Marvel Comics’ Amazing Spider-Man #1 was the best-selling comic book published in 2014 based on total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture merchandise.
Comics and graphic novels continued their upward trend in 2014, with annual sales increasing 4.39 percent over the previous year, as comic book sales specifically were up 4.03 percent, while graphic novel sales rose by 5.18 percent.
Marvel Comics finished the year as the comic book specialty market’s top publisher, leading both Dollar and Unit Market Shares, with a 34.38 percent Dollar Market Share and a 36.78 percent Unit Market Share.
Marvel Comics had nine of the year’s top ten comics, with the all four issues of the Death of Wolverine limited series among the top sellers, along with Rocket Raccoon #1, Thor #1, Original Sin #1, and Superior Spider-Man #31. On the year, Marvel had 53 of the 2014’s top 100 best-selling comics.
DC Entertainment was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2014 with a 28.86 percent Dollar Market Share and a 32.47 percent Unit Market Share. The publisher celebrated the Dark Knight’s 75th Anniversary throughout the year, publishing a number of bestselling titles and declaring July 23rd Batman Day with retailers and libraries nationwide. DC Entertainment’s top comic, Batman #32 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, charted at #14; overall, DC had 43 of the top 100 comics for the year.
The third volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ science fiction epic, Saga from Image Comics was the year’s top-selling graphic novel and boosted Image Comics to the year’s third largest comic book publisher, with a 9.23 percent Dollar Market Share and a 10.41 percent Unit Market Share. Image Comics took nine of the top ten graphic novel spots, including all four collections of Saga as well as four volumes from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, along with Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals Volume 1 at #7. Also among the top comics for the year from Image was Kirkman’s The Walking Dead #132, the #2 best-selling comic book for 2014.
IDW Publishing’s was the comic book specialty market’s fourth largest publisher, propelled by its licensed titles such as My Little Pony, Transformers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, among others. The company’s market share was 5.69 percent dollar market share for the year. Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe #1, pitting the beloved Hasbro toy franchises in battle, was IDW’s top-selling comic book for the year, and the publisher had two volumes of Joe Hill’s Locke & Key among the year’s top 100 graphic novels.
Dark Horse Comics mix of licensed comic books and creator-owned titles helped the company to be the fifth leading comic book publisher to the comic book specialty market in 2014 with a 5.07 percent retail dollar market share. Two volumes of Avatar: The Last Airbender, based on the Nickelodeon television series, ranked among the year’s top 100 graphic novels along with Mike Mignola’s Hellboy In Hell: Descent.