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No Comic Over 100K in March

Units Down More Than Dollars

Published: 04/15/2009, Last Updated: 05/11/2009 12:20am

For the first time since March of 2001, the month that ICv2 began tracking sales of periodical comics through Diamond Comic Book Distributors, no comic sold more than 100,000 copies in March of 2009.  While sales of periodical comics were down 7% in dollars for the month, the decline in units sold was greater, considering the rise in cover prices of key titles versus their cost in March, 2008. 

 

Marvel placed three Dark Reign titles in the top 10 in March including Dark Avengers #3, which topped the list followed by New Avengers #51.  DC’s Batman Battle for the Cowl #1, the mini-series ostensibly designed to designate Batman’s successor in the wake of Batman RIP, finished in third, followed by Wolverine #71, which features the Old Man Logan saga written by Mark Millar.  Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof’s Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk, a six-issue supposedly bimonthly mini-series that debuted in December of 2005 returned from a multi-year hiatus with issue #3, which ended up at #9.  The fifth printing of Marvel’s Amazing Spider-Man #583, the title that dominated sales in both January and February, sold over 20,000 additional copies in March.

 

Five titles in the top 25 including Dark Avengers #3, Wolverine #71, Amazing Spider-Man #588, X-Force #13, and Invincible Iron Man #11 grew in circulation, while 15 declined.  Marvel dominated the top 25 with 19 titles followed by DC with five and Dark Horse with one. 

 

Graphic novels rebounded sharply in March posting a 6% gain aided greatly by Watchmen, which topped the charts by a mile, selling over 32,000 copies, a total that dwarfed sales of the #2 book, a special direct market edition of Marvel’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, which sold some 14,460 copies through Diamond.  Vertigo’s Jack of Fables Vol. 5 finished at #3 followed by Avatar’s edition of Alan Moore’s Light of Thy Countenance. 

 

Tokyopop’s Fruits Basket #22, which finished at #5, was the top manga title in the direct market in March.  Viz Media placed four volumes of Naruto in the top 25 (at #’s 7, 8, 9, and 12) plus Bleach Vol. 26 at #13. 

 

Marvel placed 10 titles in the Top 25 on the graphic novel list followed by Viz Media and DC Comics with 5 each, and Oni Press, Image Comics, Avatar, Tokyopop, and Dark Horse with one each.

 

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

 

95,546             Dark Avenger #3

95,340             New Avengers #51

91,619             Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1

86,046             Wolverine #71

79,439             Ultimatum #3 (of 5)

77,957             Uncanny X-Men #507

71,333             Mighty Avengers #23

68,759             Justice League of America #31

68,390             Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #3 (of 6)

64,108             Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23

62,108             Captain America #48

61,334             Amazing Spider-Man #588

58,832             Amazing Spider-Man #589

58,709             War of Kings #1 (of 6)

55,606             X-Men Legacy #222

54,162             Green Lantern Corps #34

52,814             Batman: Cacophony #3 (of 3)

52,777             X-Force Cable Messiah War Prologue

52,165             Invincible Iron Man #11

51,797             X-Force #13

51,374             Ultimate X-Men #100

50,050             Superman: World of New Krypton #1 (of 12)

48,378             Fantastic Four #565

48,086             Secret Warriors #2

48,061             Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 (of 5)

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: Battle for the Cowl #1 (the title Batman is normally the anchor title Diamond uses in its calculations, but no issue shipped this month) 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: Battle for the Cowl #1 number that we calculate using multiple data points; our numbers for Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1 are within 1/10 of 1% of each other, ensuring a high degree of accuracy.

For an analysis of the dollar trends in March, see "Not Bad Considering...."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during March, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--March 2009."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during March, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--March 2009."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during February, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--February 2009."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during February, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--February 2009."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through March 2009, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index."

 
 
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