Huge Graphic Novel Gains in March Push 2016 Comic Book Sales Into Positive Territory

"Batman #50" preview
Credit: Greg Capullo (DC Comics)
Credit: DC Comics

March 2016 monthly comic books sales were up slightly in dollars and off significantly in units compared to March 2015, but big graphic novel gains made up the difference and them some, pushing 2016 into (slightly) positive territory versus last year at the end of the 1st Quarter.

According to data released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, Batman #50 was the bestselling comic book of last month, followed up somewhat surprisingly by BOOM! Studios' Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1

Star Wars #17 was Marvel's bestselling title, with two issues of their Darth Vader series also cracking their seven entries in the Top 10. Think getting the Star Wars license has worked out for Marvel?

Credit: Charlie Adlard (Image Comics / Skybound)

While dollar sales for comic books were up a half-percentage point versus March of last year, unit sales were off over 8%, and are down over 9% year-to-date.

Conversely, graphic novel sales, led by usual chart-topper The Walking Dead (Vol. 25: No Turning Back), were way up compared to March 2015 - over 36% up. 1st Quarter graphic novel and trade sales are up over 12.5% versus last year, helping negate a negative ledger on the comic book side (particularly in units), pushing overall dollar sales up 1.32% versus last year. 

The March 2016 Market ShareComparative 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

37.39%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

26.32%

IMAGE COMICS

8.73%

IDW PUBLISHING

5.82%

BOOM! STUDIOS

3.26%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.82%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.69%

VIZ MEDIA

1.45%

TITAN COMICS

1.42%

EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS LTD

1.21%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

9.88%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

42.71%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

25.94%

IMAGE COMICS

8.63%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.41%

BOOM! STUDIOS

4.07%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.47%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.56%

TITAN COMICS

1.48%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

1.13%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.84%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

6.78%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

84

44

0

128

DC ENTERTAINMENT

77

40

0

117

IDW PUBLISHING

50

32

0

82

IMAGE COMICS

54

19

0

73

EAGLEMOSS

0

0

47

47

VIZ MEDIA

0

43

0

43

DARK HORSE COMICS

23

16

0

39

TITAN COMICS

19

11

5

35

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

23

11

0

34

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

18

2

0

20

OTHER NON-TOP 10

140

153

29

322

 

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

MARCH 2016 VS. FEBRUARY 2016

COMICS

3.62%

2.59%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

31.90%

26.24%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

12.29%

4.61%

MARCH 2016 VS. MARCH 2015

COMICS

0.53%

-8.45%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

36.36%

34.78%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

11.04%

-5.31%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2016 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2015

COMICS

-3.40%

-9.16%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

12.67%

13.56%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

1.32%

-7.53%

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BATMAN #50

$5.99

DC

2

MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #1

$3.99

BOO

3

STAR WARS #17

$3.99

MAR

4

SUPERMAN #50

$4.99

DC

5

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9

$3.99

MAR

6

DARTH VADER #17

$3.99

MAR

7

DARTH VADER #18

$3.99

MAR

8

DEADPOOL #8

$3.99

MAR

9

INTERNATIONAL IRON MAN #1

$3.99

MAR

10

AVENGERS STANDOFF: ASSAULT ON PLEASANT HILL ALPHA #1

$4.99

MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 25: NO TURNING BACK TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

2

PAPER GIRLS VOLUME 1 TP

$9.99

IMA

3

CIVIL WAR TP

$24.99

MAR

4

TOKYO GHOST VOLUME 1: ATOMIC GARDEN TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

5

BATMAN VOLUME 7: ENDGAME TP

$16.99

DC

6

BEAUTY VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

7

EAST OF WEST VOLUME 5: ALL THESE SECRETS TP

$14.99

IMA

8

SECRET WARS HC

$50.00

MAR

9

BATMAN VOLUME 8: SUPERHEAVY HC

$24.99

DC

10

AVATAR THE LAST AIRBENDER VOLUME 12: SMOKE & SHADOW PART 3 TP

$10.99

DAR

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