Unlucky 13%: Comics Book Sales Take a Plunge in April

Secret Empire #0
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics's Secret Empire #0 and DC Comics's Batman #21 and The Flash #21 (the start of the four-part "The Button" crossover) couldn't stop April 2017's Direct Market comic book sales from falling over 13% versus last year, as signs continue to point to the industry being in the midst of its first sales decline in five years. 

According to sales figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, Secret Empire #0 was the most-ordered comic book of the month, followed by the lenticular cover of Batman #21. The standard version of Batman #21 also cracked the Top 10 on its own (#7). 

Marvel also debuted three "ResurrXion" titles in the top 10 - X-Men: Gold and X-Men: Blue #1 as the third and fourth bestselling titles, respectively, and Weapon X #1 at #9. 

Credit: DC Comics

Batman Volume 2: I Am Suicide was the bestselling graphic novel of the month. 

Marvel took both market share categories in April, with 34.95% dollar share and 38.23% unit share, compared to 30.49% dollar and 34.34% unit share for DC. 

But the real takeaway from April is that overall sales versus April 2016 (both four shipping weeks) was down 13.18%. Both publishing categories were down significantly, with comic books dipping 11.28% in dollar sales and graphic novels dipping 17.18%. 

Year-to-date, sales are now down 2.53% in comic book dollar sales and 12.41% in graphic novel dollars sales for an overall decline of 5.74%. It remains to be seen in the remaining eight months can reverse the so-far trend, in particular the precipitous dip in graphic novel sales, down 12.41% for the year. 

The April 2017 Market ShareComparative Sales Data, and New Titles Shipped charts, along with Top 10 Comic Books and Top 10 Graphic Novels charts follow below.

PUBLISHER MARKET SHARES

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

34.95%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

30.49%

IMAGE COMICS

10.54%

DARK HORSE COMICS

4.46%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.63%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.27%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.44%

VIZ MEDIA

1.30%

TITAN COMICS

1.30%

ARCHIE COMICS

0.90%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.73%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

38.23%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

34.34%

IMAGE COMICS

9.86%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.06%

IDW PUBLISHING

2.95%

BOOM! STUDIOS

1.95%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.60%

TITAN COMICS

1.20%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.87%

ARCHIE COMICS

0.79%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

5.15%


COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

APRIL 2017 VS. MARCH 2017

COMICS

-9.47%

-5.31%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-10.77%

-6.00%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-9.87%

-5.36%

TOYS

-45.50%

-39.17%

APRIL 2017 VS. APRIL 2016

COMICS

-11.28%

-4.66%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-17.18%

-15.47%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-13.18%

-5.62%

TOYS

-20.01%

-21.08%

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

COMICS

-2.53%

6.89%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-12.41%

-14.02%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-5.74%

5.04%

TOYS

-6.38%

-5.57%

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

93

41

0

134

DC ENTERTAINMENT

78

33

1

112

IMAGE COMICS

57

11

1

69

IDW PUBLISHING

47

15

0

62

DARK HORSE COMICS

20

21

0

41

BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

26

12

0

38

VIZ MEDIA

0

30

0

30

TITAN COMICS

23

2

1

26

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

15

6

0

21

ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

12

3

0

15

OTHER NON-TOP 10

108

112

31

251

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

SECRET EMPIRE #0

$4.99

MAR

2

BATMAN #21 LENTICULAR EDITION (THE BUTTON)

$3.99

DC

3

X-MEN GOLD #1

$4.99

MAR

4

X-MEN BLUE #1

$4.99

MAR

5

THE FLASH #21 LENTICULAR EDITION (THE BUTTON)

$3.99

DC

6

BATMAN #20

$2.99

DC

7

BATMAN #21 (THE BUTTON)

$2.99

DC

8

STAR WARS #30

$3.99

MAR

9

WEAPON X #1

$3.99

MAR

10

THE WALKING DEAD #166 (MR)

$2.99

IMA


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BATMAN VOLUME 2: I AM SUICIDE TP

$16.99

DC

2

HELLBOY: INTO THE SILENT SEA HC

$14.99

DAR

3

SAGA VOLUME 7 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

4

SUPERMAN VOL. 2: TRIALS OF THE SUPER SON TP

$16.99

DC

5

ALL-STAR BATMAN VOL. 1: MY OWN WORST ENEMY HC

$24.99

DC

6

SAGA DELUXE EDITION VOLUME 2 HC (MR)

$49.99

IMA

7

BATMAN VOLUME 10: EPILOGUE TP

$16.99

DC

8

JUSTICE LEAGUE VOLUME 2: OUTBREAK TP

$16.99

DC

9

AVATAR THE LAST AIRBENDER VOL. 15 TP

$10.99

DAR

10

RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS VOL. 1: DARK TRINITY TP

$16.99

DC


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