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Top 300 Shows Less Growth in August

Comics & GN Sales Equal 2009 Numbers

Published: 09/13/2011 11:00pm
ICv2's analysis of the August 2011 sales of the Top 300 Comics and the Top 300 Graphic Novels through Diamond Comic Distributors reveal significantly smaller year-over-year gains that those announced yesterday by Diamond.  The Diamond numbers, which cover the sales of all comics (not just the Top300), showed a year-over-year gain of 15.41% for comics and 31.17% for graphic novels (see “Comic & GN Sales Up Big Time in August”).  ICv2's numbers, which are based on comparisons of just the top 300 comics show significantly smaller gains, of 11% for periodical comics and 19.7% for graphic novels.
 
The size of the discrepancies between ICv2's numbers and Diamond's points to the increased performance of the "long tail," the less-than-stellar performers that sell under 4,500 copies (for periodical comics) or under 389 copies (for graphic novels), totals that wouldn’t make either Top 300 list in August.  Not surprisingly the effect is most pronounced on the graphic novel side where there is an 11.47% gap between Diamond's numbers of ICv2's.  The proliferation of graphic novel releases has reached the point that there is a substantial group of perennial titles that manage to sell a few hundred copies every month, but rarely make the Top 300 list unless Diamond list them again in Previews (and sometimes not even then).  In both categories the proliferation of releases has resulted in substantial sales below the Top 300 cutoff points.  These are not the most efficient sales, but in a comic market, which so far in 2011 still remains below 2010's less than stellar numbers, all sales are welcome.
 
As ICv2 pointed out yesterday, the main reason that August 2011's year-over-year numbers look so good is the fact that August 2010 was such a brutal month for comic and graphic novel sales (see "Comic & GN Sales Up Big Time in August" again).  A comparison of the August 2011 Top 300 Comics numbers with those from August of 2009 finds that periodical sales are down 7.6% ($21,552,199 last month vs. $23,323,934 in 2009), but graphic novel dollar sales are up 41.5% ($6,345,585 vs. $4,483,281).  Combined comics and graphic novel sales of the Top 300s are almost identical, with August 2011 trailing August 2009 by just .3% ($27,807,214 last month to $27,897,784 for August of 2009).
 
For an overview and analysis of comic sales in August, see "'Justice League' Laps the Field in August."

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

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

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

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

For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in July, see "'Amazing Spider-Man' #666 Tops July Sales." For an analysis of the dollar trends in July, see "Comics Down Again in July."

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