Top 300 Comics--January 2016") and Top 300 Graphic Novel charts (see "Top 300 Graphic Novels--January 2016"), released Monday, tell the tale of a DC line in broad decline. There are only two titles from DC, a publisher that at various times has contended for the #1 publisher slot, in the top 25 comic titles in January. To add insult to injury one of them is not even a pure DC book – the #24 title is a Batman crossover book with IDW Publishing's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics.
Even DC’s flagship title, Batman, penned by the talented Scott Snyder, is slipping. Its sales in January of around 101,000 copies are the lowest by 5,000 copies since the launch of the "New 52" version of the title in the fall of 2011.
The news is no better as one looks further down the Top 300 chart. DC has only five titles in the top 40, and 11 in the top 50.
The top launches from DC in January are Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life at #62 (31,351) and Swamp Thing #1 (29,048) at #68.
The graphic novel chart, where DC used to shine, is equally bleak for the publisher. Only one DC title placed in the top 20 graphic novels in January, and only five in the top 30. To put that in perspective, only five DC graphic novels (out of the 21 it shipped in January) sold as well as the first volume of VIZ Media’s One Punch Man, which came out last September.
DC’s bestselling graphic novel in January, Flash Vol. 8, sold slightly less than Valiant’s Rai Vol. 1.
And hurting DC’s market share further, the publisher has rescheduled Dark Knight III: The Master Race #3, which was due in January and was undoubtedly destined to be the publisher’s biggest dollar book of the month, to February 24. DC’s market share in January was roughly half Marvel’s (see "Comic Sales Slip in January").
January may not be a typical month, but the overall trends noted here are longstanding. DC has begun teasing a "Rebirth" at the company, which is rumored to be a line-wide relaunch, with Batman writer Scott Snyder moving to Detective Comics (see "DC Teases 'Rebirth'"), among other changes. DC has many fans, which are rooting for it to make the changes needed to produce more popular books. Here’s hoping they’re successful.
For an analysis of the dollar trends in January, see "Comic Sales Slip in January."
For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during January, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--January 2016."
For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during January, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--January 2016."
For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during December, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2015."
For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during December, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2015."
For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in December, see "Variants' Influence Felt in December Comic Numbers."
For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through January 2016, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."
January Numbers Display Broad Trend
Posted by Milton Griepp on February 9, 2016 @ 3:20 am CT
Column by Steve Bennett
February 24, 2017
This week, Bennett looks at comics in a politicized time.