Comic and graphic novel orders from pop culture stores jumped sharply in April, posting the best dollar total since January and ending four consecutive months of seasonal declines.  Orders were up dramatically vs. the same month in previous years -- up 23% vs. 01 and 9% vs. 00.  Comics were up 24% vs. 01, and up 4% vs. 00 (for individual title numbers, see 'Top 300 Comics -- April 2002').  Graphic novels were up 17% vs. 01 and 92% vs. 00 (for orders on individual graphic novel and trade paperback titles, 'see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels -- April 2002.' 


As has been the case for months, Marvel led the growth, with order increases of 56% vs. 2001 and 54% vs. 2000.  With Star Wars products and the top two graphic novels for April, Dark Horse grew 11% vs, 2001 but was flat vs. 2000.  CrossGen was up 44% vs. 01, despite relatively modest orders on its two new trade paperback periodicals (see 'CrossGen's New Anthologies'). 


For an over-view and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in April, see 'Retro Rules in April.'


The title quantities that form the basis for this dollar analysis are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in March 2002. 


Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image distribute 100% of their comic store orders through Diamond.  Some other publishers distribute directly to stores or through other distributors and as a result this analysis may underestimate their sales. 


Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, and Image distribute some of their titles through channels other than comic specialty stores, e.g., newsstands and bookstores.  These quantity estimates do not reflect distribution through those channels. 


The quantities above do not include advance reorders, late orders, or reorders.


Most of the titles on this chart are also distributed to Europe by Diamond UK, which can account for significant sales for the publisher, ranging from 3-20% of the US numbers.   Sales by Diamond UK are not included in the numbers above.


Even given the above, however, it is probably safe to say that these quantities reflect 80% or more of the total North American sales by the publisher on most periodical comics.   


One other factor to consider is that sales through Diamond and other comic distributors are non-returnable to retailers.  That means that there is a considerable unknown percentage of books unsold at the retailer level.  If that percentage is 10-20% of sales (a reasonable assumption), the estimates above may be quite close to actual sales to consumers.


For a list of the top comics in March, see 'Top 300 Comics -- March 2002.'


For a list of the top graphic novels in March, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels -- March 2002.'


For an over-view and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in March, see 'Mundane March Titles Hold Their Own.'


For an analysis of the over-all dollar trends for March, see 'Comics and Graphic Novels Complete Q1 Hat Trick.'