Through Diamond, in comic stores nationally, we know that Marvel dominates the shelves. DC has begun to close the gap between the two of late, but it is still rather large.
But in bookstores it seems a little different.
Take the New York Times bestseller list which helpfully provides top ten charts for comics, paperback or hardback. I thought it would be a fun, if laborious task to go through the lists from the beginning of the year and see who compares against whom.
DC dominates the hardcover comics list utterly. With books like Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne, Swamp Thing and Brightest Day, they take 157 slots of the Top 10 lists, with the DCU taking 144 of those slots. This challenges the central idea that it’s Vertigo that does well in bookstores, rather than the superheroes. And while there are Vertigo titles, it’s mostly good old superheroics.
In comparison, Marvel takes only 34, mostly made up of its Dark Tower series, with The Walking Dead for Image contributing the vast majority of their 22 slots. IDW had a healthy showing with 23, made up of Last Unicorn and Locke And Key, mostly.
Of the number one titles, DC has 12, The Walking Dead has 2, Marvel has none.
In paperbacks, it’s a different story. Oh sure DC dominates Marvel, even more so with 61 slots to Marvel’s three, Vertigo making up 27 of them. But in paperback, the entirety of DC’s output is overtaken by Image’s The Walking Dead, taking a massive 70 slots for itself. Think that’s impressive? Not when you see that Oni takes an even greater 159 slots, all for one series. Guess which one?
Scott Pilgrim is the king of the New York Times comics paperback list, taking more slots in the top ten than DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse and IDW combined. The film came out last year but the series still continues to sell in its thousands.
As for the coveted number one slot, DC as a whole takes 12, Scott Pilgrim takes 12 and The Walking Dead takes 5.