Comic Book Sales SPAWN a Positive September

"Spawn #300" covers
Credit: Image Comics
"Spawn #300" cover
"Spawn #300" cover
Credit: Todd McFarlane (Image Comics)

Over 27 years after publishing its first issue, Todd McFarlane's Image Comics-launching Spawn released its 300th issue in September, a Guinness World Record holder for the “Longest-Running Creator-Owned Superhero Comic Book Series.” The milestone was enough to boost the series to the best-selling comic book in the Direct Market, according to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning.

Despite losing the top spot to Spawn #300, Marvel Comics dominated the Top 10 for units sold, accounting for the next six bestselling titles including J. J. and Henry Abrams and Sara Pichelli's Spider-Man #1 at #2 and the 4th and 5th issues of Jonathan Hickman's House of X and Powers of X

Similar to last month the 5th issue of each series ranks higher than the 4th, respectively, which is an interesting dynamic for the high-profile Hickman relaunch to keep an eye on moving forward.

DC had three titles to round out the Top 10, including Geoff Johns and Garry Frank's Doomsday Clock #11 at #7 and it stands to reason that series' consistent shipping delays could have negatively impacted sales of latter issues.

Credit: Lee Bermejo (DC/Black Label)

DC dominated the graphic novel units chart with six titles, includng the hardcover collection of Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's Batman: Damned, which topped both the units and dollars charts.

Marvel remained the top publisher in September, accounting for 38.81% of dollars and 45.51% of units shipped. DC was second of course, with a market share of 27.80% of dollars and 29.15% of units, respectively. Image ranked third, breaking over 10% dollar market share threshold due to Spawn with 11.01% dollar share and a 8.32% unit share. 

The Direct Market made solids gains of 4.09% in dollars 3.13% in units over September 2018, with an Q3 gain of 1.59% in dollars and a 1.16% deficit in units over the same quarter last year.

Year-to-date, 2019 now stands a plus-0.25% in dollars over 2018 versus a deficit of 3.79% in units. 

"Little change overall, as we get another new mix of event comics and #1s in the top ranks," reports John Jackson Miller of Comichron. "House of X/Powers of X isn’t at the pinnacle, but it’s clear from the rankings that sales were still growing in September. Chances for a year slightly up are a little better than even; a good target after that would be trying to beat 2017, which is doable if DC picks up the pace with its new release tempo."

"Comics as a category saw improvements both over August and year-over-year. Retailers ordered 7.57 million copies, up 5%; the dollar value of those books was up 11%. Those gains come despite a smaller new release slate: publishers released 443 new comic books in September, a drop of 7%. Image's number of new comics releases was down significantly, from 66 to 42; its 13% year-to-year sales improvement in September looks more impressive in light of that. Marvel released the exact number of comics it did in the previous September; its dollar sales were up 1%. Marvel is up 7% year-to-date.

"DC's new-comics offerings grew considerably versus the previous September, although the charts below overstate the size of the increase. As in August, 12 of DC's comic book releases were counted twice because they were cardstock covers priced at a dollar higher: Action Comics #1015, Aquaman #52, Batgirl #39, Batman #79, Batman/Superman #2, Catwoman #15, Event Leviathan #4, Justice League #32, Supergirl #34, Young Justice #8, and two versions of Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1. DC's dollar orders held steady year-over-year in September; it's down 6% year-to-date."

The September 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

RETAIL MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

38.81%

DC COMICS

27.80%

IMAGE COMICS

11.01%

DARK HORSE COMICS

3.26%

IDW PUBLISHING

3.08%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.70%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.48%

VIZ MEDIA

1.57%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.76%

ARCHIE COMICS

0.65%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

7.87%

 

UNIT MARKET SHARE

PUBLISHER

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

45.51%

DC COMICS

29.15%

IMAGE COMICS

8.32%

IDW PUBLISHING

2.92%

BOOM! STUDIOS

2.53%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.27%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.02%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

0.70%

ARCHIE COMICS

0.63%

ONI PRESS INC.

0.63%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

5.33%


COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 

DOLLARS

UNITS

SEPTEMBER 2019 VS. AUGUST 2019

COMICS

5.20%

9.97%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

2.90%

-1.98%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

4.60%

9.12%

TOYS

-14.00%

-33.26%

SEPTEMBER 2019 VS. SEPTEMBER 2018

COMICS

10.87%

5.25%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-11.54%

-20.44%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

4.09%

3.13%

TOYS

9.99%

-17.90%

YEAR TO DATE 2019 VS. YEAR TO DATE 2018

COMICS

2.05%

-3.29%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-4.26%

-10.04%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

0.25%

-3.79%

TOYS

22.69%

25.47%

QUARTER 3 2019 VS. QUARTER 2 2019

COMICS

13.25%

8.20%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

1.68%

3.50%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

10.01%

7.88%

TOYS

29.24%

26.14%

QUARTER 3 2019 VS. QUARTER 3 2018

COMICS

5.41%

0.01%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-7.95%

-15.17%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

1.59%

-1.16%

TOYS

19.23%

22.45%

 

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS
SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS
SHIPPED

MAGAZINES
SHIPPED

TOTAL
SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

99

43

0

142

DC

83

26

0

109

IMAGE COMICS

42

19

0

61

DARK HORSE COMICS

19

21

0

40

IDW PUBLISHING

25

15

0

40

VIZ MEDIA

0

33

0

33

BOOM! STUDIOS

18

14

0

32

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

15

5

0

20

ARCHIE COMICS

11

3

0

14

ONI PRESS

4

4

0

8

OTHER NON-TOP 10

127

186

19

332

TOTAL

443

369

19

831

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

SPAWN #300

$7.99

IMA

2

SPIDER-MAN #1

$4.99

MAR

3

HOUSE OF X #5

$4.99

MAR

4

POWERS OF X #5

$4.99

MAR

5

POWERS OF X #4

$4.99

MAR

6

HOUSE OF X #4

$4.99

MAR

7

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #11

$4.99

DC

8

ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #3

$4.99

MAR

9

DCEASED: A GOOD DAY TO DIE #1

$4.99

DC

10

HARLEEN #1 (MR)

$7.99

DC


TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

SPAWN #300

$7.99

IMA

2

SPIDER-MAN #1

$4.99

MAR

3

HOUSE OF X #5

$4.99

MAR

4

HARLEEN #1 (MR)

$7.99

DC

5

POWERS OF X #5

$4.99

MAR

6

POWERS OF X #4

$4.99

MAR

7

HOUSE OF X #4

$4.99

MAR

8

DOOMSDAY CLOCK #11

$4.99

DC

9

ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #3

$4.99

MAR

10

DCEASED: A GOOD DAY TO DIE #1

$4.99

DC


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BATMAN: DAMNED HC (MR)

$29.99

DC

2

UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 3: HOTEL OBLIVION TP

$19.99

DAR

3

PAPER GIRLS VOLUME 6 TP

$14.99

IMA

4

MONSTRESS VOLUME 4 TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

5

IMMORTAL HULK VOL. 4: ABOMINATION TP

$15.99

MAR

6

HEROES IN CRISIS HC

$29.99

DC

7

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE HC

$17.99

DC

8

BATMAN VOL, 10: KNIGHTMARES TP

$17.99

DC

9

BATMAN: NIGHTWALKER: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

$16.99

DC

10

THE JOKER: HIS GREATEST JOKES TP

$19.99

DC


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

VENDOR

1

BATMAN: DAMNED HC (MR)

$29.99

DC

2

UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 3: HOTEL OBLIVION TP

$19.99

DAR

3

MONSTRESS VOLUME 4 TP (MR)

$16.99

IMA

4

MARVEL HORROR OMNIBUS HC

$150.00

MAR

5

HEROES IN CRISIS HC

$29.99

DC

6

PAPER GIRLS VOLUME 6 TP

$14.99

IMA

7

TIMELY'S GREATEST: GOLDEN AGE SUB-MARINER BYEVERETTHC

$150.00

MAR

8

UMBRELLAACADEMYLIBRARY EDITION VOL. 1 HC

$39.99

DAR

9

BATMAN ETERNAL OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

DC

10

SPIDER-MAN BY JOHN BYRNE OMNIBUS HC

$125.00

MAR

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