January 29, 2014

Fun with Stats: Comic Book Sales in 2013

Since we're into January, and since I review the comics I buy on a weekly basis, I figured it might be worth having a look back at 2013 and see how the US comic book industry went. To do this I've assembled all of the sales data of single issues from Diamond Distribution - who pretty much have the monopoly on comic book distribution to the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK.

In terms of raw numbers, 10 titles managed to shift more than one million units in 2013. These were:
  1. Superior Spider-Man (2.28m)
  2. Avengers (1.65m)
  3. Batman (1.47m)
  4. All-New X-Men (1.31m)
  5. Uncanny X-Men (1.22m)
  6. The Walking Dead (1.18m)
  7. Age of Ultron (1.16m)
  8. Justice League (1.12m)
  9. Justice League of America (1.05m)
  10. Uncanny Avengers (1.02m)
In terms of single issues, however, the 10 best-selling books were:
  1. The Walking Dead #115 (310,584)
  2. Justice League of America #1 (307,734)
  3. Superman Unchained #1 (251,456)
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (211,312)
  5. Infinity #1 (205,819)
  6. Superior Spider-Man #1 (188,182)
  7. X-Men #1 (177,633)
  8. Uncanny X-Men #1 (177,463)
  9. Age of Ultron #1 (174,952)
  10. Superman Unchained #2 (165,754)
Much of the sales of these titles can be put down to the frighteningly excessive number of variant covers published in 2013 (Justice League of America, for example, had one variant cover for each US state and territory).

Perhaps a better way to measure the best-selling books of the year is to take the average sales of all issues throughout the year. Due to the huge spikes seen in first issues, I've removed them from the averages below. So ignoring multiple covers and sales stunts, the most popular comic books would seem to be:
  1. Batman (122,727)
  2. Infinity (113,826)
  3. Superman Unchained (102,868)
  4. Justice League (93,333)
  5. Age of Ultron (89,349)
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy (88,184)
  7. The Walking Dead (84,589)
  8. Superior Spider-Man (82,743)
  9. Avengers (75,774)
  10. Uncanny X-Men (74,375)
That's very "big two" centric: let's cut Marvel and DC out of the equation and see what else was selling.
  1. The Walking Dead (84,589)
  2. The Star Wars (56,165)
  3. Jupiter's Legacy (45,992)
  4. Saga (40,752)
  5. Star Wars (40,451)
  6. East of West (36,883)
  7. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (27,608)
  8. Happy (26,641)
  9. Velvet (25,549)
  10. Hellboy in Hell (22,951)

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