2018 Direct Market Comics Sales Up On 2017 – By Over Half of One Percent

It may not be the biggest year-on-year increase. But it is an increase. Honest.

Total comic book sales in 2017 were down 10% on 2016, but 2018 started to turn that around. A little.

Annual comic book sales to the comic book specialty market increased in 2018, up +3.3% for the year, while graphic novel sales dipped -6.6% from 2017. Combined, annual sales of comic book and graphic novels to comic book shops were up slightly in 2018, by .6%.

Action Comics #1000 was the most-ordered comic book of the direct market over the year, but DC Comics only had three of the top ten, Marvel taking seven, which is how Marvel had a 38.24% Dollar Market Share and a 40.4% Unit Market Share for 2018 against DC Comics’ 30.04% Dollar Market Share and a 33.82% Unit Market Share.

Showing that, yes, movies can affect comic book sales, the best-selling graphic novel of 2017 through Diamond was the 1990s series  The Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin, George Pérez, and Rom Lim playing out of the Avengers Infinity War movie.

But without any media crossover, volumes of Brian K Vaughan and Fiona StaplesSaga took the next three of the top ten graphic novel spots, while Image as a whole took 6.

From other publishers, the most-ordered comic book for the year from Image was Netflix’s The Magic Order #1 at #18 but that includes a 100,000 bulk order by Reed Expo at discount to ensure Mark Millar‘s attendance at C2E2. They still have most of them.

IDW Publishing’s Marvel Action: Spider-Man  #1, was IDW’s top-selling comic book, landing at #460 for the year, and in market share beat out Dark Horse.

Dark Horse’s top comic book for the year Stranger Things #1, based upon the popular Netflix series, at #184.

Here’s how the top of the chart breaks down for the year…

PUBLISHER DOLLAR
SHARE
UNIT
SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 38.24% 40.40%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 30.04% 33.82%
IMAGE COMICS 9.93% 9.90%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.83% 3.30%
DARK HORSE COMICS 2.92% 2.10%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.24% 1.90%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.86% 1.73%
VIZ MEDIA 1.22% 0.46%
TITAN COMICS 0.87% 0.61%
ONI PRESS 0.83% 0.54%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.01% 5.25%

2018 TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

2018 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

QTY
RANK
DOLLAR
RANK
DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 1 ACTION COMICS #1000 $7.99 FEB180142-M DC ENTERTAINMENT
2 2 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #800 $9.99 MAR180831-M MARVEL COMICS
3 3 BATMAN #50 $4.99 MAY180450-M DC ENTERTAINMENT
4 4 FANTASTIC FOUR #1 $5.99 JUN180771-M MARVEL COMICS
5 5 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 $5.99 MAY180784-M MARVEL COMICS
6 6 RETURN OF WOLVERINE #1 $4.99 JUL180968-M MARVEL COMICS
7 9 VENOM #1 $4.99 MAR180803-M MARVEL COMICS
8 10 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #798 $3.99 FEB180832-M MARVEL COMICS
9 8 BATMAN WHO LAUGHS #1 $4.99 OCT180464-M DC ENTERTAINMENT
10 13 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #799 $3.99 FEB180836-M MARVEL COMICS

2018 TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

QTY
RANK
DOLLAR
RANK
DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 1 INFINITY GAUNTLET TP $24.99 JUL110745 MARVEL COMICS
2 4 SAGA TP VOL 09 (MR) $14.99 JUL180297 IMAGE COMICS
3 19 SAGA TP VOL 01 (MR) $9.99 AUG120491 IMAGE COMICS
4 6 SAGA TP VOL 08 (MR) $14.99 OCT170715 IMAGE COMICS
5 2 ACTION COMICS 80 YEARS OF SUPERMAN HC $29.99 DEC170241 DC ENTERTAINMENT
6 8 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 29 LINES WE CROSS $16.99 JAN180844 IMAGE COMICS
7 38 PAPER GIRLS TP VOL 01 $9.99 JAN160645 IMAGE COMICS
8 7 BATMAN WHITE KNIGHT TP $19.99 JUL180733 DC ENTERTAINMENT
9 3 DARK NIGHTS METAL DELUXE ED HC $29.99 JAN180379 DC ENTERTAINMENT
10 33 MONSTRESS TP VOL 01 (MR) $9.99 APR160803-M IMAGE COMICS

 

Dollar Market Share – 2018
Unit Market Share – 2018

 

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.