UNCANNY X-MEN Relaunch Leads the Pack in a Down November For Comic Book Sales

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Credit: Leinil Francis Yu/Edgar Delgado (Marvel Comics)

Credit: Jen Bartel (Marvel Comics)

Marvel Comics’ oversized $7.99 relaunch of the iconic Uncanny X-Men was the bestselling comic book of November 2018 in the Direct Market, but a double-digit down month for comic book sales and a steep decline for graphic novels sales has put 2018 teetering on the edge of growing or declining versus last year, according to figures released by Diamond Comic Distributors Friday morning.

In addition to Uncanny, Marvel had six titles in November’s Top 10 including Web of Venom: Carnage Born #1 (#3) and Amazing Spider-Man #10 (#4).

DC had four titles of the Top 10, led by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern relaunch, the second best-selling title of the month. Image Comics’ The Walking Dead #185, ranked #18, was the bestselling non-Marvel or DC title. 

Credit: Ryan Stegman (Marvel Comics)

Venom Volume 1: Rex by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman was the best-selling graphic novel (by units shipped) of November, the first of seven Marvel titles in the graphic novel Top 10, a category down by over 30% in both dollar and unit sales versus last November, although November 2018 featured four shipping months versus 2017’s five. 

Comic book dollar and unit sales were down by only over 13% versus last year. Both declines were in part due to the major publishers shipping a lot less product to stores than last year and in Marvel’s case, the previous three years. More on that below. 

Marvel was November’s top publisher with a dominating 40.80% dollar and a 43.75% unit share. DC was second with a 26.74% dollar and a 29.51% unit share. Image was third with a 8.57% dollar and a 8.50% unit share. 

Comichron‘s John Jackson Miller has more on the month’s biggest takeaways in his November sales summation:

“The year in the Direct Market’s going to wind up closer than an election in Florida. The November dip was expected because of the shorter shipping month- but what was surprising was how much less material publishers shipped to market. Marvel’s smallest new comics slate since October 2015. DC shipped 67 comics, down from 95 last November. Fully 22% fewer new comics out. The bright side is that even with so much less material out, Marvel was still up slightly year-over-year versus last November.

“The graphic novel category was worse off – there, the dynamic also looks supply-side, as publishers appear to be increasingly trying to get retailers to stock for the holidays in October.

“Six percent fewer comics have come out in 2018 so far; unit sales are down 6%. Pretty direct connection there. Since comics dollar sales are slightly up — and 2017’s unit sales were inflated by overships and 25¢ books — the comics that did come out did a little better relative, per issue, than last year.

“Further down are some scenarios for the year-end figure; we’ll be within 2 points of flat either way, as we were in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2016.”

The November 2018 Market Share, Comparative Sales Data, New Titles Shipped and Top 10 Comic Books Units and Dollars and Top 10 Graphic Novels Units and Dollars charts follow below.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 40.80%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 26.74%
IMAGE COMICS 8.57%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.62%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.37%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.95%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 2.24%
VIZ MEDIA 1.26%
TITAN COMICS 1.20%
ONI PRESS INC. 0.97%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.28%
 
UNIT MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 43.75%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 29.51%
IMAGE COMICS 8.50%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.39%
DARK HORSE COMICS 2.58%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.49%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 2.11%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 0.94%
ONI PRESS INC. 0.80%
TITAN COMICS 0.80%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 5.13%


COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS
NOVEMBER 2018 VS. OCTOBER 2018
COMICS -16.49% -19.71%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -21.10% -23.49%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -17.81% -19.99%
TOYS 6.76% -23.81%
NOVEMBER 2018 VS. NOVEMBER 2017
COMICS -4.98% -11.24%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -30.36% -31.11%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -13.61% -13.02%
TOYS -10.88% -19.52%
YEAR-TO-DATE 2018 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2017
COMICS 1.48% -6.06%
GRAPHIC NOVELS -6.67% -7.25%
TOTAL COMICS/GN -0.98% -6.15%
TOYS -3.25% -3.25%


NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER COMICS
SHIPPED
GRAPHIC NOVELS
SHIPPED
MAGAZINES
SHIPPED
TOTAL
SHIPPED
MARVEL COMICS 79 39 0 118
DC COMICS 67 40 0 107
IMAGE COMICS 57 18 0 75
IDW PUBLISHING 33 14 0 47
BOOM! STUDIOS 23 16 0 39
DARK HORSE COMICS 16 19 0 35
TITAN COMICS 10 13 5 28
VIZ MEDIA LLC 0 26 0 26
DYNAMITE 17 4 0 21
ONI PRESS INC. 8 4 0 12
OTHER NON-TOP 10 113 206 17 336
TOTAL 423 399 22 844


TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 UNCANNY X-MEN #1 $7.99 SEP180791-M MAR
2 THE GREEN LANTERN #1 $4.99 SEP180430-M DC
3 WEB OF VENOM: CARNAGE BORN #1 $4.99 SEP180855-M MAR
4 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 $3.99 SEP180916-M MAR
5 BATMAN #58 $3.99 SEP180450-M DC
6 BATMAN #59 $3.99 SEP180452-M DC
7 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9 $3.99 SEP180914-M MAR
8 HEROES IN CRISIS #3 $3.99 SEP180434-M DC
9 AVENGERS #10 $5.99 SEP180829-M MAR
10 VENOM #8 $3.99 SEP180918-M MAR


TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 UNCANNY X-MEN #1 $7.99 SEP180791-M MAR
2 WEB OF VENOM: CARNAGE BORN #1 $4.99 SEP180855-M MAR
3 THE GREEN LANTERN #1 $4.99 SEP180430-M DC
4 AVENGERS #10 $5.99 SEP180829-M MAR
5 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 $3.99 SEP180916-M MAR
6 BATMAN #58 $3.99 SEP180450-M DC
7 BATMAN #59 $3.99 SEP180452-M DC
8 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9 $3.99 SEP180914-M MAR
9 HEROES IN CRISIS #3 $3.99 SEP180434-M DC
10 VENOM #8 $3.99 SEP180918-M MAR


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 VENOM BY DONNY CATES VOLUME 1: REX TP $17.99 AUG181081 MAR
2 THANOS: THE INFINITY CONFLICT HC $24.99 AUG181076 MAR
3 JUSTICE LEAGUE VOLUME 1: THE TOTALITY TP $17.99 AUG180630 DC
4 BLACK EYED PEAS PRESENTS: MASTERS OF THE SUN: THE  ZOMBIE CHRONICLES TP $24.99 APR171143 MAR
5 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN BY NICK SPENCER VOLUME 1: BACK TO BASICS TP $15.99 SEP181008 MAR
6 THE IMMORTAL HULK VOLUME 1: OR IS HE BOTH? TP $15.99 AUG181082 MAR
7 BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT TP $19.99 JUL180733 DC
8 UNNATURAL VOLUME 1: AWAKENING TP (MR) $9.99 SEP180132 IMA
9 STAR WARS: LANDO: DOUBLE OR NOTHING TP $15.99 JUL181171 MAR
10 DOMINO VOLUME 1: KILLER INSTINCT TP $17.99 AUG181085 MAR


TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 X-MEN MUTANT: MASSACRE OMNIBUS HC $100.00 MAY180951 MAR
2 THANOS: THE INFINITY CONFLICT HC $24.99 AUG181076 MAR
3 ABSOLUTE TRANSMETROPOLITAN VOLUME 3 HC (MR) $125.00 MAR180362 DC
4 SILVER SURFER BY SLOTT AND ALLRED OMNIBUS HC $75.00 MAY180954 MAR
5 BLACK EYED PEAS PRESENTS: MASTERS OF THE SUN: THE ZOMBIE CHRONICLES TP $24.99 APR171143 MAR
6 VENOM BY DONNY CATES VOLUME 1: REX TP $17.99 AUG181081 MAR
7 FIREFLY: BIG DAMN HEROES BOX SET $150.00 SEP181294 BOO
8 WONDER WOMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS VOL. 3 HC $125.00 APR180285 DC
9 MARVEL MASTERWORKS: THE MIGHTY THOR VOLUME 17 HC $75.00 MAY180957-M MAR
10 JUSTICE LEAGUE VOLUME 1: THE TOTALITY TP $17.99 AUG180630 DC

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