Where Do We Stand — June Comics and Graphic Novel Sales

Do You Need Money? advert, 1954, Digital Comics Museum

Each month,Diamond Comics Distributors releases data on the top selling products from single issue comics, to graphic novels and trade paperbacks, to toys. Their sales data represents items sold through comic book shops.

This month, I’m also including information from the New York Timesweekly bestsellers’ list for graphic books. Their list comprises sales data for items sold through venues other than comic book shops, like bookstores. As it’s weekly, it won’t be an exact picture of all the days in the month, but it will still be a valuable to see what fans who aren’t buying at comic shops are reading.

At the top of the list for single issue comics was Batman #32. Not a huge surprise, as the Zero City storyline is seemingly popular. Last month, Batman Vol. 4 was the top graphic novel for May according to Diamond, although it slipped off the list entirely for June. For the NYT’s list, Batman Vol. 4 appeared in the top ten for all four weeks. Clearly Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo are doing something right.

Similar to the past couple of months, DC and Marvel split the top titles with Image sneaking in again at number 9 with The Walking Dead #128.

In the graphic novel arena, Afterlife with Archie Vol. 1 topped Diamond’s list. It also made the NYT’s top ten list for sales during the week of June 8th.

More interesting though, is the seeing that all three volumes of Saga made both the Diamond top ten list and stayed on the NYT list for all four weeks in June. Seems like Saga could be the title that connects comic shop and bookstore.

Other titles of note on the NYT list: Nathan Hale is killing it with his Hazardous Tales series. Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood made the list all four weeks; two additional titles, One Dead Spy and Donner Dinner Party, showed for two weeks each. These historical fiction tales seem geared for the Middle School age group but are accessible to the adults in their lives as well.

Female representation is up a bit this month. For graphic novels on the Diamond list, four of the ten titles had a woman on the creative team. Granted, it does feel a bit like cheating, since Fiona Staples is counted three times, once for each Saga volume. Only four titles had women on the cover.

Although women represented on the cover may not be as much of an issue in a bookstore environment where cover images are more balanced, it’s good to note that of the six titles that made the top ten list for all four weeks, four had creative teams with women. Again the little cheat with Saga, but still no less an important touchpoint.

Brenda Noiseux

Brenda Noiseux

Community builder, artist, convention organizer, gamer, geek writer @womenoncomics, @Sidequest_BHP. Owner, Bittenby Studios