DARK KNIGHT III & Marvel Combine to Push November Comic Book Sales 30% Over 2014

"Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1" variant cover by Frank Miller
Credit: Frank Miller (DC Comics)
Credit: DC Comics

DC's return to the world of Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns predictably was the bestselling comic book of November 2015, and a huge increase in comic book sales versus November 2014 (goosed by variants) helped the Direct Market comic book industry get back to double digit sales gains over the same month last year.

According to data released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Andy Kubert, and Klaus Janson's Dark Knight III: The Master Race #1 topped all titles, but we'll have to wait until early next week to find out by how much. Otherwise, Marvel's one-two punch of Star Wars titles and their All-New, All-Different relaunches dominated the remainder of the Top 10 and also kept their retail and unit market share margins over DC significantly, to the tunes of nearly 17 and over 21 percent, respectively.

Credit: J.H. Williams III (DC Comics/Vertigo)

Neil Gaiman and J.H. Williams III's The Sandman Overture Deluxe Edition was November's bestselling graphic novel, in a down month for the category, also dominated by Star Wars/Marvel in the Top 10.

Graphic novel sales fell a big 17.5% against November 2014, interesting considering it's prep month before the holiday sale period for many retailers, but thanks to the Dark Knight (and again, a LOT of variant covers, perhaps eating away at graphic novel budgets), the Force and Marvel, comic book sales were up a very robust 30.05%. With just a month to go it looks like a positive year versus 2014 is all but guaranteed, as year-to-date sales are now up 5.89% over last year. 

The November 2015 Market Share, Comparative Sales Data, and New Titles Shipped charts, along with Top 10 Comic Books and Top 10 Graphic Novels charts follow below.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

43.20%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

26.35%

IMAGE COMICS

8.67%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.42%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.17%

BOOM! STUDIOS

1.96%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.90%

ONI PRESS INC.

1.06%

TITAN COMICS

0.73%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.73%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

7.82%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

47.65%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

26.09%

IMAGE COMICS

10.02%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.50%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.69%

BOOM! STUDIOS

1.67%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.60%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.87%

ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

0.76%

TITAN COMICS

0.64%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

4.51%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

72

39

0

111

DC ENTERTAINMENT

77

27

0

104

IMAGE COMICS

61

14

0

75

IDW PUBLISHING

42

22

0

64

DARK HORSE COMICS

36

15

0

51

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

27

11

0

38

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

19

5

0

24

TITAN COMICS

11

6

5

22

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

9

5

0

14

ONI PRESS INC.

6

6

0

12

OTHER NON-TP 10

110

131

34

275

 

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

NOVEMBER 2015 VS. OCTOBER 2015

COMICS

8.62%

4.93%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-11.93%

-10.96%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

2.70%

3.80%

NOVEMBER 2015 VS. NOVEMBER 2014

COMICS

30.05%

18.19%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-17.50%

-21.76%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

13.84%

14.63%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2015 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2014

COMICS

7.54%

5.45%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

2.24%

3.06%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

5.89%

5.26%

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #1

$5.99

DC

2

STAR WARS: VADER DOWN #1

$4.99

MAR

3

DEADPOOL #1

$4.99

MAR

4

SECRET WARS #7

$3.99

MAR

5

EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #1

$4.99

MAR

6

ALL-NEW ALL-DIFFERENT AVENGERS #1

$4.99

MAR

7

STAR WARS #11

$3.99

MAR

8

UNCANNY X-MEN #600

$5.99

MAR

9

STAR WARS #12

$3.99

MAR

10

ALL NEW WOLVERINE #1

$4.99

MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

SANDMAN OVERTURE DELUXE EDITION HC (MR)

$24.99

DC

2

STAR WARS: JOURNEY TO THE FORCE AWAKENS: SHATTERED EMPIRE TP

$16.99

MAR

3

STAR WARS: PRINCESS LEIA TP

$16.99

MAR

4

MS. MARVEL VOLUME 4: LAST DAYS TP

$17.99

MAR

5

SPIDER-GWEN VOLUME 0: MOST WANTED TP

$16.99

MAR

6

DEADPOOL VS. THANOS TP

$16.99

MAR

7

LOW VOLUME 2: BEFORE THE DAWN BURNS US TP

$14.99

IMA

8

VAMPIRELLA #1969

$7.99

DE

9

STAR WARS: KANAN VOLUME 1: THE LAST PADAWAN TP

$19.99

MAR

10

SAGA VOLUME 5 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA


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