ICv2.com gets a little (a lot?) silly in its analysis of May’s direct-market sales — “May Comics Bofo! Best Year-Over-Year Gain This Century” — but the information is solid, and certainly noteworthy: Thanks to event comics like Marvel’s Civil War and DC’s Infinite Crisis and 52, single-issue sales last month jumped 38 percent over May 2005.
As the website’s headline suggests, that’s the best year-over-year gain since ICv2 began tracking monthly sales through Diamond.
In its overview and analysis, ICv2 notes that Civil War #1 sold an estimated 260,804, just below last year’s All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #1, which at 261,046, is “the best-selling full price comic ever tracked by ICv2 since we began compiling circulation numbers in 2001.” (Is it just me, or do these begin to sound like obscure sports statistics?)
As we saw last week when Diamond’s charts were released, those sales were enough to knock DC’s Infinite Crisis from the No. 1 spot, which the series had held each month it’s been published since October (there was no issue released in February). Infinite Crisis #7, the final installment of the miniseries, clung to No. 2 with an estimated 198,442 copies.
The other big story seems to be the strong performance by DC’s 52, which placed the first four weekly issues in the Top 10. That’s likely to change as retailers adjust orders to reflect actual sales; still, the combined 500,000-plus copies is pretty impressive, particularly considering the dent that made in readers’ wallets.
What I really want to track, if I have the time and focus, is how these events — Civil War, “One Year Later,” etc. — are affecting sales of the tie-ins. “OYL” obviously gave a boost to some of DC’s books, but to what extent? And for how long? Civil War had build-ups and, now, tie-ins. Are readers buying the ancillary books?