October 2011 Sales – DC Comics Dominates

Ever since Justice League #1 was released in late August, all eyes have been on DC Comics.  As we predicted, with the massive push for The New 52 and 52 new #1 issues, DC Comics rebounded and took the top spot for sales in September 2011, albeit narrowly in terms of both dollar share and unit share. But the real measuring stick would be October, to see how sales sustained into the second month of the relaunch. Conventional wisdom in comic books is that there’s usually a drop off from issue #1 to issue #2, so many expected to see similar behavior in DC Comics’ sales numbers in October 2011.  Well, the numbers are in and DC Comics not only took the top spot again, but they only dropped 6% in terms of sales (42% overall), but surged in market share, dominating over Marvel and the other publishers with 51% of the market share.

Of the top 10 books, DC Comics secured 7 of the top slots, with the second issues of many of their flagship titles such as Justice League #2 (#1 with 180k), Batman #2 (#2 with 172k), Action Comics #2 (#3 with 153k), and Green Lantern #2 (with 142k). Marvel broke the Top 10 with 3 titles, up from 2 in September, with ironically, new #1s leading the way such as Incredible Hulk #1 (#7 with 106k) and Wolverine and the X-Men #1 (#8 with 95k).

Some interesting things to note from October’s Sales:

DC Comics

  • Justice League – Sales of issue #2 were up 6% over issue #1.
  • Batman and Action Comics – Sales of issue #2 dropped over issue #1 9% and 16% respectively.
  • Superman – While still cracking the top 10, sales dropped 26% from issue #1 to issue #2.
  • Animal Man – Showed the largest gain in issue #1 to issue #2 with an increase of 14%.
  • Catwoman and Red Hood and The Outlaws – All that controversy and the calls to stop reading these books due to their portrayals of women led to an increase of 6% from issue #1 to issue #2 for both titles.
  • O.M.A.C. – One of our favorites, and a low seller with issue #1 was down 12% with issue #2.

Marvel Comics

  • Avengers – Issue #18 coming in at #26 on the charts with 58k, down 4% over issue #19 is the first time that I can remember where a book written by Brian Michael Bendis DID NOT break the Top 25. Especially an Avengers book.
  • X-Men – With Wolverine and the X-Men #1 (#8 with 95k) and Uncanny X-Men #544 (#22 with 60k, up 3%), as well as the other X-Men related books in the top 100 (X-Men: Schism, Uncanny X-Force, X-Men: Regenesis), the entire line shows promising sales as their “reboot” continues into November.
  • Fear Itself – Regardless of what you thought of the story, Fear Itself continued to be a successful event for Marvel with a slight increase of 3% for issue #7 over issue #6, and placement in the top 10.
  • Ultimate Comics Spider-Man – After a successful new #1 launch in September  (#9 on the chart with 87k), it fell back to earth with sales dropping 40% with Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2 (double shipped in September), which continued with issue #3 in October (#37 on the chart with 52k).
  • Alpha Flight – Renewed to an ongoing in August, only to be canceled in October, Alpha Flight sales fell 10% with Alpha Flight #5 hovering around the 20k mark.

Other Publishers

  • Buffy The Vampire Slayer – The only entry from Dark Horse in the Top 100, the second issue of season 9 dropped 15%.
  • The Walking Dead – The only entry from Image Comics in the Top 100, double shipped in October (the same month as the new season of the TV show debuted) and showed virtually no change over the last issue released in August, with sales around 31k. Sales of  issue #90 showed a slight increase over issue #89.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – IDW’s highest charting was with the newly relaunched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with issue #3 at 109 on the top 300 list, but notably, with an increase of 18% over issue #2

Overall, October was a great month for the comic book industry with total sales of comics issues up 24% over October of 2010.  Sadly, that upward trend did not affect graphic novels and collected editions, which according to Diamond, were down 13% year over year. But the sum total of the entire industry was up 12% over October 2010.

The surge of attention to comics issues again, mainly due to DC Comics relaunch, has lead to a bit of a slowing of the bleeding of the industry as a whole. Now the overall year over year market decline is only at 1.93% compared to 2010. If November and December show similar positive results, 2011 could end up being a very positive year for the entire comic book market, although it’s too early to tell how much of a halo affect DC Comics is having on other publishers.

One would hope more people in comic shops looking for new comics from DC might be inclined to check out other books from Marvel, Image, etc., and yet in looking at the numbers, there doesn’t seem to be much of that happening. But, it might be too early to tell, especially considering these numbers reflect the number of issues ordered by comic shops, not actual sales.

All data was provided by Diamond Comics Distributors as reported by ICv2.


  1. This doesn’t take into account any digital sales does it? I would really like to see how that is going. It feels kind of weird to know that my vote isn’t being counted in these charts since I only buy digital now.

  2. Saw this info last week on yahoo finance of all places. Pretty cool to see comics related news on a website dominated by Greece and Economic info

  3. More stuff like this please

  4. Stage a gigantic stunt, comic book fans will follow. What a wonderful reality we’ve enforced in the publishers minds.

    • Or, initiate a LONG overdue line-wide creative shake-up to clean the slate and allow good creators to try new things and tell better stories and promote the hell out of it, and comic book fans will follow.

    • Who is doing that? 😛

      I guess we gotta agree to disagree, C. To me, most books weren’t even that shaken up. The relaunch to me was more about telling us that things are different, than actually making them different.

      Don’t get me wrong. There are a handful of great relaunches to come from the whole deal, along with a couple nice new books. Which is a very cool thing. But as one big giant thing, it by no means felt like a creative shake-up with better told stories. Just more of the same with a shiny new polish. You are entirely correct about the promoting the hell out of it part, however.

    • Were you reading DC before the “reboot”? I’m honestly asking, because I was and to me it feels reinvigorated and fresh and I love it.

    • I wasn’t reading it before, but I am also really enjoying it now. As far as it helping out other publishers, I went from reading one DC book (the Flash) to now reading 15. We’ve dropped about 5 Marvel books to make room, independent publishers we’ve stuck with the same quality stuff from Boom, Image, IDW, etc. So for us, it’s hurt Marvel, helped DC, no effect on anybody else.

    • I was. Not the entire line, mind you. But I was reading a fair share. I was reading Snyder’s Detective, which has continued on being excellent over in Batman. Had grown tired of everything Latern, and dropped them all. Tried all the new books and got the exact same vibe. I was disappointed to lose books like Batgirl (the Stephanie Brown one), Power Girl, and Zatanna. Read and enjoyed The Flash.

      Like I said in my last comment in this thread. There are most definitely some great new books to come from this whole relaunch. And for that, as a reader, I’m stoked. But there’s a lot of stuff that’s either just more of the same, or a flash back to 1996. When taking all of the books that fit that category into consideration, I can’t get on board with “everything’s new and fresh!” Some of it is. Right on. But not enough, IMHO, to make this big of an impact on the industry. No, that came strictly from the big event-like quality of the whole ordeal. Just like comic book fans have proven time and again to flock to the same event books that they always complain about, because the publishers tell them that they are “important”. Comic readers similarly flocked to be in on this whole deal.

      It’s a plus and good for us readers that some of the new 52 is good. But DC didn’t get this big a bump in market share because 20% of the new 52 is critically acclaimed. No, they got it because comic fans all too it upon themselves to buy the first few issues of every book DC relaunched, including the likes of Hawk & Dove, Green Arrow, and Mister Terrific.

      But hey. That’s just my opinion. If you’re digging the whole deal. That’s sweet. 🙂

    • They also got this bump because this has successfully gotten new readers on board. I have 2 friends who went from buying ZERO comics to about a dozen titles a month.

    • I don’t see giant marketing stunt and line-wide creative shake-up as mutually exclusive. BOTH are required in todays market. No matter how good a book (or anything for that matter) is, it will have a hard time selling anything unless people know about it. Even word of mouth and internet buzz only carry so far. Even books with HUGE online buzz like chew, daytripper, fear agent etc, move small numbers in comparison to even the shittiest of well hyped books. On the other hand most big hype books that do not deliver on quality die off very quickly. DC has managed to do what no one has before at this scale, with a large amount of solid varied products and the promotional push to build excitement for them.

    • j206, we don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.

      sales for dc haven’t been this high in decades,
      even lackluster titles like Hawk & Dove have more regular readers.

      people said “by the second month, it’ll all die down.”
      these figures show that’s not the case whatsoever.

      this was a success by every possible definition of the word,
      and although some changes were slightly frowned upon,
      overall it was positive experience for all involved.

    • honestly i was never a big DC fan until the relaunch.

  5. What did civil war sell?

    • Around 250K per issue.

    • how long did that last?
      where are the avengers now?
      what was made of cap’s death?
      how long until the registration act was repealed?
      how long until iron man & cap were “bffs” again?
      how long did spiderman’s identity remain common knowledge?
      civil war was great, but the new 52 was the best thing to happen to comics BY FAR.

  6. “One would hope more people in comic shops looking for new comics from DC might be inclined to check out other books from Marvel, Image, etc., and yet in looking at the numbers, there doesn’t seem to be much of that happening.”

    I highly doubt there was all that much more people in comic shops. It seems that it was mostly current or lapsed comic readers who took up the initiative to buy 52 books from DC in one month. And many of these people dropped Marvel books to be able to do so. With that in mind, these numbers aren’t surprising to me at all.

    We’ll see how long it lasts. A LOT of people, myself included, took iFanboys lead and bought all 52 books. Every comic site and podcast was giving their thoughts on each and every book. People like being in on the discussion. It’s why this site is so successful. Given everything I’ve heard from many of the readers who took on this giant task, I really don’t expect these numbers to hold up. Hardcore DC fans might keep up reading a ton of the 52. But even they can’t keep up that pace. Most I’ve read give their analysis of the new 52 seem to have cut down to 5-10 books, only the books that grabbed them. Hell, that’s still a win for DC, as they’re going to be selling more than they were prior the relaunch. But these numbers aren’t going to hold up once stores have to reorder based off actual readers regularly purchasing a title. Still a big win for DC. But perspective is needed.

    • It’s true. I did drop some Marvel books to be able to afford some DC books. Now I’m still dropping some DC books so I can try and balance my budget.

    • jonny – EXACTLY! Whether one wants to consider the new DCU a reboot, relaunch or whatever, it was effective in getting fresh takes on their books, several of which interested me enough to try them. And many of what I bought were great enough for me to say, “You know, Avengers HAS been sucky lately. I’m going to drop it to make room for Flash.” Marvel has just been trucking along, doing as they do: putting out a ton of new books, many of which – again – have interested me enough to buy them. Sure enough, I’ve had to go back and drop a couple of new DC books for a couple of Marvels which are even greater.

      Don’t get me wrong – the books I’ve liked from DC are truly spectacular, but I just can’t buy them all! It’s not like I have disposable income. I do, but not enough to support absolutely everything I’d like to read. Doesn’t matter if it’s digital or not… Something’s got to give, I believe, with most comic consumers. Well, anyone who’s minding their comic budget. Like, practically everyone today, right?

      As I’ve said before, what will affect companies in the long run is how many people look at the Wednesday stack in their arms and decide to put a book or two back because a: they can’t afford it, b: they don’t like the direction those books are going, or c: simply have to make a choice.

      For the most part, the industry’s content is great right now because there are so many good books out there. Will DC’s numbers go down in time? Sure. IN TIME. You have to wait a few months to see how these stories play out, as well as what else might debut in the market, whether people will want to continue buying them or not.

    • I admit that I took advantage of my shop’s special discount on the New DC 52 first issues. In addition to my regular discount for having a pull list if was over 40% off cover on those titles. I only picked up about a dozen #2 – #3, and that might decrease in the next month or so. It’s mostly the second-tier books (RESURRECTION MAN, GRIFTER, DEMON KNIGHTS, et al) with AQUAMAN & BATMAN the only books featuring Justice Leaguers that I’m picking up.

      I hope iFanboy continues to monitor the sales, as it will be interesting to see how things go once the initial arcs are completed. We’re already hearing rumors of creators departing after only a half-dozen issues and that generally doesn’t bode well for new books.

    • i’m down to about 2-3 marvel comics,
      and up to over a DOZEN dc comics.

      this coming from a guy who stretches every penny until it cries for mommy.

      new 52= complete victory

  7. Are these numbers just for the U.S. or worldwide?

    • These are numbers for US and Canada through Diamond. They’re just rough estimates though. DC and Marvel have the full numbers that I doubt they’ll release (including digital)

    • I’d love to know worldwide sales both through Diamond and digitally. What would you guess it would be? Double the U.S. total?

  8. Its interesting to see Avengers out of the top 25. I thought it was just me that wasn’t enjoying it, I dropped it from my pull list 2 months ago and its the only Avengers title that I don’t currently read. I just for some reason could no longer get into it. I’m curious to see if Marvel will make any changes creatively on that book.

    • I personally like Avengers. I like New Avengers a lot as well, maybe if I can cut enough less read books then I can add that back to my pull.

    • I’m curious as well. And a little scared.

      To me, besides the big event stuff and Avengers books, Marvel is doing just fine creatively. On the whole, it is putting out a lot of quality books. Daredevil, Captain America & Bucky, Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, Punisher, PunisherMax, Moon Knight, Thunderbolts, Avengers Academy, Uncanny X-Force, Wolverine, Wolverine & the X-Men, Uncanny X-Men. All these books and more have been extremely solid to great of late.

      But with Fear Itself sucking so hard, and the Bendis Avengers books growing stale (maybe it’s time for someone new to take over the reins), that has overtaken what people think of Marvel on the whole currently. Throw in the DC relaunch grabbing attention and inundating the market in a sea of “It’s new!”, and we are now at the point where we are. The overall opinion that Marvel currently sucks. Which if you really are paying attention, is far from the case. Just a week ago, 4 of the top 5 community picks of the week were Marvel books. It really is a shame just how damaging Fear Itself was to the line.

      I hope that Marvel doesn’t see this and freak out. They’ve already begun to go entirely digital, which was the correct move. But creatively, I hope they don’t feel the need to copy DC simply because this move of theirs worked to give them a nice boost. Sure, consider where the Avengers stuff is going if it’s not grabbing people, and definitely reconsider your approach to event books. But the rest is doing just fine, IMO. I hope Marvel is able to see the forest for the trees. Hopefully they make the proper moves, and don’t overreact.

    • A big event and your flagship franchise both being crap (not my exact feelings, but I’m paraphrasing the community) really casts a large shadow over your line. There is a lot of good going on, but some of the most visible and advertised books aren’t really that great. I’ve been watching the Avengers books’ pull numbers here on IFanboy drop consistently for the past few months, but that isn’t always indicative of the entire readership.

    • The drop out of the top 25 isn’t any kind of mark against the book. It didnt drop drastically i sales, its just that Other books sold more. the book made basically the same amount of money as it did before. Even the 4% drop noted above doesnt necessarily mean a drop in readership. retailers ordering books more tightly and the statistical noise in getting these numbers (they arent sales figures but sales estimates made by icv2, they are NOT official numbers from publishers or diamond) could account for that. It’s easy to interpret this as a reaction against the book, but that seems to be people who have become disinterested in the book, projecting their opinions on the actual facts of the matter.

  9. Interesting figures. I still think the Catwoman and Red Hood sex gimmicks will give a short term boost but overall that won’t sell.

    • CATWOMAN and the Starfire panels in the first issue of RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS seemed little more than what they call ‘fan service’ in the manga community. I’m throwing in the initial issue of VOODOO, as well, although I’m not familiar with that character, so don’t know how she was portrayed in any earlier series.

      The RH&TO take on Koriand’r reminds me of when Marvel decided to turn Tigra into a slut. Are we supposed to believe that this is the same Starfire who had a long-term relationship with Dick Grayson? She has no memory of her former fellow Titans, seriously? That was my main reason for not buying the further issues of the book, although I didn’t care much for any of the other characters either.

    • Did that really boost sales for those books or just cause a lot of chatter?

    • I personally don’t see the big deal with Catwoman, the story over all was pretty good. Sure it got a little sexy at the end, BFD, thats what Bruce and Selena do, they bang…. A lot.

  10. Congrats to DC but it saddens me to see that the September push really didn’t bring in too many new non-comic readers. Are comics ever going to break 200K again? Sure DC is selling tons of books, but it’s to the same old audience. That audience is still shrinking. It reminds me of Josh’s column from a few weeks back, it was a missed opportunity to spread the line

    • comics were not breaking 100k plus 100k is great. really 200k is too small. digital is the real battlefield right now. really the whole relaunch was an excuse to to go digital.

    • They made a big deal about how new it was, but taking an outsider view, it was really the same product with some polish on it.

      From a branding perspective they did very little to visually differentiate the products from the previous line.

      I was shocked that they didn’t put some effort into really designing the logos and covers to a point that would attract magazine and paperback book customers. Maybe ask some designers and illustrators from outside of comics to work on these things. Instead you got recycled ideas and aesthetics. From a casual new reader perspective there is a lot of “more of the same”

      Plus i think the digital pricing was a mistake. Tolerable for current readers looking for a legal digital solution, but off-putting for a new customer.

  11. This looks really great for DC. I wonder how long it’ll last?

  12. These numbers don’t include returns, right? Weren’t most of DC’s October books returnable? Couldn’t a chunk of these sales to the comic book shops end up right back in DC’s warehouses? I wonder if we’ll ever see those numbers.

    • From reports, there weren’t a whole lot of returns. In fact, reorders were very heavy.

    • Yeah, I’m pretty sure some of the #1s got third printings, and many #2s got second printings. My LCS sold out of a bunch of #2s.

    • Having not set foot in a real comic shop for a while, I was unsure. Thanks for the info!

    • I think we’re all wise enough in the way of collectors to know that a good number of those #1s will be turning up on eBay (some already have) and in Bargain Boxes at cons within a short time. The hobby doesn’t attract the hordes of ‘speculeeches’ that it did back in the ’90s but there are some still out there, just not enough to push the sales up to the multiple 100K numbers we saw back then.

      Hate to be cynical, but I have seen way too many boom & bust cycles in the industry in my over 40+ years of reading & collecting.

  13. “O.M.A.C. – One of our favorites, and a low seller with issue #1 was down 12% with issue #2. ”
    Whoever bought issue one of OMAC only to drop it at issue 2 is an absolute madman

  14. Except for a few freak outliers, I don’t believe physical comic books will ever break 200K again. Digital though… Sell them for $0.99 and promote the hell out of it, then maybe. At least, that is the only bright future I see. Digital dominating, with an even smaller number of stores delivering physical comics (and TPBs, toys, and other collectibles) to the hard core collector nutjob (i.e., people like me).

    • If they came out at 99 cents I’d be buying an iPad today and digital would be my future.

    • Financially speaking, selling 200k books for $0.99 is the same as selling 66k at $2.99. They would need to sell hundreds and hundreds of thousands to make that price point work.

    • @maxpower–but if you hold to DC’s public stance that digital is meant to supplement and not replace print, you could use .99 comics as a loss leader and a way to hook new customers. AKA your local neighborhood drug pusher strategy of “the first taste is free”

    • I have downloaded a few previews and some e-comics priced at .99 to my laptop. This was mostly out of curiousity, since I still prefer my comics in print format. Until, and if, I upgrade from my ‘classic’ B&W text only Nook I can’t see going completely digital in my comics buying. At the moment, I’m not paying more than $5 for any of the novels I’m downloading from B&N, so I doubt I’d be willing to shell out $2.99 or more for a digital comic.

      I can’t see either of the Big Two going completely digital in the near future, except perhaps for some special one-shot or mini as a sales booster. Besides, even if they did I’m sure there would be an eventual TPB collection for the Luddites among us.

      To be honest, much of this digital vs. print debate reminds me of the discussions over a decade ago about how the monthly pamphlets were going to disappear and all books would be available only as TPBs published a few times a year.

    • Well the 200k/66k argument is somewhat valid It’s not like all the publishers aren’t paying huge costs in printing and distribution on physical product. With digital distribution they have to be paying considerably less per unit and therefore the unit price should be lower.

    • 2.00-2.50 would be great for online purchases normally priced 3.00,
      and 2.75-3.00 for 4.00 items.

  15. Keep in mind that 41 of the DC New 52 titles are returnable by retailers. 5 of the New 52 had quantity variant incentives to boost orders, and the other 6 titles were offered at an additional discount. DC did everything that they could to encourage retailers to take stock deep on the new 52.

    The numbers being reported DO NOT represent copies sold to end consumers; they represent numbers sold to retailers. I don’t know about my fellow retailers, but I will be returning some #1s and a large batch of #2s at the very least. Once the returns are accounted for, then let’s talk about final sales numbers.

    • My shop sold the hell out of first print #1’s, then second print #1’s and first print #2’s. Third print #1’s is where it started to drop off. We didn’t have any copies to return.

  16. I’d love to see some digital sales figures. The fact that comixology and the DC app are often in the iTunes top 10 indicates that sales have been big there, too.

  17. I hated almost everything DC related prior to the relaunch, and now I’m buying a ton of their books – without dropping my Marvel and IDW titles. For me, the relaunch, the flurry of midnight releases and signings/events in Chicago surrounding the relaunch, and the running around from shop to shop looking for sold out books just made me get way more into comics. My comics spending has at least tripled, and I’ve been giving books to my friends and their kids.

    Floppies and LCSes are still screwed, I’m sure – but don’t blame this guy! 🙂

  18. I’m someone new back to the comic book shop due to new 52…. and because of it DC has captured the bulk of my interest..

    I’m on a few marvel titles and an image/idw – but easing in slowly and being more discriminating for two reasons… the books being typically more expensive (I know it’s only a buck – but it’s a strong psychological barrier for some reason) and less clear jumping on points.

  19. So far I’m loving both the 52 relaunch and the same day digital releases, first from DC, then from everyone else. It’s making it a lot easier to keep up/catch up with titles. I still buy physical copies when I can, but it’s really, really nice to have the option. Would it be better if it was .99? Of course. Could the interface be improved? Probably. But it’s so nice knowing that even if I forget to hit my local comic shop on a given Wednesday, I won’t have to wait until a reprint because they sold out of the comic I wanted.

  20. This is the first time I have seen ifanboy cover the market

  21. I’ve been buying all my stuff digitally and through some apps they allow the rating system, Action Comics had the most ratings at around 1200 when I bought it, might have shot up from there.

  22. A lot of people on here keep mentioning “sure but there were no new readers” (i’m paraphrasing). I dont know where the proof for this generalization is, but i’d like to see it.
    As i mentioned above, i personally know a few new readers. I also asked my LCS if they got any new pull lists started with the new 52, and they said they did get a handful. Take a few and multiply that by the number of LCS around the country, and you’ve got a a decent amount of new readers. I mean there may not be lines around the corner each wednesday, but comic readers, old and new, are responding well to the entire reboot.

  23. well duh … let’s check again six months from now …

    • Before it was “let’s see the second months sales”. But you are right, if we wait long enough no matter how long it takes this will be a failure dagnabbit!

    • lol, just admit it “true believer” cahubble, dc won. marvel is in retreat. it’s over.

    • LOL … hardly a true believer … just not a believer in the hype that DC has been dishing out. The fact is that they haven’t fulfilled what they set out to do, which was to bring NEW readers into the market. They marketed this deal to existing readers, and obtained very little coverage (relatively speaking) OUTSIDE of the niche media that follows the industry. And my LCS certainly doesn’t report any NEW readers. They report a lot of old folks that they haven’t seen in awhile. And the content in some of these books is hardly new reader friendly … certainly not YOUNG new reader friendly. It isn’t about waiting long enough for a fail Burritoclock. It’s about doing what you say you’re going to do. And on that score, the entire endeavor is a big fail. The fact is that DC’s “New 52” has done nothing to alter the fundamentals of this market. NADA. Marvel at least is attempting to develop a digital market far more intelligently, by developing strategic partnerships with other companies that can help them create NEW points of entry for NEW, DIGITAL customers. To cite just one example, when you walk into Starbucks and log onto the internet while you’re in the store, the first thing you see is an offer of free access while you’re in the store to Marvel digital comics. Are souped up latte drinkers likely comic readers? Yup … the next thing you’ll see are free downloads of comics printed on those little cards at the register that offer free songs each week. I’ll be curious to see how else they try to BUILD a digital market.

      @thehangman: I’m hardly a partisan of the comic book war that you seem to perceive. I read as many DC books as I do Marvel books. This isn’t a rivalry issue, it’s about revitalizing the industry–and DC’s New 52 was a major fail in terms of changing the fundamental dynamics that are ailing this market.

    • Yet more proof that DC’s “New 52” hasn’t changed the status quo.


      Marvel wins in overall, DC dominates top ten … but more importantly, total sales year over year are up only 10%. In addition to the “New 52”, that can be explained by any number of reasons … bounce back in the economy, holiday sales, yada yada yada … but is the industry growing and bringing in new readers? I don’t see it.

  24. Firstly those DC figures are understated by 10-20% for 42 out of the 51 books.
    Secondly from reports there werent alot of unsold books.
    Thirdly, other alternatives forms of sales also increased by quite a margin. Brian Buccellato said numbers are way lower than the real one.
    Also Digital Sales was said to have increased to roughly around 10% by John Rood in an interview with CBR

  25. While i enjoy these kinds of articles there are a few points to keep in mind:

    1. These are NOT sales figures. Diamond generally doesn’t release sales figures, nor do the publishers. When they do its usually only the good news stuff. Diamond releases sales rankings by percentage of whatever issue of Batman shipped. from that you can do some math and get sales approximations if you have the sales of one book. but since only diamond has that number, those are estimates too. John Miller who compiles these numbers warns about using them in such detail. the “statistical noise” as he puts it is enough for a few percentage points difference month to month on books with identical actual sales figures. They are good guides, but not actual numbers.

    2.So far everyone i have seen who has access to ACTUAL numbers (creators get actual figures on their books for royalty purposes) has stated that the estimates are always low. It’s unlikely that Marvel or Dc would get those wrong as higher sales means more royalties to the creator, and playing with those numbers get you in a lot of trouble if you are caught.

    3. deeper analysis of the numbers overall do seem to show a rise across the board. a common benchmark for these kinds of things is the performance of the number 300 ranked comic. In Sept it was a little over 3000 copies in Oct it was over 5000 copies. This usually indicates a lift across the entire market, not just the new 52. this is consisent with the idea more people were buying comics as opposed to the same number of people moving their dollars around.

    4. while DC sold a lot more copies, they may not have had as huge a profit. In addition to returnability, DC raised the discount on many titles an additional 15%. this means smaller profit margins for them, but it also means more cash for retailers. Smart retailers can use this EXTRA extra cash to invest in their business, improve their store, advertise or stock up on product for the upcoming holiday season. DC took one for the team by doing this and im sure it was a hard fight to make it happen. Big corporations do not like to hear “we will make less money one every book sold, but we hope to make up for that in volume”. Looks like it worked though, so i imagine we will se more flexibility of this kind. DC isnt just changing what goes on in the comics, but also how they are distributed (including digital) and their speediness to shuffle teams shows a change in how they are made to.

    5. we will probably never see official digital numbers. just get over it. We dont see real sales number in print, only rankings. Even TPBs in bookscan do not come from publishers but from a survey of retailers. Since with digital both publisher and retailer/distributor (comixology) have non disclosure agreements. they only way to get any numbers is from the creators of the books or leaks.

    This was an amazing success not just for Dc but for the comics market as a whole. It’s not over though, it’s up to DC and all the publishers to keep the product strong and even improve it, retailers have to take steps to keep the new business and even for the fans to not chase people away. I just hate the possibility that someone new to this may go online to discuss this awesome new comic they tried, only to be met with an endless stream of negativity, and the kind of online nerd fighting that too often defines the discussion these days. It nearly drives me away from fandom, I imagine what it would do to someone without a jaded view of this medium or a life long investment in it.

  26. I’m curious to see if DC maintaining high sales raises the cancellation threshold.

  27. please, show these records to people still doubting the effectiveness of the new 52.

    i’m more than certain sales will SLIGHTLY decrease due to the nature of the very market we all know and love,
    but overall spectacular results.

    congratulations, dc comics.

    • Right … we get that … but do you think they’re bringing in NEW readers? Have they fundamentally altered the dynamics of this market? I’m not hearing that locally. Looking at the long-terms sales six to twelve months from now compared to historical figures (http://www.comichron.com/monthlycomicssales.html) will give us a better sense than being unreasonably giddy over what may be a momentary boost in sales from the reboot. Of COURSE we’re going to see a bounce in sales right now. That’s a given because DC has completely reset their entire line.

      I’m still not seeing any evidence that NEW readers are entering the market, and since neither DC nor Marvel will release digital sales figures, no one can see if they’re successfully building a new niche market via digital platforms.

  28. I wish they’d sell that TMNT digitally, I checked both the major sites and couldn’t find it. I’d like to try that book, but my retailer doesn’t order it.

  29. I agree that the numbers are from Diamond……and not store sales. I used to work at a comic book store and we had so much junk on the racks that my boss were giving stuff away. I dropped a bunch of D.C. stuff.