Dang Those Numbers Look Good [Comic Book Sales]

May 2012 Comic Book Sales Figures

The numbers in the May 2012 comic book sales figures are doing something they don’t usually do, going up. Compared to May 2012 comic sales are up an unprecedented 45%.

Now, it’s worth noting that this May had 5 shipping weeks and May 2011 had only 4 (accounting for a good chunk of that 45% year-over-year increase) but still, the momentum is more than worth mentioning. Last May not one comic had over 100,000 estimated orders, despite the big two pushing their summer events (Fear Itself and Flashpoint), this year 5 titles were over the 100,000 mark. And perhaps the most incredible takeaway from this month…

13 of the top 25 comics posted increases in circulation from last month.

Avengers Vs X-Men and the Bat-event Night of the Owls played into almost every one of those 13 bumps, driving home my point about events from last month even more, but the fact remains – people are buying more comics now than they were a year ago. Given all the worried from last year, including the big year digital had, this is very welcoming news.

More notes…

  • Recently I asked, Do The Prices Of Monthly Comics Really Matter, and I brought up the concept of $4.99 comics and the surprising number of fans who would probably pay it, then Batman Annual #1 came out, and almost everyone bought it (present company included). For arguments sake it was a Night of the Owls tie-in and it was Scott Snyder (kinda) but still, that’s a pretty big statement. The sales for the Batman Annual were 77% of the actual Batman title.
  • …”But the other annual’s didn’t perform so well.” Actually, they did. When compared to their monthly title they actually performed better than the Batman one. The sales for Teen Titans Annual #1 were 88% of the actual Teen Titans title, Animal Man Annual #1 was 89% of the actual Animal Man title. So nearly all of the regular monthly readers of each title picked up the annual.
  • …I’m not saying we’ll see another spike in comics anytime soon, just that a lot of us paid $4.99 for a monthly comic.
  • While it’s hard to believe the rumor that Walking Dead #100 will be the best selling comic of the year, and one of the most interesting of the last decade, it becomes more believable when you consider that Walking Dead #98 outsold the likes of Secret Avengers, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and Fantastic Four.
  • X-O Manowar #1 had a pretty good outing for the return of Valiant Comics Entertainment. Compared to Saga #1’s 37,641 estimated sales, what is sure to be a darling amongst independent/non-Marvel or DC books for the year, it’s 42,708 number is solid. It will be interesting to see if people stick around for #2 or how the rest of the Valiant titles perform.
  • Speaking of…Saga #3 proves the title is doing juuuust fine. While a 3% climb from issue #1 to issue #3 doesn’t seem like much it’s still a rare thing.
  • Say what you want about the TV adaption/continuation but Smallville Season 11 #1 performed better than one might image; for $3.99 it sold better than Green Arrow, Journey Into Mystery, and Punisher.
  • Grifter, DC Universe Presents, I, Vampire, Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E., and Savage Hawkman all gotta be on the hot seat for the next round of cancellations from DC. My guess is we don’t hear/see another round of cancellations till the fourth quarter at the earliest but these titles are performing around that area. Which is too bad too really as these are some that I had the highest hopes for.
  • My favorite title to finish outside the top 100, Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra.

May 2012 Comic Book Sales Figures

More from ICv2 showing the estimated sales for the top 300 comics during May 2012 HERE.

More Sales Talk @ acomicbookblog.com/tag/comic-book-sales



  1. Parsley Sage says:

    Yay for new Marvel and DC titles :)

  2. jamie insalaco says:

    Hi John,

    I’m not surprised Walking Dead #98 outsold Secret Avengers or Captain America – Secret Avengers has been sliding down hill for well over a year now and both Captain America titles are pretty terrible (we don’t need two Cap books…), and with Brubaker walking away, it’s probably not going to get better any time soon.


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