Sales of comics and graphic novels to comic stores were down 1.1% vs. 2011, but were up when the fact that November 2011 was a five week month and November 2012 was a four week month is taken into account. Year over year comic sales were up 3.55%; graphic novel sales were down 10.86% to make up the slight decline (without accounting for the difference in weeks) over-all.
Year to date sales are still up 14.63% over 2011, with almost identical growth in both the comics and graphic novel portions of the market.
Dollar Market Share–November 2012
Marvel led in Market share, with 34% vs. DC’s 30%, driven primarily by Marvel NOW! books. Marvel had eight of the top ten comic titles in November, led by All New X-Men #1 in the top slot. Batman was #2, but the next six titles were all Marvel NOW! titles (Captain America, Deadpool, Indestructible Hulk, Iron Man, Fantastic Four, Uncanny Avengers), followed by Justice League and Thor: God of Thunder.
The Walking Dead Vol. 17 TP was the top graphic novel title in November. The TV series was drawing around 10 million viewers an episode that month, which certainly helped drive sales.
Three of the top five graphic novel titles were from Vertigo, demonstrating the continuing relevance of the imprint as founding editor Karen Berger prepares to depart (see "Karen Berger Leaving Vertigo"). BOOM! Studios had a big hit with its first Adventure Time Vol. 1 TP collection, which came in at #3.
DC Entertainment, one of the top comic book publishers in the world, announced yesterday that its entire line of DC comics are now available in digital e-book format.
Fans of the comics will be able to find them in Amazon’s Kindle Store, the Barnes and Noble Nook Store, and of course the iBookstore…(…)
Read the rest of DC now offering all its comics in the iBookstore
We haven’t heard from ol’ George Romero in a while, but allow us to remedy that. The fellas at Twitch caught up to the godfather of zombies and he provided an update as to what he is working on. In his discussion with the site, he teased an old project and a new one…
"I am in fact adapting a novel right now, and it is a zombie novel, but it’s not my kind of zombies," he told Twitch. "It’s a novel called The Zombie Autopsies written by a Harvard medical doctor. It’s a wonderful book and I’m having a wonderful time adapting it into a screenplay. I am also working on an original story, which I guess if I had to categorize it, I would say it’s a psychological thriller. it’s….mmm, Psycho like? But it’s not really. I don’t know how to tell you anything more without giving it away. But in reality I don’t actually know for sure what the next one is going to be. It often comes up out of the blue. You just don’t know which one the money is going to come through for. I am also writing a comic for Marvel. I’m writing it now, but it’s plot is a secret."
The comics market continued its bullish run in July with dollar sales of periodical comics up 22.09% over July 2011 and graphic novels sales growing by 16.89%. These numbers represent an improvement over the year-to-date dollar sales gains for comics (20.72%) and for graphic novels (13.98%).
Of course there was a special circumstance in July, the release of issue #100 of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, which, thanks in part to the AMC basic cable adaptation, has become one of the top comic book properties. With nine different covers, this anniversary edition of the zombie comic saga garnered an amazing total of initial orders (see "‘The Walking Dead’ Hits 383,612 in Initial Orders"), the most for any comic since Top Cow’s The Darkness #11 in 1997.
The anniversary issue of The Walking Dead bumped Marvel’s Avengers vs. X-Men titles from their accustomed perches atop the list. Still the AVX series appears to remain strong with the two lead AVX titles at #2 and #3, while the smackdown series AVX Vs gave Marvel its only other Top Ten title at #7. DC took six of the Top Ten spots with Batman again edging out Justice League as the top DC book. In contrast to last month when four Before Watchmen titles made the top ten, in July only Ozymandias #1, which came in at #6, made the Top 10.
DC has been steadily closing the marketshare gap with Marvel (see "First Half Comic Sales Up 18%") and in July it overtook Marvel for the top spot in Dollar Share with 32.71% to Marvel’s 31.96%. Both Marvel and DC’s shares were down a bit in July as Image’s share, buoyed by TWD #100, rose to 9.42%. IDW Publishing remained at #4 with a 6.61% share, followed by Dark Horse Comics with 4.51%, and Dynamite Entertainment with 2.77%.
DC’s marketshare was aided by a strong showing on the graphic novel side where the publisher placed five books in the Top Ten. DC’s Batman: Earth One hardcover, which also topped the bookstore channel graphic novel sales in July (see "‘Batman’ Tops Bookstore Charts"), was the number one graphic novel in the direct market as well, followed by another DC/Vertigo title Fables: Vol. 17. IDW’s Eisner-winning Parker series featuring Darwyn Cooke’s excellent adaptations of the novels of Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake) snagged the third spot with Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score, and Dark Horse followed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9: Freefall.
Once again WizKids’ HeroClix releases dominated game sales through Diamond taking the top spot with the Marvel HeroClix Chaos War Booster Block and five out of the top ten rankings overall (down from an amazing 6 of 10 in June). Risk Legacy was second, followed by the two Magic: The Gathering 2013 Core Set releases from Wizards of the Coast.
It appears increasingly likely that in Hellboy: The Fury #3, which goes on sale next week, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy is about to join the ranks of recently departed superhero characters such as the Ultimate Spider-Man and Bucky. But it also appears that, unlike so many superhero characters, Hellboy will meet his demise in such a way that he won’t be coming back in corporeal form ever.
But this doesn’t mean the end of Hellboy comics. For one thing in stories set in the past (a Hellboy comics staple), the big red guy will remain the same as he ever was, but also as Mignola pointed out in a revealing interview with Comic Book Resources, “I always say that when characters die in the Hellboy universe, they just become more interesting. So Hellboy now is a lot more interesting.”
Fans will have to wait until next week to find out exactly what happens to Hellboy—and even longer to find out how events in The Fury miniseries affect the B.P.R.D. Dark Horse is promising “mainstream media attention” for what it describes as a “major development" in The Fury #3, so those who enjoy like being “in the know” early and don’t mind having their reading fun spoiled can expect to learn the details of Hellboy’s demise on Tuesday (most likely, if previous patterns hold, in USA Today).
“The legacy of his artistic storytelling and abilities played a key role in cementing the enduring popularity of characters like Daredevil, Iron Man, Howard the Duck, Blade and Dr. Strange, and garnered him praise and fans the world over,” columnist George Khoury said in an obituary on Comic Book Resources this morning.
In lieu of flowers, Colan’s friend Clifford Meth is asking folks to contribute to a scholarship being set up in Colan’s name for The Kubert School. Details on how to donate can be found on Meth’s blog.
Fellow creators, fans and friends of Gene Colan are sharing memories. Here are a few; as always, click through to see the entirety of what they have to say about one of comics’ legendary artists:
Clifford Meth: “I knew this day would come but it came too quickly. It’s been a rare pleasure working with Gene. He knew who he was—how valuable his contributions to the world of comic art have been—how prized it remains by so many. Yet he never felt less than grateful to anyone who’d even read a single panel that he’d drawn. Until he was too weak to hold a pencil, he put his whole kishkes into everything he drew—whether it was a $5000 commission or a small drawing for someone’s child. And he was never satisfied with his artwork but always eager to learn a little more, do a little better, try something new. At 84.”
Mark Evanier: “Gene was so much a part of comics as long as I’ve read comics. He was the kind of artist who rarely drew less than two comics a month (sometimes, three) and I think a lot of people took him for granted. If he had drawn a handful of comics as fine as what he did in the sixties and seventies and then gotten out, readers would still be haunting their comic shops, praying for his return. I also enjoyed his friendship…and I have to tell you that the one time he drew a script of mine was one of those moments when I would have paid the company for the honor. I received Xeroxes of his pencilled pages — so much more wonderful, of course, than the printed product — and I just grinned for days…because I’d just written a comic drawn by Gene Colan. He always made everything look so damned good.”
Welcome to FREE Mondays! Each week we focus on all of the newly digitized books you can read for FREE inside the greatest collection of Marvel comics available online: Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited! Plus, we’ll let you know what’s coming up next week for FREE, too! With each book, not only are you getting a free peek inside Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited, but each free Digital Comic either gives you a look at a book featured in a recent collection or a comic that’s in stores now.
How would you like to have five free digital comics to help get you through the school and work week? Here ya go!
CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #130
CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #131
CAPTAIN AMERICA (1968) #132
INFINITY CRUSADE (1993) #4
INFINITY CRUSADE (1993) #5
Find out what next week’s five free digital comics will be below!*
INFINITY CRUSADE (1993) #6
THOR (1966) #174
THOR (1966) #175
THOR (1966) #176
THOR (1966) #177
*All scheduled issues subject to change.
Rich Johnston and Heidi MacDonald are both reporting that Frank Miller’s long-awaited graphic novel Holy Terror will be published this September, the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks to which the book is a response.
The project began as a “Batman vs. al-Qaeda” book for DC before Miller, feeling he’d taken the story too far outside of the Batman comfort zone, rejiggered it with an original hero called the Fixer and took it elsewhere.
That elsewhere turns out to be Legendary Comics (the publishing subsidiary of the Legendary Pictures film shingle), helmed by former Oni/DC/IDW editor Bob Schreck. This oughta be a pip.
Every time you think you’ve seen it all when it comes to original comic book art something turns up to prove that you haven’t. Exhibit A for that rule today is the Heritage Auctions announcement that 4 pages of 1939 production proofs from Detective Comics #27 just surfaced, having been in the possession of a man living in an apartment building were Bob Kane once lived, who rescued it from the curbside trash some 45 years ago.
Silver Age production art is not uncommon, but like the actual original art itself, Golden Age production art is extremely rare. Usually tossed in the trash, as these pages were. No actual original artwork from Detective Comics #27 is known to exist, although a single page of original art from Batman #1 is known to have survived to the present day.
Image will launch Walking Dead Weekly, a new series reprinting each issue of the original series, in January. Each will be a 32-page b/w comic for $2.99.
Image plans the series as a new way for fans from the AMC series (see “Zombies Invade World Capitals”) to start at the beginning and read a new issue each week in 2011.
The first six-episode season will be completed by January; a second season has been greenlit and will presumably air in 2011.