Orders on the top comic titles almost uniformly dropped in October compared to September orders, with only one of the top 25 titles, Daredevil, eking out a gain. Captain America #6, which as a resolicited title can serve as a directly comparable bellwether, dropped around 3% vs. its original solicitation for September release.
For the first time since we've been doing these reports, a regularly-priced DC title topped the comic piece sales; Jim Lee's first Batman issue, the start of a twelve-issue storyline, was the #1 title this month, with robust raw initial U.S. comic store orders of over 113,000 copies. A Transformers title was the top dollar comic for October, reflecting its higher cover price.
Graphic novels held up better, with the Lone Wolf and Cub volume in October selling within a few copies of its September equivalent. DC's Dark Knight Strikes Again hardcover was the top dollar graphic novel in October.
Here are the initial raw orders from pop culture stores on the top 25 comic titles for October:
113,061 Batman #608
102,829 Ultimates #9
99,528 Transformers: War Within #1
98,092 New X-Men #133
98,001 Amazing Spider-Man #46
92,099 Ultimate Spider-Man #28
91,953 Ultimate Spider-Man #29
90,053 Ultimate X-Men #23
88,956 Spider-Man/Black Cat #5
83,699 Uncanny X-Men #414
81,766 Transformers: Armada #4
69,374 Thundercats #3
68,334 G.I. Joe: Frontline #1
65,937 Wolverine #182
64,083 Spider-Man Blue #6
63,744 X-Treme X-Men #19
60,895 Captain America #6
60,352 JLA #73
60,148 JLA #74
59,425 G.I. Joe #11
56,463 Peter Parker: Spider-Man #48
53,919 Green Arrow #18
53,772 Avengers #59
53,252 Daredevil #38
51,805 Fantastic Four #62
Notes on this chart:
Some titles have been truncated or abbreviated for space reasons.
Publisher abbreviations have also been used.
Mar = Marvel
Dar = Dark Horse
Dre = Dreamwave
Ima = Image
Bla = Black Bull
Car = Cartoon Books
Har = Harris
Cro = Crossgen
Bon = Bongo
Tok = Tokyo Pop
Cha = Chaos
The quantities in this chart are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in October 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 October, see 'Comic Orders Down for October.'
For the top 300 comics in October, see 'Top 300 Comics--October 2002.'
For the top 50 graphic novels in October, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels--October 2002.'
For the top 300 comics in September, see 'Top 300 Comics -- September 2002.'
For the top 50 graphic novels in September, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels -- September 2002.'
For an analysis of the dollar trends in September, see 'Comic Growth Rate Slows in Q3.'