Diamond Comic Distributors confirmed that the company reported five weeks of sales for March 2016, vs. five weeks of sales in March 2015, and that the number of weeks reported for January was four for both years. One week amounts to roughly 8% of a quarter’s sales, so had comparable periods been reported for both 2016 and 2015, there would have almost certainly been a decline for the quarter.
For the quarter, comics were down 3.4% and graphic novels were up 12.67% to produce that 1.32% growth, meaning that the weakness was in the periodical part of the business.
There was a huge graphic novel month in March, with two new Scott Snyder Batman volumes, and at the top of the chart a new volume of The Walking Dead. Graphic novels were up 36.36% in March 2016 vs. the year ago period, while comics increased 3.4%. Comics and graphic novels combined were up 11.04% vs. 2015 for the month of March.
The market share gap between Marvel and DC closed again this month, with roughly an 11% spread between the Big Two, down from 15% in February and a whopping 22% in January. DC made its gains without a Dark Knight III issue; none shipped in March.
BOOM! Studios had a big month, ranking as the fifth largest publisher in the comic store channel behind the big sales of the first issue of its new Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series.
March 2016 Comic Channel Market Share
37.39% Marvel Comics
26.32% DC Entertainment
8.73% Image Comics
5.82% IDW Publishing
3.26% BOOM! Studios
2.82% Dark Horse Comics
1.69% Dynamite Entertainment
1.45% VIZ Media
1.42% Titan Comics
1.21% Eaglemoss Publications Ltd.
The landmark 50th New 52 issues of Batman and Superman took the #1 and #4 slots on the comics chart for March, the only two DC titles in the Top 10. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1 took the #2 slot, an impressive performance. Three of the top four Marvel titles were in the Star Wars universe.
Top 10 Comics – March 2016|
- Batman #50
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #1
- Star Wars #17
- Superman #50
- Amazing Spider-Man #9
- Darth Vader #17
- Darth Vader #18
- Deadpool #8
- International Iron Man #1
- Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1
In the graphic novel chart, Image continues to kick some Big Two butt, with half of the top ten titles, and three of the top four. The first collections of Image’s Paper Girls, Tokyo Ghost, and Beauty, promotionally priced at $9.99, as usual, took the #2, #4, and #6 slots, respectively.
Marvel’s Civil War collection was its top title; that book has been on a tear in the run-up to the Captain America movie. As was the case in the book channel (see "March 2016 BookScan – Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels"), the venerable Civil War collection is selling better than the new Secret Wars collection in the Direct Market channel.
The latest Avatar volume came in at #10 for Dark Horse Comics.
Top 10 Graphic Novels – March 2016
- The Walking Dead Vol. 25
- Paper Girls Vol. 1
- Civil War
- Tokyo Ghost Vol. 1
- Batman Vol. 7
- Beauty Vol. 1
- East of West Vol. 5
- Secret Wars
- Batman Vol. 8
- Avatar the Last Airbender Vol. 12
For an overview of comic sales in March, see "Landmark 'Batman' Issue Doubles Dollars of #2."
For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during March, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--March 2016."
For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during March, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--March 2016."
For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during February, see "Top 300 Comics Actual--February 2016."
For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during February, see "Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual--February 2016."
For an overview and analysis of the best-selling comics and graphic novels in February, see "'Deadpool' #7 Was Top Dollar Book."
For our index to our reports on the top comic and graphic novel preorders for January 2000 through March 2016, see "ICv2's Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."