Sales of periodical comics in January 2004 dipped slightly across the board, with only three titles registering gains versus December totals, while the numbers for 19 titles fell. The biggest drop was registered by the Ultimate Fantastic Four #2, which fell by almost 50,000 copies from its December total of 173,441, the highest total for regular monthly title from Marvel in more than two years -- but a major fall-off between the first and second issues is fairly common. Most of the other declines in the top 25 titles were small and well within the parameters of the normal post-holiday drop-off, which actually indicates that the drop in comic book sales was less than normal for January. The second issue of the six-issue Wolverine: The End mini-series only declined some 16,000 copies from 116 thousand to 100 thousand. The two New X-Men issues, buoyed by the start of artist Marc Silvestri's run on the book, posted solid gains as did Daredevil #56.
Marvel dominated the Top 25 even more than it normally does, placing 22 titles on the list, while DC Comics took the other three places with Batman in the tenth spot, the Teen Titans at #14, and the JLA at #17. Marvel placed eight X-Titles in the Top 25 along with four Spider-Man books.
The situation with the Top 10 graphic novels was quite a bit different. Marvel had only one title (Ultimate X-Men Vol. 7) in the Top 10, while DC Comics had four, including the Superman: Red Son trade paperback, which took the number one spot, outselling its nearest competitor by 30% in spite of a hefty $17.95 cover price. Dark Horse had its best showing ever, with four titles in the Top 10 including Trigun Vol. #2, which came in at number two. With all the talk of manga selling in bookstores, it is easy to forget that manga sales doubled (or better) in comic shops during 2003. ICv2 has paid great attention to which manga titles are selling in the bookstores, because we can get such good sales data (from BookScan), and because we want to point out the best-selling titles from the increasingly huge horde of manga releases. Many of the titles doing well in the bookstores such as Trigun are also finding favor with comic shop retailers--three of Dark Horse's four Top 10 books were manga titles, with the other being the Chronicles of Conan Vol. 3. Image grabbed the final Top 10 spot with Frank Cho's Liberty Meadows: Creature Comforts hardcover.
The Top 25 with our estimates of the number sold by Diamond during January are:
126,693 Ultimate Fantastic Four #2
124,012 New X-Men #151
118,099 New X-Men #152
109,132 Marvel 1602 #6 (of 8)
100,111 Wolverine: The End #2 (of 6)
99,532 Ultimate X-Men #41
95,854 Ultimate Spider-Man #52
94,189 Ultimate Six #6 (of 7)
89,897 Uncanny X-Men #437
89,051 Batman #623
88,490 Uncanny X-Men #438
87,341 Amazing Spider-Man #503
71,374 Wolverine #10
68,142 Teen Titans #7
67,340 Supreme Power #6
58,711 Spectacular Spider-Man #9
58,008 JLA #92
57,523 X-Treme X-Men #39
56,351 Daredevil #56
56,334 The Punisher #1
55,034 X-Treme X-Men #40
53,413 Spider-Man Unlimited #1
50,260 Fantastic Four #509
49,183 The Punisher #2
49,049 The Incredible Hulk #65
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during January, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--January 2004.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during January, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels Actual--January 2004.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 300 Comics Actual--December 2003.'
For our estimates of actual orders to Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels scheduled to ship during December, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2003.'
For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through January 2004, see 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 50 GNs Index.'