Monday, September 11, 2017

Monday's Headlines - DC's METAL #1 Tops August 2017 Sales Charts

Direct Market comic book sales were down over 20% in August versus 2016, but that comes with a major caveat - August 2016 sales were some of the strongest ever in the Diamond era. More on that in a moment. First, the basics:

As expected, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Dark Nights: Metal #1, the first chapter of DC's (first) 2017 event was the best-selling comic book of August according to according to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning. DC's Caped Crusader dominated the top of the chart, with Tom King and Mikel Janin's Batman #28 and #29 rounding out the Top 3.

If DC dominated the top of the chart,  Marvel dominated the rest, scoring the other seven Top 10 titles of the month, including their best-selling title Secret Empire #10, the finale of their summer event. Interestingly, Secret Empire #10 sold in greater numbers than Secret Empire #8 and #9, which also cracked the Top 10. Two Generations one-shots and two issues of the Star Wars ongoing rounded out the best-selling books of the month.

Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang's Paper Girls Volume 3 from Image Comics was August's best-selling graphic novel, the first of Image's five titles in that Top 10.

Marvel was August's top market share publisher with a 35.01% dollar and a 39.52% unit share. DC was second in August with a 28.18% dollar and a 31.09% unit share. Image Comics was third with a 10.06% dollar  and a 9.23% unit share.

Comparative sales were up strongly versus July, but down in either greater volume versus August 2016, nearly 21% in dollars and 25% in units, but the backstory is important here - we'll leave that explanation up to John Jackson Miller of Comichron.

"August 2016 was a record month with more than 10 million comics shipped, and so the comparatives were fully expected; we have a period just before the beginning of two major events being compared with the heart of DC and Marvel’s events from 2016. The resulting drop is significant in historic terms; June to August was the worst three-month comparative decline since likely September to November 1997, when 'Heroes Return' was comparing with 'Heroes Reborn.'

"That said, this drop seems to have more to do with the unusual strength of the previous year’s sales than underlying structural market factors; in 1997, the distribution system was reeling and accounts were being shed at a rate we do not see at this time. The brunt of the drop this month fell on DC, naturally — but on the other hand, August wasn't a bad month for DC, volume-wise, when compared with more normal recent months; its sales were actually higher than the last five-week pre-'Rebirth' month in 2016.

"Marvel was still down, but cut its year-over year comparative losses in August to the lowest level seen all summer. Image, Dark Horse, and Dynamite are all up year-to-date."

"We don’t know if 'Legacy' and Metal will be able to completely reverse 2017’s fortunes versus 2016; the hole is a pretty big one (10.47 dollars and 6.76% units YTD). But we should start seeing a more even fight in the comparatives, and a better trajectory than we’ve seen in a while."

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
VENDOR
1
DARK NIGHTS: METAL #1
$4.99
DC
2
BATMAN #28
$2.99
DC
3
BATMAN #29
$2.99
DC
4
SECRET EMPIRE #10
$4.99
MAR
5
GENERATIONS: ALL-NEW WOLVERINE/WOLVERINE #1
$4.99
MAR
6
SECRET EMPIRE #8
$4.99
MAR
7
SECRET EMPIRE #9
$4.99
MAR
8
GENERATIONS: THE MIGHTY THOR/UNWORTHY THOR #1
$4.99
MAR
9
STAR WARS #34
$3.99
MAR
10
STAR WARS #35
$3.99
MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS
RANK
DESCRIPTION
PRICE
VENDOR
1
PAPER GIRLS VOLUME 3 TP
$12.99
IMA
2
BATMAN VOLUME 3: I AM BANE TP
$16.99
DC
3
GOD COUNTRY TP (MR)
$16.99
IMA
4
KILL OR BE KILLED VOLUME 2 TP (MR)
$16.99
IMA
5
WONDER WOMAN VOLUME 3: THE TRUTH TP
$16.99
DC
6
X-MEN GOLD VOLUME 1: BACK TO BASICS TP
$15.99
MAR
7
REBORN HC (MR)
$24.99
IMA
8
SUPERMAN VOLUME 3: MULTIPLICITY TP
$16.99
DC
9
OLD GUARD BOOK 1: OPENING FIRE TP (MR)
$16.99
IMA
10
X-MEN BLUE VOLUME 1: STRANGEST TP
$15.99
MAR