Marvel & DC Continue in Different Directions in Flat June for Comic Book Sales

"Black Cat #1" variants 5-30-19
Credit: Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics published more than twice the number of new comic book and graphic novels in June 2019 than DC, whose publishing volume more closely resembled Image Comics and IDW Publishing than its historic rival - but those numbers come with a caveat, according to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning. 

Credit: Marvel Comics

Marvel's Black Cat #1, the debut of the character's first ongoing series by Jed MacKay and Travel Foreman was the month's bestselling by dollars and units, the first of four titles the publisher had in the Top 10 by dollars and five by units.

DC had five titles in the Top 10 by dollars and four by units, including Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, and Stefano Guadiano's DCeased #2, ranked second by dollars and Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's Batman: Damned #3 by units.  Image's The Walking Dead #192, the now-surprise penultimate issue of Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's series, was the eighth bestelling title of the month in dollars and tenth by units. 

DC's Superman: Year One by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr. did not place on June's unit's Top but the $7.99 volume placed 3rd on the dollar chart. 

Credit: Stephanie Hans (Image Comics)
Credit: Ivan Reis (DC)

Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans' Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker from Image was June's best-selling graphic novel by units. DC's Blackest Night Omnibus: 10th-Anniversary Edition was #1 by dollars.

With 104 new comic books and 43 graphic novel's published in June, Marvel more than doubled DC's output of 50 and 20, respectively, which is a continuing trend. 

The stark difference in volume helped Marvel dominate the June market shares with a 43.38% dollar share and a 48.93% unit share. DC had a 26.71% dollar share and a 26.44% unit share. Image Comics was third for the month at 7.58% in dollars and 8.01% in units. 

The comic book Direct Market finished the first half of the year just 0.49% down in dollars versus 2018, though 5.19% down in units sold to retailers, with the second quarter comparison off 7.28% in dollars and 8.29% off in units. 

What does John Jackson Miller of Comichron think of the continuing trend of Marvel vastly out-voluming DC?  

"We can say two things for sure about the first half of 2019: DC released a lot fewer comic books, and Marvel came close to taking every shelf space its rival vacated. The result was that Marvel beat its own dollar sales performance from the first half of 2018, though not by as much as all those new releases would suggest — whereas DC's total dollar volume slipped during that period, but not by as much as its fewer new releases would suggest."

"The new-title austerity accelerated for DC in June, as it published just 50 new comic books in the month, a new 28-year low for the publisher. Marvel more than doubled its total, with 104. Marvel also more than doubled DC's total output of new graphic novels in the month, 43 to DC's 20. June also saw DC's smallest new graphic novel slate since March 2015, and that could be an echo of the smaller new comics slate: when there are fewer new titles out, logically there are fewer issues to collect into squarebound editions.

"But, as mentioned above, there's a difference in what each of the titles published contributed to retailers' bottom lines. DC may have released 24% fewer new comics in the first half of the year, but retailers orders of DC publications in dollar terms were only down 5%, or about $4 million. It helps when there's a Detective Comics #1000 in the mix; if there had been two, it'd be up for the year.

"Meanwhile, Marvel — which saw its June dollar sales up 13%, aided by the top-selling Black Cat #1 — has moved 7% more dollars worth of material into comics shops in the first half of 2019, an increase of about $7 million. Why isn't it larger, given Marvel's increase in releases? Again, it's what many of them are. Marvel appears to have released 59 different True Believer comics in the first six months of 2019; they account for more than half of Marvel's slate increase, even though their $1 price tag means they don't add a lot to the dollar totals.

"That's something to remember when looking at the stats below: not all releases are created equal."

For much more insight on June's sales figures and for the most comprehensive source for comic book sales data, check out Comichron

The June 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 can be seen below:

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

43.38%

48.93%

DC

26.71%

26.44%

IMAGE COMICS

7.58%

8.01%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.23%

2.16%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.08%

2.83%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.43%

2.31%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.15%

2.02%

VIZ MEDIA

1.61%

0.59%

ONI PRESS

0.74%

0.53%

ARCHIE COMICS

0.57%

0.60%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.52%

5.59%

 

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

JUNE 2019 VS. MAY 2019

COMICS

-6.44%

-6.55%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-18.39%

-15.92%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-10.09%

-7.26%

TOYS

-2.86%

-15.02%

JUNE 2019 VS. JUNE 2018

COMICS

3.56%

-4.63%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-7.11%

-13.13%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

0.36%

-5.27%

TOYS

35.23%

14.34%

YEAR TO DATE 2019 VS. YEAR TO DATE 2018

COMICS

0.21%

-5.03%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-2.25%

-7.19%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-0.49%

-5.19%

TOYS

24.92%

27.33%

SECOND QUARTER 2019 VS. FIRST QUARTER 2019

COMICS

3.15%

6.51%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

3.01%

-3.86%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

3.11%

5.72%

TOYS

-9.68%

-11.18%

SECOND QUARTER 2019 VS. SECOND QUARTER 2018

COMICS

-6.71%

-7.62%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-8.72%

-16.49%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-7.28%

-8.29%

TOYS

30.69%

24.68%


NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

104

43

0

147

DC

50

20

1

71

IMAGE COMICS

46

11

0

57

IDW PUBLISHING

30

17

0

47

DARK HORSE COMICS

19

22

0

41

BOOM! STUDIOS

20

11

0

31

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

18

7

0

25

VIZ MEDIA

0

23

0

23

ARCHIE COMICS

11

2

0

13

ONI PRESS

5

5

0

10

OTHER NON-TOP 10

121

184

18

323

TOTAL

424

345

19

788

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BLACK CAT #1

$4.99

MAR

2

DCEASED #2

$3.99

DC

3

SILVER SURFER: BLACK #1

$3.99

MAR

4

BATMAN: DAMNED #3 (MR)

$6.99

DC

5

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #6

$4.99

DC

6

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #24

$3.99

MAR

7

THE IMMORTAL HULK #19

$3.99

MAR

8

THE WALKING DEAD #192 (MR)

$3.99

IMA

9

BATMAN #73

$3.99

DC

10

BATMAN #72

$3.99

DC

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BLACK CAT #1

$4.99

MAR

2

BATMAN: DAMNED #3 (MR)

$6.99

DC

3

SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE #1 (MR) [*]

$7.99

DC

4

DCEASED #2

$3.99

DC

5

SILVER SURFER: BLACK #1

$3.99

MAR

6

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #6

$4.99

DC

7

WAR OF THE REALMS #6

$5.99

MAR

8

THE IMMORTAL HULK #19

$3.99

MAR

9

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #24

$3.99

MAR

10

THE WALKING DEAD #192 (MR)

$3.99

IMA

 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

DIE VOL. 1: FANTASY HEARTBREAKER TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

2

DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 DELUXE EDITION HC

$19.99

DC

3

DC POSTER PORTFOLIO: STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU TP

$24.99

DC

4

DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS TP

$9.99

DC

5

DISNEY DESCENDANTS: EVIE’S WICKED RUNWAY VOL. 2 TP

$15.99

TOK

6

DISNEY DESCENDANTS: EVIE’S WICKED RUNWAY VOL. 1 TP

$15.99

TOK

7

TEEN TITANS: RAVEN TP (DC INK)

$16.99

DC

8

BATMAN/THE FLASH: THE BUTTON TP

$14.99

DC

9

MIRACULOUS TALES: LADYBUG AND CAT NOIR SEASON 2 VOL. 4 TP

$8.99

ACT

10

MY HERO ACADEMIA VOLUME 19 GN

$9.99

VIZ

 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BLACKEST NIGHT OMNIBUS: 10TH-ANNIVERSARY EDITION HC

$150.00

DC

2

DC POSTER PORTFOLIO: STANLEY “ARTGERM” LAU TP

$24.99

DC

3

BATMAN BY GRANT MORRISON OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC

$75.00

DC

4

DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 DELUXE EDITION HC

$19.99

DC

5

BATMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS VOL. 7 HC

$125.00

DC

6

DISNEY DESCENDANTS: EVIE’S WICKED RUNWAY VOL. 2 TP

$15.99

TOK

7

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN VOL. 2 HC

$75.00

MAR

8

BERSERK DELUXE EDITION VOL. 2  HC (MR)

$49.99

DAR

9

DIE VOL. 1: FANTASY HEARTBREAKER TP (MR)

$9.99

IMA

10

HULK BY LOEB & MCGUINNESS OMNIBUS HC

$100.00

MAR


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