Category Archives: Spotlight

Comic Sales Continue to Make Gains in November According to Diamond Comic Distributors

Things remained relatively steady when it comes to market share for publishers while comics as a whole continue to make gains on the year according to data released by Diamond Comic Distributors today.

Compared to the previous month, comics, graphic novels, and toys were down in both dollars and units with almost all dropping double digits.

Compared to the same time the previous year, things look much better. Comics and graphic novels both saw gains combining for a 4.3% increase in dollars and 2.98% in units. Individually they also saw gains. Toys were a bit mixed seeing a decrease of 1.3% in dollars but an increase in 15.09% in units compared to the previous year.

When it comes year to date, comics are up 4.1% in dollars but down 1.42% in units. Graphic novels are still down, 3.21% in dollars and 8.65% in units. The two combined are up 2.02% in dollars and down 1.96% in units. Toys are still seeing major gains up 19.15% in dollars and down 21.54% in units.

Marvel Comics was November’s top publisher, taking a 37.41% dollar market share (-2.10) and a 42.68% unit share (-2.52) DC was second, with a 30.72% dollar share (-0.95) and a 32.41% unit share (+0.39). Image Comics placed third with 7.90% in dollars (+0.31) and 7.87% in units (+0.69), followed by BOOM! Studios, IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics, and Dynamite Entertainment.

Marvel Comics had eight of November’s ten best-selling comics including the top selling comic, New Mutants #1. They had the top five comics for the month. Image Comics’ Undiscovered Country #1, the new series from Scott Snyder, Charles Soule, Giuseppe Camuncoli, and Daniele Orlandini, ranked #8. DC was also in the top ten; the “Year of the Villain” acetate cover edition of Tom King and Mikel Janin’s Batman #82 ranked #9.

Among the premier publishers’ top books for November, Matt Kindt and Matt Smith’s Folklords #1 from BOOM! Studios’ ranked #94; Dynamite Entertainment’s Vampirella #5 ranked #105; Hazel & Cha Cha Save Christmas: Tales from The Umbrella Academy, a spin-off from Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá’s The Umbrella Academy, from Dark Horse ranked #110; and IDW Publishing’s Sonic the Hedgehog #23 ranked #189.

The heroes of the DC universe wage a desperate war against a world corrupted by the Anti-Life Equation in Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine’s DCeased, November’s best-selling graphic novel, collecting the best-selling mini-series from DC and one of the publisher’s two books in the top ten, along with Frank Miller and John Romita, Jr.’s Superman: Year One at #5. BOOM! Studios’ Firefly: The Sting, an original graphic novel based on the television series, ranked #2. Marvel Comics had four titles in the top ten; The Immortal Hulk Volume 5: Breaker of Worlds, was the top book at #3. Image Comics’ November Volume 1 ranked #4. Dark Horse Comics had two titles in the top, led by The Legend of Korra Part 2: Ruins of Empire at #6.

Gemstone Publishing’s The Overstreet Price Guide to Batman, a guide to eighty years of comics and collectibles focused on the Dark Knight, was November’s best-selling book. Also of note, Dynamite Entertainment’s Vampirella: 50th Anniversary Poster Collection ranked #3 and Titan Comics’ The Philosophy of Deadpool ranked #4.

Mezco Toys’ One:12 Collective: Marvel Comics: Classic Cyclops Action Figure, a PREVIEWS exclusive, was November’s best-selling toy product. Diamond Select Toys had five products in the top ten, led by the Castlevania Gallery: Trevor Belmont PVC Figure, based on the Netflix animated series. DC Collectibles had three products in the top ten; the Dark Nights Metal: The Batman Who Laughs & Robins Deluxe Statue was their best-selling product at #6.

Paizo Publishing’s Starfinder RPG: Character Operations Manual, a sourcebook for the science-fiction role-playing game, was November’s best-selling game product and one of the seven Paizo products among the top ten.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHERDOLLARSHAREUNITSHARE
MARVEL COMICS37.41%42.68%
DC30.72%32.41%
IMAGE COMICS7.90%7.87%
BOOM! STUDIOS3.46%3.07%
IDW PUBLISHING3.42%3.04%
DARK HORSE COMICS3.38%2.37%
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT2.03%1.45%
VIZ MEDIA1.48%0.56%
TITAN COMICS0.70%0.50%
ONI PRESS INC.0.57%0.46%
OTHER NON-TOP 108.93%5.59%

 COMPARATIVE SALES STATISTICS

 DOLLARSUNITS
NOVEMBER 2019 VS. OCTOBER 2019
COMICS-28.87%-24.86%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-12.33%-14.39%
TOTAL COMICS/GN-24.86%-24.19%
TOYS-8.72%-13.86%
NOVEMBER 2019 VS. NOVEMBER 2018
COMICS3.12%2.91%
GRAPHIC NOVELS7.43%3.94%
TOTAL COMICS/GN4.30%2.98%
TOYS-1.30%15.09%
YEAR TO DATE 2019 VS. YEAR TO DATE 2018
COMICS4.10%-1.42%
GRAPHIC NOVELS-3.21%-8.65%
TOTAL COMICS/GN2.02%-1.96%
TOYS19.15%21.54%

NEW TITLES SHIPPED

PUBLISHERCOMICS SHIPPEDGRAPHIC NOVELS SHIPPEDMAGAZINES SHIPPEDTOTALSHIPPED
DC COMICS96310127
MARVEL COMICS84360120
IMAGE COMICS4015055
IDW PUBLISHING3614050
DARK HORSE COMICS2222044
BOOM! STUDIOS1915034
VIZ MEDIA LLC027027
DYNAMITE149023
TITAN COMICS87116
ONI PRESS INC.3407
OTHER NON-TOP 1015220024376
TOTAL47438025879

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1NEW MUTANTS #1$4.99SEP190749-MMAR
2X-MEN #2$3.99SEP190778-MMAR
3ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #5$4.99SEP190790-MMAR
4X-FORCE #1$4.99SEP190760-MMAR
5FALLEN ANGELS #1$4.99SEP190769-MMAR
6DEADPOOL #1$4.99SEP190835-MMAR
7AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #33$3.99SEP190814-MMAR
8UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #1 (MR) [*]$3.99SEP190027-MIMA
9BATMAN #82 ACETATE COVER$3.99AUG190599DC
10AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #34$3.99SEP190818-MMAR

 TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1NEW MUTANTS #1$4.99SEP190749-MMAR
2ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #5$4.99SEP190790-MMAR
3X-FORCE #1$4.99SEP190760-MMAR
4X-MEN #2$3.99SEP190778-MMAR
5DEADPOOL #1$4.99SEP190835-MMAR
6FALLEN ANGELS #1$4.99SEP190769-MMAR
7UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #1 (MR) [*]$3.99SEP190027-MIMA
8BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT PRESENTS: VON FREEZE #1$5.99SEP190437-MDC
9SCREAM: CURSE OF CARNAGE #1$4.99SEP190805-MMAR
10AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #33$3.99SEP190814-MMAR

TOP 10 TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1DCEASED HC$29.99AUG190650DC
2FIREFLY: THE STING HC$19.99JUL191306BOO
3IMMORTAL HULK VOL. 5: BREAKER OF WORLDS TP$15.99AUG191149MAR
4NOVEMBER VOL. 1 HC (MR)$16.99JUL190077IMA
5SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE HC$29.99AUG190687DC
6LEGEND OF KORRA PART 2: RUINS OF EMPIRE TP$10.99JUN190359DAR
7JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER: ALLEGIANCE TP$15.99SEP190991-MMAR
8LEAGUE OF LEGENDS: LUX TP$15.99JUL191064MAR
9SAVAGE AVENGERS VOL. 1: CITY OF SICKLES TP$15.99AUG191148MAR
10STRANGER THINGS: SIX TP$17.99JUL190353DAR

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN: THE ORIGINAL MARVEL YEARS OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC$125.00MAY190943-MMAR
2CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS BOX SET HC$500.00APR190537DC
3ABSOLUTE SWAMP THING BY ALAN MOORE VOL. 1 HC$99.99MAR190601DC
4DCEASED HC$29.99AUG190650DC
5DOOM PATROL: THE BRONZE AGE OMNIBUS HC$125.00APR190538DC
6SUPERMAN: YEAR ONE HC$29.99AUG190687DC
7FIREFLY: THE STING HC$19.99JUL191306BOO
8BATMAN BY SNYDER & CAPULLO OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC$125.00APR190526DC
9NEW TEEN TITANS OMNIBUS VOL. 4 HC$99.00APR190560DC
10MARVEL MASTERWORKS: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL. 31 HC$75.00MAY190945-MMAR

TOP 10 BOOKS BY UNITS SHIPPED

RANKDESCRIPTIONPRICEITEM CODEVENDOR
1THE OVERSTREET PRICE GUIDE TO BATMAN SC$30.00SEP191814GEM
2DRAGON BALL VISUAL HISTORY: THE ART OF AKIRA TORIYAMA HC$34.99AUG192435VIZ
3VAMPIRELLA 50TH ANNIVERSARY POSTER COLLECTION SC$24.99AUG191226DE
4THE PHILOSOPHY OF DEADPOOL HC (MR)$14.99MAR192035TTN
5OVERLORD LIGHT NOVEL VOLUME 11 HC$20.00JUL192435YEN
6SHIGENORI SOEJIMA & P-STUDIO ART UNIT ART WORKS 2 TP$39.99AUG192423UDO
7THE SHADOW DOUBLE NOVEL VOLUME 146 SC$14.95SEP191953SAN
8TRANSFORMERS VISUAL HISTORY HC$49.99SEP192219VIZ
9DC SUPER HERO GIRLS: WINNER TAKES ALL SC$6.99SEP191935RAN
10DRAGONS CROWN: OFFICIAL ARTWORKS HC$49.99JUL192399UDO

TOP 10 TOYS BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1ONE-12 COLLECTIVE: MARVEL: CLASSIC CYCLOPS FIGURESEP188229MEZ
2CASTLEVANIA GALLERY: TREVOR BELMONT PVC FIGUREJAN192540DST
3POP! DC HEROES: HARLEY QUINN WITH BOOMBOX VINYL FIGUREAUG188545FUN
4MARVEL SELECT: CARNAGE FIGURENOV142179DST
5KINGDOM HEARTS 3 GALLERY: MALEFICENT PVC STATUEMAY189403DST
6DARK NIGHTS METAL: THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS & ROBINS DELUXE STATUEMAY190542DC
7DARK KNIGHTS METAL: BATMAN THE RED DEATH STATUEAPR190588DC
8DC PRIME: BATMAN ACTION FIGUREMAR190627DC
9DC GALLERY: HARLEY QUINN REBIRTH PVC FIGUREJUN192385DST
10MARVEL GALLERY: AVENGERS ENDGAME CAPTAIN AMERICA PVC FIGUREJUL192669DST

TOP 10 GAMES BY DOLLARS INVOICED

RANKDESCRIPTIONITEM CODEVENDOR
1STARFINDER RPG: CHARACTER OPERATIONS MANUAL HCSEP193078PAI
2STARFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK HCJUN173371PAI
3CRITICAL ROLE: TAL’DOREI CAMPAIGN SETTING HCJUN173357GRE
4PATHFINDER: LOST OMENS CHARACTER GUIDE HC (P2)AUG193363PAI
5PATHFINDER FLIP-MAT: BASIC NEW EDITIONMAR138328PAI
6PATHFINDER RPG: CORE RULEBOOK POCKET EDITIONAPR168770PAI
7PATHFINDER ADVENTURE PATH: AGE OF ASHES PART 5SEP193076PAI
8MY HERO ACADEMIA: THE CARD GAMEJUL183082S7
9POP! FUNKOVERSE STRATEGY GAME: THE GOLDEN GIRLS 100 EXPANDALONE BOARD GAMEJUN198704FUN
10TOME OF BEASTS HCJUN168476PAI

Marvel Studio’s Damage Control VR Experience Extended Into 2020

Avengers: Damage Control

Due to the success of its limited-time fan event release, Avengers: Damage Control will now be continuing its run into 2020. The acclaimed virtual reality experience, produced by Marvel Studios and ILMxLAB, is available at select The VOID locations.

Tickets for the extended run are available now

Avengers: Damage Control lets fans step into the MCU for the very first time and team up alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Groups of four will be enlisted by Shuri (Letitia Wright) to test her latest prototype design: Emergency Response Suits, created with a proprietary blend of Wakandan and Stark Industries technology. When sinister forces intervene, guests at the Wakandan Outreach Centers will find themselves recruited into action, exploring iconic locations across the MCU. Fans will fight side by side with Avengers like Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), and more.

Like ILMxLAB’s previous collaborations with The VOID, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and Ralph Breaks VR, Avengers: Damage Control pairs virtual reality with real-world sets and physical effects like heat, cold, and wind. The result is a uniquely immersive experience: a virtual world that guests can touch and feel, bringing their favorite Marvel characters to life in a way that’s never before been possible.

Participating locations include:

  • Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, CA
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Mall of America – Minneapolis, MN
  • Cinemark – Plano, TX
  • The Battery – Atlanta, GA
  • Tysons Corner – Washington, DC
  • Genting Highlands – Malaysia
  • The Rec Room at Round House Park – Toronto, Canada
  • The Rec Room at Square One Shopping Centre – Ontario, Canada
  • The Rec Room at the West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton, Canada

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ Watchmen Soundtrack Comes to Spotify

HBO‘s Watchmen has been amazing in not just the story and acting but the soundtrack as well.

Composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have brought their unmistakable sound to the television show creating a haunting melody to go with the mystery. The two are award-winning composers who have created music for well over a hundred television and film productions and the two won an Oscar for their score to The Social Network.

You can now listen to the first volume of music on Spotify.

Odell Beckham Jr. Rocks Joker Cleats

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. wore cleats featuring the Joker for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos. The design is similar to the latest incarnation featured in the film Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix.

The custom cleats were worked out between Beckham and Nike before the season began and are coordinated with the jersey worn as per rules. Unfortunately, this game’s jersey was switched so Beckham was forced to change cleats for the second half of the game.

Odell Beckham Jr. Joker cleats

(via ESPN)

Avengers: Damage Control is Now Open

Avengers: Damage Control, a virtual reality fan experience from ILMxLAB and Marvel Studios, is now open at select The VOID locations for a limited time. Tickets are available now

In celebration of the opening, guests who experience Avengers: Damage Control this weekend at North America locations will receive an exclusive poster, while supplies last. 

Avengers: Damage Control lets fans step into the MCU for the very first time and team up alongside Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Groups of four will be enlisted by Shuri (Letitia Wright) to test her latest prototype design: Emergency Response Suits, created with a proprietary blend of Wakandan and Stark Industries technology. When sinister forces intervene, guests at the Wakandan Outreach Centers will find themselves recruited into action, exploring iconic locations across the MCU. Fans will fight side by side with Avengers like Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), and more.

Joining the location lineup for the groundbreaking VR experience is The VOID’s new Washington, DC center at Tysons Corner. 

Like ILMxLAB’s previous collaborations with The VOID, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire and Ralph Breaks VR, Avengers: Damage Control pairs virtual reality with real-world sets and physical effects like heat, cold, and wind. The result is a uniquely immersive experience: a virtual world that guests can touch and feel, bringing their favorite Marvel characters to life in a way that’s never before been possible.

Participating locations include:

  • Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, CA
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Mall of America – Minneapolis, MN
  • Cinemark – Plano, TX
  • World Trade Center – New York, NY
  • The Battery – Atlanta, GA
  • Tysons Corner – Washington, DC
  • Genting Highlands – Malaysia
  • The Rec Room at Round House Park – Toronto, Canada
  • The Rec Room at Square One Shopping Centre – Ontario, Canada
  • The Rec Room at the West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton, Canada

Ezra Claytan Daniels’ Upgrade Soul Gets an Updated App and Original Vinyl Soundtrack

Upgrade Soul

Ezra Claytan Daniels‘ graphic novel debut Upgrade Soul has been a hit earning praise and accolades since release. It has won widespread praise and award nominations for the comic book industry’s top honors, including The Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics and the Eisner, Ignatz, Harvey, and ‘Ringo Awards.

Timed for Halloween, Upgrade Soul gets an innovative, and updated, app as well as the release of an original vinyl soundtrack. Both the app and the soundtrack will be available for purchase October 25th, 2019.

Daniels spent a decade writing and drawing the graphic novel before it was published last year by Lion Forge. It was originally conceived as a digital graphic novel and published as an interactive iOS comic app, launching in 2012, complete with 3D picture-box effects, extra features, and unlockable content. The app was designed by Erik Loyer, a media artist and two-time Webby Awards Official Honoree, whose work has been commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Technology has changed in the years since the original app’s launch. That has enabled the team to finish the project as originally intended, with a rich interactive score, 3D picture-box effects, and seamless navigation. It’s not an enhanced version of the printed graphic novel, it’s its own thing.

The app featured an incredible original score by composer/hip hop producer Alexis Gideon, who is known for his work with the band Princess and his solo Video Musics series of animated operas. Gideon created the music for the Upgrade Soul app to seamlessly flow with and complement the interactive app, creating a wholly unique experience that’s a high water mark for digital comics and a standard-setter for the future of the medium.

And in October, for the first time, the trippy and ethereal soundtrack that accompanied the app’s initial launch will be available to the public outside the app. Chicago’s FPE Records will release the soundtrack in two formats: a regular black vinyl edition and a limited deluxe edition featuring translucent orange vinyl, red markings, and a signed print by Daniels. Of the latter, only 100 copies will be released worldwide. 

Upgrade Soul is the dark and surreal story of an elderly couple who volunteer themselves for an experimental scientific procedure intended to rejuvenate their aging bodies. When the procedure goes horribly wrong, creating physically disfigured but intellectually superior clones of the couple, the scientists, the couple, and their clones must grapple with existential questions of morality—with very real consequences. The book is a profound meditation on identity, and the ways society imposes restrictions based on our age, gender, race and perceived disabilities.

The Upgrade Soul app, which includes the first story’s chapter, is available as a free download. Throughout the month of October, the entire story can be unlocked for $6.99. Beginning November 1, the entire book can be unlocked for $7.99.

The Upgrade Soul Original Soundtrack Standard Edition, with black vinyl, retails for $18.00. The Upgrade Soul Original Soundtrack Limited Edition, featuring color vinyl, is exclusively available through FPE Records’ website, via Bandcamp or directly from Ezra Claytan Daniels at appearances. The Upgrade Soul Original Soundtrack Limited Edition retails for $45.00.

Young Justice: Outsiders! With Ahmed Ali Akbar, Ardo Omer & Ben Kahn

#WeAreAllOutsiders! I’ve got the perfect guests talking about the return of DC’s beloved animated series, Young Justice Season 3, streaming on DC Universe.

Ahmed Ali Akbaris a writer and host of the show “See Something Say Something.” He has worked as Staff Writer at BuzzFeed and has contributed pieces to Netflix, Catapult, Thrillist, Pushkin Industries, and more. He holds a Masters in Islamic Studies from Harvard Divinity School.  https://twitter.com/radbrowndads

Ardo Omer is a critic and freelance writer whose work can be found in The Comics Journal, Women Write About Comics and more. She’s the co-host of the Put A Blurb On It podcast, and has two short comics in the Toronto Comics’ Osgoode As Gold anthology and the upcoming Wayward Kindred anthology. https://twitter.com/ArdoOmer

Ben Kahn is an Ignatz Award-nominated comics writer. Their previous works include the comics series Heavenly Blues (Scout Comics) and Gryffen: Galaxy’s Most Wanted (SBI Press) https://twitter.com/BenTheKahn

Discussed 

  • Young Justice is like being on Twitter
  • Justice Society, “The Original Antifa”
  • Missed opportunities with Halo 
  • Halo IS a rebuttal to fascism 
  • Superboy learns collective action
  • The DCU: Where the UN is really powerful and run by Lex Luthor/Trump
  • “I’m not even mad about Harper Roe?!” https://twitter.com/Elana_Brooklyn

Ed Catto and Victoria Hanes launch Agendae

Agendae

A new firm Agendae LLC, dedicated to driving business and solving problems for mid-size and smaller companies and brands, has launched. The firm will focus on strategy, marketing, planning, rebranding, product launches and event planning

The hybrid consulting/marketing activation firm will specialize in helping medium and small businesses with a variety of tasks and challenges. By not limiting its offerings to only core disciplines, Agendae is able to focus on aligning with customers’ business needs, key milestones and to help create partnerships that transcend traditional agency expectations.

The firm is led by CEO Ed Catto, an industry veteran most recently of Bonfire Agency.

Catto is also part of Ithaca College’s School of Business faculty and teaches courses focusing on entrepreneurism. Joining Catto is Victoria Hanes. The two worked together for years at NYC-based East West Agency. Additional participants will be announced shortly.

In the announcement Catto said:

Everyone in business has a million things to do each day, and there’s no one answer for what’s right. With Agendae, we wanted to be able to focus on a myriad of business issues like strategy, marketing, planning, rebranding, product launches and event planning without the cookie-cutter definition of a traditional agency.

Hanes added:

We’re all about the agility that comes from having your head in the game. We’re excited to work with people that think like entrepreneurs. It’s about attitude, it’s about urgency and it’s about making things happen.

Agendae is the seldom used plural of agenda, reflecting the many to-do lists that every entrepreneur and businessperson addresses each day.

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