Orders on top comic titles were a mixed bag for March, with Batman slipping a bit after climbing for four consecutive months, four Marvel Ultimate books in the top ten all climbing, and other Marvel books mostly down.  Orders on six of the top ten books were up, but below the top ten results were not as strong, with orders on 15 of the top 25 titles down.  Marvel's top franchises remained strong, with eight of the top thirteen titles X-Men books and three of the top five Spider-man titles.


Marvel's domination of the best-selling comic periodicals continued, with eight of the top 10 titles and 20 of the top 25.  DC and Dreamwave took the other five of the top 25.  Graphic novels were a different story;  Marvel didn't have a single title in the top ten graphic novels, a weak field.  Four of the top ten graphic novels were manga titles and four were DCs. 


Here are the initial raw orders to Diamond U.S. from pop culture stores on the top 25 comic titles for March 2003:


122,835            Batman #613

105,810            Ultimate Spider-Man #38

105,786            Ultimate Spider-Man #37

  93,269            Amazing Spider-Man #51

  92,618            New X-Men #138

  86,795            Ultimate X-Men #31

  86,427            Ultimate X-Men #30

  83,626            Uncanny X-Men #420

  60,509            Wolverine #188

  60,189            JLA #79

  60,103            Wolverine #187

  58,322            X-treme X-Men #22

  58,224            X-treme X-Men #23    

  58,040            Daredevil #45          

  57,548            Marvel Universe: The End #1

  56,480            Avengers #65

  53,298            Marvel Universe: The End #2

  52,979            Incredible Hulk #51

  51,161            Fantastic Four #67

  50,878            Transformers War Within #6

  50,129            Green Arrow #22

  49,367            Captain America #10

  49,245            Captain America #11

  47,746            Peter Parker Spider-Man #54

  44,024            Transformers Armada #9

Notes on this chart:

Some titles have been truncated or abbreviated for space reasons.

Publisher abbreviations have also been used.

Mar = Marvel

Dar = Dark Horse

Dre = Dreamwave

Ima = Image

Bla = Black Bull

Car = Cartoon Books

Har = Harris

Cro = Crossgen

Bon = Bongo

Tok = Tokyo Pop

Cha = Chaos


The quantities in this chart are ICv2 estimates of initial raw orders to Diamond North America on titles scheduled for shipment in March 2003.  They do not include orders placed with Diamond UK, late orders, advance reorders, distributor over-orders, or reorders. 


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 an analysis of the dollar trends in March, see 'Q1 Comics Even With 2002.'


For the top 300 comics in March, see 'Top 300 Comics--March 2003.'


For the top 50 graphics novels in March, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels--March 2003.'


For the top 300 comics in February, see 'Top 300 Comics--February 2003.'


For the top 50 graphics novels in February, see 'Top 50 Graphic Novels--February 2003.'


For an overview and analysis of the dollar orders for February, see 'Batman Continues To Climb in February.'


For an analysis of the dollar trends in February, see 'Comic Dollar Declines Slow in February.'



For links to all of the Top 300 Comic and Top 300 Graphic Novel orders, see our 'ICv2's Top 300 Comics & Top 50 GN's Index.'