Sales Charts

Comic Book Sales Charts & Analysis

Initial reports provided by Heroes World Distribution and Diamond Comic Distributors
Calculations by John Jackson Miller

• Track PUBLISHER MARKET SHARES from 1998-present!
• Check out our YEAR IN REVIEW articles, now on each year’s title page!

The Standard Catalog of Comic BooksLooking for information on comics sales? Here are the links to the comic-book sales data and analysis Comics Buyer’s Guide has posted on CBGXtra, as compiled by John Jackson Miller, organizer of the world’s largest collection of comic-book circulation data, found both in The Standard Catalog of Comic Books (depicted at left) and at his academic research website.

Every month for the last few years, Diamond Comic Distributors, the leading distributor to comics shops in North America and Great Britain, has published a Top 300 list ranking new comic books by the number of retailer orders it has received. Diamond does not publish its exact figures, but rather a number for each issue indicating how that issue’s sales compare to that month’s Batman, Diamond’s benchmark title.

But that information is enough to unlock an estimate for the pre-orders for every comic book on Diamond’s list — if you’ve got some of the actual orders that Diamond placed with publishers that month to refer to. Since 1996, Comics & Games Retailer, a sister publication to CBG, has led the field in obtaining actual orders for a large fraction of titles appearing on Diamond’s monthly list, and then applying them to the list to estimating the rest of the Diamond titles’ orders from them.

After January 2003, all Diamond reports were of the final sales that month; removing from the list orders for comics that did not actually ship. Prior to February 2003, all figures were pre-orders, meaning that actual final orders were higher.

We have a high level of confidence in the reliability of these figures, given the large sample of actual title sales we use to estimate for the population. While many have fashioned their own estimates of Diamond’s pre-orders from years past, some have tended to use only a few (or even one) title to form their estimates. CBG estimates are generated such that the margin of error is generally less than 2% — and usually far less.

Our reports from 1996 and early 1997 include data from two distributors. Until April 1997, Marvel Comics were exclusively distributed by Heroes World Distribution. Data from Heroes World has been integrated with the Diamond data in our charts for that period to provide a more complete picture. Read more about that process here.

The CBG Standard Catalog of Comic Books includes almost all the data we’ve compiled from Diamond’s monthly charts from September 1996 to present, sorted by individual comic book. Our aggregate annual analysis and parent pages for individual years can be found here:

2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996

Updated charts for many months can also be found online by following the links below:

Combined HEROES WORLD and DIAMOND PREORDER ESTIMATES

September 1996 | October 1996 | November 1996 | December 1996 | January 1997 | February 1997 | March 1997

DIAMOND PREORDER ESTIMATES

April 1997 | May 1997 | June 1997 | July 1997 | August 1997 | September 1997 | October 1997 | November 1997 | December 1997 | January 1998

DIAMOND PREORDER ESTIMATES

Including lists for the Top 10 TPBs and other books:

February 1998 | March 1998

DIAMOND PREORDER ESTIMATES

Including lists for the Top 25 TPBs:

1998
April 1998 | May 1998 | June 1998 | July 1998 | August 1998 | September 1998 | October 1998 | November 1998 | December 1998

1999
January 1999 | February 1999 | March 1999 | April 1999 | May 1999 | June 1999 | July 1999 | August 1999 | September 1999 | October 1999 | November 1999 | December 1999

2000
January 2000 | February 2000 | March 2000 | April 2000 | May 2000 | June 2000 | July 2000 | August 2000 | September 2000 | October 2000 | November 2000 | December 2000

2001
January 2001 | February 2001 | March 2001 | April 2001 | May 2001 | June 2001 | July 2001 | August 2001 | September 2001 | October 2001 | November 2001 | December 2001

2002
January 2002 | February 2002

DIAMOND PREORDER ESTIMATES

Including lists for the Top 50 TPBs:

March 2002 | April 2002 | May 2002 | June 2002 | July 2002 | August 2002 | September 2002 | October 2002 | November 2002 | December 2002 | January 2003

DIAMOND FINAL ORDER ESTIMATES

Including lists for the Top 50 TPBs:

February 2003 | March 2003 | April 2003 | May 2003 | June 2003 | July 2003 | August 2003 | September 2003 | October 2003 | November 2003 | December 2003 | January 2004

DIAMOND FINAL ORDER ESTIMATES

Including lists for the Top 100 TPBs:

2004
February 2004 | March 2004 | April 2004 | May 2004 | June 2004 | July 2004 | August 2004 | September 2004 | October 2004 | November 2004 | December 2004

2005
January 2005 | February 2005 | March 2005 | April 2005 | May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005

2006
January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | June 2006 | July 2006 | August 2006 | September 2006 | October 2006 | November 2006 | December 2006

2007
January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | April 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | August 2007 | September 2007 | October 2007 | November 2007 | December 2007

2008
January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | May 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | August 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | November 2008 | December 2008

2009
January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | April 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009

2010
January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010

You will notice that the content of these charts changes over time. Diamond from time to time has increased the number of items it lists, going from listing no indexed trade paperbacks to listing the top 25 — then 50, then 100, and finally 300.

A note about some of the codes listed with specific issues:

(O/A) means that the comic book already had made Diamond’s charts in the past, and was being Offered Again. The Offered Again sales are thus copies in addition to the initial sales. In later reports Diamond ceased to include this abbreviation.

(Res) stands for Resolicitation, which means that the comic book previously preorders had all its orders canceled. Thus, in the period where Diamond was reporting preorders, you may see the same issue listed twice (or even more often), with later listings indicating a resolicitation. Only the last number to appear is the actual order count; the earlier preorders do not count and were never filled. The resolicitation number is usually lower than the earlier preorder total was; retailers usually penalize publishers for failing to ship a book as promised by ordering fewer the next time it’s offered.

Our news reports, detailing the overall picture, for the following months can be found online here:

June 2005 | July 2005 | August 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006

Beginning in June 2006, the news reports are in the files with the sales charts, above.

Comments are closed.