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No Titles Over 100K Again

'Fear Itself'' Stays On Top

Published: 06/14/2011 01:11am
In spite of the debut of DC’s Flashpoint event comic there was no periodical comic that sold over 100,000 copies once again in May and only 3 out of the top 25 comics posted gains in circulation.  DC’s Flashpoint’s debut at #2 has to be considered disappointing.  Several retailers contacted by ICv2 have indicated that they sold out of their initial orders, which means that Flashpoint might well have been under-ordered by retailers who are increasingly suspicious of the never-ending parade of comic book “events.”
Marvel’s Fear Itself event, which debuted with sales of over 125,000 copies last month, dropped a whopping 32,000 copies from issue #1 to #2, though it should be said that two of the three top 25 titles that actually posted gains, Avengers #13 and Secret Avengers #13, were both Fear Itself tie-ins.
The other title that managed to post a gain, Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #10, was part of DC’s “War of the Lanterns,” which put three titles in the top 25, with the other two, Green Lantern #66 and Green Lantern Corps #60, holding near steady with just minimal drops from April. Marvel’s new FF series is also holding up well, and putting Brian Michael Bendis on Moon Knight managed to lift that perennial also-ran into the top 25 at least for its debut issue.
But that was about the only good news during a month that saw the total dollars for the Top 300 comics drop a whopping 17.3%.  Marvel dominated the top 25 with 16 titles, while DC had 9. Marvel’s Mighty Thor #2 made the Top 25, but it posted a substantial 32,000 copy drop. 
As bad as periodical sales were in May, graphic novel sales were at least as disappointing with the top title a 48-page “graphic novel” with an $8.99 price tag that sold only 5,310 copies.  While the periodical side of the chart was hurt in May by the absence of DC’s The Dark Knight total, in a month-by-month analysis comic books benefit from the fact that most titles come out every month.  The graphic novel side of the equation is far less regular since the hit titles are not published every month and some months like May wind up woefully short of major releases.  There were some solid releases in May including a couple of Star Wars titles from Dark Horse, Brightest Day and Batman and Robin hardcovers from DC, Brian Wood’s DMZ from Vertigo, and Mark Waid’s Irredeemable Vol. 6 from Boom! Studios, but no real graphic novel home runs.
That was certainly true of the manga released in May. The top title was Negima Vol. 29, which came in at number 34 on the chart.
Here are ICv2’s estimates for the sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic stores on the Top 25 comic titles in May of 2011:
96,318             Fear Itself #2
86,981             Flashpoint #1
75,371             Green Lantern #66
68,086             Avengers #13
66,885             FF #3
60,964             Green Lantern Corps #60
60,571             FF #4
60,480             Batman Incorporated #6
60,328             New Avengers #12
59,087             Amazing Spider-Man #661
58,249             Amazing Spider-Man #660
57,525             Batman & Robin #23
55,883             Amazing Spider-Man #662
55,086             Batman #710
54,914             Flash #12
53,716             Uncanny X-Men #537
52,971             Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #10
52,103             X-Men Giant Size #1
51,936             Secret Avengers #13
51,726             Uncanny X-Force #9
50,676             Uncanny X-Force #10
50,473             Mighty Thor #2
49,018             Moon Knight #1
47,941             Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #158
46,729             Justice League of America #57
For an analysis of the dollar trends in May, see "Top 300 Comics Down 17.3% in May."

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

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

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 an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in April see "'Fear Itself' Debut Boosts Comic Sales."  For an analysis of the dollar trends in April see "Comic Sales Decline Slows in April."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through May 2011, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."
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