The folks over at Comics Alliance have been doing a really wonderful job reporting on digital comics distribution.  David Brothers spent some time looking at comicxology’s sales numbers and compared them with print sales figure.  The results are very interesting and show a definite divide between the two areas of comics distribution.

A quick glance at the Comixology’s best-selling comics list reveals something remarkable right off the bat. The only Marvel or DC books on the list are Mark Millar and John Romita Jr’s Kick-Ass, a creator-owned book, Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s Civil War, a work for hire title, and Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth’s Sandman, another work for hire book. If you go by the top ten series, the Big Two are responsible for just 30% of ComiXology’s units sold. This is a sharp drop from the 77% they control in the Direct Market.

Further examination of the Top Ten Series on ComiXology reveals even more interesting data. Creator-owned books are 50% of the list. Creator-owned series don’t even show up on Diamond’s top ten list, but I was still curious. I created a chart of the combined Top 300 sales lists from January 2010 to November 2010, covering 3317 comics, to go along with Diamond’s official Top 500 for 2010.

The highest charting creator-owned comic on the official Diamond list was Kick-Ass 2 #1 at #103, followed by Nemesis #1 at #136, and Image Firsts Walking Dead at #171 on my Top 3317 chart. Diamond’s chart does not count reprint comics, apparently. Diamond’s top ten, with the exceptions of Avengers #1, New Avengers #1, and X-Men #1, are event comics. That means 70% of the top ten at Diamond were event books, while the only event comic that rates on ComiXology is Civil War. That’s quite a difference, isn’t it?

Personally I am very pleased to see that the two arms of comics distribution are catering to different crowds, which is what the data suggests.  And I look forward to more reporting from Comics Alliance on digital comics trends.

Click HERE for the full article.

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