This November something very exciting happened involving statistics. I think I can almost guarantee that that sentence has never been found on a WordPress blog. Diamond Comics have released their monthly sales report for the comic book industry. This is huge news. Diamond Comics handle the majority of distribution in the world of comics so their sales give the closest thing to a top ten that we have in the industry. The trends displayed in their sales figures will go on to inform the decisions made by every Comic Book Company and creative team. If you’re interested in looking at the full report you can view it here.
The big news this month is that DC Comics have taken the top spot for sales of an individual issue with Dark Knight III: The Master Race Issue One. This wasn’t wholly unexpected, but it is still staggering to see a comic sell 440,234 copies. This is one of the highest recorded sales of the year, rivalling Star Wars Issue One amongst others. Unfortunately for DC Comics, after Dark Knight III: The Master Race Issue One, the company isn’t seen again until the number thirteen slot. The rest of the top ten are taken up by Marvel comics, who show an unnerving lead in sales that has been steadily increasing across the last few years. This seems to be down to the increase in film popularity and the surge of advertising Marvel have put into their All-New All-Different line up. Throughout the top one hundred, Marvel seem to continue to dominate sales with the majority of their premiere issues taking a solid placement in the rankings. However, across the top three hundred DC Comics make a comeback, with 76 of their products finding their way into the line-up, which just beats Marvel’s 71.
The month has been one of small victories for DC Comics as they seem to be in the strongest position they have been in a long time. However, turning to sales it is obvious that Marvel are running away with the numbers. In the number of units sold, Marvel corner the market with a staggering 47.65%, dwarfing DC Comic’s mere 26.09%. This goes on to impact upon Marvel’s sales figures as they hold a mighty 43.20% of the dollars spent on comics in November, which is frankly insane compared to their closest competition at DC Comics who only have a weak 26.35%.
There are many conclusions that can be drawn from this date. One is that, while DC Comics may be producing comics of a slightly higher quality (more having found their way into the top three hundred), Marvel dominates pop-culture, resulting in higher sales. It’s a disturbing trend, as DC Comics seem to be shrinking into the shadows slightly.
However, there is another company rising to take its place. Image Comics are growing at a surprising rate. In every market share statistic, it comes third behind the big two juggernauts. This has been a constant trend for several months and it could signal a growing divide in the comic book market. Is it possible five years from now we will be talking about the big three? In truth, I believe it’s more than likely, but what about you? Drop me a message in the comments section with your thoughts on these most recent figures from the industry and your views on the rise of Image!
…that was this week’s BearSleuth Opinion Piece! Check back on Friday for another BearSleuth Spoiler Free Bundle Review!