February 2018 Comic Book Sales Down Again, But Hold That Thought

Dark Knight Rises: The Wild Hunt
Credit: Doug Mahnke/Will Quintana (DC Comics)

Total comic book and graphic novel Direct Market sales in February 2018 took at nearly 8% dip in dollars and a nearly 20% dip in units compared to February 2017, but those seemingly stark negative figures come with a big honking caveat.

Credit: Marcos Martin (Marvel Comics)

According to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, the Dark Nights: Metal tie-in Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1 from DC was February's Doomsday-Clock-free best-selling comic book title by units, which up until last month was the only category leader Diamond reported. New for 2018, however, Diamond is reporting category leaders in units and dollars and February's dollar leader was Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #300 at $5.99, which ranked #7 by units. 

Marvel Comics had five titles in the unit Top 10 (compared to DC's 4), led by Tom Taylor and Mahmud A. Asrar's X-Men: Red #1 as the #2 selling title. Image's The Walking Dead #176 was the lone non-Marvel/DC title in the either Top 10 and was ranked #5 in units, and #4 in dollars.

Credit: Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga Volume 8 from Image Comics was February's best-selling graphic novel in units. 

Marvel was February's top publisher in both categories with a 34.86% retailer dollar share and a 36.94% unit share. DC was second of course with a 31.79% dollar share and a 36.61% unit share. Image Comics was third with a 10.49% dollar share and an 10.82% unit share. 

Overall, Direct Market dollars were down 7.81% compared to the same month last year and 19.31% in units, which may partially be explained (and stay tuned) by a seeming significant dip in Marvel's title count. Last February Diamond reported Marvel Comics shipped 140 new titles to stores, including 104 new comic book titles. This February Diamond reports Marvel shipped just 112 new titles to Direct Market stores, including 81 new comic book titles, an over 20% dip. 

DC's 122 new titles shipped was 6 more than their February 2017 figure. 

That, however, is not the real story. According to John Jackson Miller at Comichron, last February's $0.25-cent The Walking Dead #163, greatly skews unit sales comparisons.

"An important thing to remember when looking at the February 2018 data is to ignore the comics units sales, because the year-to-year comparisons are impacted by last February's 25th anniversary Image event, which included a reported 750,000 copies of a 25¢ issue of Walking Dead. (Walking Dead #163 will not be found in our charts for that month, because Diamond reports nothing with a cover price below $1.)," writes Miler. "Combine that with January 2017's 10% overship on Marvel's entire line, and the comics unit year-to-date comparisons are a total wreck."

The February 2018 Market Share, Comparative Sales Data, New Titles Shipped and Top 10 Comic Books Units and Dollars and Top 10 Graphic Novels Units and Dollars charts follow below.
 

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

34.86%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

31.79%

IMAGE COMICS

10.49%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.58%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.85%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.40%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.37%

VIZ MEDIA

1.19%

TITAN COMICS

1.01%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.94%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.54%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

36.94%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

36.61%

IMAGE COMICS

10.82%

IDW PUBLISHING

2.63%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.29%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.12%

DARK HORSE COMICS

1.68%

TITAN COMICS

0.67%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.64%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.53%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

5.06%


COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

FEBRUARY 2018 VS. JANUARY 2018

COMICS

-3.40%

-6.02%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-14.54%

-16.60%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-6.72%

-6.83%

TOYS

-10.48%

-13.65%

FEBRUARY 2018 VS. FEBRUARY 2017

COMICS

-3.01%

-19.67%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-18.53%

-14.13%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-7.81%

-19.31%

TOYS

-10.28%

-1.44%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2018 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2017

COMICS

-3.67%

-15.61%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-7.77%

-4.17%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-4.88%

-14.86%

TOYS

5.11%

7.96%

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

DC ENTERTAINMENT

88

33

1

122

MARVEL COMICS

81

31

0

112

IMAGE COMICS

70

12

0

82

IDW PUBLISHING

31

19

1

51

BOOM! STUDIOS

25

13

0

38

DARK HORSE COMICS

16

13

0

29

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

20

6

0

26

TITAN COMICS

12

11

1

24

VIZ MEDIA

0

20

0

20

ONI PRESS

3

5

0

8

OTHER NON-TOP 10

103

155

23

281

TOTAL

449

318

26

793

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

DARK KNIGHTS RISING: THE WILD HUNT #1

$4.99

DC

2

X-MEN RED #1

$4.99

MAR

3

BATMAN #40

$2.99

DC

4

BATMAN #41

$2.99

DC

5

THE WALKING DEAD #176

$3.99

IMA

6

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #5

$3.99

DC

7

PETER PARKER: SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #300

$5.99

MAR

8

STAR WARS #43

$3.99

MAR

9

INFINITY COUNTDOWN PRIME #1

$4.99

MAR

10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #796

$3.99

MAR


TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #300

$5.99

MAR

2

DARK KNIGHTS RISING: THE WILD HUNT #1

$4.99

DC

3

X-MEN RED #1

$4.99

MAR

4

THE WALKING DEAD #176

$3.99

IMA

5

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #5

$3.99

DC

6

BATMAN #40

$2.99

DC

7

BATMAN #41

$2.99

DC

8

INFINITY COUNTDOWN PRIME #1

$4.99

MAR

9

STAR WARS: THRAWN #1

$4.99

MAR

10

SWAMP THING WINTER SPECIAL #1

$7.99

DC


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

SAGA VOLUME 8 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA

2

STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA VOLUME 2 TP

$17.99

MAR

3

DC MEETS LOONEY TUNES TP

$19.99

DC

4

TEEN TITANS VOLUME 2: THE RISE OF AQUALAD TP

$14.99

DC

5

STAR WARS: JEDI OF THE REPUBLIC: MACE WINDU TP

$15.99

MAR

6

JUSTICE LEAGUE VOLUME 5: LEGACY TP

$16.99

DC

7

DESPICABLE DEADPOOL VOL. 1: DEADPOOL KILLS CABLE TP

$17.99

MAR

8

TITANS VOL. 3: A JUDAS AMONG US TP

$16.99

DC

9

ASTONISHING X-MEN VOLUME 1: THE LIFE OF X TP

$17.99

MAR

10

NEIL GAIMAN'S AMERICAN GODS VOL. 1: SHADOWS TP

$29.99

DAR


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

HOUSE OF SECRETS: THE BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

DC

2

DAREDEVIL: SHADOWLAND OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

MAR

3

ABSOLUTE WONDER WOMAN BY AZZARELLO & CHIANG VOLUME 2 HC

$125.00

DC

4

DEADPOOL BY DANIEL WAY OMNIBUS VOLUME 1 HC

$100.00

MAR

5

BATMAN: SECRETS: SAM KIETH GALLERY EDITION HC

$125.00

DC

6

MOEBIUS LIBRARY: INSIDE MOEBIUS VOLUME 1 HC

$39.99

DAR

7

NEIL GAIMAN'S AMERICAN GODS VOL. 1: SHADOWS HC

$29.99

DAR

8

NEW TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS VOLUME 2 HC

$75.00

DC

9

DC MEETS LOONEY TUNES TP

$19.99

DC

10

STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA VOLUME 2 SC

$17.99

MAR


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