Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shrink Wrap

The big news in Diamond Comic Distributors’ year-end data for 2008, it seems, is that while Marvel Comics, Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing all managed to increase their market share versus 2007, DC Comics and Image Comics both suffered losses.

None of that comes a surprise. Dark Horse continued to score with strong performers like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy, Serenity and The Umbrella Academy, and IDW had its own hit with the Buffy spin-off titles Angel: After the Fall and Spike: After the Fall. And Marvel, of course, steamrollered the competition with books like Hulk, Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man and, above all, Secret Invasion.

DC dominates the Graphic Novel Top 10, meanwhile, where, profiting from related Hollywood films, the standalone books Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke and Joker took the top three spots for the year. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns also made the chart, as did two volumes of Vertigo’s Y: The Last Man and the latest volume of Fables, another Vertigo title. The chart is rounded off by two Image volumes, The Walking Dead Vol. 8: Made to Suffer and Wanted, and a Buffy volume released by Dark Horse. No Marvel books are among the Top 10 Graphic Novels.

The reason why DC’s market share still went down, of course, is that their big periodical blockbuster Final Crisis couldn’t hold a candle against Secret Invasion: The debut issue of Final Crisis is the only issue that makes the list of the Top 10 periodical bestsellers of 2008, charting at No. 9. The rest of the chart is filled out by Secret Invasion issues #1 through #8 and Uncanny X-Men #500, another Marvel comic.

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