UNCANNY X-MEN Relaunch Leads the Pack in a Down November For Comic Book Sales

"Uncanny X-Men #1" cover
Credit: Leinil Francis Yu/Edgar Delgado (Marvel Comics)
Credit: Jen Bartel (Marvel Comics)

Marvel Comics' oversized $7.99 relaunch of the iconic Uncanny X-Men was the bestselling comic book of November 2018 in the Direct Market, but a double-digit down month for comic book sales and a steep decline for graphic novels sales has put 2018 teetering on the edge of growing or declining versus last year, according to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning.

In addition to Uncanny, Marvel had six titles in November's Top 10 including Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1 (#3) and Amazing Spider-Man #10 (#4).

DC had four titles of the Top 10, led by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp's The Green Lantern relaunch, the second best-selling title of the month. Image Comics' The Walking Dead #185, ranked #18, was the bestselling non-Marvel or DC title. 

Credit: Ryan Stegman (Marvel Comics)

Venom Volume 1: Rex by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman was the best-selling graphic novel (by units shipped) of November, the first of seven Marvel titles in the graphic novel Top 10, a category down by over 30% in both dollar and unit sales versus last November, although November 2018 featured four shipping months versus 2017's five. 

Comic book dollar and unit sales were down by only over 13% versus last year. Both declines were in part due to the major publishers shipping a lot less product to stores than last year and in Marvel's case, the previous three years. More on that below. 

Marvel was November's top publisher with a dominating 40.80% dollar and a 43.75% unit share. DC was second with a 26.74% dollar and a 29.51% unit share. Image was third with a 8.57% dollar and a 8.50% unit share. 

Comichron's John Jackson Miller has more on the month's biggest takeaways in his November sales summation:

"The year in the Direct Market’s going to wind up closer than an election in Florida. The November dip was expected because of the shorter shipping month- but what was surprising was how much less material publishers shipped to market. Marvel’s smallest new comics slate since October 2015. DC shipped 67 comics, down from 95 last November. Fully 22% fewer new comics out. The bright side is that even with so much less material out, Marvel was still up slightly year-over-year versus last November.

"The graphic novel category was worse off - there, the dynamic also looks supply-side, as publishers appear to be increasingly trying to get retailers to stock for the holidays in October.

"Six percent fewer comics have come out in 2018 so far; unit sales are down 6%. Pretty direct connection there. Since comics dollar sales are slightly up — and 2017’s unit sales were inflated by overships and 25¢ books — the comics that did come out did a little better relative, per issue, than last year.

"Further down are some scenarios for the year-end figure; we’ll be within 2 points of flat either way, as we were in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2016."

The November 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.
 

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

40.80%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

26.74%

IMAGE COMICS

8.57%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.62%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.37%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.95%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.24%

VIZ MEDIA

1.26%

TITAN COMICS

1.20%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.97%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.28%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

43.75%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

29.51%

IMAGE COMICS

8.50%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.39%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.58%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.49%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.11%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.94%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.80%

TITAN COMICS

0.80%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

5.13%


COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

NOVEMBER 2018 VS. OCTOBER 2018

COMICS

-16.49%

-19.71%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-21.10%

-23.49%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-17.81%

-19.99%

TOYS

6.76%

-23.81%

NOVEMBER 2018 VS. NOVEMBER 2017

COMICS

-4.98%

-11.24%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-30.36%

-31.11%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-13.61%

-13.02%

TOYS

-10.88%

-19.52%

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

COMICS

1.48%

-6.06%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-6.67%

-7.25%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-0.98%

-6.15%

TOYS

-3.25%

-3.25%

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS
SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS
SHIPPED

MAGAZINES
SHIPPED

TOTAL
SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

79

39

0

118

DC COMICS

67

40

0

107

IMAGE COMICS

57

18

0

75

IDW PUBLISHING

33

14

0

47

BOOM! STUDIOS

23

16

0

39

DARK HORSE COMICS

16

19

0

35

TITAN COMICS

10

13

5

28

VIZ MEDIA LLC

0

26

0

26

DYNAMITE

17

4

0

21

ONI PRESS INC.

8

4

0

12

OTHER NON-TOP 10

113

206

17

336

TOTAL

423

399

22

844

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

UNCANNY X-MEN #1

$7.99

MAR

2

THE GREEN LANTERN #1

$4.99

DC

3

WEB OF VENOM: CARNAGE BORN #1

$4.99

MAR

4

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10

$3.99

MAR

5

BATMAN #58

$3.99

DC

6

BATMAN #59

$3.99

DC

7

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9

$3.99

MAR

8

HEROES IN CRISIS #3

$3.99

DC

9

AVENGERS #10

$5.99

MAR

10

VENOM #8

$3.99

MAR


TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

UNCANNY X-MEN #1

$7.99

MAR

2

WEB OF VENOM: CARNAGE BORN #1

$4.99

MAR

3

THE GREEN LANTERN #1

$4.99

DC

4

AVENGERS #10

$5.99

MAR

5

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10

$3.99

MAR

6

BATMAN #58

$3.99

DC

7

BATMAN #59

$3.99

DC

8

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9

$3.99

MAR

9

HEROES IN CRISIS #3

$3.99

DC

10

VENOM #8

$3.99

MAR


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

VENOM BY DONNY CATES VOLUME 1: REX TP

$17.99

MAR

2

THANOS: THE INFINITY CONFLICT HC

$24.99

MAR

3

JUSTICE LEAGUE VOLUME 1: THE TOTALITY TP

$17.99

DC

4

BLACK EYED PEAS PRESENTS: MASTERS OF THE SUN: THE  ZOMBIE CHRONICLES TP

$24.99

MAR

5

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN BY NICK SPENCER VOLUME 1: BACK TO BASICS TP

$15.99

MAR

6

THE IMMORTAL HULK VOLUME 1: OR IS HE BOTH? TP

$15.99

MAR

7

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT TP

$19.99

DC

8

UNNATURAL VOLUME 1: AWAKENING TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

9

STAR WARS: LANDO: DOUBLE OR NOTHING TP

$15.99

MAR

10

DOMINO VOLUME 1: KILLER INSTINCT TP

$17.99

MAR


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

X-MEN MUTANT: MASSACRE OMNIBUS HC

$100.00

MAR

2

THANOS: THE INFINITY CONFLICT HC

$24.99

MAR

3

ABSOLUTE TRANSMETROPOLITAN VOLUME 3 HC (MR)

$125.00

DC

4

SILVER SURFER BY SLOTT AND ALLRED OMNIBUS HC

$75.00

MAR

5

BLACK EYED PEAS PRESENTS: MASTERS OF THE SUN: THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES TP

$24.99

MAR

6

VENOM BY DONNY CATES VOLUME 1: REX TP

$17.99

MAR

7

FIREFLY: BIG DAMN HEROES BOX SET

$150.00

BOO

8

WONDER WOMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS VOL. 3 HC

$125.00

DC

9

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE MIGHTY THOR VOLUME 17 HC

$75.00

MAR

10

JUSTICE LEAGUE VOLUME 1: THE TOTALITY TP

$17.99

DC


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