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Comic Sales Roar in January

Graphic Novels Soar 38%

Published: 02/08/2013, Last Updated: 02/12/2013 02:15pm
The bull market in comics continued its furious pace in January with year-over-year sales up by 22%, while on the graphic novel side the gains were even greater with dollar sales rising 37.89% over January of 2012 according to figures released today by Diamond Comic Distributors.  These sterling numbers reflect not just continued sales growth, but also the fact that Janaury 2013 contained five ship weeks versus four for January of 2012.

Marvel’s Superior Spider-Man #1was the month’s top comic as Marvel, buoyed by 4 Marvel NOW! debut issues in the top ten, managed to secure eight of the top ten spots on the comic charts.  But while the Marvel Now initiative is certainly having a positive effect on sales, DC’s sales remained solid and the oldest extant U.S. comic book publisher actually cut into Marvel’s dollar marketshare lead a bit.
 
The total year-over-year gain for both comics and graphic novels in January was a very robust 27.16%.  The launching of the Marvel NOW! initiative, which is ongoing and has been spread over several months, continues to help drive the market, which is also benefiting from the gradual improvement of the overall economy.
 
On the graphic novel side Bill Willingham’s Fables Vol. 18: Cubs in Toyland was a clear #1, but judging from the top ten, it wasn’t new releases like Cubs in Toyland that pushed the needle all by themselves.  In fact, only three volumes in the top 10 were new graphic novel collections, Cubs at #1, the Justice League Vol. 2 hardcover at #6, and Animal Man Vol. 2 at #10.  The seven other books including Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga Vol. 1, which came in at #2, and four volumes of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead (at #3, #5, #8, and #9) have all been available in graphic novel collections before, so it is very fair to say that graphic novel sales in January got a huge boost from the backlist.
 
Once again Marvel topped the marketshare battle with a 34.82% of dollar sales followed by DC with 31.61%.  Image Comics was a solid #3 with 8.19% followed by IDW Publishing with 6.3%, Dark Horse Comics with 4.55%, Dynamite Entertainment with 2.2%, and BOOM! Studios with 1.45%.
 
As is typical for game sales in the direct market, NECA/WizKids’ HeroClix releases dominated Diamond’s game chart for January with the Marvel HeroClix Spider-Man leading the pack.  HeroClix products took the top five spots as well as seven of the top ten overall.

For an overview and analysis of comic sales in Janaury, see "'Superior Spider-Man' Tops in January"

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during Janaury, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--Janaury 2013."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during Janaury, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--January 2013."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during December, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2012."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during December, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2012."
 
For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in December, see "Spidey Tops $1.6 Million."  For an analysis of the dollar trends in December, see "Comics and GNs Up Again in December."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through Janaury 2013, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."
 
 
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