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Comics Down Again in July

GNs Drop Double Digits

Published: 08/05/2011, Last Updated: 09/01/2011 05:25am
Year-over-year dollar sales of periodical comics through Diamond Comic Distributors fell by 4.27% in July 2011despite the fact that July 2010 was not a particularly strong month for comic book sales with just one title over 100K.  On the positive side the number of units sold in July of 2011 approached parity with July 2010 with a minimal decline of just .52%.  The difference between dollar sales and unit sales indicates that comic book cover prices have in fact declined.  The problem is that circulation numbers have not risen enough to make up for the decline in revenue from lower cover prices.  Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man #666, a prelude to "Spider-Island," was the bestselling comic of the month (check back next week for ICv2's estimates of the actual sales of the Top 300 comics and Top 300 graphic novels).
 
As was the case in June (see “Comics Slide Continues in June”), the situation looks worse on the graphic novel side in July than it really is. GN dollar sales were down 10.1% and unit sales were down 13.19% versus July of 2010.  But July of 2010 was a strong month with the release of the final volume of the Scott Pilgrim, a new Walking Dead, and the Blackest Night hardcovers. In the hit-driven graphic novel market where different titles are released every month, the makeup of the list of books that are released really does matter. In the run-up to the release of the Scott Pilgrim movie last year all 6 volumes in the series made the Top 10 on Diamond’s list of graphic novels shipped in July.  Add in a new Walking Dead volume and the highly successful release of the Blackest Night hardcovers and it was very potent list. So being down 10% from that sales onslaught is not quite as bad as it would appear at first glance and is somewhat of a testament to the sales power of the July 2011 releases led by Top Shelf’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Dark Horse’s Conan, and the release of Marvel’s Kick-Ass and DC’s Blackest Night volumes in softcover for the first time.
 
Year-over-year, combined dollar sales of comics and graphic novels were down 6.17%, which is a little worse than they were last month (5.85%), but still better than the combined total for 2011 so far, which is down 7.04% from the same period is 2010.
 
Marvel’s dollar marketshare for July was 39.43%, which was up slightly from June’s 39.32%, while DC’s dollar share was up significantly from 28.03% in June to 30.55% in July.  IDW Publishing moved from #5 in June to #3 in July with a 5.32% dollar share, followed by Image with 4.50%, Dark Horse with 3.69%, Dynamite with 2.83%, and BOOM! Studios with 1.57%. If the rankings were based on units rather than dollars, Image would have been the #3 publisher in July with 4.52% to IDW’s 3.76%.

For an overview and analysis of comic sales in July, see "'Amazing Spider-Man' #666 Tops July Sales."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during July, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--July 2011."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during July, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--July 2011."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during June, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--June 2011."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during June, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--June 2011."

For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in June, see "Death of Spider-Man Tops 159K."  For an analysis of the dollar trends in June, see "Comics' Slide Continues in June."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through July 2011, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."
 
 
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