is likely that real growth rate in graphic novels sales is substantially higher than 9%.

 
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 the top 300 comics in December, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2006.'

For the top 100 graphics novels in December, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2006.'

For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in December, see 'JLA Double Dips in December.'

For the top 300 comics in November, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--November 2006.'


For the top 100 graphics novels in November, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--November 2006.'


For an over-view and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in November, see ''Civil War' Ekes Out Increase.'  For an analysis of the dollar trends in November, see 'Comic Dollars Surge.'

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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