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'Watchmen' Top Dollar Book in August

'Secret Invasion,' 'Final Crisis' Drop Slightly

Published: 09/16/2008, Last Updated: 09/17/2008 12:01am

The nearly two-decade-old Watchmen trade paperback, still smoking from the effect of the trailer shown in conjunction with Dark Knight, the top movie of the year, was the top dollar book sold to comic stores in August, with an astounding 43,000+ copies sold.  It’s rare that any graphic novel gets close to being the top dollar book in comic stores, and unheard of that it’s not a new title.  Although DC offered a consignment program on the book, it seems unlikely, given the nature of the program and the phenomenon, that a major percentage of the sell-in will go back.  A Diamond spokesperson informed us that the full quantity of sell-in is reflected in the August numbers; "any returns will be folded into the month that they happen and be reflected there."


Sales on Secret Invasion #5, the top comic periodical sold to comic stores in August, were down around 5% from sales on the previous issue in July, but still holding strong at nearly 166,000 copies.  The Secret Invasion event also had an impact further down on the charts.  Four new SI titles (Amazing Spider-Man, Inhumans, Thor, and X-Men) launched with orders ranging from around 50,000 to around 65,000, two second issues had sales around 45,000 copies, and issues #2 and #3 of the core SI title each generated around 6,500 copies in reorder sales.


Although it's still selling well below Secret Invasion, sales on Final Crisis held up better, with less than a 2% drop vs. the #2 issue in June.  The associated titles are doing a little better than SI titles, with four Final Crisis #1s (Legion of Three Worlds, Superman Beyond, Revelations and DC Universe: Last Will and Testament) launching with orders ranging from roughly 58,000 to 68,000 copies and a #2 issue at around 54,000 copies.  Also, the Director's Cut Special for Final Crisis #1 took in almost 15,000 orders.


A fairly typical 16 titles out of the top 25 were down, and five up.  Among the up titles was Amazing Spider-Man #568 (2 covers; 50/50), the first issue of a new storyline with classic Spidey villains (and the introduction of Anti-Venom), with art by John Romita, Jr.


Marvel had 17 of the top 25 titles, DC seven, and Dark Horse one (Buffy the Vampire Slayer #17).


On the graphic novel list, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, a new original graphic novel from Dark Horse, was the top new graphic novel release and the #2 title over-all.  Manga titles were fairly far down the list this month, with Tokyopop’s Warcraft Legends the top OEL title at #26, and Dark Horse’s Oh My Goddess the top Japanese title at #27. 

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


165,958           Secret Invasion #5 (Of 8) SI

123,881           Final Crisis #3 (Of 7)

106,385           New Avengers #44 SI

103,588           Batman #679 RIP

96,347             Hulk #5

94,244             Astonishing X-Men #26 MD

93,395             Amazing Spider-Man #568 NWD

92,950             Mighty Avengers #17 SI

86,268             Wolverine #68

85,398             Uncanny X-Men #501 MD

85,035             Captain America #41*

81,451             Justice League of America #24

79,307             Buffy the Vampire Slayer #17

77,950             Amazing Spider-Man #569 NWD

73,485             Justice Society of America #18*

71,134             Detective Comics #847 RIP

69,010             Avengers / Invaders #4 (Of 12)

69,010             X-Force #6 DWS

68,337             Ultimate Origins #3 (Of 5)

68,306             Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds #1 (Of 5)

68,130             Amazing Spider-Man #567

68,047             X-Men Legacy #215 MD

67,063             DC Universe: Last Will & Testament #1

65,509             Secret Invasion: Thor #1 (Of 3) SI

64,515             Secret Invasion: X-Men #1 (Of 4) SI

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 August, see "Comic Continue Slide in August."

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 2008."

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 2008."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during July, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--July 2008."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during July, see "Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--July 2008."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through August 2008, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index."

Rolling for Initiative--How to Sell Me Your Game (or Your Comic or Anything Else)
Column by Scott Thorne
This week, Thorne describes the process of selling a game (or other product) to a retailer.