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Diamond Sales Stats for August 2012 Show Disturbing Trend in Comics

Written by Jude Terror on Friday, September 07 2012 and posted in News with Benefits
Diamond Sales Stats for August 2012 Show Disturbing Trend in Comics

Diamond's monthly sales numbers reveal a disturbing trend. The comic book industry is growing!



Source: Diamond

For the past two decades, comic book fans have taken comfort in the fact that their hobby of choice was a marginalized niche that was looked down upon by most of society. Though many nerds have feared, with the rise of popularity in superhero movies, that "regular" people might soon invade their territory, comics publishers have managed, through careful strategic planning, to maintain the public perception of comic books as embarassing escapist fantasy for emotionally stunted man-children. However, with the success of DC's Nu52 reboot, as well as Marvel's Avengers Vs. X-Men event, fanboys may soon have to face the fact that comic books are becoming... cool.

"We've done everything we could to delay this moment," said Joe Quesada, Marvel's Excutive in Charge of Eating Hoagies, who agreed to have quotes made up for this article. "We've rehashed the same stories over and over again. We keep the universe insular and difficult to follow for casual readers. We cater to a small, shrinking audience of dedicated fans, mostly men in thier 30s and 40s with the mentality of 14 year old boys. We neglect or offend demographics like women, children, and socially adjusted people in general. What more can we do?"

Despite these efforts, the clear signs of growth cannot be ignored. Comics sales in August represent almost a 20% increase in dollars from the previous year and a 14% increase in units. August in 2011 and 2012 were both 5 week months.  Simply put, more people are buying comics. Furthermore, these sales don't take the growing digital market into account, which is certainly growing.

"We've held off on digital for as long as possible," said Dan Didio, a internationally renowned walrus. "We've kept prices discouragingly high, made the format complicated and restrictive to access, and even tried to use guilt to prevent consumers from buying comics digitally.  We believed that telling them digital will destroy their precious local comic shops would surely put an end to it. It didn't. We're running out of ideas here."

Digital comics are particularly worrying, because they allow anyone to purchase comics from the comfort of the internet. Thus, readers are allowed to bypass the traditional barrier of going to a repulsive, cave-like specialty shop and risking being branded an outcast or loser. Additionally, digital comics allow people to hide their comic reading habit, with no need to display large, unsightly longboxes or shelves full of graphic novels. This new, guilt-free method of comic consumption could very well help to turn comics fandom into a socially acceptable activity.

"I blame hipsters!", said a comic book fan we asked to comment on the issue. "Hipsters reading graphic novels like Scott Pilgrim, The Walking Dead, and Watchmen have been trying to make comics cool for over a decade now. It's absolutely disgusting! Hipsterism has no place in comics." The fan then went on to rant about how popular writers like Brian Bendis, Scott Snyder, Jonathan Hickman, and Cullen Bunn were much better back when they were relatively unknown and writing indie comics. We then got into an argument with him about whether Scott Snyder ever wrote indie books, and whether Vertigo was a true "indie" company. The argument became quite heated before we decided to put on our scarves and go drink some turkish siphon coffee.

Another obvious factor that is contributing into comics' decline into mainstream success is the proliferation of comic book properties into other media. Marvel's The Avengers was the number one movie of the year, grossing $1.5 billion internationally. Both Marvel and DC have found success in video games, social media aps, and animated television shows. "We do our best to cancel any cartoons people seem to be enjoying and replace them with something more insipid," said Jeph Loeb, Marvel's Head of Fan Understimation, "but no matter what we do, people just seem to love superheroes."

Indeed, it is superhero comics that are seeing the biggest boost in sales. The top two titles for the month were Marvel's Avengers vs. X-Men #9 and Avengers vs. X-Men #10, both superhero slugfests featuring a huge roster of the spandex-clad warriors. Batman #12 and Justice League #12 from DC came in third and fourth, followed by Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man #692. It wasn't until the sixth spot on the list - Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 - that a less traditional superhero book made the top ten. Another Before Watchmen book, Dr. Manhattan #1, was at number eight, but the rest of the books - AvX #5, Green Lantern #12, and Detective Comics #12 (at seven, nine, and ten respectively) - were all superhero fare.

Comic readers have no choice but to face facts. Comic books are a growing form of entertainment that is becoming a fixture of popular culture. Soon, the industry may have to evolve to accomodate these new customers. It's a scary new world outside the soft, warm womb of the comic shop. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and... there are girls who want to talk about the lastest issue of Saga. Accept it now, and you'll be better off. Resistance is futile.

Here are the charts:

 

PUBLISHER MARKET SHARES

RETAIL MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
DC COMICS 33.32%
MARVEL COMICS 32.42%
IDW PUBLISHING 5.88%
IMAGE COMICS 5.75%
DARK HORSE COMICS 4.92%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 3.19%
EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS LTD 1.83%
BOOM! STUDIOS 1.52%
VIZ MEDIA 0.96%
ARCHIE COMICS 0.85%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 9.35%
 
UNIT MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 37.18%
DC COMICS 37.12%
IMAGE COMICS 5.37%
IDW PUBLISHING 4.64%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.89%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 3.16%
BOOM! STUDIOS 1.48%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 0.92%
ARCHIE COMICS 0.82%
AVATAR PRESS INC 0.68%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 4.73%

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS
AUGUST 2012 VS. JULY 2012
COMICS 6.49% 6.39%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 22.13% 19.48%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 11.23% 7.43%
AUGUST 2012 VS. AUGUST 2011
COMICS 19.27% 14.22%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 14.95% 24.74%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 17.80% 15.09%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2012 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2011
COMICS 20.51% 17.97%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 14.13% 12.78%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 18.41% 17.54%

TOP 10 COMICS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #9 $3.99 JUN120592-M MAR
2 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #10 $3.99 JUN120599-M MAR
3 BATMAN #12 $3.99 JUN120177-M DC
4 JUSTICE LEAGUE #12 $3.99 JUN120142-M DC
5 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #692 $5.99 JUN120622-M MAR
6 BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH #1 (MR) [*] $3.99 JUN120129-M DC
7 AVX VS #5 $3.99 JUN120590-M MAR
8 BEFORE WATCHMEN: DR. MANHATTAN #1 (MR) [*] $3.99 JUN120134-M DC
9 GREEN LANTERN #12 $2.99 JUN120196-M DC
10 DETECTIVE COMICS #12 $3.99 JUN120181-M DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 BATMAN: EARTH ONE HC $22.99 MAR120234 DC
2 THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 1: DAYS GONE BYE TP (MR) $9.99 JUL068351 IMA
3 SWAMP THING VOLUME 1: RAISE THEM BONES TP $14.99 MAY120280 DC
4 SUPERMAN: ACTION COMICS VOLUME 1: SUPERMAN MEN OF STEEL HC $24.99 APR120245 DC
5 BATMAN VOLUME 1: THE COURT OF OWLS HC $24.99 JAN120300 DC
6 HULK SEASON ONE PREMIERE HC $24.99 MAY120746 MAR
7 SCOTT PILGRIM VOLUME 1 COLOR HC $24.99 MAY121234 ONI
8 STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS: SITH HUNTERS TP $7.99 APR120041 DAR
9 THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 2: MILES BEHIND US TP $14.99 SEP088204 IMA
10 FEAR ITSELF TP $29.99 JUN120721 MAR

TOP 10 TOYS

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PLAY ARTS KAI: HARLEY QUINN ACTION FIGURE JAN128132 SQU
2 BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM PLAY ARTS KAI: ARMORED BATMAN ACTION FIGURE JAN128131 SQU
3 TMNT RETRO COLLECTOR ACTION FIGURES APR121769 PLA
4 MARVEL SELECT: AVENGERS MOVIE: ENEMY ACTION FIGURES JAN121705 DST
5 ALICE: THE MADNESS RETURNS SELECT ACTION FIGURES JAN121700 DST
6 BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE: DARWYN COOKE APR120307 DC
7 AVENGERS MOVIE: IRON MAN MK VII ARTFX STATUE MAR121684 KOT
8 BATMAN BLACK & WHITE STATUE: DICK GRAYSON BY JOCK MAY120346 DC
9 FORBIDDEN PLANET: ROBBY THE ROBOT 12-INCH FIGURE FEB121668 X P
10 MARVEL UNIVERSE ACTION FIGURES JUN121848 HAS

TOP 10 GAMES

RANK DESCRIPTION ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DC HEROCLIX: JUSTICE LEAGUE APR121984 NEC
2 MARVEL HEROCLIX: CHAOS WAR BOOSTER BRICK APR121987 NEC
3 DOCTOR WHO ACTION BOARD GAME OCT101791 DIA
4 DC HEROCLIX: JUSTICE LEAGUE FAST FORCES 6-PACK APR121985 NEC
5 WONDERLAND BOARD GAME APR121345 ZEN
6 THE WALKING DEAD TV BOARD GAME JUL112137 CRY
7 THE WALKING DEAD COMIC BOARD GAME JUL112185 Z-M
8 MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: 2013 CORE SET EVENT DECKS APR121978 WIZ
9 MAGIC THE GATHERING TCG: 2013 CORE SET BOOSTERS APR121977 WIZ
10 PATHFINDER BATTLES: RISE OF THE RUNELORDS BOOSTER BRICK MAY128110 NEC
 

 

 








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About the Author - Jude Terror


Jude Terror is the Webmaster Supreme of The Outhouse and a sarcastic ace reporter dedicated to delivering irreverent comics and entertainment news to The Outhouse's dozens of loyal readers. Driven by a quest for vengeance, Jude Terror taught himself to program and joined The Outhouse. He instantly began working toward his goal of forcing the internet comics community to take itself less seriously and failing miserably.  Ironically, our webmaster, whose website skills know no end, has very little understanding of social networks or how they work.  Regardless, you can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, but would probably have the most luck just emailing him.

 


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