Initial piece orders from comic stores on the top comic titles in July were buoyed by the addition of two first issues Transformers Armada #1 and Battle of the Planets #1, which came in a the number one and number three positions respectively and both sold well over 100,000 copies.  There were six titles with initial raw orders over 100,000 in July versus just two in June (see 'Top Comics Drop in June'.  Retro titles took the first three spots, and for the first time ever the first two positions were held by comics from a non-premier publisher (Dreamwave).  Dreamwave, which just released its third printing of Transformers Generation One #1, saw orders for the fourth issue in that series remain very strong though they did dip slightly.


Overall numbers on 13 of the top 24 titles from June (there was no Micronauts solicited for July) went up in July.  The growth in orders reflects strong sales in May as well as the growing retro trend. Most of the titles that did drop off didn't go south very far, with the exception of Spider-Man/Black Cat, which dropped almost 17,000 from issue #1 to issue #2.  Though the highest-ranking Marvel title was #5, numerous Marvel titles posted impressive gains over last month including Spider-Man Peter Parker, Amazing Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man, and Spider-Man Blue.  It's clear that the Spider-Man movie has had an impact on comics (these were the first orders placed after the release of the movie), though other Marvel titles such as the Ultimate X-Men, Wolverine, Avengers, Daredevil, and Hulk also posted gains.


While Marvel titles did well individually, the addition of the retro titles from Dreamwave and Image (and the promotionally-priced Gen 13 #0 from DC) meant that Marvel got only six of the top ten versus nine out of the top ten last month.  For July, Marvel managed to win 16 of the top 25 spots versus 19 in June.  DC had five of the top 25 titles versus three last month and Image once again had two, though Top Cow's Battle of the Planets finished in third place, a far better showing than any Image title in June.


Lone Wolf & Cub from Dark Horse Comics maintained its hold on the number one spot in the graphic novel list, though Ultimate X-Men and Catwoman hardcovers actually generated more dollars because of their high price points.


The estimated raw initial orders to Diamond on the top 25 titles for July 2002 are as follow:
 135,930 Transformers Armada #1
 126,124 Transformers Generation One #4
 109,797 Battle O/T Planets #1
 108,249 Gen 13 #0
 102,396 Ultimates #7
 101,607 Spider-Man/Black Cat Evil Men Do #2
   98,980 Amazing Spider-Man #43
   98,817 New X-Men #129
   92,927 Ultimate X-Men #20
   92,459 Ultimate Spider-Man #24
   87,074 UcannyY X-Men #408
   86,942 Uncanny X-Men #409
   70,299 Spider-Man Blue #3
   68,083 Wolverine #179
   67,004 Green Arrow #15
   65,915 X-Treme X-Men #15
   65,688 X-Treme X-Men #16
   65,631 Captain America #4
   64,978 GI Joe #8
   59,978 JLA #68
   58,004 Spider-Man Peter Parker #46
   52,635 Batman #605
   51,798 Avengers #56
   50,961 League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol II #1
   50,045 Daredevil #35

The quantities in this chart are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in July 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 an analysis of the dollar trends in July, see 'July Comic & Graphic Novel Orders Up 5% Over 2001'


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


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


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


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


For an over-view and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in June, see 'Top Comics Drop in June.'


For an analysis of the dollar trends in June, see 'Comic and Graphic Novel Orders up 19% in Second Quarter.'