It's been an up and down year, but after sales of comics and graphic novels to comic stores rebounded in March from a down February (see "DC Has Top Share in Big March in Comic Stores"), we thought the business was on an upward trend, with year-to-date sales up 7.64%.  But the big swings in sales vs. the previous year continued in April, with comics and graphic novel sales plunging 17.65% vs. sales in the same month last year, according to information released by Diamond Comic Distributors.  April 2018 was a big month, with an up-priced Actions Comics #1000 and accompanying hardcover driving up sales, so it was a tough comp month.  After four months, two up and two down, sales are roughly flat, up .41%.

By format, comic sales were down 14.67% with graphic novel sales taking a bigger plunge of 25.37%; for the first four months of the year, comic sales are up 1.83% and graphic novel sales are down 3.18%.

After a DC Comics market share victory in comic stores in March, Marvel Comics came back with a vengeance, selling 50.7% of all comic and graphic novel units and nearly doubling DC's share, according to information released by Diamond Comic Distributors.

Dollar shares were a little closer, but Marvel’s still exceeded DC's by nearly 20 points.

Comic Store Market Share (Dollar & Unit Share) - April 2019

Publisher                                     Dollar Share         Unit Share

Marvel Comics                                 45.50%                 50.70%
DC Comics                                        25.73%                 25.89%
Image Comics                                    7.93%                   7.60%
IDW Publishing                                  3.26%                   2.76%
Dark Horse Comics                           2.89%                   1.92%
BOOM! Studios                                  2.46%                   2.75%
Dynamite Entertainment                 1.71%                   1.53%
VIZ Media                                           1.07%                   0.40%
Valiant Entertainment                      0.76%                   0.91%
AfterShock Comics                            0.70%                   0.71%
Other Non-Top 10                             7.99%                   4.83%

Marvel’s four #1s helped it sell six of the top ten comic titles in April.

Top 10 Comics by Units Shipped – April 2019
  1.   War of the Realms #1 (Marvel Comics)
  2.   Symbiote Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)
  3.   The Batman Who Laughs #4 (DC Comics)
  4.   The Immortal Hulk #16 (Marvel Comics)
  5.   Batman #69 (DC Comics)
  6.   Batman #68 (DC Comics)
  7.   Thanos #1 (Marvel Comics)
  8.   Heroes In Crisis #8 (DC Comics)
  9.   Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 (Marvel Comics)
10.   Amazing Spider-Man #20 (Marvel Comics)

The big surprise on the Top 10 Comic Books by Dollars Invoiced chart, the very rare appearance of a comic shipped the previous month: Detective Comics #1000 charted for the second month in a row!


Top 10 Comics by Dollars Invoiced – April 2019
  1.   War of the Realms #1 (Marvel Comics)
  2.   Symbiote Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)
  3.   The Batman Who Laughs #4 (DC Comics)
  4.   Detective Comics #1000 (DC Comics)
  5.   Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1 (Marvel Comics)
  6.   Thanos #1 (Marvel Comics)
  7.   The Immortal Hulk #16 (Marvel Comics)
  8.   Batman #69 (DC Comics)
  9.   Batman #68 (DC Comics)
10.   War of the Realms #2 (Marvel Comics)

We’ve been hearing a lot about insufficient supply of The Umbrella Academy collections, with high demand from the 45 million people that saw it on Netflix (see "’Umbrella Academy’ Ratings") driving demand.  But enough copies came through Diamond to comic stores to place two volumes in the Top 10 Graphic Novels by Units Shipped.

Top 10 Graphic Novels by Units Shipped – April 2019
  1.   The Magic Order Vol. 1 TP (Image Comics)
  2.   Venom by Donny Cates Vol. 2 TP (Marvel Comics)
  3.   Gideon Falls Vol. 2: Original Sins TP (Image Comics)
  4.   The Umbrella Academy Vol. 1: Apocalypse Suite TP (Dark Horse Comics)
  5.   Catwoman Vol. 1: Copycats TP (DC Comics)
  6.   Star Wars Vol. 10: Escape TP (Marvel Comics)
  7.   Batman: Detective Comics Vol. 9: Deface the Face TP (DC Comics)
  8.   The Umbrella Academy Vol. 2: Dallas TP (Dark Horse Comics)
  9.   Unnatural Vol. 2 TP (Image Comics)
10.   Jessica Jones: Purple Daughter TP (Marvel Comics)

The $500 Avengers box set was only the #5 title on the Top 10 Graphic Novels by Dollars Invoiced chart for April, proof that higher cover prices do not always produce the highest dollars.  The top two dollar books were $125 and $150, though, so price definitely has a big impact.

Top 10 Graphic Novels by Dollars Invoiced – April 2019
  1.   Infinity War Omnibus HC (Marvel Comics)
  2.   The Death & Return ff Superman Omnibus HC (DC Comics)
  3.   The Magic Order Vol. 1 TP (Image Comics)
  4.   Infinity by Starlin & Hickman Omnibus HC (Marvel Comics)
  5.   Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Box Set Slipcase (Marvel Comics)
  6.   Marvel Masterworks: Avengers Vol. 19 HC (Marvel Comics)
  7.   Venom by Donny Cates Vol. 2 TP (Marvel Comics)
  8.   Paper Girls Deluxe Edition Vol. 2 HC (Image Comics)
  9.   Gideon Falls Vol. 2: Original Sins TP (Image Comics)
10.   Batman/Superman Silver Age Omnibus Vol. 2 HC (DC Comics)

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during March, see "Top 500 Comics Actual--April 2019."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during March, see "Top 500 Graphic Novels Actual--April 2019."

For links to all previous Top 300 Comic and Top 300 Graphic Novel articles, see "ICv2 Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."