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'Fear Itself' Debut Boosts Comic Sales

‘Rose Red’ Does the Same on the GN Side

Published: 05/17/2011 02:12am
In April the comic market was buoyed by a real hit as Marvel’s Fear Itself #1 debuted with an estimated 128,595, the highest monthly sales of a periodical comic reported by ICv2 since X-Men #1 topped 140K in July of 2010. Fear Itself’s total was 36% better than its closest competitor Marvel’s The Mighty Thor #1, which like Fear Itself was written by Matt Fraction, debuted with estimated sales of 82,071 copies aided by multpile variant covers.
 
The strong debut of Marvel’s Fear Itself crossover and the strength of the prequel issues for DC’s Flashpoint, which have pushed The Flash comic into the top 25, do provide some hope that this summer’s big events may be able to reverse the downward sales trend in the first quarter of 2011. DC’s Brightest Day, which finished up in April was a remarkably stable seller and the War of the Lanterns storyline, which is weaving its way through DC’s Green Lantern titles helped make sure that all three books landed in the Top 25. If the more extensive Flashpoint event can enjoy that sort of success and if Marvel’s Fear Itself can sustain its strong debut, the outlook for the sales of periodical comics could be positive.
 
Marvel took six out of the top ten spots and 14 out of the top 25. Nine titles posted gains in circulation while 14 declined. Superman’s return to Action Comics for the anniversary issue #900 created quite a stir thanks to a back-up story in which the Man of Steel appeared to be on the verge of renouncing his American citizenships (see “Supes Citizenship Flap Spreads Like Wildfire”). Another title that experienced an uptick in sales was Uncanny X-Men #535 in which Kieron Gillen took over the writing chores and began a new storyline based on Joss Whedon's "Breakworld."
 
On the graphic novel side the gap between the #1 title, Bill Willingham’s Fables Vol. 15: Rose Red from DC/Vertigo, and Garth Ennis’ The Boys Vol. 8 from Dynamite Entertainment, was even bigger with the new Fables release selling more than two times as many copies as its nearest competitor.
 
Robert Kirkman’s Invincible from Image Comics came in a close third on the graphic novel list with sales of over 5 thousand copies, while Green Lantern Secret Origin, which came in fourth, sold over 3,800, and Flash: Rebirth, which was fifth, sold just over three thousand. Dan Clowes’ Mister Wonderful came in at #6 making it the bestselling alternative comic of the month by far.
 
The top manga release of the month in the direct market was Black Butler Vol. 5 from Yen Press.
 
Here are ICv2’s estimates for the sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic stores on the Top 25 comic titles in April of 2011:
 
128,595           Fear Itself #1
  82,071           The Mighty Thor #1
  75,780           Green Lantern #65 (War of GL)
  70,289           Brightest Day #23
  69,790           FF #2
  69,742           Brightest Day #24
  63,441           Avengers #12
  62,204           Batman Incorporated #5
  61,778           New Avengers #11
  61,687           Amazing Spider-Man #658
  60,445           Avengers #12.1
  60,162           Green Lantern Corps #59 (War of GL)
  60,152           Action Comics #900
  59,076           Batman & Robin #22
  58,258           Amazing Spider-Man #659
  56,795           Uncanny X-Men #535
  56,578           Batman #709
  54,953           Flash #10 (Flashpoint)
  54,633           Flash #11 (Flashpoint)
  54,292          Uncanny X-Force #7
  53,502          Uncanny X-Men #536
  53,473          Uncanny X-Men #534.1
  51,970          X-Men: Legacy #247 (Age of X)
  51,784          Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #9 (War of GL)
  50,908          Uncanny X-Force #8
 
For an analysis of the dollar trends in April, see "Comic Sales Decline Slows in April."

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 March, 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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