Remember When The Walking Dead #100 Was The Best Selling Comic Of The Past 15 Years? [Comic Book Sales]

July 2012 Comic Book Sales Figures

I know I missed June and I’m a little late this time but the July 2012 comic book sales figures are perhaps one of the most significant as The Walking Dead #100, a non-Marvel or DC book, shipped more comics than any other comic has in the last 15 years.

While The Walking Dead is hardly the first example of an independent/creator-owned comic book series turned into mainstream success (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, 30 Days Of Night, Spawn, The Crow, Hellboy, Kick-Ass, the list goes on…) it’s ability to perform at the highest levels to both comic book and non-comic book readers, at the same time, makes it one of a kind.

In February 2012 it set the record for the highest ratings for a basic cable, non-sports program. During the same night that the Grammy Awards broke a record of their own (Dang).

And in the same year it breaks a comic book record by shipping more comics in one month than any other title since Darkness #11 in December 1997. During the same month that Marvel and DC are pushing their best selling work for the year; The Walking Dead nearly doubled Marvel’s best title and more than doubled DC’s.

It’s a rare thing. And couldn’t have happened without the success of the TV show, a shocking event in the story, and multiple (and I do mean multiple) variant covers. But it did happened. And it’s darn impressive.

What does it mean for comics? Well, it helped make this an even better year as July 2012 sales were up 22% over July 2011, hopefully it’s putting more eyeballs from the TV fans onto the comics, and it cut into the Market Share usually dominated by the big 2. Everything will probably settle a bit next month but watching comic book history is always fun to watch and those guys at Warner Bros. and Disney could always use a nice motivator.

More notes…

  • Avengers Vs X-Men is still the big summer event to beat and it doesn’t seem to have much competition. Batman continues to beat out Justice League at DC but neither are close. Things should get interesting though when the Joker returns in October just as things at Marvel are winding down, could see some swapping.
  • The first Before Watchmen books started hot but seem to be cooling down; in just one month’s time the first three dropped by an average of 38%. Granted, they probably won’t move much after this and much like the real Watchmen I’m sure DC is just as anxious, if not more, for the sales of the collected editions.
  • Hit-Girl dropped by 25% from issue #1 to #2, about average, and landed above the 45,000 mark. This is above books like Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Saga, and Avengers Assemble. Say what you will about Mark Millar but the guy sells comics.
  • Captain Marvel’s relaunch finished lower than expected I believe, and by the next issue it’ll probably be below 40,000. Not bad (especially when Daredevil, Captain America, and Incredible Hulk are all selling below that) but still, I expected a bit more.
  • A Fantastic Four Annual?! Sweet! Oh wait, Hickman didn’t write it? Um…I’ll get it later. — What did we learn from the Batman Annual? If Hickman’s name was on the cover (even as a co-writer) sales would have improved. I’m one of the people that skipped it. For that reason. I’m sorry. Love Alan Davis. LOVE Hickamn’s stuff right now.
  • DC Comics titles in the danger zone: G.I. Combat, Grifter, The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man and Frankenstein Agent of SHADE.

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Top 100 Comic Sales In July 2012

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

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1 Comment

  1. Michael says:

    Something really impressive about Walking Dead’s staying power is that I think we are already in the decline portion of the zombie fad. It’s a testament to Kirkman that he was able to reinvent the series this far in and keep it about the survivors. That’s the truck some people miss: It’s about people not zombies.


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