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Comic Sales Rebound in April

From Top to Bottom

Published: 05/20/2009, Last Updated: 05/21/2009 11:59pm

Comic sales rebounded in April from a lousy March (see “No Comic over 100k in March”), with sales at both the top and bottom of the Top 300 list improving substantially.  The #1 title in April, Detective Comics #853 (part two of a long delayed Neil Gaiman story), sold around 9% more than the #1 title in March, Dark Avengers #3.  And of the top 25 titles, 13 sold more than the corresponding issues in the previous month, an unusually high percentage. 

 

Sales at the top of the list were heavily influenced by multiple covers; nine of the top ten titles had variant versions. 

 

At the bottom of the list, the #300 title in April sold 89% more than the #300 title in March, but that wasn’t necessarily because specific titles at the bottom of the list were selling a lot better.  Sales on the #300 title in April, Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #10, were almost identical to those on issue #9 in March.  But Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #9 was title #255 in March; there were 45 titles that sold better than MASH that shipped in April that didn’t ship in March.  That may have been a fifth week effect, or some other artifact of shipping schedules, but it’s a welcome indicator regardless. 

 

Over-all, these are hopeful signs that comic sales at retail may have bottomed. 

 

DC had half the top 10 comic titles in April, and eight of the top 25.  Marvel had most of the rest; Dark Horse placed one title (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) in the top 25. 

 

On the graphic novel front, Watchmen trade paperback sales are calming, with the lowest sales on a Watchmen title since October.  It’s still #1, but in a weaker field.  Marvel's Dark Tower: Treachery Premiere HC was the #2 book.

 

Three Naruto volumes placed #12 through #14, the top manga titles. Negima was next, at #27.

 

Stinky, a great graphic novel for kids from Toon Books (see “Review of Stinky”) placed a surprising #31 in a direct market that’s generally seen as a market for adults. 

 

There were 12 Marvel titles in the top 25 graphic novels, six DC’s, three each from Dark horse and Viz, and one from Avatar (Freakangels Vol. 2).

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

 104,107               Detective Comics #853
 102,429               Flash Rebirth #1 (Of 6)
 97,896                 Wolverine Weapon X #1
 95,854                 Dark Avengers #4
 93,975                 New Avengers #52 DKR
 89,120                 Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2 (Of 3)
 82,726                 Hulk #11
 81,200                 Justice Society of America #26
 79,792                 Green Lantern #39 (Origins)
 79,626                 Thor #601
 76,665                 Green Lantern #40
 76,442                 Uncanny X-Men #508
 71,935                 X-Men: Legacy #223
 69,185                 Uncanny X-Men #509
 68,231                 Mighty Avengers #24 DKR
 67,774                 Astonishing X-Men #29
 66,415                 Amazing Spider-Man #590
 66,021                 Justice League of America #32
 65,940                 Amazing Spider-Man #592
 65,713                 Justice Society of America #25
 63,874                 Captain America #49
 60,916                 Buffy the Vampire Slayer #24 Chen Cvr
 60,818                 Ultimate Wolverine Vs Hulk #4 (Of 6)
 60,508                 Amazing Spider-Man #591
 59,403                 Ultimate Wolverine Vs Hulk #5 (Of 6)


For an analysis of the dollar trends in April, see "Comic Dollars Up in April."

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

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

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