Monday, January 12, 2009

The Top Ten Best-Selling Comics of 2008

1 Secret Invasion #1 (Marvel)
2 Secret Invasion #2 (Marvel)
3 Secret Invasion #3 (Marvel)
4 Secret Invasion #4 (Marvel)
5 Secret Invasion #5 (Marvel)
6 Secret Invasion #6 (Marvel)
7 Uncanny X-Men #500 (Marvel)
8 Secret Invasion #7 (Marvel)
9 Final Crisis #1 (DC)
10 Secret Invasion #8 (Marvel)



  1. ...and not a single Marvel trade title in the Top Ten graphic novels.

    Which is a bit surprising, as both Dark Tower and Anita Blake continue to sell well.

    But online sales do not equal bookstore sales do not equal direct market sales.

    Compare it with Brian Hibb's list,
    where Buffy was the predominant title and SI was much lower.

  2. Ouch Final Crisis. Probably because GM's FC was/is TERRIBLE and confusing as hell and Secret Invasion was actually enjoyable.

    Just let Geoff Johns do your big events for now on, cause he writes great stuff.

  3. I'm going to go out on a limb and say I'm detecting a pattern in the top 6 best-sellers.

  4. I wonder how Secret Invasion did...

  5. I am blown away that ALL 8 issues of Secret Invasion dominated the Top 10 of '08. I'm not even saying that sarcastically (for once). I mean, I figured those books sold well, but so well they dominated the entire year?

    Well, Marvel must have a clue, and obviously the drop-off rate for S.I., while existent, couldn't have been too bad. Huh.

  6. Anonymous9:05 PM

    I've seen comics today described as a hydra with multiple heads and similar analogies that point to there no longer being one or two ways of doing things.

    In 2009 and moving forward, that's pretty spot-on in terms of content, formats, publishing options, and distribution methods.

    I also think that's why discussions on comics in general and their direction are sometimes difficult to have because medium, genre, and format are often confused or used interchangeably. When the basic terminology becomes muddled, it's difficult to have a meaningful conversation.

  7. "I mean, I figured those books sold well, but so well they dominated the entire year?"

    Well, this is the $64,000 question.

    Obviously, people were buying this stuff.

    Which begs the question: Does the comics blogosphere "buzz" accurately reflect the actual sales?

    Buzz = not so much coverage in CBR & Newsarama, but the actual reviewers, pundits, posts, etc.

    Can you accurately guess eventual "numbers" though "buzz?"

    Because I figured SI did well -- but I had no idea this well.

  8. This is my fault. I had a flashback to the 1990's and bought several thousand copies each in speculation... Secret Invasion is the new Archer & Armstrong!!!

  9. Wow. I thought "Secret Invasion" was awful, but apparently the rest of comics fandom disagrees.

  10. Anonymous2:30 AM

    That's so f******* sad.

  11. nary a one have I read.

  12. Not really a comment but more of a question to Valerie, would you do a top ten of 2008? How about a project, besides your Cloak and Dagger that you are looking forward to. Thanks a lot

  13. So...1 DC book?


    I'm sure it's just an anomaly.

    Nothing to do with editorial.


  14. Question is, though, are those the sale figures for the books alone, or for all their variants? All 8 issues of SI had variant covers and as we all know it's the 90s all over again.

  15. You know. I always "liked" the Skrull. I hoped that they would take over the Marvel world but sadly I don't know what happened. I saw the way the story was going after the first 2 issues and stopped reading...


  16. Remember... Diamond sells comics to retailers on a NONRETURNABLE basis. Diamond's customers are comicbook shops, NOT comicbook fans.

    That said, if Secret Invasion sucked, orders placed for later issues would have been drastically fewer.

    Of course, this applies to everything else Diamond sells.

    Some of it could be stores ordering variant copies as well, but they would only do this if they felt those copies would sell.

    Regarding event books, one can argue for them by stating that fans will buy into the storyline if their favorite character is involved. So you get the Hulk fans, the Spider-Man fans, the Avengers fans... who are all Marvel fans, but who don't buy every Marvel title. And no, you don't get every Marvel comic reader to buy it (I didn't) but you do get a percentage, and that's why, if the story is good, you'll hit 100K in sales.

    If it's fantastic, then non-Marvel fans will read it too, because people like a good story.

    What happens after the event is over, well, that's the problem. How do you keep those fans? Spin off new titles and hope people buy it. Worked for Thunderbolts.

  17. Anonymous4:36 PM

    Tiny Titans is DC's best book.

    More people need to be reading Powers and True Story Swear to God.

  18. Secret Invasion was enjoyable? Mildly. I just reread Final Crisis #6 for maybe the tenth time. It's STILL awesome. Confusing? Oh yeah. But comparing it to Secret Invasion is like comparing Thomas Pynchon to JK Rowling. It depends on what you'd rather have, I guess. I'll take something that challenges me and that I might not completely understand every time. Secret Invasion dominates this list because it's more easily digestible than Final Crisis. Most people don't want to read a comic book so bogged down with years of continuity (a rich, fascinating one at that), or one that is structured in a way that is so out of the ordinary. I do, though.