The top selling comic in October of 2010, Marvel’s Uncanny X-Force #1, sold around 95,600 copies into comic stores, the second month this year in which the top comic title in comic stores failed to crack 100,000 copies.  Of the top 25 titles, 17 were down, three up, and five were #1s.  The down vs. up ratio was similar to the last few months’, but more bearish than earlier this year. 


Sales on DC’s Brightest Day miniseries continued to slip; issue #12 sold around 82,000 copies. 


Marvel’s new Kick-Ass series debuted at over 65,000, very respectable for a title out of continuity, while the new Ultimate books continue to underwhelm.  Ultimate Comics Thor came out of the gate at just under 50,000 copies. 


Marvel had five out of the top ten books, 15 out of the top 25, fairly typical in recent months.


Dark Horse’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dynamite’s Warlord of Mars #1 ($1.00 cover price) were the only two titles not from the Big Two in the top 50 comic titles; Warlord of Mars was the only title from a non-premier publisher. 


DC’s Superman: Earth One hardcover was the top graphic novel, with over 16,000 sold as a near-instant sell-out.  That was the best number for a graphic novel since the new Scott Pilgrim and The Walking Dead volumes shipped in July. 


The Walking Dead was definitely the title du jour on the graphic novel charts in October in the run-up to the premiere of the TV show.  Thirteen of the top 50 graphic novel titles (over 25%) and half the top 10 were Walking Dead volumes. 


Scott Pilgrim, on the other hand, has slipped, with the top volume placing at #173 in October. 


We note that there’s a big difference between comic stores and bookstores on those two titles in October.  Scott Pilgrim was still rocking in bookstores in October (see “Scott Pilgrim Dislodged”), with five of the top 10 titles (although it no longer held #1).  Walking Dead, on the other hand, only placed one volume in the top 20 in bookstores, vs. five out of the top 10 in comic stores. 


What’s the explanation for this difference?  Although there’s no way to know for certain, it could be the way the rankings are calculated.  Diamond reports indexes for comic stores (from which we calculate the numbers referenced here) based on sell-in from Diamond to stores.  Bookscan reports actual sales from bookstores to consumers.  If comic stores were well-stocked on Scott Pilgrim, and beginning to bring inventories down relative to where they were in the summer, Scott Pilgrim shows lower on Diamond’s rankings even if the book is still selling well in the comic store channel.


If comic stores were stocking up on Walking Dead, on the other hand, but actual sales to consumers hadn’t caught up yet, you’d get sales showing stronger in comic stores than they did in bookstores. 


We also assume there are differences between what’s most popular between bookstores and comic stores, but it’s important to keep in mind that the two sets of rankings are not apples to apples. 


IDW’s Richard Starks Parker the Outfit was #3 among graphic novels in comic stores in October, at around 7500 copies. 


Even though Red held up well at the box office during October, it didn’t move a lot of books; Red ranked #165 on the graphic novel chart this month. 


Viz Media’s Naruto was the top manga, at #9, a solid position in the superhero-centric comic stores.  Del Rey’s Negima! was the only other manga in the top 50 this month.

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

95,639         Uncanny X-Force #1
86,006         Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #5
83,823         Brightest Day #11
82,394         Brightest Day #12
81,626         Green Lantern #58
80,173         Batman and Robin #15
73,409         New Avengers #5
73,258         Avengers #6
68,617         Secret Avengers #6
65,279         Kick-Ass 2 #1 (MR)
63,772         X-Men #4
63,210         Wolverine #2
62,256         Uncanny X-Men #529
60,808         Green Lantern Corps #53
59,686         Justice League of America #50
58,125         Amazing Spider-Man #646
57,805         Bruce Wayne the Road Home: Batman & Robin #1
56,709         Amazing Spider-Man #645
51,051         Thor #616
50,490         Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #3
50,460         Superman #703
49,747         Ultimate Comics Thor #1
48,788         Captain America #611
48,133         X-Men Legacy #241
47,452         Carnage #1

For an analysis of the dollar trends in October, see "Are Comic Sales Better than They Look?."

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

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

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

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

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