October 2013 finds DC Entertainment once again on top with 31.02% of the market share (in retail dollars), but Marvel is hard on its tail with 30.47%. Measuring by units, Marvel is number one, with 33.63% of the market to DC’s 33.15%. Diamond Comics Distributors notes that Image comics, in third place, claimed about 10% of the market in October. This success is largely due The Walking Dead #115, which was the top-selling comic of the month, and the third instalment of the Walking Dead novel series, The Fall of the Governor: Part One. The first TPB of Greg Rucka and Michael Lark’s Lazarus was the eighth best selling graphic novel of the month, with volumes 1 and 2 of Saga falling to numbers 9 and 10, respectively. It is worth noting that the two Saga collections are the only graphic novels to feature on both September’s and October’s lists.
Like last month, DC shipped the most new comic titles (100 to Marvel’s 78). While Marvel’s 35 new graphic novels trumped DC’s 29, they still fall behind on overall product numbers. IDW was third for new products shipped, a total of 77 – only one ahead of Image’s 76. Dark Horse falls behind with a total of only 56.
Overall sales in comics saw an increase of only 0.30% over September, despite a decrease of 0.57% in units. Graphic novel sales jumped by about 16% from September. DC’s Batman and Joker: Death of the Family hardcovers ranked first and third, respectively, in graphic novel sales. Batman, as usual, was DC’s cash-cow for the month, with Batman: The Court of Owls ranking seventh. At number two, the Avengers: Endless Wartime hardcover was Marvel’s only entry on the list. While no graphic novels from Dark Horse ranked in September, it took the fifth and sixth spots on October’s list, with Avatar: The Last Airbender: Volume 6 and Hellboy: Midnight Circus respectively. IDW did not make the list this month.
Behind The Walking Dead #115, DC again dominates the list of highest selling comics of the month. Batman #24 was the second-highest selling, and coming from DC’s Villains Month, Forever Evil #2 placed fourth. Justice League #24 and Superman/Wonder Woman #1 took sixth and seventh places on the list. DC imprint Vertigo also released the highly-anticipated The Sandman: Overture #1, which placed eighth for the month, but its sales are likely higher than reported due to retailer returnability. Marvel’s Infinity event continued to perform well, with #4 in third place and #5 in fifth. Superior Spider-Man is Marvel’s other strong performer, with issue 20 in ninth place and issue 19 rounding out the list at number ten.
Even after “Villains Month,” DC sold the most comics in October 2013, but not many more than Marvel did. Regular performers like Batman, Superman, and the Justice League keep individual DC titles in the top 10, with Marvel’s only apparent comparable commodity, other than event titles, being Spider-Man, if September and October are any indication. Maybe the upcoming Inhumanity event will be what Marvel needs to push ahead in coming months. Image Comics’ relative success this month is reassuring for all third party companies, unsurprising perhaps with names like Greg Rucka and Brian K Vaughan publishing series at Image. Hopefully we’ll continue to see good numbers from third party companies, as success at Marvel and DC is basically a given.