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Comix Experience Best-Sellers 2016

Below the Cut, for people who like that kind of thing, Comix Experience’s Best Sellers of 2016 (Warning: long!)

Just in case this is your first time reading a sales report from us, let me give you a little background and a longer look at my CV. My name is Brian Hibbs and I own two comic book stores in San Francisco: Comix Experience at 305 Divisadero St, and Comix Experience Outpost at 2381 Ocean Ave. I opened the original store 27 years ago in 1989, when I was just twenty-one years old, and I purchased Outpost almost exactly three years ago, in order to stop it from closing overnight.

 

San Francisco is currently home to nine comic book stores (The others include: Cards and Comics Central, Collector’s Cave, Isotope, Whatever, Amazing Fantasy, Mission: Comics and Art, and Two Cats); down from twenty-four when I opened in 1989. I’m really super glad that we lost no stores in 2016. There are also something around a dozen general independent book stores (note that San Francisco has no national chain bookstores!) that also carry a solid selection of “graphic novels” (which is usually really just a highfaluting name for “bound collection of comics”, and isn’t really any different in any substantial way from “comic book”, except that it makes people feel better about themselves) – but it is the comics specialty stores that are selling the most comics material, and it is my belief that my two Comix Experience stores sell roughly a quarter of all comics material in The City.

 

As I noted, I have been selling comics since 1989, and we’re the oldest comic store with the same ownership in the same location in San Francisco. For a quarter of a century I’ve written “Tilting At Windmills”, a regular column about comics retailing, also published in two volumes from IDW Publishing; I’ve been a judge of the Eisner Awards (Comics’ equivalent of the Oscars); I’ve sat on the Board of Directors of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (an organization that protects the First Amendment rights of comics creators), I was one of the original founders of ComicsPRO (the comics retailer trade organization); and I even led a successful Class Action lawsuit against Marvel Comics that won more than a million dollars for comic book retailers internationally.

 

Most recently, in response to rising costs in San Francisco, we launched an international Graphic-Novel-Of-The-Month Club where we hold streaming meetings with authors (like Neil Gaiman!) for literally hundreds of folks around the country (and globe!), and we also have a sibling club for kids aged 8-13, which is co-hosted with my twelve year old son.

 

(*whew*)

 

2016 was another fine year for Comix Experience – sales were up by 1.7% in the main store, and by an excellent 11.7% at Outpost.  I attribute our growth mostly to my superlative staff (Douglas, Emma, Sienna and Asia at the main store, and Nathan, Cameron, and Julie at Outpost) – and we’ve had our best year ever at both locations.

 

However, the year pretty much died in the last quarter – a lot of the drop coming from much weaker periodical sales.

 

The two stores are VERY different from one another with different tones and tenors. The main store is very much a book store that specializes in comics material: 57% of our sales came from book-format comics this year, while 39% came from new periodical comics (usually stapled, usually 32 pages). 1.5% of sales are back issues, 1.5% is supplies, and the last 1% is everything else: Magazines, Toys, Apparel, Buttons, whatever. Comix Experience is less about the characters (Batman and Spider-Man, et al.) and much more focused on the creators that bring those characters to life. As a creator-driven store, our sales reflect that passion, as you will see below.

 

Comix Experience Outpost runs pretty differently – it was an existing store that we took over, and because of its location and the nature of its traffic, it is FAR more focused on the periodical comic (as well as the back issue). Outpost is 62% new periodical-format comics (and 7% back issues), and just 23% in book format comics. 3% each are Toys and Supplies, which leaves 2% for “other”. It’s a very different sales mix than the Mothership!

 

Let’s take a look, store-by-store, at sales this year, and see what the best-sellers are in each category, and get a sense of maybe where the market is heading. Let’s look at BOOKS, first, since that’s the biggest category at the bigger store!

 

One important consideration here is that these numbers DO NOT include the Graphic-Novel-Of-The-Month Club numbers, every one of which would top the #1 in-store book! In fact, we’ve been told that, for at least some of the titles we selected (which were, in order:

Jan 2016: Joshua Cotter’s “Nod Away

Feb 2016: Xander Cannon’s “Kaijumax

Mar 2016: Daniel Clowes’ “Patience

Apr 2016: Manuele Fior’s “5000 KM Per Second

May 2016: Lucy Knisley’s “Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride

June 2016: Paul Dini and Eduardo Risso’s “Dark Night: A True Batman Story

July 2016: Majorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s “Monstress

Aug 2016: Lucas Varela’s “Longest Day of the Future

Sep 2016: Tom Gauld’s “Mooncop

Oct 2016: Sarah Glidden’s “Rolling Blackouts: Dispatches from Turkey, Syria, and Iraq

Nov 2016: Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood’s “Moon Knight: Lunatic

Dec 2016: Isabel Greenberg’s “The One Hundred Nights of Hero

(Damn, what a line-up!), the GN club represented 8-10% of the print run of a few of those books!

 

The Kids Club list (Again NOT counted in these numbers) looked like this – all of which would have beaten the #6 best-selling book at retail:

Jan 2016: Derek Fridolf and Dustin Nguyen’s “Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice

Feb 2016: Svetlana Chmakova’s “Awkward

Mar 2016: Tony Cliff’s “Delilah Dirk & The King’s Shilling

Apr 2016: Faith Erin Hicks’ “The Nameless City

May 2016: Annie Szabla’s “Bird Boy: The Sword of Mali Mani

Jun 2016: Matt Kindt and Brian Hurtt’s “Poppy & The Lost Lagoon

Jul 2016: Norm Feuti’s “The King of Kazoo

Aug 2016: Alexis Fajardo’s “Kid Beowulf: The Blood Bound Oath

Sep 2016: Raina Telgemeier’s “Ghosts

Oct 2016: Hope Larson & Brittney Williams’ “Goldie Vance

Nov 2016: Mike Raicht & Brian Smith’s “Tree Mail

Dec 2016:  Jeffrey Brown’s “Lucy & Andy Neanderthal

 

As always, our single biggest entry is the generic “Sale Book”, where we’re marking down unsold books by roughly 50% of cover price to get them out – that catchall, combined, sold WAY more copies than our #1 book. This is true at BOTH stores. But, I’m not including that in this presentation because I think it muddies the waters too much. Plus it mostly represents our mistakes! :)

 

So, starting with The Mothership, Comix Experience on Divisadero, we sold approximately 4500 different books selling at least one copy for full price.

 

Our Top 100 is right below, and represents twenty three different publishers.  The publisher placing the most number of books is Image, with a dominating forty-one out of one hundred and ten.  DC comes in next with thirteen, followed by Marvel and Scholastic (!) tied at eleven each.  We have books from Archie and Koyama, Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly and a number of the “real” book publishers, too.  We have two manga on the list.  I’m pretty happy with the diversity of my store, as these things go!

 

1 MONSTRESS TP VOL 01
2 SAGA TP VOL 06
3 RAINA TELGEMEIER GHOSTS GN
4 PAPER GIRLS TP VOL 01
5 SAGA TP VOL 05
6 SAGA TP VOL 01
7 DAN CLOWES PATIENCE HC
8 SAGA TP VOL 04
9 BITCH PLANET TP VOL 01 EXTRAORDINARY MACHINE
10 SAGA TP VOL 02
11 BLACK PANTHER TP BOOK 01 NATION UNDER OUR FEET
12 RICK & MORTY TP VOL 01
13 WICKED & DIVINE TP VOL 03
14 WICKED & DIVINE TP VOL 01 THE FAUST ACT
15 DARK NIGHT A TRUE BATMAN STORY HC
16 SAGA TP VOL 03
17 SPACE DUMPLINS GN VOL 01
18 APOCALYPTIGIRL AN ARIA FOR THE END TIMES TP
19 DESCENDER TP VOL 01 TIN STARS
NIMONA GN
21 EAST OF WEST TP VOL 01 THE PROMISE
22 WATCHMEN TP
23 MS MARVEL TP VOL 01 NO NORMAL
SANDMAN TP VOL 01 PRELUDES & NOCTURNES
SMILE GN
26 EAST OF WEST TP VOL 05 ALL THESE SECRETS
LOW TP VOL 01 THE DELIRIUM OF HOPE
28 DEADLY CLASS TP VOL 01 REAGAN YOUTH
29 PREACHER TP BOOK 01
30 WONDER WOMAN EARTH ONE HC VOL 01
31 SANDMAN OVERTURE DELUXE ED HC
TOKYO GHOST TP VOL 01 ATOMIC GARDEN
33 BABY SITTERS CLUB COLOR ED GN VOL 01 KRISTYS GREAT IDEA
DAYTRIPPER TP
MEANWHILE IN SAN FRANCISCO THE CITY IN ITS OWN WORDS
PRETTY DEADLY TP VOL 01
RAINA TELGEMEIER GHOSTS HC GN
38 INJECTION TP VOL 01
SISTERS GN
THE INCAL HC NEW PTG
THIS ONE SUMMER GN
42 LOVE AND ROCKETS NEW STORIES TP VOL 08
Y THE LAST MAN TP BOOK 01
44 AMULET SC VOL 01 STONEKEEPER NEW PTG
LUMBERJANES TP VOL 01
SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 01
47 DRAMA GN
PAPER GIRLS TP VOL 02
SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 03 THREE THE HARD WAY
WICKED & DIVINE TP VOL 02 FANDEMONIUM
WICKED & DIVINE TP VOL 04 RISING ACTION
52 BONE COLOR ED SC VOL 01 OUT FROM BONEVILLE
SAGA DLX ED HC VOL 01
54 CAT PERSON
DESCENDER TP VOL 02
TREES TP VOL 01
57 BABY SITTERS CLUB COLOR ED GN VOL 02 TRUTH ABOUT STACEY
BATMAN THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL ED HC
59 ARCHIE TP VOL 01
BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL 01 HOW TO FALL FOREVER
EAST OF WEST TP VOL 04 WHO WANTS WAR
WALKING DEAD TP VOL 25 NO TURNING BACK
63 AMULET SC VOL 07 FIRELIGHT
FUN HOME TP
KAIJUMAX TP VOL 01
SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 02 TWO WORLDS ONE COP
SOMETHING NEW TALES FROM MAKESHIFT BRIDE GN
68 AWKWARD GN
DEADLY CLASS TP VOL 03 THE SNAKE PIT
FIGHT CLUB 2 HC
LUMBERJANES TP VOL 03
SANDMAN TP VOL 02 THE DOLLS HOUSE NEW ED
STAR WARS TP VOL 01 SKYWALKER STRIKES
TREES TP VOL 02
75 DEADLY CLASS TP VOL 04 DIE FOR ME
EAST OF WEST TP VOL 02 WE ARE ALL ONE
EAST OF WEST TP VOL 03 THERE IS NO US
HARK A VAGRANT HC
RAT QUEENS TP VOL 03 DEMONS
ROLLING BLACKOUTS HC
81 CIVIL WAR TP
COMPLETE CHI SWEET HOME TP VOL 01
DEADLY CLASS TP VOL 02 KIDS OF THE BLACK HOLE
HEAD LOPPER TP VOL 01 ISLAND OR A PLAGUE OF BEASTS
MS MARVEL TP VOL 02 GENERATION WHY
STAR WARS ORIGINAL TRILOGY GN HC
87 5000 KM PER SECOND HC
PREACHER TP BOOK 02
SUPERMUTANT MAGIC ACADEMY GN
TRANSMETROPOLITAN TP VOL 01 BACK ON THE STREET
WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME IF I WET THE BED GN
92 AKIRA KODANSHA ED GN VOL 01
COMPLETE PERSEPOLIS TP
DARTH VADER & FRIENDS HC
EAST OF WEST TP VOL 06
GOLDIE VANCE TP VOL 01
LOW TP VOL 02 BEFORE THE DAWN BURNS US
LUMBERJANES TP VOL 02
MS MARVEL TP VOL 04 LAST DAYS
MS MARVEL TP VOL 05 SUPER FAMOUS
STAR WARS TP VOL 02 SHOWDOWN ON THE SMUGGLERS MOON
STEP ASIDE POPS HARK A VAGRANT COLLECTION HC
TOMBOY GRAPHIC MEMOIR
UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL TP VOL 01 SQUIRREL POWER
UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL TP VOL 02 SQUIRRELYOU KNOW IT
VISION TP VOL 01 LITTLE WORSE THAN MAN
WE CAN NEVER GO HOME TP
WRENCHIES GN
Y THE LAST MAN TP BOOK 02
ZAP COMIX #16

 

 

MONSTRESS does the previously unthinkable, and displaces SAGA from the top of the list.  In fact, SAGA settles down into a more Mature sales pattern and doesn’t annihilate everything, like it did last year when it took the first six spots.

 

I’m super happy with the diversity and breadth of this list of books – my staff has a wide range of material that they push, and it really shows! Great to see Liz Prince and Kids books share the list, y’know?

 

One calculation I’d like to share this year is the difference between the above list (which is sorted by QUANTITY SOLD), and if you sort the same thing by dollars generated – then things change pretty substantially….

 

1 DAN CLOWES PATIENCE HC
2 SAGA TP VOL 06
3 MONSTRESS TP VOL 01
4 SAGA TP VOL 05
5 RAINA TELGEMEIER GHOSTS GN
6 PAPER GIRLS TP VOL 01
7 THE INCAL HC NEW PTG
8 SAGA DLX ED HC VOL 01
9 DARK NIGHT A TRUE BATMAN STORY HC
10 RICK & MORTY TP VOL 01

 

 

As you can see here, under this calculation MONSTRESS drops to #3, with PATIENCE being our #1 seller, and SAGA v1 drops out of the top ten all together! (comes in at #12)  Wow, and look how well THE INCAL scores!  That last is even more amazing when you consider that THE PUBLISHER didn’t have any copies to sell us for at least 10% of the year (including the all-important last six weeks of 2016) – as our incoming President might say, “Sad!”

 

At the end of the day, while $9.95 price points certainly can help sell more COPIES of books, they’re not so hot for making money for stores or for creators.  Fundamentally, I don’t believe that more than 10% of our sales of MONSTRESS v1 was directly connected to cover price (as opposed to salesmanship!), and yet it is 33% cheaper.  In the case of SAGE v1, my assessment is that maybe (MAYBE!) 2% of the sales of that this year came from the cover price being a major factor, and if you look at poorer-selling books like, dunno say, RINGSIDE or THE FIX (neither of which managed to chart), the sales impact of that $10 cover price is exactly nil…. But the impact on the creator-owned bottom-line is enormous.

 

 

Let’s go over and look how Outpost’s books sold, with the super important caveat that Outposts single best-seller would have only ranked about #30 on the Mothership list, and, in fact, I will only list through #50(+1) since the quantities are so super-low (relatively).  Outpost sold just over 1600 different titles selling one copy or more. Here’s their Top 50:

 

1 SAGA TP VOL 06
2 BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL 01 HOW TO FALL FOREVER
3 MONSTRESS TP VOL 01
PAPER GIRLS TP VOL 01
5 SPACE DUMPLINS GN VOL 01
6 BIRTHRIGHT TP VOL 01 HOMECOMING
EAST OF WEST TP VOL 01 THE PROMISE
8 SAGA TP VOL 05
9 NOWHERE MEN TP VOL 01 FATES WORSE THAN DEATH
10 BITCH PLANET TP VOL 01 EXTRAORDINARY MACHINE
SAGA TP VOL 01
12 CIVIL WAR TP
13 NIMONA GN
SAGA TP VOL 02
SAGA TP VOL 04
STAR WARS DARTH VADER TP VOL 01 VADER
17 LUMBERJANES TP VOL 01
MS MARVEL TP VOL 01 NO NORMAL
19 BATMAN TP VOL 01 THE COURT OF OWLS
BATMAN YEAR ONE DELUXE SC
BLACK PANTHER TP BOOK 01 NATION UNDER OUR FEET
RUMBLE TP VOL 01 WHAT COLOR OF DARKNESS
SAGA TP VOL 03
24 BATMAN THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL ED HC
HARROW COUNTY TP VOL 01 COUNTLESS HAINTS
LOCKE & KEY TP VOL 01 WELCOME TO LOVECRAFT
WONDER WOMAN EARTH ONE HC VOL 01
28 COPRA ROUND ONE TP
STAR WARS TP VOL 01 SKYWALKER STRIKES
30 DARK NIGHT A TRUE BATMAN STORY HC
INJECTION TP VOL 01
LOW TP VOL 01 THE DELIRIUM OF HOPE
RAINA TELGEMEIER GHOSTS GN
WICKED & DIVINE TP VOL 01 THE FAUST ACT
Y THE LAST MAN TP BOOK 01
36 AUTUMNLANDS TP VOL 01 TOOTH & CLAW
BATMAN HUSH COMPLETE TP
DAREDEVIL TP BORN AGAIN
DESCENDER TP VOL 01 TIN STARS
EAST OF WEST TP VOL 02 WE ARE ALL ONE
PREACHER TP BOOK 01
WALKING DEAD TP VOL 01 DAYS GONE BYE
43 BLACK MAGICK TP VOL 01 AWAKENING PART ONE
DEADPOOL KILLS MARVEL UNIVERSE TP
MOON KNIGHT TP VOL 01 FROM DEAD
MS MARVEL TP VOL 02 GENERATION WHY
SAILOR MOON TP KODANSHA ED VOL 01
SANDMAN TP VOL 01 PRELUDES & NOCTURNES NEW ED
SEX CRIMINALS TP VOL 01
STAR WARS DARTH VADER TP VOL 02 SHADOWS AND SECRETS
WICKED & DIVINE TP VOL 03

 

 

The list isn’t insanely different, though there are some major holes.  Where is PATIENCE, for example? (Down at #75, while THE INCAL is at #66).  But, yeah, this is kind of a mainstream listing from a mainstream store.

 

(And yet, SPACE DUMPLINS is book #5, NICE!)

 

 

But what about the periodical comics?

 

Periodical comics are the engine that drives cash flow week to week TO ALLOW US TO sell the books the way we do – we’re able to keep a wide variety of material on hand simply because the periodicals drive sales and provide us with regular ongoing weekly readers.

 

Here’s The Mothership (in Quantity Order):

 

1 BLACK PANTHER #1
2 BLACK PANTHER #2
3 DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1 first print
4 SAGA #33
5 SNOTGIRL #1
6 SAGA #36
7 BLACK PANTHER #3
SAGA #35
9 SAGA #34
10 SAGA #37
11 BATMAN REBIRTH #1
PAPER GIRLS #4
13 SAGA #38
14 PAPER GIRLS #6
15 SAGA #39
16 BLACK PANTHER #5
PAPER GIRLS #5
18 BLACK PANTHER #4
PAPER GIRLS #7
20 PAPER GIRLS #8
21 SAGA #32
22 SECRET WARS #9 (OF 9)
23 PAPER GIRLS #9
24 PAPER GIRLS #10
25 BATMAN #1
26 BLACK PANTHER #6
27 WONDER WOMAN REBIRTH #1
28 SAGA #40
29 SNOTGIRL #2
30 DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #4 (OF 8)
31 CIVIL WAR II #0 RCW2
32 CIVIL WAR II #1 (OF 7)
33 BLACK PANTHER #7
34 DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #3 (OF 8)
WONDER WOMAN #1
36 DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #5 (OF 8)
37 MONSTRESS #3
38 MONSTRESS #7
39 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK #1
ALL STAR BATMAN #1
41 BATMAN #2
CIVIL WAR II #2 (OF 8)
43 DOCTOR STRANGE #4
44 FLASH REBIRTH #1
JUSTICE LEAGUE REBIRTH #1
46 BATMAN #3
47 SEVEN TO ETERNITY #1
WALKING DEAD #154
49 JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
SAGA #31
51 DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #6 (OF 8)
DOOM PATROL #1
53 DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #2 (OF 8)
DOCTOR STRANGE #5
DOCTOR STRANGE #6
FLASH #1
SUPERMAN REBIRTH #1
WALKING DEAD #150
WONDER WOMAN #2
SNOTGIRL #3
61 KILL OR BE KILLED #1
STAR WARS POE DAMERON #1
63 BLACK PANTHER #8
DARK KNIGHT RETURNS THE LAST CRUSADE #1
65 ALL STAR BATMAN #2
MONSTRESS #4
67 BATMAN #4
MONSTRESS #5
69 BITCH PLANET #7
CIVIL WAR II #3 (OF 7)
71 ARCHANGEL #1
BITCH PLANET #6
DOCTOR STRANGE #9
WALKING DEAD #151
WONDER WOMAN #3
76 BATMAN #5
CIVIL WAR II #4 (OF 7)
DOCTOR STRANGE #7
SEX CRIMINALS #14
80 MONSTRESS #6
SEX CRIMINALS #15
WALKING DEAD #152
83 DETECTIVE COMICS #934
MONSTRESS #1
WALKING DEAD #157
86 DOCTOR STRANGE #8
GREEN LANTERNS REBIRTH #1
SECRET WARS #8 (OF 9)
89 BATMAN #6
CIVIL WAR II #5 (OF 8)
DOOM PATROL #2
WALKING DEAD #153
93 BATMAN #50
BITCH PLANET #8
WALKING DEAD #155
WALKING DEAD #159
97 DOCTOR STRANGE #10
EAST OF WEST #24
EAST OF WEST #27
LOW #12
MIRROR #1
WALKING DEAD #158

 

The monster success story is Black Panther by Ta-Nehisi Coates – we sold nearly fifty percent more copies of issue #1 than we did of 2015’s best-selling comic.  It’s a little insane. And, I short-sleeved the book a bit, ordering less than Doug and the staff recommended, because their number scared me.  So, since we sold out at a few points as a result (though never more than 3-4 days at a time), I think we could have done at least 10% better there; maybe even 20%.  The drop-off, however, was pretty cataclysmic. I may always and forever have BP #4 in stock!

 

You can see Rebirth did big all around, CIVIL WAR II failed compared to the end of SECRET WARS (you can’t see it here, but pretty much putting the CW2 logo on a Marvel crossover comi caused sales to DROP here….), and 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK, DOOM PATROL and ARCHANGEL were all surprise hits. Oh! And MIRROR #1 made the Top 100, yay!

 

And over at the Outpost….

 

1 DC UNIVERSE REBIRTH #1
2 BATMAN REBIRTH #1
3 BLACK PANTHER #1
4 BATMAN #1
5 BATMAN #2
6 WONDER WOMAN REBIRTH #1
7 BATMAN #3
8 SUPERMAN REBIRTH #1
9 BLACK PANTHER #2
10 FLASH REBIRTH #1
11 WONDER WOMAN #1
12 JUSTICE LEAGUE REBIRTH #1
SUPERMAN #1
14 CIVIL WAR II #1 (OF 7)
15 FLASH #1
16 BATMAN #4
17 ALL STAR BATMAN #1
DETECTIVE COMICS #934
19 BATMAN #5
20 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK #1
CIVIL WAR II #3 (OF 7)
CIVIL WAR II #4 (OF 7)
23 CIVIL WAR II #2 (OF 8)
TITANS REBIRTH #1
25 SUPERMAN #2
26 BLACK PANTHER #3
CIVIL WAR II #0 RCW2
28 JUSTICE LEAGUE #1
29 BATMAN #6
SECRET WARS #9 (OF 9)
31 BATMAN #50
DETECTIVE COMICS #935
WONDER WOMAN #2
34 BATMAN #7
SUPERMAN #3
36 FLASH #2
NEW SUPER MAN #1
38 GREEN LANTERNS REBIRTH #1
MONSTRESS #3
40 BATMAN #51
DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #3 (OF 8)
DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #4 (OF 8)
43 BATMAN #49
DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #5 (OF 8)
TITANS #1
46 BATMAN #48
47 BATMAN #52
BLACK PANTHER #4
DARK KNIGHT RETURNS THE LAST CRUSADE #1
MONSTRESS #6
WONDER WOMAN #3
52 MONSTRESS #4
53 JUSTICE LEAGUE #2
54 FLASH #3
55 AQUAMAN REBIRTH #1
56 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15
GREEN ARROW REBIRTH #1
SUPERMAN #4
SUPERMAN #5
60 JUSTICE LEAGUE #3
NIGHTWING REBIRTH #1
62 FLASH #4
MONSTRESS #5
64 BLACK PANTHER #6
SEVEN TO ETERNITY #1
WONDER WOMAN #4
67 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #12
DARK KNIGHT III MASTER RACE #6 (OF 8)
SUICIDE SQUAD #1
70 ALL STAR BATMAN #2
BATMAN #10
BATMAN #9
CIVIL WAR II #5 (OF 8)
FLASH #6
GREEN ARROW #1
SPIDER-MAN #1
77 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #13
GREEN LANTERNS #1
SUICIDE SQUAD REBIRTH #1
80 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6
BATMAN #8
BLACK PANTHER #5
NIGHTWING #1
50 FLASH #5
JUSTICE LEAGUE #50
86 ACTION COMICS #957
ALL STAR BATMAN #4
DETECTIVE COMICS #937
DOCTOR STRANGE #7
PAPER GIRLS #4
SPIDER-MAN DEADPOOL #1
WONDER WOMAN #5
93 EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #5
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #7
PAPER GIRLS #7
STAR WARS POE DAMERON #1
97 ACTION COMICS #958
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #9
DETECTIVE COMICS #936
EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN #6
KILL OR BE KILLED #1
OLD MAN LOGAN #1
SPIDER-MAN #2
SUPERMAN #6
UNCANNY X-MEN #1

 

Way way way more traditional, right?  Here CIVIL WAR II mostly works (though, still, not for the crossovers),  and they go ALL-IN on Rebirh.  That’s most of what drove that 11% sales increase at the Outpost – the DC Explosion of sales here.  There’s NO WAY I would have caught but a fraction of those sales without the returns.  Oh, and 4 KIDS WALK INTO A BANK #1 at #20? Wow!

 

OVERALL, the biggest surprise for me in 2016 was looking at the Publisher percentages, and seeing an upset that the Mothership has never ever seen in 27 years of business.  Here’s how the Top 30 Publishers by dollars break down:

 

MARVEL COMICS 21.64%
IMAGE COMICS 19.43%
DC COMICS 19.01%
DARK HORSE COMICS 5.89%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.40%
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS 3.14%
BOOM! STUDIOS 3.10%
GRAPHIX 1.73%
ONI PRESS INC. 1.63%
DRAWN & QUARTERLY 1.53%
:01 FIRST SECOND 1.27%
VIZ MEDIA LLC 1.16%
D. E. 0.93%
KODANSHA COMICS 0.93%
AVATAR PRESS INC 0.83%
HUMANOIDS INC 0.80%
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS 0.75%
TITAN COMICS 0.56%
PANTHEON BOOKS 0.53%
REBELLION / 2000AD 0.44%
YEN PRESS 0.35%
KOYAMA PRESS 0.31%
CHRONICLE BOOKS 0.29%
SELFMADEHERO 0.27%
BLACK MASK COMICS 0.26%
HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHERS 0.25%
ABRAMS COMICARTS 0.25%
VERTICAL COMICS 0.25%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 0.25%
ALTERNATIVE COMICS 0.24%

 

WHAT?  What the HECK is Marvel doing in the lead???!?!  Well, I can tell you: it’s pretty much those first few issues of BLACK PANTHER.  Not only is that the best-selling comic book the store has seen… well, maybe since that issue of Spider-Man with President Obama? But, sheesh, it was $5. That pricing (and their generally much MUCH more expensive book pricing) drove their percentage to an all-time high.

 

No, serious, I never ever thought I would see the day that Marvel comics was the #1 publisher at Comix Experience on Divisadero.

 

How’d the Outpost look this year?

 

MARVEL COMICS 36.64%
DC COMICS 26.51%
IMAGE COMICS 13.55%
IDW PUBLISHING 3.69%
DARK HORSE COMICS 3.60%
BOOM! STUDIOS 2.94%
D. E. 1.11%
ONI PRESS INC. 0.98%
ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS 0.83%
FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS 0.47%
AFTERSHOCK COMICS 0.45%
VIZ MEDIA LLC 0.44%
TITAN COMICS 0.43%
AVATAR PRESS INC 0.39%
BLACK MASK COMICS 0.35%
GRAPHIX 0.34%
GRAPHITTI DESIGNS 0.34%
:01 FIRST SECOND 0.33%
FUNKO 0.32%
KODANSHA COMICS 0.23%
BONGO COMICS 0.23%
HUMANOIDS INC 0.22%
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 0.22%
DRAWN & QUARTERLY 0.21%
HEAVY METAL MAGAZINE 0.18%
BENITEZ PRODUCTIONS 0.18%
IDW – TOP SHELF 0.17%
PANTHEON BOOKS 0.15%
JOE BOOKS INC. 0.15%
ACTION LAB – DANGER ZONE 0.15%

 

Yeah, like I said, traditional-ass comics store.

 

But, one thing I would like to highlight is just what happened at Outpost with DC during the Rebirth launch.

 

Here’s Q1

 

MARVEL COMICS 41.56%
DC COMICS 19.31%

 

Then Q2:

 

MARVEL COMICS 40.23%
DC COMICS 24.65%

 

But look at Q3, where they almost tie!

 

MARVEL COMICS 33.84%
DC COMICS 32.03%

 

And finally Q4:

 

MARVEL COMICS 32.36%
DC COMICS 28.74%

 

Four points separating is a whole different ballgame than sheesh, 22 points in q1!

 

Another thing that happened at Outpost this year was some of the “Variant Series” (ex: Skottie Young variant covers, Hip Hops, etc.) lost most of their ground – at one point we’d sell 20+ copies with a Skottie cover, but by the end of the year we were down to about 7.  Doesn’t help, either, that Marvel kept raising their targets, so we couldn’t actually order most of them without taking a risk and a bath.  Less money for us all.

 

Overall, both stores seem to be going in the right direction, and we’re seeing a lot of strength in a lot of great comics. We’ve absolutely got a comic that you’re going to like, and we’d love it if you came by and let us show you all of the possibilities that comics have, whether that’s at our main store on Divisadero, or at the Outpost, out on Ocean ave., or through our Graphic-Novel-of-the-Month Club or our GN Club for Kids! We LOVE comics, and we want you to love them too!

 

Feel free to make any observations about our sales in the comment section below – we’re always interested in questions and feedback.

 

2 Responses to “ Comix Experience Best-Sellers 2016 ”

  1. Are you seeing any bump in the periodicals – Kaijumax, Monstress, Moon Knight – after being in the GMotMC? Or are those sales pretty much divorced from the stores? (Mostly mail order, correct?)

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  2. Not so much, David, no — though the majority of memberships are pickups.

    -B

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