WAR OF THE REALMS Event Leads the Pack in a Down April For Comic Book Sales

Diamond Comics April Sales Charts covers
Credit: Marvel Comics
Credit: Marvel Comics

War of the Realms #1 and Symbiote Spider-Man #1 helped Marvel Comics reclaim the spot as the Direct Market's top publisher (both in dollar share and unit share), but comic sales as a whole were down 11.12% in dollars compared to the huge strides made in March 2019 (thanks in part to the $9.99 Detective Comics #1000). Comparisons to April 2018 show a 14.67% decline in Direct Market comic books sales in dollars.

Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Matthew Wilson's War of the Realms #1 was the best-selling title of April, according to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning. With that leading the way, Marvel dominated the top of the comic charts, accounting for six of the top ten selling titles of the month, including Superior Spider-Man #1 (#2) and Immortal Hulk #16 (#4).

DC had four of the top 10 selling titles in April, beginning with The Batman Who Laughs #4 (#3), Batman #69 (#5), Batman #68 (#6), and Heroes in Crisis #8 (#8).

Credit: Image Comics

Image Comics' The Walking Dead #190 was the best-selling non-DC or Marvel title, at #31.

Image's The Magic Order Vol. 1 was the best-selling graphic novel of March by units sold, however the $125 Infinity War Omnibus hardcover cornered the GN charts based on dollars invoiced.

As previously mentioned, Marvel Comics relcaimed the top publisher spot with 45.50% dollar share and 50.70% unit share. DC followed with 23.73% and 25.89% respectively, then Image Comics in at third with 7.93% and 7.60%.

According to John Jackson Miller of Comichron, the big takeaway from the April 2019 figures are DC's cutbacks to its comic book line are taking affect - not just for the publisher, but the entire market.

"It would be a down month year-over-year even with Action Comics #1000 excised from the charts last April," Miller told Newsarama. "Marvel is filling some of those empty rack slots (presuming any store had a spot for everything), but not all of them."

Marvel shipped 106 comic books in April 2019, to DC's 52. That's DC's lowest title count since 1991, and is 29 fewer than it released in April 2018. Comparitively, Marvel released 86 comic books in April 2018, but has exceeded 106 on several occasions - it's last being June 2016.

"I’m sure Marvel did double DC’s output in terms of number of titles some months in 1974, but I can’t find much evidence that it’s happened since," Miller explained. "DC, meanwhile, doubled up on Marvel often in the post-bankruptcy years."

Overall, comic book and graphic novel dollars sales in April were down 17.65% compared to April 2018, though down a slightly lesser 15.24% in total units sold.

"There's a lot of things that make the aggregate numbers in the distributor sales charts swing up and down; the shipping calendar is the one we note here the most, as comparing five-shipping-week months with four-week ones always gives a distorted picture," said Miller. "Add to that list blockbuster anniversary issues, which, in the case of last year's Amazing Spider-Man #800 and last month's Detective Comics #1000, have dollar sales large enough to move the market on their own.

"So, too, do we see swings later on when we compare months without such books — and that's a big part of what happened in April, as the month's $37.75 million in comics and graphic novel sales to comics shops represented a sharp drop from last April's Action Comics #1000-fortified total."

For the first four months of 2019, dollar sales are up .41% but down 5.4% in units.

The April 2019 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

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

45.50%

50.70%

DC COMICS

25.73%

25.89%

IMAGE COMICS

7.93%

7.60%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.26%

2.76%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.89%

1.92%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.46%

2.75%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

1.71%

1.53%

VIZ MEDIA

1.07%

0.40%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT

0.76%

0.91%

AFTERSHOCK COMICS

0.70%

0.71%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

7.99%

4.83%

 

 

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

APRIL 2019 VS. MARCH 2019

COMICS

-11.12%

0.07%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-19.02%

-27.69%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-13.26%

-2.22%

TOYS

-11.38%

-8.24%

APRIL 2019 VS. APRIL 2018

COMICS

-14.67%

-13.92%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-25.37%

-31.39%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-17.65%

-15.24%

TOYS

15.41%

18.74%

YEAR TO DATE 2019 VS. YEAR TO DATE 2018

COMICS

1.83%

-5.35%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-3.18%

-6.11%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

0.41%

-5.40%

TOYS

19.14%

27.48%

 

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

106

37

0

143

DC COMICS

52

32

1

85

IMAGE COMICS

47

13

0

60

IDW PUBLISHING

32

9

0

41

BOOM! STUDIOS

20

11

0

31

DARK HORSE COMICS

19

7

0

26

YEN PRESS

0

24

0

24

DYNAMITE

16

4

0

20

AFTERSHOCK COMICS

11

4

0

15

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

9

1

0

10

OTHER

101

133

18

252

TOTAL

413

275

19

707

 

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

WAR OF THE REALMS #1

$5.99

MAR

2

SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN #1

$4.99

MAR

3

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #4

$4.99

DC

4

THE IMMORTAL HULK #16

$3.99

MAR

5

BATMAN #69

$3.99

DC

6

BATMAN #68

$3.99

DC

7

THANOS #1

$4.99

MAR

8

HEROES IN CRISIS #8

$3.99

DC

9

WEB OF VENOM: CULT OF CARNAGE #1

$4.99

MAR

10

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #20

$3.99

MAR

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

WAR OF THE REALMS #1

$5.99

MAR

2

SYMBIOTE SPIDER-MAN #1

$4.99

MAR

3

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #4

$4.99

DC

4

DETECTIVE COMICS #1000

$9.99

DC

5

WEB OF VENOM: CULT OF CARNAGE #1

$4.99

MAR

6

THANOS #1

$4.99

MAR

7

THE IMMORTAL HULK #16

$3.99

MAR

8

BATMAN #69

$3.99

DC

9

BATMAN #68

$3.99

DC

10

WAR OF THE REALMS #2

$4.99

MAR

 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

THE MAGIC ORDER VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$19.99

IMA

2

VENOM BY DONNY CATES VOLUME 2 TP

$17.99

MAR

3

GIDEON FALLS VOLUME 2: ORIGINAL SINS TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

4

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 1: APOCALYPSE SUITE TP

$17.99

DAR

5

CATWOMAN VOLUME 1: COPYCATS TP

$16.99

DC

6

STAR WARS VOLUME 10: ESCAPE TP

$17.99

MAR

7

BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 9: DEFACE THE FACE TP

$16.99

DC

8

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 2: DALLAS TP

$17.99

DAR

9

UNNATURAL VOLUME 2 TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

10

JESSICA JONES: PURPLE DAUGHTER TP

$19.99

MAR

 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

INFINITY WAR OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

MAR

2

THE DEATH & RETURN OF SUPERMAN OMNIBUS HC

$150.00

DC

3

THE MAGIC ORDER VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$19.99

IMA

4

INFINITY BY STARLIN & HICKMAN OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

MAR

5

AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST BOX SET SLIPCASE

$500.00

MAR

6

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: AVENGERS VOL. 19 HC

$75.00

MAR

7

VENOM BY DONNY CATES VOLUME 2 TP

$17.99

MAR

8

PAPER GIRLS DELUXE EDITION VOLUME 2 HC

$34.99

IMA

9

GIDEON FALLS VOLUME 2: ORIGINAL SINS TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

10

BATMAN/SUPERMAN SILVER AGE OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC

$99.99

DC


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