Spider-Woman #1 leads March comics sales in a very strange month

Spider-Woman #1.jpgMarch’s sales charts are a bit late from Diamond (and the Beat) but March 2020 was a very strange month. Comics sales actually kind of held their own, all things considered, and though down sharply from a year ago, that was the Detective #1000 month. One thing was normal: Marvel was the #1 publisher. The #1 comic was a surprise: Spider-Woman #1 by Karla Pachecho and Pere Perez – with an estimated 142,000 copies ordered into stores. I’ll editorialize a bit here and say as a pal of Karla’s for many years, for her to have the #1 comic book, even in these times, is such a feel good story for someone who deserves nothing but the best…this should be a Movie of the Week, honestly!

Anyway back to the numbers. Sales were down a scant point from February 2020, but most of the comics had already been ordered before the plague broke loose.

As someone confused by all this, we turned as usual to John Jackson Miller who is also confused, but he ponders and analyzes with much more aplomb and says that if you left out ‘Tec #1000 March would have actually been UP from a year ago. Comics were doing fine until Coronavirus hit. But if orders were fine, what shipped was down, and the market hit a snag in dollars.

Reorders, for example, are always a significant part of sales and are counted in the monthly orders; as stores faced closure, those reorders almost certainly trailed off. Graphic novel sales are disproportionately special-order in nature; they’re a chunk of the decline.

There are a few other things complicating the charts this month. Note that comic book units were down nearly 7%, while the dollars they represented were down nearly 16%. Two possible reasons for that. One is that Marvel enacted emergency deep discounts for its comics with on-sale dates of March 18 and afterward, which has the effect of depressing dollar sales relative to units. In Marvel’s case, it resulted in a nearly 6-point spread between its unit and dollar market shares.

Then you’ve got a number of titles which are returnable, which means they’ll have had a 10% penalty applied to their unit-sales numbers. Publishers’ figures below, however, are based on actual sales without that penalty, so there’s going to be a gap.

Once and Future Volume 1.jpgMiller’s monthly comics sales (with numbers factored in) are here. With some handy charts – so go look. He also notes this shocker:

Artists Writers & Artisans — to be known in our space-limited charts as AWA — debuted in 13th place in dollar share and eighth place in unit share at Diamond.

#8 in units! Well hmmmmm. Resistance #1 led the way (26,000), although more people probably saw it in digital form.

Boom! had the top two GNs with Once and Future and Something is Killing the Children, so that plan is working. But GN units were down from a year ago.

Obviously, this is a weird month…and April is going to be even weirder. And every month is going to be weird from here on out. Gaze then, upon the frozen snapshat of the Before Times.

unit-share

dollar-share

 

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

40.98%

46.76%

DC COMICS

27.34%

27.58%

IMAGE COMICS

6.40%

6.17%

IDW PUBLISHING

4.51%

3.87%

BOOM! STUDIOS

3.25%

3.21%

DARK HORSE COMICS

2.97%

1.94%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.38%

2.05%

VIZ MEDIA

1.61%

0.59%

ONI PRESS

0.80%

0.60%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT

0.67%

0.75%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

9.11%

6.47%

 

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

DOLLARS

UNITS

MARCH 2020 VS. FEBRUARY 2020

COMICS

-1.54%

-0.21%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

1.76%

-15.12%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-0.65%

-1.35%

TOYS

-15.00%

26.16%

MARCH 2020 VS. MARCH 2019

COMICS

-15.59%

-6.56%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-13.05%

-26.54%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-14.90%

-8.21%

TOYS

-6.43%

19.43%

YEAR-TO-DATE 2020 VS. YEAR-TO-DATE 2019

COMICS

-5.51%

-4.48%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-1.51%

-5.43%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-4.39%

-4.55%

TOYS

-0.02%

-6.56%

FIRST QUARTER 2020 VS. FOURTH QUARTER 2019

COMICS

-15.59%

-6.56%

GRAPHIC NOVELS

-13.05%

-26.54%

TOTAL COMICS/GN

-14.90%

-8.21%

TOYS

-6.43%

19.43%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHER

COMICS SHIPPED

GRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPED

MAGAZINES SHIPPED

TOTAL

SHIPPED

MARVEL COMICS

99

38

0

137

DC COMICS

83

24

0

107

IDW PUBLISHING

36

16

0

52

IMAGE COMICS

39

11

0

50

DARK HORSE COMICS

19

25

0

44

BOOM! STUDIOS

22

9

0

31

DYNAMITE

21

1

0

22

ONI PRESS INC.

6

5

0

11

VIZ MEDIA LLC

0

10

0

10

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC

6

2

0

8

OTHER NON-TOP 10

140

156

16

312

TOTAL

471

297

16

784

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

SPIDER-WOMAN #1

$4.99

JAN200803-M MARVEL COMICS

2

THE FLASH #750

$7.99

DEC190400-M DC COMICS

3

THOR #4

$3.99

JAN200930-M MARVEL COMICS

4

X-MEN #8

$3.99

JAN200843-M MARVEL COMICS

5

WOLVERINE #2

$3.99

JAN200832-M MARVEL COMICS

6

STRANGE ACADEMY #1

$4.99

JAN200795-M MARVEL COMICS

7

BATMAN #90

$3.99

JAN200509-M DC COMICS

8

X-MEN #9

$3.99

JAN200845-M MARVEL COMICS

9

THE IMMORTAL HULK #33

$5.99

JAN200899-M MARVEL COMICS

10

BATMAN #91

$3.99

JAN200511 DC COMICS

 

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

SPIDER-WOMAN #1

$4.99

JAN200803-M MARVEL COMICS

2

THE FLASH #750

$7.99

DEC190400-M DC COMICS

3

ROBIN 80TH-ANNIVERSARY 100-PAGE SUPER SPECTACULAR #1

$9.99

JAN200496-M DC COMICS

4

THE IMMORTAL HULK #33

$5.99

JAN200899-M MARVEL COMICS

5

STRANGE ACADEMY #1

$4.99

JAN200795-M MARVEL COMICS

6

STRANGE ADVENTURES #1 [*]

$4.99

JAN200506-M DC COMICS

7

X-MEN #8

$3.99

JAN200843-M MARVEL COMICS

8

WOLVERINE #2

$3.99

JAN200832-M MARVEL COMICS

9

HELLIONS #1

$4.99

JAN200820-M MARVEL COMICS

10

X-MEN #9

$3.99

JAN200845-M MARVEL COMICS

 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

ONCE & FUTURE VOL. 1: THE KING IS UNDEAD TP

$16.99

DEC191235 BOOM! STUDIOS

2

SOMETHING IS KILLING CHILDREN VOL. 1 TP

$14.99

DEC191236 BOOM! STUDIOS

3

THE IMMORTAL HULK VOL. 6 TP

$15.99

DEC190988 MARVEL COMICS

4

DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: POWERLESS TP

$9.99

NOV190498 DC COMICS

5

HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
TREASURY EDITION TP

$29.99

NOV190960-M MARVEL COMICS

6

NEW MUTANTS BY HICKMAN VOL. 1 TP

$15.99

FEB201054 MARVEL COMICS

7

KING THOR TP

$15.99

DEC190986 MARVEL COMICS

8

THE ORACLE CODE TP

$16.99

NOV190499 DC COMICS

9

STAR WARS VOL. 13: ROGUES AND REBELS TP

$17.99

DEC190989 MARVEL COMICS

10

RICK AND MORTY VS. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS II: PAINSCAPE TP

$19.99

NOV191821 ONI PRESS

 

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

X-MEN: CHILDREN OF ATOM HC BOX SET

$500.00

SEP190974 MARVEL COMICS

2

UNCANNY X-FORCE BY REMENDER OMNIBUS HC

$100.00

SEP190971 MARVEL COMICS

3

WONDER WOMAN: THE GOLDEN AGE OMNIBUS VOLUME 4 HC

$150.00

MAR190609 DC COMICS

4

HISTORY OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE
TREASURY EDITION TP

$29.99

NOV190960-M MARVEL COMICS

5

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT DELUXE EDITION HC

$49.99

NOV190529 DC COMICS

6

ONCE & FUTURE VOL. 1: THE KING IS UNDEAD TP

$16.99

DEC191235 BOOM! STUDIOS

7

MARVEL MASTERWORKS: DAZZLER VOL. 1 HC

$75.00

SEP190975-M MARVEL COMICS

8

POWER PACK CLASSIC OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC

$125.00

SEP190972-M MARVEL COMICS

9

THE WICKED & THE DIVINE VOLUME 4 HC (MR)

$64.99

OCT190161 IMAGE COMICS

10

SOMETHING IS KILLING CHILDREN VOL. 1 TP

$14.99

DEC191236 BOOM! STUDIOS

 

TOP 10 TOYS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

POP! DRAGON BALL Z: SUPER SAIYAN 2 VEGETA FIGURE JAN199073 FUNKO

2

PERSONA 5: FUTABA SAKURA FIGMA MAR198472 GOOD SMILE COMPANY

3

POP! MARVEL: SPIDER-MAN INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE: CASUAL MILES MORALES VINYL FIGURE JAN199071 FUNKO

4

MARVEL SELECT: SPIDER-MAN (PS4 VIDEO GAME) FIGURE AUG192734 DIAMOND SELECT TOYS

5

IRON GIANT DIECAST 1/12-SCALE ACTION FIGURE JAN188313 1000 TOYS INC.

6

DISNEY SELECT CLASSIC FIGURES AUG192721 DIAMOND SELECT TOYS

7

IRON GIANT (BATTLE MODE) DIECAST 1/12-SCALE FIGURE JUN199052 1000 TOYS INC.

8

OVERWATCH: PHARAH FIGMA NOV188215 GOOD SMILE COMPANY

9

TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS: GHOSTBUSTERS ECTOTRON FIGURE SEP198051 HASBRO TOY GROUP

10

BATMAN VS. HARLEY QUINN BATTLE STATUE (SECOND EDITION) AUG190702 DC COLLECTIBLES

 

TOP 10 GAMES BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANK

DESCRIPTION

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

PATHFINDER GAMEMASTERY GUIDE HC (P2) NOV192998 PAIZO PUBLISHING

2

PATHFINDER: LOST OMENS: GODS & MAGIC HC (P2) NOV193000 PAIZO PUBLISHING

3

PATHFINDER GAMEMASTERY GUIDE SPECIAL EDITION HC (P2) NOV192999 PAIZO PUBLISHING

4

PATHFINDER CORE RULEBOOK HC (P2) MAY193227 PAIZO PUBLISHING

5

STARFINDER RPG CORE RULEBOOK HC JUN173371 PAIZO PUBLISHING

6

ELVIRA: MISTRESS OF DARK SPECTRAL SWITCHBOARD JUN191229 DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

7

TOME OF BEASTS POCKET EDITION APR198095 PAIZO PUBLISHING

8

PATHFINDER ADVENTURE PATH: THE EXTINCTION CURSE VOLUME 1 (P2) NOV193001 PAIZO PUBLISHING

9

CREATURE CODEX HC JUL183073 PAIZO PUBLISHING

10

WIZARDS & SPELLS: A YOUNG ADVENTURER’S GUIDE HC JAN201997 TEN SPEED PRESS

 

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