This story has been updated to correct ommission of Afterlife with Archie #1 as 2013's Comic Book of the Year Under $3.00.
Diamond Comic Distributors, the middleman between comic book publishers and your local comic book store, each year names their Gem Awards, which according to Diamond are “recognized within the comic book industry as the pinnacle of sales achievement for comic book artists, writers, publishers, and industry executives who work in one of America's most unique art forms.”
Diamond staff nominates the Gem Awards Vendor categories while Product categories are chosen on “the merits of their sales performance and quality from 2013.” Winners are then selected through voting by participating Direct Market comic book retailers throughout the US and internationally in territories Diamond serves.
“We established the Gem Awards to give comic retailers an opportunity to recognize the vendors, titles, and products that have been instrumental in helping their businesses grow over the past year,” explained Diamond President & CEO Steve Geppi. “Our vendors work diligently to support retailers and the entire industry with top-quality titles and products, and we thank all of the retailers who took time from their busy schedules to vote and acknowledge those efforts.”
For 2013, Image Comics was named the industry’s top publisher (in the over 4% market share category), ending for now DC’s domination of the award and halting its run of four consecutive wins (2009-2012). Marvel last won the award for 2008.
For Image, it further solidifies their emerging profile as the publishing haven for creators looking to expand upon the work-for-hire superhero dominance by the ‘Big Two.’
The win comes despite what is still a huge sales advantage Marvel and DC enjoy over Image. For 2013, Marvel was the Dollar Market share leader at 33.50%, DC followed at 30.33%, and then Image at 8%, and the strength of The Walking Dead sales certainly accounts for a significant share of that 8%. The win indicates despite Marvel and DC driving their sales, retailers are appreciative of Image’s business practices and/or the unique creative identify they further established for themselves over the last few years.
BOOM! Studios was named Comic Book Publisher of the Year with Under 4% Market Share.
Here are the rest of the Gem Award winner, including the Product category winners:
2013 Diamond Gem Award Suppliers of the Year
Comic Book Publisher of the Year Over 4%: Image Comics
Comic Book Publisher of the Year Under 4%: BOOM! Studios
Backlist Publisher of the Year: DC Entertainment
Top Dollar Comic Book Publisher of the Year: Marvel Comics
Manga Publisher of the Year: Viz Media
Game Manufacturer of the Year: Wizkids/NECA
Toy Manufacturer of the Year: DC Collectibles
2013 Diamond Gem Award Products of the Year
Comic Book of the Year Under $3.00: Afterlife with Archie #1
Comic Book of the Year Over $3.00: Superior Spider-Man #1 NOW!
Top Dollar Comic of the Year:Superman Unchained #1
Licensed Comic Book of the Year: The Star Wars: Lucas Draft #1
Licensed TP/HC of the Year: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Vol. 1 TP
Original GN of the Year: Hellboy: Midnight Circle HC
Reprint TP/HC of the Year: Batman: Death of the Family Vol. 3 HC
Manga TP of the Year: Lone Wolf & Cub Omnibus Vol. 1 TP
Best Free Comic Book Day Book: FCBD 2013 The Walking Dead Special
Best New Comic Book Series: East of West
Best All-Ages Comics: Adventure Time
Magazine of the Year: Batman Automobilia Figure Collectors Magazine
Indie GN of the Year: March: Book One TP
Anthology of the Year: Dark Horse Presents #26
Trade Book of the Year: Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia HC
Game Product of the Year: The Walking Dead: Monopoly PX
Toy Product of the Year: DC Comics Super Villains: The Joker Action Figure
Toy Line of the Year: POP! Vinyl Figures
Collectable Statue of the Year: DC Comics Bombshell Harley Quinn