Initial raw orders to Diamond US from pop culture stores were lower on 16 of the top 25 titles in May than they were in AprilSix titles were up, and three were new.  Of the six that were up, two were Spider-Man and two were Batman titles.  Transformers Generation One once again topped the list with its second issue, with less than a 5% drop in orders from #1, a surprisingly strong performance.  Although the top of the list was weaker, there appears to be strength below the top 25; six out of the next ten (26-35) were up vs. April.


Although a book from a non-Big Four publisher was once again the top circulation title (see 'Retro Rules in April'), Marvel had the top three dollar books with up-priced Spider-Man titles:  Ultimate Spider-Man #22, Spider-Man Blue #1, and Ultimate Spider-Man Special #1.


Marvel stayed strong this month, with 8 of the top 10 and 18 of the top 25 titles.  Dreamwave and Image had the other two of the top 10, and DC had the other five of the top 25. 

The estimated raw initial orders on the top 25 comic titles in May are as follow:


115,655  Transformers Generation One #2

103,189  New X-Men #126

102,524  Ultimates #5

  97,947  Amazing Spider-Man #41

  94,143  Ultimate X-Men #18

  91,356  Uncanny X-Men #406

  90,905  Ultimate Spider-Man #22

  79,108  Spider-Man Blue #1

  77,370  Ultimate Spider-Man Special #1

  71,692  GI Joe #6

  69,741  X-treme X-Men #13

  69,356  Green Arrow #15

  69,061  Wolverine #176

  67,348  Captain America #2

  60,581  JLA #66

  54,223  Spider-Man Peter Parker #44

  52,874  Avengers #54

  51,898  Batman #603

  49,339  Detective Comics #770

  47,227  Daredevil #33

  46,210  Wolverine Hulk #4

  45,821  Spider-Man Quality of Life #1

  45,115  Incredible Hulk #40

  43,916  Nightwing #69

  43,563  Fantastic Four #55


For an analysis of the dollar trends in May, see 'May Comic and Graphic Novel Orders Continue Sharp Increases.'


For a list of the top comics in May, see 'Top 300 Comics -- May.'


For a list of the top graphic novels in May, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels -- May'


The quantities in this chart are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in May 2002. 


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.


Even given the above, however, it is probably safe to say that these quantities reflect 80% or more of the total North American sales by the publisher on most periodical comics.   


One other factor to consider is that sales through Diamond and other comic distributors are non-returnable to retailers.  That means that there is a considerable unknown percentage of books unsold at the retailer level.  If that percentage is 10-20% of sales (a reasonable assumption), the estimates above may be quite close to actual sales to consumers.


For a list of the top comics in April, see 'Top 300 Comics -- April 2002.'


For a list of the top graphic novels in April, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels -- April 2002.'