Comics Up, Graphic Novels Down in March 2017 Sales Led by $10 SPIDER-MAN

"Amazing Spider-Man #25" first look
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Direct Market comic book retailers continue to sell more units in 2017 than in comparable months in 2016, but are making less dollars, even with March's dollar sales buoyed by the $9.99 cover price of Amazing Spider-Man #25.

According to sales figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, that oversized Dan Slott/Stuart Immonen kick-off to a new Green Goblin story arc was the best-selling comic book of March, helping Marvel maintain their market share lead in dollar sales, while DC took the unit share category.

Marvel also placed the latest series debut of Iron Fist (ranked #5), and X-Men Prime #1 (ranked #6) in the Top 10. 

DC's highest-ranking comic book was Dark Knight III: The Master Race #8, and Batman #18 and #19 ranked #3 and #4. All five of DC's Top 10 titles feature Batman, indisputably the industry's most popular character at this time.

Credit: Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga Volume 7 trade paperback from Image Comics was March's best-selling graphic novel, followed by the always-chart topping The Walking Dead with Volume 27: The Whisperer War.

Helped by Amazing Spider-Man #25, Marvel's 35.41% dollar share topped DC's 28.75% dollar share handily, but despite shipping seven less new titles in March than DC (131 to 123), DC accounted for 35.46% of unit share, barely edging out Marvel's 34.34%, again likely due to DC's "Rebirth" lower cover price structure, which will change in April.

Image Comics notably topped the ten percent mark in both the dollar and unit share categories, placing third with a 10.71% dollar and a 10.02% unit share.

Year-to-year, sales in March were up in comic book sales but way down in graphic novel sales compared to March 2016, both of them five-week shipping months. Retailers sold nearly 9% more comic book units for 6% more dollars, but graphic novel sales were down 17.47% in units and $15.36% in dollars. 

Overall units were up 6.21% versus March 2016 but down 1.68% in dollars. 

Likewise, the 2017 year-to-date first-quarters overall sales are a tale of two categories - up nearly 9% in units versus Q1 2016, but down 3% in dollars. 

The March 2017 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

35.41%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

28.75%

IMAGE COMICS

10.71%

IDW PUBLISHING

5.68%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.48%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.15%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.76%

TITAN COMICS

1.15%

VIZ MEDIA

1.14%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

1.14%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.62%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

DC ENTERTAINMENT

35.46%

MARVEL COMICS

34.34%

IMAGE COMICS

10.02%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.72%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.09%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.00%

BOOM! STUDIOS

1.86%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

1.37%

TITAN COMICS

1.06%

ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

0.77%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

5.31%


COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

MARCH 2017 VS. FEBRUARY 2017

COMICS

15.00%

-4.72%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

15.44%

19.72%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

15.14%

-3.13%

TOYS

34.66%

55.98%

MARCH 2017 VS. MARCH 2016

COMICS

6.02%

8.93%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-15.36%

-17.47%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-1.68%

6.21%

TOYS

-9.24%

0.51%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016

COMICS

0.70%

11.05%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-10.68%

-13.49%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-3.01%

8.89%

TOYS

-2.52%

-0.31%

FIRST QUARTER 2017 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2016

COMICS

-15.15%

-12.69%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-11.42%

-16.73%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-14.06%

-12.98%

TOYS

-20.45%

-23.92%

 


NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

92

39

0

131

DC ENTERTAINMENT

92

31

0

123

IMAGE COMICS

61

16

2

79

IDW PUBLISHING

60

19

0

79

DARK HORSE COMICS

25

14

0

39

TITAN COMICS

24

6

5

35

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

24

10

0

34

VIZ MEDIA

0

26

0

26

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

21

1

0

22

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

7

2

0

9

OTHER NON-TOP 10

130

161

20

311

 


TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25

$9.99

MAR

2

DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #8

$5.99

DC

3

BATMAN #18

$2.99

DC

4

BATMAN #19

$2.99

DC

5

IRON FIST #1

$3.99

MAR

6

X-MEN PRIME #1

$4.99

MAR

7

STAR WARS #29

$3.99

MAR

8

ALL-STAR BATMAN #8

$4.99

DC

9

THE WALKING DEAD #165 (MR)

$2.99

IMA

10

JUSTICE LEAGUE #16

$2.99

DC


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

SAGA VOLUME 7 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

2

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 27: THE WHISPERER WAR TP

$14.99

IMA

3

HARLEY QUINN VOLUME 1: DIE LAUGHING TP

$16.99

DC

4

SUICIDE SQUAD VOLUME 1: THE BLACK VAULT TP

$16.99

DC

5

DEATH OF X TP

$17.99

MAR

6

TITANS VOLUME 1: THE RETURN OF WALLY WEST TP

$16.99

DC

7

WOLVERINE: OLD MAN LOGAN TP

$29.99

MAR

8

DEATHSTROKE VOLUME 1: THE PROFESSIONAL TP

$16.99

DC

9

BATGIRL VOLUME 1: BEYOND BURNSIDE TP

$16.99

DC

10

DEADLY CLASS VOLUME 5: CAROUSEL TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA


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