Direct market (comic store channel) sales of comics and graphic novels dropped 21.34% in June compared to the same month in 2016, according to numbers released by Diamond Comic Distributors today. 

Last month we had an asymmetrical comparison between a five-week month in 2017 and a four-week month in 2016 that produced an increase in direct market (comic store channel) sales of comics and graphic novels over the previous year, the first time that had happened in six months (see “Good News for Comics Market, But…”).  In June, that reversed itself: June 2017 was a five-week month, while June 2016 was a four-week month.

The net effect of the last few months was still down, as Q2 sales were down 10.01% vs. the previous year.  The trend accelerated in the second quarter; year-to-date sales were down less than the Q2 drop, declining 6.77% from the previous year.

As has been the case for 2017 so far, graphic novels took a bigger hit than comics in June, dropping 28.04% vs. an 18.38% drop for comics.  Graphic novels were down 15.03% in Q2 as compared to a 7.68% drop for comics.  For the first half of 2017, graphic novels were down 12.99% vs. a 3.84% drop in 2016.

Marvel was roughly 8 points ahead of DC in market share, about the spread we’ve been seeing recently.

June 2017 Comic Channel Market Share

38.54%            Marvel Comics
30.61%            DC Entertainment
  8.86%            Image Comics
   4.24%            IDW Publishing
   3.46%            Dark Horse Comics
   1.83%            BOOM! Studios
   1.79%            Dynamite Entertainment
   1.02%            Titan Comics
   1.01%            VIZ Media
   0.79%            Oni Press Inc.

On the Top 10 Comic Books chart, Peter Parker:  The Spectacular Spider-Man took the top slot, with the non-coincidentally propitious timing in conjunction with the movie undoubtedly helping sales.  But DC led in event comics, with its Dark Days:  The Forge #1 coming in at #2, topping Marvel’s Edge of Venomverse #1 at #7 and two Secret Empire issues at #8 and #9.

Top 10 Comics – June 2017

  1. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1
  2. Dark Days: The Forge #1
  3. Star Wars: Darth Vader #1
  4. Batman #24
  5. Dark Knight III: The Master Race #9
  6. Batman #25
  7. Edge of Venomverse #1
  8. Secret Empire #4
  9. Secret Empire #5
  10. The Walking Dead  #168

Image titles and titles appealing to previously untapped audiences (like DC Super Hero Girls Vol. 3, which came in at #2!) were the big winners on the Top 10 Graphic Novels chart for June.  It’s great that those titles are doing well, but with graphic novel sales down dramatically in comic stores, there’s clearly been a dearth of top-selling superhero fare in the graphic novel format in the first part of 2017. 

One big shocker: unlike the situation in the book channel, where DC’s two collections of the Greg Rucka Wonder Woman Rebirth stories were both in the top 10 (see “June 2017 BookScan – Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels”), those volumes didn’t experience the same movie bump in comic stores. 

Top 10 Graphic Novels – June 2017

  1. The Wicked & The Divine Vol. 5: Imperial Phase 1 TP
  2. DC Super Hero Girls Vol.3: Summer Olympus TP
  3. Motor Crush Vol. 1 TP
  4. Descender Vol. 4: Orbital mechanics TP
  5. Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol. 2: Side Pieces TP
  6. Teen Titans Vol. 1: Damian Knows Best TP
  7. Harley Quinn Vol. 2: The Joker Loves Harley TP
  8. Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 1: Aphra TP
  9. A.D.: After Death HC
  10. Nightwing Vol. 2: Back to Bludhaven TP