This is a very interesting week for digital comics best-sellers, for two reasons: It’s the first week without a new issue of the perennial best-seller Injustice: Gods Among Us, which has dominated the charts since we started compiling these lists, and three platforms (comiXology, Kindle, and Nook) had a 99-cent sale on Fables with varying effects on their lists. Let’s take a look at how this played out.
1. Saga #14
2. Wolverine and the X-Men #36
3. Avengers, vol. 5 #20
4. Sex Criminals #1
5. Batman/Superman #3.1: Featuring Doomsday
6. Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 3 #6
7. Uncanny Avengers #12
8. Justice League #23.4: Featuring Secret Society
9. The Wake #4
10. Batman #23.4: Featuring Bane
ComiXology looks pretty much like it does every week, with every comic on the Top Ten a new release for this week. There are two Image titles, which is a bit unusual; one is the top-selling Saga and the other is the first issue of Sex Criminals, which is a generous 39 pages for $2.99. Plus, as we all know, sex sells, and Sex Criminals promises plenty of it. Marvel and DC have four comics each in the top ten. No back issues of Injustice, and no 99-cent issues of Fables, make the list. In fact, the first issue of Fables to make the comiXology best-seller chart is at number 39. The readers of comiXology will not let low prices lure them away from this week’s new releases!
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #36
2. Fables #1
3. Injustice: Gods Among Us #35
4. Fables #2
5. Fables #3
6. Injustice: Gods Among Us #34
7. All New X-Men, vol. 1: Yesterday’s X-Men
8. Injustice: Gods Among Us #1
9. Stephen King’s N
10. Injustice: Gods Among Us #33
Amazon customers are a different bunch, and the Fables sale does change the list somewhat. In fact, it’s a stark illustration of the comics maxim that each issue sells less than the one before, as issues #1, 2, and 3 fall down the list in numerical order. Injustice: Gods Among Us reverses that, perhaps because there are no more new issues so everyone is playing catch-up. That X-Men graphic novel is on sale at the moment, which may be why it’s doing so well; it’s not a new book. It’s tempting to conclude, from looking at this list, that Kindle customers are pretty price-sensitive; eight of the ten comics are 99 cents each, and another one is on steep markdown.
1. It’s a Dog’s Life, Snoopy
2. The World According to Lucy
3. Sandman #1
4. Snoopy at the Bat
5. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
6. Injustice: Gods Among Us #1
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 2
8. Big Nate: Game On
9. The Walking Dead, vol. 3
10. Injustice: Gods Among Us #35
The loss of Injustice: Gods Among Us doesn’t bode well for Nook. You can’t see it from this chart, because I strip out the free titles, but it looks like folks aren’t buying. The first non-free book to show up is at number 7 on the overall list, which means six free books were downloaded more often. The last book is at number 40, which means three times as many books were downloaded for free as were purchased. Also, with no more Injustice issues to download, the reading habits of Nook users are laid bare: Peanuts and other comic strips, and The Walking Dead. It’s an interesting mix.
1. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #11
2. Injustice: Gods Among Us #36
3. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #10
4. Injustice: Gods Among Us #4
5. Injustice: Gods Among Us #5
6. Injustice: Gods Among Us#6
7. Injustice: Gods Among Us #7
8. Injustice: Gods Among Us #9
9. Injustice: Gods Among Us #35
10. Injustice: Gods Among Us #10
Meanwhile, in the iBookstore, time stands still, as folks continue to buy the early issues of Injustice: Gods Among Us alongside the two newest issues of My Little Pony. It’s sort of the exact opposite of comiXology, where people are only buying the freshest comic-shop comics.
So there you have it. The Fables sale only made an impact on Kindle users, and now that Injustice is gone, Nook users have practically given up on paying for comics. With the exception of My Little Pony on iTunes, comiXology is the only place where people are queuing up to pay full price for this week’s new releases. And that’s why, despite yesterday’s article, they probably have little to fear from the competition, at least for now.
A former book editor and newspaper reporter, Brigid Alverson started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters¹ reading habits and now covers comics and graphic novels for Comic Book Resources , School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Robot 6, and MTV Geek. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Brigid was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards. Send her an email to firstname.lastname@example.org