Playing Catch Up
You can probably tell by the tag line right above that this first part is about DC Comics and it is. DC has been below the comic book Mendoza line (baseball reference Google it) for quite awhile now. They did have the gimmick month where they had a small ray of light but that was pretty much it for the year. In December DC boosted by the time of year and having a huge impact on the graphic novel market DC managed to pull it's head above the aforementioned Mendoza line to a respectable 31.76% of the retail market share. At the same time they spent more money than any other publisher during the month by putting out a combined total of 139 periodicals or 38 more than Marvel and 60+ more than anyone else that isn't in the Big 2.
Marvel for it's part came in at 32.07% or just below where they have been for the last couple of months. Marvel is a funny mixed bag right now, in that they fluctuate more than not going as high as 35% of the retail market to as low as the high 31%. Either way they won again this month and probably will until DC pulls off the next Crisis type thing.
Yep Archie made the list again this month for the Indies. it is only at .88% of the market, but hey I get to write about Archie. Image continues it's dominance of the Indies coming in at 9.89% of the retail market, which is down a jot from last month. They are proving to be more than just a one trick pony and it will be interesting to see if they can sustain or improve over this years gains. IDW came back strong and has held up over 6% of the market for two straight months now. IDW had a 6.10% of the retail share gaining a smidge.
Dark Horse dropped to 3.47% and it may get worse with the loss of the Star Wars books. They do have a nice stable of talent and some books that are being overlooked for the time being, but losing SW hurts. BOOM Studios continues their slight gains coming in at 2.66%, and seeing they started the year at just under 1% it will be fun to see what 2015 brings. Dynamite is also a mixed bag. Their niche keeps them in the hunt, but not much more than that despite having a pretty good selection of material on the shelves.
One other mention is Titan Comics. These folks have been reviewed right here at ENR and finally made the list although on the unit share side. We have seen this before with BOOM, Valiant and Zenescope. They all just showed up one month on the unit list then found themselves making the share list within a few months. Titan also has some pretty terrific books and I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out.
Stats are a wonder to me and I'll tell you why. Despite the world telling us that businesses make all their money in December, it hasn't proven out at least in the comic book industry for three years running. Were there gains? Yep, but not what anyone would think. What with all the press and practically everyone else saying it is the BIG month it just never proves out.
December vs November had comics with a slight gain of 1.77% in dollars, graphic novels fell by a whopping 21.51% making the month a loss at 5.14% from November to December.
That said this December wasn't as bad as last years. 14 vs 13 show a 6.67% gain in comic books, a loss again of 5.41% in graphic novels for an overall gain of 2.83%
So how about last year vs this year? Everything came up roses. Not huge roses, but roses. Comics had gains of 4.03%, graphic novels had gains of 5.18% for a better year in 2014 to the tune of 4.39%.
There are three different quarterly reports, but for this list I am only doing the first half vs the second half. Why? Remember when I said for the last couple of months that it was wonderful to see the pick up after the first quarter? This shows just how big it was, and this is despite DC performing so poorly. Comics had gains of 19.34 in the second half of the year. Graphic Novel gains were 10.54% better for an overall out performance of 16.53%.
What you can take from all of this is comic books are did pretty well in 2014 and that is some good news.
Top 50 Comics for 2014
1 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 2 WALKING DEAD #132 (MR) 3 ROCKET RACCOON #1 4 DEATH OF WOLVERINE #1 5 DEATH OF WOLVERINE #4 6 THOR #1 7 ORIGINAL SIN #1 8 DEATH OF WOLVERINE #2 9 DEATH OF WOLVERINE #3 10 SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #31 11 AVENGERS AND X-MEN AXIS #1 12 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2 13 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9 14 BATMAN #32 15 BATMAN FUTURES END #1 16 ALL NEW CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 17 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4 18 BATMAN #33 19 BATMAN #35 20 BATMAN #29 21 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.1 22 BATMAN #36 23 BATMAN #27 24 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #7 25 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3 26 BATMAN #28 27 BATMAN #34 28 BATMAN #37 29 BATMAN ETERNAL #1 30 BATMAN #30 31 HARLEY QUINN FUTURES END #1 32 BATMAN #31 33 HARLEY QUINN ANNUAL #1 34 ORIGINAL SIN #2 35 AVENGERS #35 36 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 37 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 38 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 39 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #8 40 HARLEY QUINN #7 41 ORIGINAL SIN #3 42 SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1 43 SUPERMAN #32 44 FOREVER EVIL #6 45 SPIDER-WOMAN #1 46 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 47 MULTIVERSITY #1 48 ORIGINAL SIN #4 49 FOREVER EVIL #5 50 FOREVER EVIL #7
It is funny, everyone will tell you how Batman is the top selling character in comic bookdom, well it isn't true. Spider-Man had 2 more titles on the Top 50 list than the Bat, and the Bat didn't even get on the list until #14. Just looking at the Top 50 list you can see that DC isn't pulling its weight as they didn't even crack the Top 10. Death of Wolverine was just as big as we thought it would be and Harley Quinn SELLS!
As always you can get each and everyone of these books at eXpertComics.com! Never pay cover price!
That's it for me, I will have the Top 20 January list later on, but until then.