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Marvel Comics top publisher; Image Comics' The Walking Dead #115 was the year's top comic

(BALTIMORE, MD) — (January 8, 2014) — Image Comics' The Walking Dead #115 was the best-selling comic book published in 2013 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.

Written by creator Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard, The Walking Dead #115 celebrated the zombie series' 10th-anniversary and kicked off the "All-Out War" storyline with twelve different covers, ten of which interlocked to create one large image.

Demonstrating the strength of the comic book specialty market, comics and graphic novels had another strong year, with 2013's annual sales increasing 9.04% over the previous year, as comic book sales were up 10.22%, while graphic novel sales were up by 6.5%.

Marvel Comics finished the year as the comic book specialty market’s top publisher, leading both Dollar and Unit Market Shares, with a 33.50% Dollar Market Share and a 36.97% Unit Market Share.  Marvel Comics had six titles in the top ten, led by Guardians of the Galaxy #1 in the third spot.

DC Entertainment was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2013 with a 30.33% Dollar Market Share and a 33.35% Unit Market Share. DC Entertainment published three of the year's top ten comic books and thirteen of the top twenty, with Justice League of America #1 charting as 2013’s second best-selling comic book title.

The first volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' Saga from Image Comics was the year's top-selling graphic novel and helped propel Image Comics to be the third largest comic book publisher, with a with a 8.00% Dollar Market Share and a 8.49% Unit Market Share. A science-fiction epic of love and family in a time of interstellar war, Saga received the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story from the wider science-fiction community in September. Image Comics had seven of the top ten graphic novels, including five volumes of Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead.

IDW Publishing's mix of licensed comic books, creator-owned titles and groundbreaking art books fortified the company as the comic book specialty market’s fourth largest publisher. The company's market share rose .90% in 2013, up to 6.47% dollar market share. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Volume 1, based on the fan-favorite animated series, was IDW’s top-selling graphic novel for the year.

Dark Horse Comics was the fifth leading comic book publisher to the comic book specialty market in 2013 with a 5.17% retail dollar market share, gaining .36% over its 2012 total. Coupled with the year's top-selling book, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse solidified its position as a top seller in both the comic book specialty and book markets worldwide.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER DOLLAR
SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 33.50%
DC COMICS 30.33%
IMAGE COMICS 8.00%
IDW PUBLISHING 6.47%
DARK HORSE COMICS 5.17%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 2.72%
BOOM! STUDIOS 1.99%
EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS 1.25%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT 0.98%
AVATAR PRESS 0.89%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 8.70%
 
PUBLISHER UNIT
SHARE
MARVEL COMICS 36.97%
DC COMICS 33.35%
IMAGE COMICS 8.49%
IDW PUBLISHING 5.10%
DARK HORSE COMICS 4.50%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT 2.59%
BOOM! STUDIOS 1.92%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT 1.06%
ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC 0.76%
AVATAR PRESS 0.74%
OTHER NON-TOP 10 4.52%

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 THE WALKING DEAD #115 (MR) $2.99 AUG130518-M IMA
2 JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1 $3.99 DEC120237-M DC
3 SUPERMAN UNCHAINED #1 $4.99 APR130107-M DC
4 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 $3.99 JAN130642-M MAR
5 SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1 $3.99 FEB138598-M MAR
6 INFINITY #1 $4.99 JUL138068-M MAR
7 X-MEN #1 $3.99 FEB130497-M MAR
8 AGE OF ULTRON #1 $3.99 JAN130627-M MAR
9 UNCANNY X-MEN #1 $3.99 DEC120608-M MAR
10 SUPERMAN UNCHAINED #2 $3.99 MAY130128-M DC

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS AND TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK DESCRIPTION PRICE ITEM CODE VENDOR
1 SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR) $9.99 AUG120491 IMA
2 THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 1: DAYS GONE BYE TP $14.99 NOV128157 IMA
3 SAGA VOLUME 2 TP (MR) $14.99 APR130443 IMA
4 THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 18: WHAT COMES AFTER TP $14.99 APR130482 IMA
5 THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 2: MILES BEHIND US TP $14.99 SEP088204 IMA
6 THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 19: MARCH TO WAR TP $14.99 SEP130566 IMA
7 HAWKEYE VOLUME 1: MY LIFE AS WEAPON TP $16.99 DEC120744 MAR
8 BATMAN VOLUME 1: THE COURT OF OWLS TP $16.99 DEC120323 DC
9 BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL EDITION HC $17.99 NOV070226 DC
10 THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 3: SAFETY BEHIND BARS TP $14.99 NOV082245 IMA
Dollar Market Shares for 2013
Dollar Market Share – 2013
Unit Market Shares for 2013
Unit Market Share – 2013

How does Diamond calculate the charts? It all starts at the comic book shop.

Data for Diamond’s sales charts — which include the monthly market shares and all top product charts — are compiled by Diamond Comic Distributors from a universe of over 3,500 comic book specialty shops located in North America and around the world. The account base includes brick-and-mortar comic book specialty shops, Internet merchants, and other specialty stores.

Unit and dollars sales are calculated based upon orders invoiced and shipped to Diamond accounts during January to December 2013, 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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ABOUT DIAMOND COMIC DISTRIBUTORS (DCD)—Diamond is at the nexus of comics and pop culture merchandise. Based in Baltimore, MD, DCD is the world's largest distributor of English-language comic books and pop-culture related merchandise, servicing more than 4,000 specialty retailers worldwide. For more information, visit Diamond on the web at www.diamondcomics.com.

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