Periodical comic sales declined a substantial 9% in January 2009 versus January 2008 in spite of a spectacular performance by Amazing Spider-Man #583, which rode President Obama’s coattails to a record-setting performance. The very top tier of titles did well. DC’s Final Crisis finished strong and Marvel’s Dark Reign is off to a good start, but the rest of the list displayed some real weakness across the board.
The #10 title on last month’s list was at 69,980 units while the tenth comic on the January 2008 Top 300 was at 97,959. The #20 title in January 09 came in at 51,940, while in 08 the corresponding book sold 69,587. The #50 title in January 09 was at 32,890 while a year earlier the same chart position yielded sales of 41,454.
Farther down the list, the #100 title last month sold 19,631 copies, while a year earlier the total for the 100th comic was 22,643. The final comic on this list sold just 1,613 last month, while the 300th title posted sales of 2,534 in January of 08.
Sales of the top 100 graphic novels were up 4%, an increase that brought the overall decline in sales of both the top 300 comics and top 100 graphic novels down to 7%.
In the direct market (more so than in the bookstores) monthly graphic novel totals reflect frontlist rather than backlist sales and are extremely hit-driven. Image’s Walking Dead Vol.9, Marvel’s Secret Invasion, and DC’s Watchmen provided plenty of punch at the top of the chart and may well have masked some downlist weakness.
For the top 300 comics in January, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--January 2009."
For the top 300 graphics novels in January, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--January 2009."
For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in January, see "'Amazing Spider-Man' #583 Sets Sales Record."
For the top 300 comics in December, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2008."
For the top 300 graphic novels in December, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2008."
For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in December, see "'Secret Invasion' Finishes on Top." For an analysis of the dollar trends in December, see "Comics Have a Strong December."
For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through January 2009, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index."