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X-Books, Green Arrow Jump in May

Over-all Numbers Solid

Published: 05/03/2001 09:40pm
New X-Men #114

All of Marvel's X-books except Ultimate took substantial jumps in sales between April and May, reflecting new creative teams on three titles and Marvel's 'X-Men Month' promotion.  New X-Men #114 (nee X-Men) went up over 40,000 copies, topping 135,000 -- the largest number we've seen since we started calculating these numbers in March (see 'Ultimate X-Men Tops 100,000' for last month's numbers).  This represents an increase in sales of over 40% versus the previous issue.  Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely are the new creative team on that book.  Uncanny X-men (now by Joe Casey and Ian Churchill) jumped around 30,000 copies to over 127,000.  The codeless issue of X-Force by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred also jumped around 35%.  It will be interesting to see what sell-through is like on this book, since the lack of code approval was probably not known by most retailers at the time of ordering.  Green Arrow #4 took a nice 24% jump, reflecting the fact that retailers now have had a chance to adjust their initial orders after seeing the sales on #1.  Other numbers are a mixed bag, with about as many down as up.  We took a look at total dollars for the first time, and the sell-in dollars were up a hair (less than 1%) between April and May shipping.  Here are the top 25 comic titles with their estimated North American comic store orders for May. 

 

135,394  New X-Men #114

127,211  Uncanny X-Men #394

126,405  X-Treme X-Men #1

  99,990  Ultimate X-Men #6

  79,756  Green Arrow #4

  79,201  Ultimate Spider-Man #9

  69,390  JLA #54

  68,937  Amazing Spider-Man #31

  67,936  Wolverine #164

  67,494  Brotherhood #1

  63,326  Avengers #42

  61,852  Ultimate Marvel Team-up #4

  58,866  Daredevil #18 (Res)

  52,267  Spawn #110

  50,311  Fantastic Four #43

  49,051  X-Force #116

  48,877  Peter Parker #31

  48,772  Rising Stars #16

  43,753  Tangled Web the Thousand #2

  42,509  Universe X #10

  41,302  Superman #170

  40,755  JLA Incarantions #1

  40,662  Thor #37

  40,508  Batman #591

  38,669  JSA #24

 

For the complete list of estimated quantities for comics ordered for May, see 'Top 300 Comics -- May.'

 

Here are the best-sellers from the first ten publishers to appear on the list:

135,394  New X-Men #114 (Marvel)

  79,756  Green Arrow #4 (DC)

  53,107  Spawn #110 (Image)

  30,964  Just a Pilgrim #3  (Black Bull)

  26,760  Star Wars Infinities #1 (Dark Horse)

  18,723  Crux #2  (Crossgen)

  17,864  Rock #1  (Chaos)

  15,928  Bone #43 (Cartoon)

  14,141  Simpson's Comics #58 (Bongo)

  13,842  Sailor Moon #31 (Tokyo Pop)

The only change here versus April is that Harris dropped off and Cartoon popped back on with its bi-monthly Bone.

 

Over-all some positive signs at the top of the list this month.  Let's hope that sales continue to be strong as we enter the key summer selling season for comics.

 

Our analysis was based on a combination of the information Diamond releases in Diamond Dialogue and actual order numbers provided to ICv2 from publisher sources.  By plugging in the circulation numbers we know and using the Diamond order index, all of the circulation numbers for comics ordered through Diamond can be interpolated. 

 

There are some limitations to this type of analysis:

Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image distribute 100% of their comic store orders through Diamond.  Some other publishers distribute directly to stores or through other distributors and as a result this analysis may underestimate their sales. 

Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image distribute some of their titles through channels other than comic specialty stores, e.g., newsstands and bookstores.  These quantity estimates do not reflect distribution through those channels. 

The quantities above do not include advance reorders, late orders, or reorders.

Most of the titles on this chart are also distributed to Europe by Diamond UK, which can account for significant sales for the publisher, ranging from 3-20% of the US numbers.   Sales by Diamond UK are not included in the numbers above.

Even given the above, however, it is probably safe to say that these quantities reflect 80% or more of the total North American sales on most periodical comics. 
 
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