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Comic Sales Decline Slows in April

Down Less than 2% From 2010

Published: 05/13/2011, Last Updated: 05/17/2011 02:38am
April saw the first appearance of Fear Itself, the first of this summer’s big comic events, and the year-long decline in comic book sales appeared to slow down somewhat.  The drop in year-over-year monthly sales of periodical comics through Diamond Comic Distributors slowed in April to 1.75%, while graphic novels posted just a .84% drop versus April of 2010. The stronger performance in April brought the year-to-date dollar decline for periodical comics down to 6.9%, while graphic novels have fallen 5.67% versus 2010 in the first four months of the year. Overall combined sales of comics and graphic novels were down 1.46% for April, and remain 6.5% behind last year through the first four months of 2011.

Marvel took the top two spots on the comics chart with Fear Itself #1, which was far and away the bestselling book of the month, and The Mighty Thor #1. The two #1’s helped Marvel maintain its typical marketshare dominance with a 40.14% dollar share compared with DC Comics’ 27.09%. DC continued to enjoy success with its ongoing Green Lantern comic and with the final issues of its twice-monthly Brightest Day limited series. DC also took 3 of the top 5 spots on the graphic novel charts led by Fables Vol. 15: Rose Red. Even more than periodical comics, graphic novel sales have been buoyed by higher cover prices with year-to-date unit sales down 11.53% versus a dollar sales decline of just 5.67%.
 
DC’s Flashpoint series kicks off in May, so it should be interesting to see if, along with Marvel’s Fear Itself, these crossover events will provide enough firepower to enable comics to claw their way back to sales parity with 2010—or will “event fatigue” caused by a surfeit of Universe-changing crossovers will result in continuing sales declines.
 
The back-and-forth game of musical chairs played by the mid-tier publishers continued in April with IDW Publishing seizing the third spot with a 5.17% dollar share followed closely by Image Comics at 5.15% in fourth, and Dark Horse Comics in fifth with 4.89%. Dynamite Entertainment took the sixth spot with 3.05% followed by Boom! Studios at 1.94%.

For an overview and analysis of comic sales in April, see "'Fear Itself' Debut Boosts Comic Sales."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during April, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--April 2011."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during April, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--April 2011."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during March, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--March 2011."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during March, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--March 2011."

For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in March, see "'FF' #1 Top Comic in March."  For an analysis of the dollar trends in March see "Top 300 Comics & GNs Down 9.65% in Q1."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through April 2011, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."
 
 
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Police were engaged in discussion with Archie Co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit.