Comics based on retro toon and toy properties extended their lead in August comic orders from pop culture stores, with four out of the top 10 and six out of the top 20 comic titles fitting the retro mold (for an analysis of last month's comic orders, see 'Retro Rules in July').  Wildstorm's Thundercats launched strong, hitting the #10 and #5 spots with its #0 and #1 issues, but was unable to dislodge Dreamwave's powerhouse Transformers titles atop the retro heap with the #2 and #4 slots over-all.


Fantastic Four #60 (Marvel's $.09 book) was easily the book with the highest piece orders at over 700,000, besting DC's 10 Cent Batman (the book Marvel was tweaking with its goofball $.09 price) by around 8%.  Regardless of the promo comic circulation 'winners and losers' (and in keeping with the spirit of the thing we note that Marvel may have won pieces, but because of its higher cover price, DC won dollars) it's a great idea to get lots of copies of good material out there to recruit more fans, so we're fans of both books.


As was the case with July orders, once again orders for six titles topped 100,000 for August, a solid showing.  Of the top 25 titles, eight were up and 14 were down, but the drops were modest and we place no special note on the advance/decline line this month.  Three of the eight titles with increasing orders were Spider-Man titles, reflecting a franchise that is still showing the effects of its blockbuster big screen debut.  Marvel had six of the top ten titles, DC had two, and Dreamwave had two.   


Lone Wolf and Cub topped the graphic novel piece orders, but four other books actually were higher in dollars due to higher cover prices -- the Cap Red White and Blue hardcover, the Ultimate Marvel Teamup hardcover, and the latest volumes of Powers and the Spirit Archives. 


Here are the initial raw orders from pop culture stores on the top 25 comic titles for August:

705,109          Fantastic Four #60

122,829          Transformers Generation One #5

112,570          Ultimates #8

109,532          Transformers Armada #2

101,551          Thundercats Reclaiming Thundera #1

100,070          Amazing Spider-Man #44

  99,110          Spider-Man/Black Cat #3

  98,805          New X-Men #131

98,796          New X-Men #130

96,745          Thundercats #0

96,382          Ultimate Spider-Man #25

93,216          Ultimate X-Men #21

87,008          Uncanny X-Men #410

86,876          Uncanny X-Men #411

71,892          Battle of the Planets #2

70,293          Spider-Man Blue #4

67,892          Wolverine #180

64,961          X-Treme X-Men #17

64,695          Captain America #5

64,602          GI Joe #9

62,577          JLA #69

62,157          Spider-Man Peter Parker #47

61,680          Spider-Man Daredevil #1

61,556          JLA #70

  59,946          Green Arrow #16

The quantities in this chart are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in August 2002.  They do not include orders placed with Diamond UK, late orders, advance reorders, distributor over-orders, or reorders. 



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 August, see 'Comic Orders Awesome in August.'


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


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


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


For an analysis of the dollar trends in July, see 'July Comic & Graphic Novel Orders Up 5% Over 2001.'