Green Lantern #1 had a strong debut in May, with sales to North American comic stores by Diamond topping 168,000 copies. The over-all Green Lantern franchise was also strong; the final issue of Green Lantern Rebirth came in at #3, with over 114,000 copies sold. But the over-all tone for periodical comics was down in May, with 16 of the top 25 titles dropping in sales vs. the previous issues, and only five going up.
The good sales on the Green Lantern books helped DC make an uncharacteristically strong showing, with five of the top ten titles, and 12 of the top 25.
The impact of summer movies was showing, at least to a limited degree. Sales of Fantastic Four were up substantially, although that may have had more to do with editorial content (a new creative team as well as two covers). Batman sales were up less dramatically.
Sales of individual graphic novel titles were unremarkable; the best-selling title would have come in fifth last month. But the distribution of titles was unusual. Image had both the top-selling graphic novel, with Walking Dead Volume 3 at around 6,600 copies, and the top dollar graphic novel with the Wanted hardcover. In fact, publishers other than the Big Two owned the top five spots of the graphic novel best-sellers, a very unusual circumstance in sales to comic stores, where superheroes from Marvel and DC generally predominate.
Samurai Executioner was (predictably) the top manga seller to comic stores in May. Less predictably, the second best-seller was Fruits Basket from Tokyopop, a sign that manga that sell primarily to female consumers (which have historically done well in bookstores, see 'Fruits Basket on Top Again') are gaining increasing traction in comic stores.
The top 25 comic titles in April, along with our estimates of the numbers sold to North American comic stores by Diamond Comic Distributors, are:
168,353 Green Lantern #1
134,986 Astonishing X-Men #10
114,354 Green Lantern: Rebirth #6
102,026 Ultimates 2 #6
96,735 Villains United #1
90,197 Ultimate Iron Man #2
88,285 Omac Project #2
83,547 Uncanny X-Men #459
82,887 Rann Thanagar War #1
81,321 Ultimate X-Men #59
81,048 X-Men #170
80,961 Wolverine #28
76,143 Amazing Spider-Man #520
71,478 Ultimate Fantastic Four #18
70,205 Superman #216
69,925 Young Avengers #4
69,046 Teen Titans #24
67,433 Fantastic Four #527
66,640 Batman #640
65,321 Superman #217
64,468 Day of Vengeance #2
63,934 JLA #114
62,708 DC Special Return Of Donna Troy #1
58,870 X-Men: The End - Heroes & Martyrs #3
We are estimating actual sales by Diamond U.S. (primarily to North American comic stores), using Diamond's published sales indexes and publisher sales data to estimate a sales number for Batman (the anchor title Diamond uses in its calculations), and using that number and the indexes to estimate Diamond's sales on the remaining titles. We can check the accuracy of our numbers by comparing the Batman number that we calculate using multiple data points; our numbers for Batman are within 1/10 of 1% of each other, ensuring a high degree of accuracy.
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during May, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--May 2005.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during May, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--May 2005.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during April, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--April 2005.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during April, see 'Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--April 2005.'
For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through May 2005, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 100 GNs Index.'