Comic sales through Diamond Comic Distributors were up again in June for the fourth month in a row, rising 15% over June 2003. Once again gains in sales of periodical comic rose faster (15%) than did sales of graphic novels, which scored an 8% gain over June 2003. Comic dollars were aided by the fact that the number one book for the month (with sales of 163,111 copies) was Identity Crisis #1, which sported a $3.95 cover price. With no graphic novel selling more than 8,217 copies and total graphic novel sales nearly equaling May, which had Spawn Simony selling over 17,000 copies as well as popular big ticket items like The Complete Peanuts Vol. 1, it is obvious that June graphic novel sales were spread out over a number of titles with 45 books selling more than 2,000 copies.
June marks the fourth consecutive month of year over year increases, since we began calculating those comparisons based on Diamond's new system of reporting sales. It's also the fourth consecutive month in which periodical sales growth outpaced the growth in graphic novel sales through Diamond.
Sixteen months into Diamond's new reporting, we can now provide quarterly reports for the first time. Second quarter sales of periodical comics rose 13% over sales in the second quarter of 2003. Sales of graphic novels in the second quarter of 2004 declined by 1%, largely due a 10% decline in April.