The Wall Street Journal published Diamond Comic Distributors' list of the top-selling comics publishers for 2014 Friday morning, and for the most part, it's all the usual suspects. Marvel was No. 1 with more than a third of the market share, in both dollars and units. DC was reasonably close behind. Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Dynamite and Boom Studios took the next spots.

Then comes number eight. Eaglemoss Publications. Wait. What? Who?

There's a definite chance that non-retailers who've read American comics for years have rarely or never heard the name of the company that beat out Avatar Press and Random House -- numbers nine and ten on the list -- and publishers who weren't listed at all, including Oni and Valiant. So how they heck did it end up there?

Here's how: Eaglemoss publishes Marvel and DC stuff.

The company's main business isn't publishing. It's collectibles. They make superhero chess sets. They sell models of Batmobiles and related vehicles. They also make a magazine called Disney Cakes and Sweets and models of James Bond's cars.

Eaglemoss ended up on the list because it also publishes a few comics-related magazines. The replica Batmobiles come with a magazine called Batman Automobilia. They publish Marvel Fact Files, a sort of magazine-like spin on the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. Eaglemoss' chess sets and figurines come with magazines too.

So, quite frankly, it's a cheat. These aren't really comics. But sales numbers don't discriminate. These are cold counts of units sold, and at least right now, a publisher who sells magazines that come with chess-piece models of comics characters can grab more of the market than some of the most familiar comic publishing names in the business.

For reference, here's Diamond's full top 10 list:

 

Marvel Comics34.38%36.78%
DC Comics28.86%32.47%
Image Comics9.23%10.41%
IDW Publishing5.69%4.34%
Dark Horse Comics5.07%4.25%
Dynamite Entertainment2.57%2.41%
Boom! Studios2.23%2.16%
Eaglemoss Publications1.30%0.29%
Avatar Press0.97%0.83%
Random House0.95%0.30%
All other publishers8.75%5.75%