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DC Comics Beats Marvel Comics for October Unit Share Nearly 50% to 30%

Boosted by their recent line-wide reboot and the massive advertising and media blitz that accompanied it, DC Comics surged in sales for October 2011, according to Diamond Comics Distributors, pulling down 50% percent versus Marvel Comics’ 30% of unit share in the comics industry, and beating them 42% to 29% in dollar share. This marks an even sharper increase from September — the first month of the relaunch — when DC beat Marvel 43% to 38% in unit share and ran roughly even in dollar share. Prior to the relaunch, Marvel had secured the top spot for all of 2011, leading DC 42% to 35% in unit share just a month prior in August 2011.

DC’s Flashpoint hardcover, collecting the event comic that lead to the relaunch, was the number one bestselling graphic novel of the month as well, and DC dominated the list of Top 10 single issues, winning all top 6 slots, and 7 out of 10 overall.

Diamond noted that the month also marked an increase for comics sales in general, increasing 6.8% in terms of dollar sales over the previous month, and 24% over the previous October.

Whether these increasing sales for the industry at large and DC in particular will continue as we move further and further away from their major September publishing event remains to be seen, but for now the initial success of the New 52 is undeniable.

DC Executive VP of sales, marketing and business development John Rood played down the increase in market share to the Washington Post, citing the creation of quality products as more important than beating competitors. “The market-share battle is not the one we care to win,” Rood said. “We are battling to deliver great stories and characters, and to support comic shops so that they’re the ones who win every month.”

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