Comic Books

Total Comics Sold: Comparing January 1998, 2012, 2016, and 2017

Total Comics Sold: Comparing January 1998, 2012, 2016, and 2017

What happens when we compare the total number of comic books sold across several years? What patterns, if any, emerge? Listeners of the show often hear me say that I think DC is currently strong in comics where Marvel dominates the live action landscape. And, as I said in Episode 37, I felt the need to validate some of the assumptions made. Feel free to call it fact checking, if you like.
Using information found on Comichron, I chose the years 1998, 2012, 2016, and 2017 and settled on January. My reasons are as follows:

  • 1998 – Amidst the highs and lows of the 1990s Comic Book Explosion/Implosion – but more on the recovery end – the dust settling a bit.
  • 2012 – The first year post-New 52 with DC.
  • 2016 – Last year (easy enough!)
  • 2017 – Last Month (current!)
  • January – Event books often launch – I believe – at the beginning/end of a Quarter, and is most likely done for financial reasons. January carries the distinction for the beginning of the year but is not often a month when event books occur….on the norm.

The following lists are the Top 10 for the associated years. The titles are total units (issues) sold and do not reflect total revenue. I chose total units as three issues of Book A = three issues of Book B. Comics do not carry the same cover price and would slant the scales toward the higher priced book. (For example, Book C carries a cover price of $4.99. Book D carries a cover price of $2.99. Book C sells three (3) copies and Book D sells four (4). Without considering tax, the total for Book C is $14.97 while the total for Book D is $11.96. Yes, profit ultimately equals bottom line, but I wanted the focus to be on total issues – total availability to readers.

January 1998

  1. Uncanny X-Men #353
  2. X-Men #73
  3. Avengers #2
  4. Spawn #70
  5. Iron Man #2
  6. Fantastic Four #3
  7. Wolverine #122
  8. JLA #16
  9. Captain America #3
  10. Witchblade #20

Total Comics Sold January 1998


January 2012

  1. Justice League #5
  2. Batman #5
  3. Action Comics #5
  4. Detective Comics #5
  5. Green Lantern #5
  6. Batman The Dark Knight #5
  7. Superman #5
  8. Flash #5
  9. Batman & Robin #5
  10. Aquaman #5

NOTE: DC is 10/10 – 100%!!! 


January 2016

  1. Walking Dead #150
  2. Secret Wars #9
  3. Spider-Man Deadpool #1
  4. Star Wars #14
  5. Star Wars #15
  6. Old Man Logan #1
  7. Obi-Wan and Anakin #1
  8. Batman #48
  9. Darth Vader #15
  10. Uncanny X-Men #1

Total Number of Comic Book Units Sold in January 2016


January 2017

  1. USAvengers #1
  2. Batman #15
  3. Batman #14
  4. Justice League Power Rangers #1
  5. Walking Dead #162
  6. All Star Batman #6
  7. Justice League Suicide Squad #3
  8. Monsters Unleashed (Marvel) #1
  9. Amazing Spider-Man #23
  10. Justice League #12

Total Comics Sold as of January 2017

 

Reviewing the Data

The data shows the winding road between DC and Marvel – each ebbing and flowing as the years pass by. Ironically, I did not expect to see the #3 issued books for Fantastic Four, Avengers, etc. in 1998; forgetting about the Heroes Reborn & Heroes Returned series. The Uncanny X-Men firmly held spots #1 and #2 – something that was not evident in later years.

I was shocked to see Aquaman in the top 10 in January 2012. No Marvel or Image books found their way into the top 10, which was something I also did not expect.

January 2016 provided no shocks or surprises. Convergence had come and gone – along with DC You (or DC Who Cares??). The heat from The New 52…snuffed out by fans desire for the classic plus Disney’s powerhouse duo of Marvel and Star Wars stable of characters. Episode VII was still in theaters and Marvel shipped the long-delayed final chapter to Secret War.

But, what did January 2017 reveal? DC experienced a Rebirth in 2017 going from 10% in 2016 to 60% in 2017 – pun 100% intended! Marvel, on the other hand, went from 80% to 30%. And, when typing this, I noticed something just now…did you?  Marvel lost 50% and DC gained 50%.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Discussing Who Episode 37

 

Leave Your Thoughts!