Home Comics & Toys Marvel was the top-selling comic book publisher of 2018

Marvel was the top-selling comic book publisher of 2018

2 min read

2018 comic books (1) (2)

Much like my buttocks, the comic book industry doesn’t call Marvel and DC the Big Two for nothing! While overall sales always seem to be in flux, Marvel and DC did some good business last year with plenty of sales. Chalk it up to having more brand-recognisable characters or sheer quantity over quality, but the Big Two still managed to enjoy a robust 2018.

According to numbers gleaned from the total unit sales to comic book specialty retailers from Diamond Comic Distributors (the world’s largest distributor of comics and graphic novels), Marvel came out on top this year and grabbed a hefty 38.24% dollar share of the comic book market. DC trailed in with a close second, taking 30.04% of the same pie.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the top ten comic book publishers in 2010:

2018 comic books (3)

  1. Marvel Comics – 38.24% dollar share
  2. DC Entertainment – 30.04% dollar share
  3. Image Comics – 9.93% dollar share
  4. IDW Publishing – 3.83% dollar share
  5. Dark Horse Comics – 2.92% dollar share
  6. BOOM! Studios – 2.24% dollar share
  7. Dynamite Entertainment – 1.86% dollar share
  8. Viz Media – 1.22% dollar share
  9. Titan Comics – 0.87% dollar share
  10. Oni Press – 0.83% dollar share

DC did manage to pip Marvel when it came to the single best selling comic book of 2018, although Marvel beat them in overall entries on that top ten list with Spider-Man proving to be a cultural juggernaut.

2018 comic books (4)

  1. Action Comics #1000
  2. Amazing Spider-Man #800
  3. Batman #50
  4. Fantastic Four #1
  5. Amazing Spider-Man #1
  6. Return of Wolverine #1
  7. Venom #1
  8. Amazing Spider-Man #798
  9. Batman Who Laughs #1
  10. Amazing Spider-Man #799

As for graphic novels? The top selling collection of single issues was a blast from the past, as Avengers: Infinity War helped propel its classic source material out of the 1990s and straight back to the top. Here’s a look at that list:

2018 comic books (1) (3)

  1. Infinity Gauntlet
  2. Saga volume 9
  3. Saga volume 1
  4. Saga volume 8
  5. Action Comics: 80 Years of Superman
  6. The Walking Dead Volume 29: Lines We Cross
  7. Paper Girls Volume 1
  8. Batman: White Knight
  9. Dark Nights Metal
  10. Monstress volume 1

Interesting, but predictable results. Still, the numbers above are worth taking with a pinch of salt I reckon. As mentioned above, the stats track comic books sent to dedicated retailers, with no mention of digital sales or how these comic books fared in markets beyond North America. Stats which I think will paint a whole different story if they were made public.

2018 comic books (2)

But for now? The numbers represent an interesting look at the market today. Overall, comic books in 2018 had a 3.3% increase in sales, graphic novels were down 6.6% when compared to 2017 sales and the combined result was a .6% increase in sales overall.


2018 comic books (1)

Last Updated: January 15, 2019


  1. Mr Darryn, have you done an article on Superhero one-shots; stand-alones; graphic novels?
    I love the good stories and art of the monthly comic, but struggle with the multiple timelines, rectonning and comic standards that make it difficult to catch – up. I´ve tried doing Rebirth, it was pretty good for awhile and then I lost the plot again. So for myself I really enjoyed Killing Joke, Watchmen, Kingdom Come that sort of thing. Yea there are many lists on the interwebs, I´m just wondering


    • The D

      January 15, 2019 at 18:24

      Hey, if you’d like a list of easy to digest graphic novels, I’m more than happy to whip one up in the near future for you.


      • BradeLunner

        January 15, 2019 at 18:31

        That sounds like major effort for you, and then I’d feel guilty if I didn’t read them all! I’m hoping everyone would want to read that though!


      • HavokZA

        January 15, 2019 at 21:36

        Make sure Arkham Asylum is on that list. Its about as easy to digest as a curried three bean three cheese burrito but its effect on the brain will be about the same as on the rectum. Explosive. Its not called “A Serious House On Serious Earth” just for the cool factor.


        • BradeLunner

          January 16, 2019 at 11:17

          Hoo-llleeeee shit I just googled some images to see if I recognized. That looks like pure nightmare fuel. Also, now I am feeling for burritos.


  2. Cat

    January 16, 2019 at 12:10

    Hi Guys
    Just thought I would let you know the “show more news” on the main site does not seem to be working.


    • Geoffrey Tim

      January 16, 2019 at 12:20

      Hello! We fixed this this morning, and we’re just waiting for the changes to propagate through the various caches. Thanks.


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