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MAYO REPORT: Estimated Top Trades for 2007 Year-To-Date

by  in Comic News Comment
MAYO REPORT: Estimated Top Trades for 2007 Year-To-Date
“Marvel Zombies” hardcover – 5th printing

Each month here at CBR I share with you the estimated sales numbers for comics and graphic novels distributed through Diamond Comics. Recently, there’s been quite some discussion in a number of online venues about graphic novel sales trends thus far in 2007 and while preparing the sales estimates for July, 2007, I took a look at some of those trends and broke out the numbers for 2007 thus far and found some interesting results which I share below, but first some analysis of the year thus far.

At the end of each year, Diamond Comics Distributors releases a list of the best selling graphic novels and collected editions. They also release a list of the best selling comic books for the year, too, but trades are a lot more interesting to watch because of the longer sales cycle. Most comics sell the majority of their units upfront, while trades continue to sell monthly, as long as they are in print.

When I report on the top 100 graphic novels and collected editions sold for the month. I also include the total known estimated sales for those items. In July, the top selling item that had previously appeared on the monthly graphic novels and collected editions list was the “Marvel Zombies” hardcover. It sold an estimated 4,573 units in July to retailers, bringing the total known estimated sales to around 42,621 units. Before we move on to other numbers, there are a few important things to understand here.

“Civil War” trade paperback

First, we are dealing with estimates, meaning that number might not be the exact number of units sold to retailers. For our purposes, though, we are looking at sales trends and not paying royalties off these numbers, so it isn’t a problem that the numbers might be off slightly.

The second thing I want to point out is that these are sales to retailers, not readers. While information about sales to readers would be very informative, that data will remain unavailable until retailers start sharing and reporting on that data.

Thirdly, it should be noted that this data is limited to sales going through Diamond. There is some debate as to how much of the overall sales this accounts for and even some debate on how much of the direct market sales this accounts for. While it might not measure everything, it does measure the sales through Diamond. I’ve looked into getting the BookScan data and it is well beyond my zero-budget for this little side hobby of mine, not to mention it’s proprietary, can’t be reported on publicly and isn’t all inclusive either.

Getting back to those “Marvel Zombies” numbers, let’s look at that second number of 42,621 units. That is the total known estimated sales for the “Marvel Zombies” hardcover. I’m a fairly simple guy and try to name things for what they are. The number I include in the data each month is the total of all of the data I have for the item.

“Astonishing X-Men” volume 3

Technically, the number isn’t a life-to-date estimate of the sales through Diamond. The reason for this is that the data available from Diamond isn’t inclusive enough for that. While Diamond reports on the top 100 graphic novels and collected editions currently, the list used to be only 50 items long. Prior to that it was 25 items and it started with only 10 items. The growth of the list over the years is a reflection of the growth of the graphic novel and collected editions market. And even with 100 items on the list each month, it isn’t enough and many items go unreported.

In my monthly sales analysis I don’t include year-to-date sales for graphic novels and collected editions, instead opting to include total known sales for a particular item, which can be wildly different. The main reason I don’t include year-to-date numbers is it seems to be of limited use except at the end of the year. I’m not convinced that it is any more (or any less) useful than how many units the items sold over the past 12 months. I mean, does it really matter that the “Marvel Zombies” hardcover currently looks to be the third best selling graphic novel/collected edition of 2007? That isn’t entirely a rhetorical question – if enough people would find a year-to-date total useful, I’d be happy to add it.

Either way, the “Marvel Zombies” hardcover has a year-to-date known total estimated sales of around 20,183 units based on the data up to and including July. It currently looks to be behind the “300” hardcover with a year-to-date known total estimated sales of 22,561 units in second place and the “Civil War” trade paperback with a year-to-date known total estimated sales of 35,544 units.

“300” hardcover

Obviously the year-to-date totals and ranking change each month. The “300” hardcover started the year with a year-to-date rank of 13. As interest is in the book grew with the release of “300,” the book moved up in rank to number four in February and took the top slot in March. In May the release of the “Civil War” trade paperback bumped it from the top spot down to second place for the year where it has been ever since.

I mentioned in my analysis on the June 2007 numbers the information that can be deduced from the lowest ranked item on the list. This is the wildcard factor that can make the top trades list for the year a bit of a surprise sometimes. As of the end of July, the maximum number of units an unreported item could have totals to an estimated 7,933 units. That is only a few dozen units shy of the second best selling trade for July. Such an item would currently land just below slot 26 on the current year-to-date rankings.

“The Boys” volume 1

Or so it seems. The tricky thing about the year-to-date figures is that the unreported numbers can really move things around. The difference between some items on the current year-to-date rankings is less than a dozen units, a number small enough that even a seemingly insignificant number of unreported units could reorder the list. A dozen units is also a small enough amount that just the margin of error on the monthly estimates alone could reorder some items on the list. This means that the rankings are rough estimates and may not be an accurate reflection of what Diamond would report. Just because something appears to be outselling another item doesn’t mean that it really is.

So, what can we learn from the current year-to-date rankings for the graphic novels and collected editions for 2007?

Marvel dominates the rankings in 2007 thus far, doing very well with the “Civil War” TPB and the numerous trades collecting the tie-in series. Of the currently projected top 50 graphic novels and collected editions, nearly 40% of the list was “Civil War” or related material. Outside of “Civil War,” Marvel had other strong sellers thus far in 2007 with the third “Astonishing X-Men” trade paperback and the second “Ultimates 2” trade paperback.

Dark Horse did well with “300” due to renewed interest generated by the movie.

“The Plain Janes”

Dynamite Entertainment’s done well with their pick up of Ennis & Robertson’s “The Boys” earlier this year, with almost 11,000 copies sold thus far for the May release.

Both “Marvel Zombies” and “The Walking Dead” zombies continue to be solid sellers that are unlikely to die any time soon. Volume 15 and 16 of the “Ultimate X-Men” trade paperbacks currently seem to be in slots 32 and 35 further illustrating the strength of Robert Kirkman’s popularity.

Over at DC, the Vertigo imprint is doing well with titles like “Y: The Last Man” and “Fables,” with classics like “Watchmen” still a reliable seller. The first Minx release,”Plain Janes” rounds out the Top 50. With regards to DCU product, only “52,” “Batman: Year One,” and the hard covers for “Justice” and “All Star Superman” make a showing in the Top 50. That said, their “Showcase” collected editions had a very strong showing in the bottom half of the Top 100 list.

As for market shares for this tentative top 100 year-to-date trades list, Marvel has 34.48% by units, DC is a reasonably close second with 27.51%, Dark Horse is coming in a very strong third with 11.41% Image is in fourth place with 5.83%.

With five months of data still left to be digested, these lists could change dramatically by years end – we’ll just have to wait and see what develops.

Publister Units Unit %
Marvel Comics 641,035 34.48%
DC Comics 511,457 27.51%
Dark Horse 212,147 11.41%
Image Comics 108,430 5.83%
VIZ 104,916 5.64%
Tokyo Pop 90,151 4.85%
IDW Publishing 28,148 1.51%
Dynamite Entertainment 21,202 1.14%
Del Rey 20,067 1.08%
Digital Manga Distribution 19,328 1.04%
Gemstone 17,362 0.93%
A D Vision 10,120 0.54%
Avatar 9,244 0.5%
Archaia Studios Press 7,601 0.41%
Udon Entertainment 6,155 0.33%
Fantagraphics Books 5,654 0.3%
Archie Comics 5,315 0.29%
Wizard Entertainment 5,155 0.28%
Devil’s Due Publishing 4,935 0.27%
Scholastic 4,595 0.25%
Seven Seas Entertainment 3,488 0.19%
Bongo Comics 3,193 0.17%
Checker 2,445 0.13%
Top Shelf 2,010 0.11%
Virgin Comics 1,995 0.11%
Adhouse Books 1,767 0.1%
First Second 1,763 0.09%
Aspen 1,578 0.08%
ONI Press 1,501 0.08%
Moonstone 1,428 0.08%
Silent Devil Productions 1,344 0.07%
Bandai Entertainment 1,282 0.07%
Hyperion Books 1,175 0.06%
Slave Labor Graphics 1,089 0.06%

Rank Publisher Title YtD Units
1 Marvel Comics Civil War Trade Paperback 35,544
2 Dark Horse 300 Hardcover 22,561
3 Marvel Comics Marvel Zombies Hardcover 20,183
4 Marvel Comics Civil War Road to Civil War Trade Paperback 17,216
5 Image Comics Walking Dead v6 Trade Paperback 16,052
6 DC Comics Y the Last Man v9 Trade Paperback 15,915
7 Marvel Comics Civil War Amazing Spider Man Trade Paperback 14,305
8 DC Comics Fables v9 Trade Paperback 13,635
9 Marvel Comics Astonishing X Men v3 Trade Paperback 13,042
10 DC Comics Watchmen Trade Paperback 12,705
11 DC Comics Fables v1 Trade Paperback 11,117
12 Dynamite Ent. Boys v1 Trade Paperback 10,917
13 Image Comics Walking Dead v1 Trade Paperback 10,891
14 Marvel Comics Ultimates 2 v2 Trade Paperback 10,882
15 DC Comics 52 v1 Trade Paperback 10,237
16 Marvel Comics Civil War Captain America Trade Paperback 10,020
17 Marvel Comics Civil War Front Line v1 Trade Paperback 10,009
18 Marvel Comics Hulk Planet Hulk Hardcover 9,111
19 Marvel Comics Civil War Wolverine Trade Paperback 8,851
20 Marvel Comics Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Guilty Pleasures v1 Hardcover 8,475
21 Marvel Comics Civil War Fantastic Four Trade Paperback 8,471
22 DC Comics Justice v2 Hardcover 8,348
23 Marvel Comics Civil War X Men Trade Paperback 8,290
24 Marvel Comics Civil War Front Line v2 Trade Paperback 8,154
25 DC Comics 52 v2 Trade Paperback 7,981
26 DC Comics Batman Year One Dlx Softcover 7,943
[Maximum Unreported Units] 7,933
27 Marvel Comics Civil War Iron Man Trade Paperback 7,873
28 Archaia Mouse Guard v1 Hardcover 7,601
29 Marvel Comics Civil War Peter Parker Spider Man Trade Paperback 7,569
30 Image Comics Walking Dead v5 Trade Paperback 7,469
31 Dark Horse Hellboy Animated v1 Trade Paperback 7,206
32 Marvel Comics Ultimate X Men v15 Trade Paperback 7,184
33 Marvel Comics Civil War Thunderbolts Trade Paperback 7,143
34 Marvel Comics Civil War Young Avengers and Runaways Trade Paperback 6,953
35 Marvel Comics Ultimate X Men v16 Trade Paperback 6,945
36 Marvel Comics Civil War Marvel Universe Trade Paperback 6,916
37 Marvel Comics Civil War X Men Universe Trade Paperback 6,840
38 DC Comics All Star Superman v1 Hardcover 6,669
39 Dark Horse Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures v8 Trade Paperback 6,575
40 Tokyo Pop Fruits Basket v16 Graphic Novel 6,573
41 Marvel Comics Civil War War Crimes Trade Paperback 6,424
42 Dark Horse Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures v7 Trade Paperback 6,423
43 Marvel Comics Spider Man Birth of Venom Trade Paperback 6,341
44 VIZ Naruto v13 Trade Paperback 6,286
45 Marvel Comics Civil War Companion Trade Paperback 6,160
46 DC Comics Ex Machina v5 Trade Paperback 6,117
47 DC Comics Megatokyo v5 6,092
48 Marvel Comics Black Panther Civil War Trade Paperback 6,072
49 Image Comics Walking Dead v3 Trade Paperback 6,062
50 DC Comics Plain Janes 6,047
51 DC Comics Jack of Fables v1 Trade Paperback 6,045
52 VIZ Naruto v14 Trade Paperback 5,855
53 DC Comics Justice League of America v1 Hardcover 5,586
54 DC Comics DMZ v2 Trade Paperback 5,488
55 Marvel Comics Runaways v7 Digest 5,415
56 Marvel Comics Eternals By Neil Gaiman Hardcover 5,383
57 Dark Horse Hellboy Animated v2 Trade Paperback 5,288
58 Dark Horse Star Wars Legacy v1 Trade Paperback 5,276
59 Marvel Comics Spider Man Reign Premiere Hardcover 5,274
60 DC Comics Batman Year One Hundred Trade Paperback 5,249
61 Image Comics Invincible v8 Trade Paperback 5,234
62 DC Comics Y the Last Man v1 Trade Paperback 5,189
63 Wizard Ent. Twisted Toyfare Theatre v8 Trade Paperback 5,155
64 DC Comics Showcase Presents Brave and the Bold Batman Teamups v1 Showcase Presents 5,104
65 Marvel Comics New Avengers v4 Trade Paperback 5,079
66 DC Comics Showcase Presents Justice League of America v2 Showcase Presents 5,053
67 VIZ Death Note v12 Trade Paperback 4,948
68 IDW Publishing Transformers Movie Trade Paperback 4,940
69 Marvel Comics Ultimate Fantastic Four v8 Trade Paperback 4,937
70 Image Comics Fell v1 Trade Paperback 4,934
71 DC Comics Seven Soldiers of Victory v4 Trade Paperback 4,879
72 Dark Horse Star Wars Boba Fett v1 Trade Paperback 4,853
73 Tokyo Pop Kingdom Hearts II v1 Graphic Novel 4,815
74 DC Comics Showcase Presents Legion of Super Heroes v1 Showcase Presents 4,808
75 DC Comics Showcase Presents Flash v1 Showcase Presents 4,774
76 Image Comics Walking Dead v4 Trade Paperback 4,742
77 IDW Publishing Transformers Movie Prequel Trade Paperback 4,733
78 DC Comics Batman Detective Trade Paperback 4,712
79 VIZ Death Note v10 Trade Paperback 4,676
80 DC Comics Justice Society v2 Trade Paperback 4,648
81 Marvel Comics New Avengers v5 Premiere Hardcover 4,640
82 Marvel Comics Heroes for Hire v1 Trade Paperback 4,639
83 DC Comics Showcase Presents Batgirl v1 Showcase Presents 4,631
84 Marvel Comics Wolverine Origins v1 Trade Paperback 4,543
85 DC Comics Lucifer v11 Trade Paperback 4,538
86 DC Comics Superman Emperor Joker Trade Paperback 4,538
87 Marvel Comics Ultimate Fantastic Four v7 Trade Paperback 4,531
88 VIZ Death Note v11 Trade Paperback 4,498
89 Avatar Warren Ellis Crecy Graphic Novel 4,422
90 DC Comics Showcase Presents Superman v3 Showcase Presents 4,420
91 DC Comics Teen Titans Titans Around World Trade Paperback 4,398
92 Dark Horse Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus v1 Trade Paperback 4,385
93 Marvel Comics Spider Man Black Cat Evil That Men Do Trade Paperback 4,370
94 DC Comics Showcase Presents Batman v2 Showcase Presents 4,358
95 DC Comics Superman Batman vs Aliens Predators Trade Paperback 4,357
96 DC Comics Batman Dark Knight Returns Trade Paperback 4,336
97 Marvel Comics Daredevil Devil Inside and Out v2 Trade Paperback 4,335
98 DC Comics Showcase Presents Green Lantern v2 Showcase Presents 4,282
99 DC Comics Clubbing 4,263
100 Dark Horse Fafhrd and Gray Mouser Trade Paperback 4,250

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