METAL & DOOMSDAY Reign, But March 2018 Comic Book Sales Down Again

Dark Knights Metal #6
Credit: Greg Capullo/Jonathan Glapion (DC Comics)
Credit: Andy Kubert (DC Comics)

Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Dark Nights: Metal #6, the finale of the DC event, and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Doomsday Clock #4 were the best-selling comic books of March 2018, according to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning. 

But the DC one-two punch, five Top 10 titles and Batman riding a Joker dragon didn't keep overall Direct Market sales from dipping nearly 16% versus March 2017. As always, however, those seemingly bleak numbers come with some caveats (more on those later). 

Marvel placed four titles in the March Top 10 including Amazing Spider-Man #797, the first chapter of Dan Slott's final story on the title, at #3 for the month.

Credit: Lorenzo de Felici (Image Comics/Skybound)

Image Comics' Oblivion Song by Kirkman and De Felici #1 rounded out the Top 10 at #9. 

Robert Kirkman and Image's The Walking Dead Volume 29: Lines We Cross was March's best-selling graphic novel, one of six Image titles in the Top 10. 

Marvel was March's top publisher with a 35.92% dollar share and a 38.38% unit share. DC was second with a 31.06% dollar share and a 35.10% unit share. Image was third with a 10.98% dollar share and a 10.43% unit share. 

Despite some gains on February 2018 sales, sales in March were down double digits across the board in comparison to March 2017, partly due to the fact March 2017 had five shipping weeks compared to March 2018's four. 

Overall, sales of comic books and graphic novels were down 15.96% versus March 2016. But now, those caveats, courtesy John Jackson Miller of Comichron

"This is a month we knew would look rough — as a month — because it had one less week: that turned out to be more meaningful than usual, as the number of new comics went down 18%. Almost a hundred fewer comics were released. New graphic novel releases went down in number by 14%. So comics sales performance — down 12% units and 13% dollars — shows more of the books that did came out sold on average; heavy-hitter titles doing better, or more such titles, could have that effect. Graphic novels continue to lag body, down 22%.

"That said, January (which got our extra week this quarter) and February were just good enough that March was able to cut the quarterly loss to just under 9%, the second quarter in a row the rate of loss has shrunk. DC’s quarter was up, year over year, as was Dynamite’s, and Marvel’s performance, while down, was slightly better than the market on average. Year-over year changes look like this:

Year-over-year changes in Diamond's comics/graphic novel sales to the Direct Market
1st Quarter 2017: -3.01%
2nd Quarter 2017: -10.01%
3rd Quarter 2017: -15.86%
4th Quarter 2017: -10.37%
1st Quarter 2017: -8.92%

"So for the pessimists: things are still getting worse. But for the optimists: since last fall, they've been getting worse by progressively smaller amounts."

Check out more at Comichron

The March 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

35.92%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

31.06%

IMAGE COMICS

10.98%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.96%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.40%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.38%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.83%

VIZ MEDIA

1.23%

ONI PRESS INC.

1.16%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.93%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.15%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

38.38%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

35.10%

IMAGE COMICS

10.43%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.28%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.13%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.61%

DARK HORSE COMICS

1.58%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.99%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.80%

ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

0.69%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

5.02%


COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

MARCH 2018 VS. FEBRUARY 2018

COMICS

2.92%

4.04%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

10.36%

3.69%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

4.95%

4.02%

TOYS

5.32%

-1.93%

MARCH 2018 VS. MARCH 2017

COMICS

-13.20%

-12.28%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-22.12%

-25.63%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-15.96%

-13.35%

TOYS

-29.83%

-38.04%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2018 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2017
(FIRST QUARTER 2018 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2017)

COMICS

-7.09%

-14.52%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-13.17%

-12.28%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-8.92%

-14.37%

TOYS

-9.81%

-12.36%

FIRST QUARTER 2018 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2017

COMICS

-8.44%

-7.25%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-21.69%

-20.85%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-12.67%

-8.38%

TOYS

-14.91%

-11.81%

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL SHIPPED

DC ENTERTAINMENT

84

35

0

119

MARVEL COMICS

81

33

0

114

IMAGE COMICS

57

13

0

70

IDW PUBLISHING

40

18

0

58

BOOM! STUDIOS

25

9

0

34

DARK HORSE COMICS

12

14

0

26

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

15

8

0

23

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT

7

3

0

10

VIZ MEDIA

0

9

0

9

ONI PRESS

4

4

0

8

OTHER NON-TOP 10

113

135

11

259

TOTAL

438

281

11

730

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

DARK NIGHTS: METAL #6

$4.99

DC

2

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #4

$4.99

DC

3

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797

$3.99

MAR

4

WEAPON H #1

$4.99

MAR

5

BATMAN #42

$2.99

DC

6

THE MIGHTY THOR #705

$3.99

MAR

7

INFINITY COUNTDOWN #1

$4.99

MAR

8

BATMAN #43

$2.99

DC

9

OBLIVION SONG BY KIRKMAN & DE FELICI #1

$3.99

IMA

10

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #6

$3.99

DC


TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

DARK NIGHTS: METAL #6

$4.99

DC

2

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #4

$4.99

DC

3

WEAPON H #1

$4.99

MAR

4

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #797

$3.99

MAR

5

INFINITY COUNTDOWN #1

$4.99

MAR

6

DAREDEVIL #600

$5.99

MAR

7

THE MIGHTY THOR #705

$3.99

MAR

8

THE WALKING DEAD #177

$3.99

IMA

9

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #6

$3.99

DC

10

OBLIVION SONG BY KIRKMAN & DE FELICI #1

$3.99

IMA


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 29: LINES WE CROSS TP

$16.99

IMA

2

GREEN LANTERN: EARTH ONE VOLUME 1 HC

$24.99

DC

3

THE FLASH VOLUME 5: NEGATIVE TP

$14.99

DC

4

SUPER SONS VOLUME 2: PLANET OF THE CAPES TP

$14.99

DC

5

REALM VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

6

BLACK SCIENCE VOL. 7: EXTINCTION IS THE RULE TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

7

INVINCIBLE VOL. 25: THE END OF ALL THINGS PART 2 TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

8

BATMAN & HARLEY QUINN HC

$24.99

DC

9

PORT OF EARTH VOLUME 1 TP

$9.99

IMA

10

SAGA VOLUME 8 TP (MR)

$14.99

IMA


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 29: LINES WE CROSS TP

$16.99

IMA

2

INFINITY GAUNTLET BOX HC SLIPCASE SET

$500.00

MAR

3

GREEN LANTERN: EARTH ONE VOLUME 1 HC

$24.99

DC

4

AVENGERS OMNIBUS VOLUME 3 HC

$100.00

MAR

5

KAMANDI BY JACK KIRBY OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

DC

6

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: THE BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS VOLUME 2 HC

$125.00

DC

7

DAREDEVIL BY WAID & SAMNEE OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC

$100.00

MAR

8

ABSOLUTE WILDC.A.T.S. BY JIM LEE HC

$125.00

DC

9

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: MARVEL TWO IN ONE VOL. 3 HC

$75.00

MAR

10

BATMAN & HARLEY QUINN HC

$24.99

DC


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