Diamond Comics Distributors report that the top-selling comics publisher of September 2013 was DC Entertainment with 40.4% if the market’s dollar share. DC’s success could be attributed to its Villains Month, with crossovers and 3D variant covers stimulating some extra sales for the company. Marvel, unsurprisingly, placed second; the Infinity event and new Mighty Avengers title were some of the top sellers of the month. Image Comics took the third place, followed by IDW and Dark Horse. Comics sales rose significantly across the board in September, 32% up from August, with graphic novels sales at 12% higher than the previous month.
The top selling comics of the month were exclusively Marvel and DC, with Forever Evil #1 and Infinity #2 nabbing spots one and two, respectively. Batman is a stalwart for DC, 4 of his villains’ titles cracking the top 10, while Marvel’s entries are mainly Avengers titles (with one plucky X-Men title, the first issue of the Battle of the Atom event, taking the number 4 spot).
DC shipped the most new titles in September, which could also account for its high market share: 40.4% to Marvel’s 28.5%. While Marvel put out 32 graphic novels to DC’s 22, its 67 new titles shipped can’t compete with DC’s 129. Other publishers’ new title numbers fall far behind the big two, with Image shipping 39 new titles, IDW 32, and Dark Horse only 27.
That said, Image dominated graphic novel sales, with the first volume of Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s East of West in the number one spot, and the first and second volumes of Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga, and two collections from stalwart Walking Dead ranking in the top 10. Two volumes of DC’s Justice League placed 2nd and 6th on the list, and Marvel barely made the cut, with the first volume of Superior Spider-Man at number 10. IDW’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Vol 2 ranked 9th, ahead of Marvel’s only title, but no Dark Horse titles made the list.
With the nature of events and crossovers, it feels like fans of Marvel and DC have to buy comics weekly to stay on top of the sprawling universes, but self-contained third party comics lend themselves better to being read in collections. With the Infinity event at Marvel and the aforementioned DC Villains Month, keeping on top of these events would be especially important for regular readers.
In books, reliable franchises made up most of the top 10. The Star Wars: Jedi Academy was the best-selling title followed by Neil Gaiman’s Unfortunately, The Milk. DC Superheroes books made up most of the rest of list alongside appearances from Zelda and Doctor Who series.
September 2013 was a great month for DC Entertainment, despite the creative team of Batwoman leaving the title when their title character was denied marriage to her girlfriend. With “Villains Month” over and Infinity still raging on at Marvel, not to mention giant X-Men crossover Battle of the Atom, we’ll see if the tides turn in October.