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October Comic Numbers Sag

JLA/Avengers Leads the Pack

Published: 01/27/2004 12:00am
Avengers/JLA #2
Takes the Top Spot

No October book came close to breaking the 200,000-copy barrier like Batman #619 did last month (see 'Hush Finale Tops Charts'), and only four of the top 25 titles posted increases compared with their sales from the previous month, while sales of 17 titles declined.  Still most of the declines were modest and one of the declining titles, JLA/Avengers #2 actually topped the sales charts for October, selling 162,297 copies at a hefty $5.95 cover price--and its roughly 14% decline was less than the normal drop between the number one and number two issues of a mini-series.  Amazing Spider-Man #500 had a huge increase of some 70,000 copies, which can be explained by the special nature of a milestone issue.  New X-Men, Wolverine, and DC's new Teen Titans series all posted gains from September and many of the declining titles suffered only small losses from their previous total. Amazingly last month's leader Batman #619, responsible for a chart-topping total of 233,775 in September, made the list again in October at #17 by selling an additional 71,386 copies (who says it doesn't pay to reprint?).

 

Marvel still dominated the Top 25 with eighteen titles, while DC placed 5 on the Top 25 (with 3 in the Top 10).  Dreamwave, with two titles on the list, was the lone non-premier publisher to make the Top 25. Marvel's Hulk: Gray #1 was the top debut issue in October coming in at #18.  Jim Starlin's Thanos #1 opened at #22, while Dreamwave's Transformers War Within Vol. 2 #1 followed at #25. 

 

The publisher mix on the Top 25 Graphic Novels list was quite a bit more diverse.  DC Comics placed ten titles on the list followed by Marvel with eight.  Dark Horse made a strong showing with 3 titles on the list including the Chronicles Of Conan, which took the top spot.  Image, Tokyopop, Gemstone and Viz were all represented bringing the publisher total up to seven.  Neil Gaiman's Sandman: Endless Nights, which dominated the list last month slipped to the number two spot, but still led all graphic novels in terms of dollars sold due to its $24.95 cover price.

 

The Top 25 comics, with our estimates of the quantities sold during October, are:

 

162,297                       Avengers/JLA #2

148,928                       Amazing Spider-Man #500

129,456                       Marvel 1602 #3

119,909                       Ultimate Six #2 (of 6)

109,937                       Ultimate Six #3 (of 6)

108,112                       Ultimate X-Men #38 

107,638                       Batman #620

105,647                       New X-Men #147

103,569                       Superman/Batman #3

103,010                       New X-Men #148

  99,662                       Ultimate Spider-Man #47

  98,747                       Ultimate Spider-Man #48

  92,472                       Uncanny X-Men #432

  82.074                       Wolverine #6

  77,123                       Supreme Power #3

  71,665                       Spectacular Spider-Man #5

  71,386                       Batman #619

  69,868                       Hulk: Gray #1 (of 6)

  69,082                       Teen Titans #4

  63,463                       X-Treme X-Men #32

  63,356                       Hulk Gray #2 (of 6)

  63,108                       Thanos #1

  62,947                       Transformers Generation One Vol. 2 #6

  62,731                       X-Treme X-Men #33

  62,548                       Transformers War Within Vol. 2 #1

 

We are estimating actual sales by Diamond U.S. (primarily to North American comic stores) rather than pre-orders (as we did for the past several years) because Diamond recently changed its reporting and began basing its indexes on actual sales (see 'ICv2 Kicks Off New Top 300 Reporting').  We use those indexes and publisher sales data to estimate a sales number for Batman (the anchor title diamond uses in its calculations), and use 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 accurcy.

 
Because of that change, we will not be able to do year over year comparisons until February of 2004, but in general, it's an improvement to have actual numbers to work with rather than preorders, which have significant differences from sales. 

 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during October, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--October 2003.'

 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during October, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels Actual--October 2003.'

 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during September, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--September 2003.'

 

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during September, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels Actual--September 2003.'

 

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through October 2003, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 50 GNs Index.'

 
 
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