January 16, 2018

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

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

“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.

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

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.

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

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.

Tags: 2017comic newscomic salesComichronDiamondDoomsday ClockMediaSagaWatchmenyear in review