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Diamond Announces 2019's Top Comics, Graphic Novels, and Publisher

(HUNT VALLEY, MD) — (January 10, 2020) — DC the 80th anniversary of Batman's debut in Detective Comics #27 with its publication of Detective Comics #1000, the best-selling comic book published in 2019, based on total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture merchandise.

Featuring stories and artwork from creators such as Brian Michael Bendis, Geoff Johns, Paul Dini, Denny O'Neil, Scott Snyder, Neal Adams, Greg Capullo, and more, this oversized issue presented the best in Batman stories, spanning past, present, and future.

Annual comic book sales in the comic book specialty market increased in 2019 by nearly 4% over 2018 while graphic novel sales declined by 2%, for an overall increase in print over the previous year by 2.23%.

Marvel Comics was 2019's top publisher in the comic book specialty market, with a 40.20% dollar market share and a 44.72% unit share. Marvel Comics' top comic book for the year, Jonathan Hickman and Leinil Francis Yu's X-Men #1, ranked #3. Overall, Marvel had seven titles in the top ten comics of the year, including Black Cat #1 at #4; Absolute Carnage #1, the first issue of Marvel Comics' winter event, at #6; Marvel Comics #1000, a special issue celebrating the 80th anniversary of the publication of Marvel Comics #1 in 1939, at #7; Hickman and Pepe Larraz's House of X #1, beginning Marvel's X-Men relaunch, at #8; Powers of X #1 at #9; and War of the Realms #1 at #10.

DC was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2019 with a 29.29% dollar market share and a 30.74% unit market share. DC had two of the year’s top ten comics; in addition to Detective Comics #1000, DCeased #1 ranked #5 for the year. On the graphic novels chart, DC charted five titles; thanks to interest from HBO's acclaimed adaptation, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen returned the top of the year's sales charts. Also among the top graphic novels were Tom King and Mitch Gerards' award-winning Mister Miracle at #5, Sean Gordon Murphy's Batman: White Knight at #7, Alan Moore and Brian Bolland's Batman: The Killing Joke at #9, and Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo's Black Label title Batman: Damned at #10.

Image Comics was the year's third largest comic book publisher with an 8.04% dollar market share and a 7.69% unit market share. Todd McFarlane's Spawn #300, featuring contributions from Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Jason Shawn Alexander, J. Scott Campbell, and Jerome Opeña, was the year's #2 comic book. Image Comics had four of the year's top ten best-selling graphic novels, led by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga Volume 1 at #2, followed by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda's Monstress Volume 1 at #4, Kieron Gillen and Stephanie Hans' Die Volume 1: Fantasy Heartbreaker at #6 and Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead Volume 31 at #7.

IDW Publishing was the year's fourth largest publisher with a dollar market share of 3.55% and 3.29%. Their top ranked comic book for the year was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100 which ranked #66 for the year.

With a dollar market share of 3.19% and a unit share of 2.33%, Dark Horse Comics was the year's fifth ranked publisher. Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's Umbrella Academy Volume 1: The Apocalypse Suite, adapted to television by Netflix in 2019, was their best-selling graphic novel at #3.

BOOM! Studios was the sixth ranked publisher at 2.56%, and Dynamite Entertainment was seventh at 2.16%. Viz Media, Oni Press, and Titan Comics rounded out the top ten comic book publishers for 2019.

2019 TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 40.30%
DC COMICS 29.23%
IMAGE COMICS 8.04%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.55%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.19%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.56%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 2.17%
VIZ MEDIA 1.44%
ONI PRESS 0.61%
TITAN COMICS 0.60%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.31%
 
UNIT MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 44.72%
DC COMICS 30.74%
IMAGE COMICS 7.69%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.29%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.42%
DARK HORSE COMICS 2.33%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 1.88%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT 0.55%
VIZ MEDIA 0.55%
ARCHIE COMICS 0.54%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 5.30%

2019 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 DETECTIVE COMICS #1000 $9.99 JAN190542-M DC
2 SPAWN #300 $7.99 JUN190014-M IMAGE COMICS
3 X-MEN #1 $4.99 AUG190845-M MARVEL COMICS
4 BLACK CAT #1 $4.99 APR190773-M MARVEL COMICS
5 DCEASED #1 $3.99 MAR190464-M DC
6 ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #1 $7.99 JUN190761-M MARVEL COMICS
7 MARVEL COMICS #1000 $9.99 JUN190842-M MARVEL COMICS
8 HOUSE OF X #1 $5.99 MAY190690-M MARVEL COMICS
9 POWERS OF X #1 $5.99 MAY190703-M MARVEL COMICS
10 WAR OF REALMS #1 $5.99 JAN190870-M MARVEL COMICS

2019 TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 WATCHMEN TP $24.99 JUN190614-M DC
2 SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR) $9.99 AUG120491 IMAGE COMICS
3 UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 1: APOCALYPSE SUITE TP $17.99 SEP108136 DARK HORSE COMICS
4 MONSTRESS VOLUME 1 TP (MR) $9.99 APR160803-M IMAGE COMICS
5 MISTER MIRACLE TP (MR) $24.99 OCT180598 DC
6 DIE VOL. 1: FANTASY HEARTBREAKER TP (MR) $9.99 MAR190080-M IMAGE COMICS
7 BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT TP $19.99 JUL180733 DC
8 THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 31 TP (MR) $16.99 JAN190186 IMAGE COMICS
9 BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE HC $17.99 JUN190574 DC
10 BATMAN: DAMNED HC (MR) $29.99 MAR190571 DC

 

Dollar Market Shares for Year 2019
Dollar Market Share – 2019
Unit Market Shares for Year 2019
Unit Market Share – 2019

 

Data for Diamond’s sales charts — which includes the market shares and all top product charts — are compiled by Diamond Comic Distributors from sales made to thousands of comic book specialty shops located in North America and around the world.  Additional sales made to online merchants and other specialty retailers may be included as well.

Unit and dollar market shares are calculated based upon orders for comic books, graphic novels, and magazines invoiced and shipped to Diamond customers during 2019, which comprises pre-orders, advance reorders, and reorders, minus any copies that are received back from a title marked as returnable.  The category tables in this press release are ranked by units sold by Diamond to its accounts for the comic books and graphic novels categories.

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