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(BALTIMORE, MD) — (January 8, 2013) — Image Comics' The Walking Dead #100 was the bestselling comic book published in 2012 based on total unit sales to comic book specialty shops, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture merchandise.

Published in July, The Walking Dead #100 from Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn saw a shocking turn of events in the long-running zombie apocalypse series and featured covers from all-star creators including Bryan Hitch, Todd McFarlane, Ryan Ottley, Sean Phillips, Frank Quitely, and Marc Silvestri.

Marvel Comics finished the year as the comic book industry’s top publisher, leading both Dollar and Unit Market Shares, with a 34.06% Dollar Market Share and a 37.59% Unit Market Share. DC Entertainment was the industry’s number two publisher in 2012 with a 31.94% Dollar Market Share and a 36.75% Unit Market Share.

Total annual sales of comic books and graphic novels to the comic book specialty market increased strongly in 2012, with comic book sales up nearly 15% and graphic novel sales up over 14% from the previous year. 

"2012 was a terrific year for comic books and graphic novels," remarked Diamond CEO Steve Geppi. "Our publishers did a tremendous job of creating compelling storylines that comic book fans wanted to see – from Marvel's Avengers vs. X-Men followed by its Marvel NOW! titles later in the year to DC's powerful New 52 ongoing titles. Add in Dark Horse Comics' horror line-up, IDW's My Little Pony and Image Comics' creator-driven hits and it was quite a year. In addition, I would like to mention what a wonderful job comic shop retailers did in 2012, by continuing to establish a great environment that readers and fans want to come and visit."

Marvel Comics published nine of the year's top ten comic titles and seventeen of the top twenty. The publisher's top titles for 2012 included October's Uncanny Avengers #1 from Rick Remender and John Cassaday which debuted a combined team of Avengers and X-Men to combat the world's greatest threats, followed by March's Avengers Vs. X-Men #1 from Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita, Jr. which saw the two teams contend over the fate of Hope, the mutant messiah, with the fate of the Earth in the balance.

For the third year in a row, Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye from Image Comics was the year's best-selling trade paperback to comic book specialty shops, its strong sales fueled by the hit television series on AMC. Overall, Image Comics’ The Walking Dead took six of the top ten spots, and all seventeen volumes of the series ranked among the top 30.  Also among the year's best-selling graphic novels were DC Entertainment' Batman: Earth One original graphic novel from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank and Top Shelf Productions’ League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century: 2009 from Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

RETAIL MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 34.06%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 31.94%
IMAGE COMICS 7.31%
IDW PUBLISHING 5.57%
DARK HORSE COMICS 4.81%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 3.11%
BOOM! STUDIOS 1.53%
EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS LTD 1.15%
VIZ MEDIA 0.93%
AVATAR PRESS INC 0.89%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.70%
 
UNIT MARKET SHARE
PUBLISHER SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 37.59%
DC ENTERTAINMENT 36.75%
IMAGE COMICS 6.60%
IDW PUBLISHING 4.36%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.80%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 3.00%
BOOM! STUDIOS 1.53%
ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC 0.74%
AVATAR PRESS INC 0.73%
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS 0.69%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 4.22%

COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

  DOLLARS UNITS
YEAR 2012 VS. YEAR 2011
COMICS 14.94% 11.41%
GRAPHIC NOVELS 14.26% 13.66%
TOTAL COMICS/GN 14.72% 11.58%

TOP 10 COMICS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 WALKING DEAD #100 (MR) $3.99 JUN128066-M IMA
2 UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 $3.99 AUG120550-M MAR
3 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #1 $3.99 JAN120629-M MAR
4 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 $7.99 OCT120626-M MAR
5 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #2 $3.99 JAN128269-M MAR
6 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #6 $3.99 APR120579-M MAR
7 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5 $3.99 APR120572-M MAR
8 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #3 $3.99 JAN128271-M MAR
9 AVENGERS VS X-MEN #4 $3.99 JAN128273-M MAR
10 AVENGERS #1 $3.99 SEP120526-M MAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 01 DAYS GONE BYE $9.99 JUL068351 IMA
2 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 02 MILES BEHIND US (MR) $14.99 SEP088204-M IMA
3 BATMAN EARTH ONE HC $22.99 MAR120234 DC 
4 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 16 A LARGER WORLD (MR) $14.99 APR120487 IMA
5 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 03 SAFETY BEHIND BARS $14.99 NOV082245 IMA
6 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 17 SOMETHING TO FEAR (MR) $14.99 SEP120449 IMA
7 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 04 HEARTS DESIRE $14.99 SEP088205-M IMA
8 BATMAN HC VOL 01 THE COURT OF OWLS (N52) $24.99 JAN120300 DC 
9 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 15 WE FIND OURSELVES (MR) $14.99 OCT110502 IMA
10 LOEG III CENTURY #3 2009 (MR) $9.95 APR121232 TOP

 

Dollar Market Shares for Year 2012
Dollar Market Share – Year 2012
Unit Market Shares for Year 2012
Unit Market Share– Year 2012

This information may not be reprinted, reproduced or copied in any format without the express permission of Diamond Comic Distributors.

Unit and dollars sales are calculated based upon orders invoiced and shipped to Diamond accounts during January to December 2012, which comprises initial pre-orders, advance reorders, and reorders, minus any copies that are received back from a title marked as returnable.

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