For the first time since March of 2009 no comic sold more than 100,000 copies in August.  There was no equivalent for July’s X-Men #1, which, supported by numerous incentive covers and a heavy marketing push that included launch parties, sold over 140,000 copies.  Issue #2, which had considerably less marketing help, sold just over half as many copies, a steep drop even for a second issue.


Seventeen titles in the top 25 sold fewer copies than their previous issues, with just six showing increases in circulation.  DC’s Brightest Day took the top two spots with the only titles that managed to sell over 90 thousand copies—down slightly from previous issues, but still a strong showing for a title that ships two issues a month.  Marvel managed to place 5 Avengers titles in the top 25 (and one at #26), clearly demonstrating the current potency of that property. 


The Joe Quesada-penned Amazing Spider-Man #640, part 3 of the "One Moment In Time" story arc that promised to answer the many nagging questions stemming from the controversial "One More Day" storyline, showed a major gain in circulation.  Grant Morrison’s Batman #702, Neil Adam’s Batman: Odyssey #2, and JMS’ Superman #702 all held up reasonably well and Guy Gardner managed a successful return in Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1. 


Marvel took six out of the top ten spots and 16 out of the top 25 with DC grabbing the other nine.  The top non-Marvel and DC title was Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Riley One-Shot well back at #40.


The likeliest culprit in the overall trend of declining circulations is the cumulative effect of the shift to the $3.99 per issue cover price.  Sixteen of the top 25 books were priced at $3.99.


With a dearth of potent new graphic novel releases holdovers topped August sales.  Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim graphic novels continued to rule the direct market chart in August, but didn’t dominate as much as they did on the bookstore list (see “Scott Pilgrim Dominates in August”).  Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may never make its $60 million cost back, but all six Scott Pilgrim titles finished in the top15 in August on the Diamond chart.  Note that Scott Pilgrim #1 was the #4 title, and that the first volume of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead was #6—clear indicators that lots of new readers are discovering these titles thanks to their exposure in other media. 


In a welcome sign that “young readers” books are gaining some traction in the direct market, Jeff Smith’s Bone Tall Tales from Scholastic came in at #7, and Archie’s latest Sonic the Hedgehog collection ended up at #17.


It was a pitiful month for manga sales in the direct market with Viz Media’s Inuyasha Vol. 51 at #67 the bestselling manga release.


Here are ICv2's estimates of the sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic stores on the top 25 comic titles in August:


93,459                 Brightest Day #7

91,546                 Brightest Day #8

87,333                 Avengers #4

81,354                 New Avengers #3

74,655                 Secret Avengers #4

73,656                 Amazing Spider-Man #640

73,414                 Batman #702

71,464                 X-Men #2

69,052                 Uncanny X-Men #527

68,332                 Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1

67,124                 Green Lantern Corps #51

67,086                 Amazing Spider-Man #639

60,733                 Justice League of America #48

55,518                 Avengers Prime #2

53,870                 Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 #1

53,236                 X-Men: Legacy #239

52,834                 Captain America #609

51,362                 Captain America #608

51,076                 Thor #613

50,441                 Astonishing X-Men #35

50,023                 Superman #702

49,012                 Invincible Iron Man #29

48,903                 Hulk #24

48,420                 Justice Society of America #42

47,675                 Batman: Odyssey #2

For an analysis of the dollar trends in August, see "Comics and Graphic Novels Plummet in August."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during August, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--August 2010."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during August, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--August 2010."

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 2010."

For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during July, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--July 2010."

For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through August 2010, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."