Top selling comics of 2020
Welcome to the year 2021! The past year has been full of unexpected events and changes. Like other local comic shop, we really went through the wringer! You, our family, have faced it all and stuck with us through everything. From stay-at-home orders to Diamond Comics locking down operations, to DC Comics changing vendors twice, we navigated this past year and came through to the other side. We could not have done it without you. Thank you!
With the start of the new year, we thought it would be good to take a look at the comics that thrived, the comics that flew off the shelves, and which titles everyone stuck with. However, our findings were much different than expected. For example, when it came to which publishers sold more copies, we expected to see DC Comics to have lower numbers due to the whole “musical chairs” of changing vendors. Instead, their numbers matched historical data we’ve seen at our store in years past. Marvel accounted for 39% of total units sold, whereas DC accounted for 34%, with the rest going to Image Comics, Boom Studios, and others.
When it came to the top-selling titles of the year, DC Comics leads with three titles, Batman, Dark Nights Death Metal, and Justice League (including Dark and Odyssey), followed by Marvel’s Empyre (including one-shots), X-Men, and Star Wars (including Vader, Bounty Hunters, etc.).
In single issues and their variant edition covers and reprints, Batman Three Jokers #1, #2, #3 far outpaced others.
Why is this surprising? Again, the industry upheaval was on par with other industries affected by economic instability and shutdowns. DC Comics had multiple rounds of layoffs. They also received harsh criticism from some of the more squeaky (tilting) wheels in the industry. The expectation was that they would have a less than stellar year. From our perspective, that wasn’t the case.
Is Zeus Comics an outlier? Hard to say. If there are sales numbers from Lunar and USC that could be compared to our own numbers, that would have helped determine if this just a fluke. One factor that makes us stand out from other shops id our online site’s Pull List, Preorder (FOC), and e-commerce platform have done very well this year. Online sales this past year outpaced all other years combined.
Zeus Comics has also worked to maintain a great relationship with our friends at DC Comics during this time. Remember, it was DC, along with Jim Lee and other artists and writers, that spearheaded online auctions, fundraising, and donations to keep comic shops afloat in the face of imminent closure. It was DC Comics that immediately worked with other vendors to ship comics after Diamond Comics cut off all local comic shops from shipments and furloughed their own employees.
Zeus also prides itself on going beyond simply stocking the shelves. In the twenty years that we have been open, comic book creators and readers had Zeus as a way to connect to each other. Through our numerous book signings, art festivals, and fundraiser events, we are the hub that brings people together. It’s those relationships that keep readers tethered to their favorite artists and writers.
However the events of 2020 unfolded, the numbers show–for our store at least–a great year for comics. 2021 promises to be a year of positive changes. To our friends out there making comics, we love you. Let us all get together very soon!
Jason David Frank at Zeus this Sunday!
Negan Lives in a very special The Walking Dead issue
Green Lantern 80th Anniversary issue with special covers spanning the decades
Tom King’s Strange Adventures returns this week
Never Miss an Issue with Zeus
Catwoman 80th Anniversary, Birds of Prey #1, and more new comics
Marvel’s Back In The House
New this week: Image Comics, Dark Horse, Boom Studios and more join the pull list
Curbside pickup and shipping now available