Thanks to the statistics delivered by Diamond Comic Distributors, here’s the top ten comic books based on sales:
As you can see, it’s a near clean sweep for Marvel in the single issue stakes, with Image’s Walking Dead the only non-Marvel title. What interests me most however is the comparison to the top ten graphic novels or trade paperbacks of 2014:
In this market, Image have nine out of the 10 most popular titles. Now you’d think that if Marvel had the single issue market popularity nailed down, then you’d assume a lot of that would translate to trade paperback sales. Instead, Image have cleaned the floor and my best guess is story quality.
Marvel are great at generating hype around new story arcs, new titles and other events, which pumps up single issue sales at the time. It appears this doesn’t translate to long-term interest as far as the audience wanting to own the issues collected together. On the other hand it appears the Image titles like Saga, Sex Criminals and The Walking Dead have got their hooks well and truly into readers, who seem to be providing word of mouth advertising that’s selling the reprints.
That’s my theory on it: what’s your take?