Comic sales began to slide in March as the impact of coronavirus shutdowns began to take hold, according to numbers released today by Diamond Comic Distributors.  Comics and graphic novel sales to comic stores were down 14.9% vs. sales in March 2019, with similar declines for both comics (15.59%) and graphic novels (13.05%).  Sell-through numbers were undoubtedly worse, as many stores received the last week of March comics just after or just as they were going into shutdown.

Despite a strong February, Q1 sales were down 4.39% vs. the previous year, with a 5.51% decline in comic sales and a 1.51% decline in graphic novel sales.

The market share spread between Marvel Comics and DC Comics was fairly typical (between 13 and 14%), and the rest of the market share chart shows a fairly typical ranking, except that BOOM! Studios ranked ahead of Dark Horse Comics, which has increasingly been focused on book releases that aren’t reflected on the comic share chart.

Comic Store Market Share (Dollar & Unit Share) – March 2020

Publisher

Dollar Share

Unit Share

Marvel Comics

40.98%

46.76%

DC Comics

27.34%

27.58%

Image Comics

6.40%

6.17%

IDW Publishing

4.51%

3.87%

BOOM! Studios

3.25%

3.21%

Dark Horse Comics

2.97%

1.94%

Dynamite Entertainment

2.38%

2.05%

VIZ Media

1.61%

0.59%

Oni Press

0.80%

0.60%

Valiant Entertainment

0.67%

0.75%

Other Non-Top 10

9.11%

6.47%

Spider-Woman #1 was the top comic by units in March, one of seven Marvels in the top 10.

Top 10 Comics by Units Shipped – March 2020
  1.  Spider-Woman #1 (Marvel Comics)
  2.  The Flash #750 (DC Comics)
  3.  Thor #4 (Marvel Comics)
  4.  X-Men #8 (Marvel Comics)
  5.  Wolverine #2 (Marvel Comics)
  6.  Strange Academy #1 (Marvel Comics)
  7.  Batman #90 (DC Comics)
  8.  X-Men #9 (Marvel Comics)
  9.  The Immortal Hulk #33 (Marvel Comics)
10.  Batman #91 (DC Comics)

Spider-Woman’s lead in units over Flash #750, the #2 book in March, must have been substantial because it was still #1 on the top comics by dollars chart, despite the $7.99 cover price on Flash #750.  Marvel had seven out of the top ten by dollars as well as by units.

Top 10 Comics by Dollars Invoiced – March 2020
  1.  Spider-Woman #1 (Marvel Comics)
  2.  The Flash #750 (DC Comics)
  3.  Robin 80th-Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 (DC Comics)
  4.  The Immortal Hulk #33 (Marvel Comics)
  5.  Strange Academy #1 (Marvel Comics)
  6.  Strange Adventures #1 (DC Comics)
  7.  X-Men #8 (Marvel Comics)
  8.  Wolverine #2 (Marvel Comics)
  9.  Hellions #1 (Marvel Comics)
10.  X-Men #9 (Marvel Comics)

The graphic novel chart is where BOOM! Studios made hay, with the first collections of its two big 2019 hits, Once & Future and Something Is Killing the Children, in the #1 and #2 slots, respectively.

Top 10 Graphic Novels by Units Shipped – March 2020
  1.  Once & Future Vol. 1: The King Is Undead TP (BOOM! Studios)
  2.  Something Is Killing Children Vol. 1 TP (BOOM! Studios)
  3.  The Immortal Hulk Vol. 6 TP (Marvel Comics)
  4.  DC Super Hero Girls: Powerless TP (DC Comics)
  5.  History of the Marvel Universe Treasury Edition TP (Marvel Comics)
  6.  New Mutants by Hickman Vol. 1 TP (Marvel Comics)
  7.  King Thor TP (Marvel Comics)
  8.  The Oracle Code TP (DC Comics)
  9.  Star Wars Vol. 13: Rogues and Rebels TP (Marvel Comics)
10.  Rick and Morty Vs. Dungeons & Dragons II: Painscape TP (Oni Press)

There was a new high retail price at the top of the chart of the top graphic novels by dollars invoiced: $500 for the X-Men: Children of the Atom Box Set.  The two BOOM! Studios volume ones were the two lowest-priced titles on the dollar chart.

Top 10 Graphic Novels by Dollars Invoiced – March 2020
  1.  X-Men: Children of Atom HC Box Set (Marvel Comics)
  2.  Uncanny X-Force by Remender Omnibus HC (Marvel Comics)
  3.  Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 4 HC (DC Comics)
  4.  History of the Marvel Universe Treasury Edition TP (Marvel Comics)
  5.  Batman: White Knight Deluxe Edition HC (DC Comics)
  6.  Once & Future Vol. 1: The King Is Undead TP (BOOM! Studios)
  7.  Marvel Masterworks: Dazzler Vol. 1 HC (Marvel Comics)
  8.  Power Pack Classic Omnibus Vol. 1 HC (Marvel Comics)
  9.  The Wicked & The Divine Vol. 4 HC (Image Comics)
10.  Something Is Killing Children Vol. 1 TP (BOOM! Studios)

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on comic books shipped during February, see "Top 500 Comics Actual--March 2020."

For our estimates of actual sales by Diamond U.S. from comic specialty stores on graphic novels shipped during February, see "Top 500 Graphic Novels Actual--March 2020."

For links to all previous Top 500/300 Comic and Top 500/300 Graphic Novel articles, see "ICv2 Top 300 Comics and Top 300 GNs Index."