“Doomsday Clock,” “Saga” top December 2017 comic sales; 2017 direct-market sales down 10% versus 2016

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“Doomsday Clock” #2 was the top-selling single-issue comic for the direct market in December 2017. Meanwhile, “Saga,” volume 8, was December’s top-selling trade paperback. For once, DC was the top-selling publisher (by dollar share) this month.

Comics

Below are December’s top-selling direct market comics, according to Diamond.

RankTitlePricePublisher
1DOOMSDAY CLOCK #2$4.99DC
2DARK NIGHTS: METAL #4$3.99DC
3PHOENIX RESURRECTION: THE RETURN OF JEAN GREY #1$4.99MAR
4BATMAN #36$2.99DC
5BATMAN #37$2.99DC
6BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT #3$3.99DC
7AMAZING SPIDER-MAN/VENOM: VENOM INC. ALPHA #1$4.99MAR
8MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #1$3.99MAR
9HAWKMAN FOUND #1$3.99DC
10AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #792$3.99MAR

On the strength of “Doomsday Clock” and Batman (plus, unusually, Hawkman), DC took six of the top 10 sales slots. Marvel took the remaining four, thanks to a Jean Grey Phoenix story, Spider-Man, and the return of “Marvel Two-In-One.”

Trade paperbacks/graphic novels

Here’s the top trade paperbacks and graphic novels, according to Diamond.

RankTitlePricePublisher
1SAGA VOLUME 8 TP (MR)$14.99IMA
2BATMAN VOL. 4: THE WAR OF JOKES & RIDDLES TP$19.99DC
3STAR WARS VOL. 6: OUT AMONG THE STARS TP$19.99MAR
4BATMAN: DETECTIVE COMICS VOL. 4: DEUS EX MACHINA TP$16.99DC
5BLACK HAMMER VOL. 2: THE EVENT TP$19.99DAR
6JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD TP$24.99DC
7SHIRTLESS BEAR-FIGHTER TP (MR)$16.99IMA
8DEADLY CLASS VOLUME 6 TP (MR)$16.99IMA
9VENOMVERSE TP$15.99MAR
10RICK AND MORTY VOLUME 6 TP (MR)$19.99ONI

Image’s “Saga” was the top-seller this month, with the publisher also taking two other slots. DC took three slots (led by Batman); Marvel took two slots (led by “Star Wars”); and Dark Horse and Oni Press one each.

Dollar share and unit share

Saga vol. 8 TPB
Art by Fiona Staples.

The top five publishers by dollar share:

  1. DC Comics: 34.54%
  2. Marvel: 33.8%
  3. Image: 8.69%
  4. IDW: 3.92%
  5. Dark Horse: 2.69%

The top five publishers by unit share:

  1. Marvel: 38.81%
  2. DC Comics: 37.65%
  3. Image: 7.2%
  4. IDW: 2.92%
  5. Dark Horse: 2.06%

Publishers Weekly graphic novel best sellers

Publishers Weekly says the top-selling graphic novel for the five-week period ending December 31, 2017 is “Everyone’s a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too.” It’s a book about a lonely alien on Earth learning about friendship, loneliness, and other life lessons from various Earth creatures.

2017 direct market sales down 10% from 2016

The biggest story of the month is reports by Diamond, Comichron, and others that the year’s total direct market comic/graphic novel sales are down by about 10% (in dollar and units) versus 2016.

As far as I can tell, the main blame is on Marvel’s softening sales, as well as DC’s sales not matching the highs of the immediate post-“Rebirth” sales of 2016. Since the Big Two make up two-thirds of direct market comic sales, anything that hurts them hurts the comics market overall.

Fortunately, the comics market isn’t just the direct market anymore. Last year, we learned that 2016 comic sales growth came mainly from increased bookstore channel sales of trades/graphic novels. Hopefully, the overall market for 2017 shows similar growth or stability once bookstore channel sales are included.


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