For the first time this month, we've applied our analysis methodology to calculating the initial orders to Diamond U.S. for graphic novels ordered for shipment in October 2001. These numbers appear below. Dark Horse's astoundingly successful Lone Wolf and Cub series tops the list again, as it has numerous times this year.
We've also calculated the dollar impact on initial orders to comic publishers, and found that while the graphic novel orders are much more dependent on the relative strength of a small number of releases, the over-all month-to-month dollar trends we've noted in the past hold up (see 'Comics Start Q4 Strong'). In fact, after adding graphic novels into the dollar total for comics in September and October, the 11% month-to-month increase we noted stays exactly the same.
August was a significantly stronger dollar month for graphic novels than any of the last four, but August grand totals (including both periodicals and graphic novels) were still down a little from July and smaller than September, as was the case before graphic novels were included in the total. To put the graphic novel orders into some kind of relative scale, they made up 8-9% of each month's total comics and graphic novel orders for the last four months except for August, when graphic novels were about 13% of the total.
It's important to note that initial orders on graphic novels are a much smaller percentage of over-all sales than initial orders on periodical comics. All publishers over-print graphic novels and trade paperbacks, including Marvel, which has eschewed overprints on comics under the Jemas regime. Some book titles sell a significant multiple of their initial orders as backlist, while comic reorders typically account for only a single-digit percentage of the total sales on a title. At the extreme end of this phenomenon are titles like the original Dark Knight trade paperback collection from DC, which has been continuously in print for the fifteen years since its initial release.
LONE WOLF & CUB VOL 15 BROS O/T GRASS TP (MR)
HARLEQUIN VALENTINE HC
DAREDEVIL VISIONARIES FRANK MILLER VOL 3 TP
DANGER GIRL THE ULTIMATE COLL HC
BTVS TALES O/T SLAYER TP
BATMAN ARCHIVES VOL 1 HC NEW PRICE
GODDESS TP (MR)
RANMA 1/2 VOL 18 TP
X-MEN E IS FOR EXTINCTION TP
SAILOR MOON VOL 11 PKT MIXX TP
VAMPIRE THE MASQUERADE VOL 1 GN TOREADOR (MR)
SAILOR MOON STARS VOL 3 PKT MIXX TP
FANTASTIC FOUR VISIONARIES TP
JSA DARKNESS FALLS TP
SOCK MONKEY CHILDRENS BOOK TP
BATGIRL A KNIGHT ALONE TP
GREEN ARROW LONGBOW HUNTERS TP NEW PRTG
SUPERGIRL ARCHIVES VOL 1 HC
X-FORCE NEW BEGININGS TP
BOOKS OF MAGIC VOL 7 DEATH AFTER DEATH TP (MR)
X-MEN CHILDREN O/T ATOM TP
ZERO GIRL TP
STAR WARS TWILIGHT TP
DRAGONBALL Z VOL 6 TP
D R & QUINCH COMPLETE GN
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
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 2001.
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.