Comic Book Sales Take a Plunge in April, Down for the Year

"Black Panther" merchandise
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Comic book sales in April took a dive of 18% (and over 22% in units) versus April 2015, although that does come with a caveat - there were five shipping weeks in April 2015 and four last month. But the end results mean that overall 2016 sales are in the red again, down over 4% against 2015 through the same cycle last year. 

According to data released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, Marvel's Black Panther #1 was the bestselling comic book in April and DC's Wonder Woman: Earth One Book 1 hardcover was the bestselling graphic novel. It was previously reported that Black Panther #1 sold over 330,000 copies.

Credit: DC Comics

Marvel continued its pre-DC Rebirth dominance over the rest of the field, accounting for nearly 43% of all dollar sales to comic book retailers in April and nearly 48% of all unit sales, although the publisher did release a significantly higher number of new releases in April - 128 to DC's 112. But with a nearly 20% point spread in unit sales, how much DC can close that gap when its Rebirth initiative begins on May 25 and in earnest next month remains to be seen. 

With the five-to-four shipping week discrepancy, comic book sales were down 18.05% versus the same month last year and 11.99% in graphic novels for an overall decline of 16.19% and an even bigger decline of 21.49% in unit sales. 

Year-to-date in 2016, overall sales are now down 4.06% compared to 2015 and down 11.69% in units.

The April 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

42.98%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

25.82%

IMAGE COMICS

8.72%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.41%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.07%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.39%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.53%

TITAN COMICS

1.10%

VIZ MEDIA

0.97%

ONI PRESS

0.87%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.12%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

47.87%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

25.13%

IMAGE COMICS

8.95%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.67%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.45%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.42%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.45%

TITAN COMICS

1.09%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT

1.03%

ONI PRESS

0.63%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

5.30%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

92

35

1

128

DC ENTERTAINMENT

80

31

1

112

IMAGE COMICS

56

17

0

73

IDW PUBLISHING

43

21

0

64

DARK HORSE COMICS

27

19

0

46

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

27

8

0

35

TITAN COMICS

22

3

1

26

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

19

6

0

25

VIZ MEDIA

0

21

0

21

ONI PRESS INC.

8

4

0

12

OTHER NON-TOP 10

46

139

26

211

 

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

APRIL 2016 VS. MARCH 2016

COMICS

8.18%

8.19%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-8.81%

-8.22%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

2.06%

6.50%

APRIL 2016 VS. APRIL 2015

COMICS

-18.05%

-22.28%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-11.99%

-12.42%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-16.19%

-21.49%

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

COMICS

-7.84%

-13.05%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

4.87%

5.23%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-4.06%

-11.69%

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BLACK PANTHER #1

$4.99

MAR

2

STAR WARS: POE DAMERON #1

$4.99

MAR

3

DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #4

$5.99

DC

4

STAR WARS SPECIAL: C-3PO #1

$4.99

MAR

5

BATMAN #51

$3.99

DC

6

GWENPOOL #1

$4.99

MAR

7

STAR WARS #18

$3.99

MAR

8

DARTH VADER #19

$3.99

MAR

9

HARLEY QUINN & SUICIDE SQUAD APRIL FOOL'S SPECIAL #1

$4.99

DC

10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10

$3.99

MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

WONDER WOMAN: EARTH ONE BOOK 1 HC

$22.99

DC

2

STAR WARS: VADER DOWN TP

$19.99

MAR

3

RAT QUEENS VOLUME 3: DEMONS TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

4

I HATE FAIRYLAND VOL. 1: MADLY EVER AFTER TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

5

THANOS: THE INFINITY FINALE OGN HC

$24.99

MAR

6

CIVIL WAR TP

$24.99

MAR

7

DEADPOOL: WORLD'S GREATEST VOLUME 1: A MILLIONAIRE WITH MOUTH TP

$15.99

MAR

8

BLACK MAGICK VOL. 1: AWAKENING PART ONE TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

9

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL EDITION HC

$17.99

DC

10

RICK & MORTY VOLUME 2 TP

$19.99

ONI


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