During the Diamond Retailer Summit at C2E2 today, Diamond showed off a chart comparing sales in the first quarter of 2017 to the previous year’s numbers. Comics Beat reporter and #TeamTerror activist Heidi MacDonald captured a photo of the chart and posted it to Twitter:
— The Beat is @ C2E2 (@Comixace) April 21, 2017
The statistics show that single-issue comics sales dollars grew slightly at less than 1%, but unit sales grew at 11%, more than ten times that. That means that not only did people buy more comics at a lower price, but revenue remained stable, perhaps helped by the simultaneous success of extremely high priced comics like Amazing Spider-Man #25, the highest selling book in March. The fact that many of the most popular franchises at Marvel and DC have multiple bi-weekly series likely also played a role in the numbers.
The good news in floppy sales was offset, however, by a pretty big slump in sales of trade paperbacks and graphic novels, with units down 13.5% and dollars down 10.7%. Could the drop in graphic novel sales be affected by the fact that so many comics that traditionally sell well in that format are prematurely canceled? There’s also the fact that Amazon is slowly gobbling up the planet like a giant space snake swallowing a rat. Additionally, a 2.5% drop in toy revenue contributed to an overall 3.5% drop for Diamond as a whole.
Industry analysts were in agreement at press time that since higher numbers are good and lower numbers are bad, and Diamond’s Q1 report contained both higher and lower numbers, the industry’s Q1 performance was either mixed, or both good and bad at the same time.
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