In June 2016 over five shipping weeks, Civil War II #1 and five DC Rebirth #1s - including two Batman titles - helped the comic book Direct Market post huge sales figures and gains over previous months. So it'll come as no surprise that June 2017's four weeks of sales figures was going to fall in comparison, the only question was how much.
According to sales figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning, over 20%.
DC Comics' prelude to its next big event, Dark Days: The Forge #1 was the second-ranked title, followed by the debut of Marvel's latest Darth Vader series. Marvel's Secret Empire, which charted the bestselling title of May and two others in the Top 10, charted the 8th and 9th ranked titles. Image's The Walking Dead #168 rounded out the Top 10 and its staying power is fairly remarkable in the age of event and relaunch publishing.
Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's The Wicked and The Divine Volume 5: Imperial Phase Part 1 from Image Comics was June's best-selling graphic novel. Image scored four titles in that Top Ten.
Again, with the caveat we're comparing four on-sale weeks to five and against what was a huge sales month, comic book dollar sales were down over 18% versus June 2016, and down over 28% in graphic novel sales, for a nearly identical total of over 21% down in total dollar and unit sales compared to last year.
John Jackson Miller of Comichron, the industry standard for comic book sales analysis, tells Newsarama it isn't all doom and gloom. There is, in fact, some decent news hidden in the margins, on the comic book front, at least.
Says Miller: "It’s a fifth-week-giveth, fifth-week-taketh-away situation to a degree, versus such an extremely strong June from last year that I warned readers about it last month. Last June was the best month for comics orders in more than 20 years, thanks to Rebirth and Civil War II. Still, some brighter spots: under the hood, if you divide sales by the number of weeks in the month, the individual weeks in June were the strongest all year to date. Trades continue to be the big laggard."
Now halfway home, overall 2017 comics book and graphic novel sales are down 6.77% in dollars year-to-date versus 2016, but if you're a 'glass half full' type, up 1.15% in units, meaning retailers actually ordered more products this year versus last, they've just generated less revenue.
TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
|1||PETER PARKER: THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #1||$4.99||MAR|
|2||DARK DAYS: THE FORGE #1||$4.99||DC|
|3||STAR WARS: DARTH VADER #1||$4.99||MAR|
|5||DARK KNIGHT III: THE MASTER RACE #9||$5.99||DC|
|7||EDGE OF VENOMVERSE #1||$3.99||MAR|
|8||SECRET EMPIRE #4||$3.99||MAR|
|9||SECRET EMPIRE #5||$3.99||MAR|
|10||THE WALKING DEAD #168 (MR)||$2.99||IMA|
TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS
|1||THE WICKED & THE DIVINE VOL. 5: IMPERIAL PHASE I TP||$16.99||IMA|
|2||DC SUPER HERO GIRLS VOL. 3: SUMMER OLYMPUS TP||$9.99||DC|
|3||MOTOR CRUSH VOLUME 1 TP||$9.99||IMA|
|4||DESCENDER VOLUME 4: ORBITAL MECHANICS TP||$16.99||IMA|
|5||SPIDER-MAN/DEADPOOL VOLUME 2: SIDE PIECES TP||$16.99||MAR|
|6||TEEN TITANS VOL. 1: DAMIAN KNOWS BEST TP||$16.99||DC|
|7||HARLEY QUINN VOL. 2: THE JOKER LOVES HARLEY TP||$16.99||DC|
|8||STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA VOLUME 1: APHRA TP||$17.99||MAR|
|9||A.D.: AFTER DEATH HC||$24.99||IMA|
|10||NIGHTWING VOL. 2: BACK TO BLUDHAVEN TP||$16.99||DC|