Robot 6

The Walking Dead returns to Diamond’s Top 10 … but why?

The Walking Dead #103 was No. 9 on Diamond Comic Distributors’ list of comics sold to the direct market in October, marking the rare breakthrough into the Top 10 by an independent title. The question, though, is why.

Sure, the landmark 100th issue of the acclaimed horror series by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard landed atop the sales chart in July with a record-breaking 335,000 copies, propelled by a whopping 13 variant covers, but Issue 103 had just one variant (Chris Giarrusso‘s adorable homage to the first issue).

While there are no sales estimates yet for The Walking Dead #103, we can look to the two previous issues for some comparison: August’s Issue 101 landed at No. 31 with an estimated 51,732 copies, followed in September by Issue 102 at No. 24 with 53,337 copies. Considering that ICv2 is reporting periodical sales increased 7.4 percent in October over the same month in 2011, we can safely say The Walking Dead #103 sold … significantly more than those two previous issues. Again, though, why?

It was billed as “a new beginning for The Walking Dead,” and “a perfect jumping-on point,” so perhaps we’re seeing the television effect that’s kept the collections at the top of the bookstore charts spilling into the single issues (the first volume, originally released in 2006, is a perennial bestseller). It’s certainly possible that, with AMC’s hit adaptation returning for its third season in October, viewers who had already consumed the trade paperbacks (and the retailers who sell them) took Image Comics at its word and jumped on the monthly series with Issue 103, pushing sales to somewhere well north of 53,000.

Next week, we should have a solid sales estimate, and with it a better idea of the title’s trajectory.



Ten million people watch the show, it makes sense that a number of those fans flocked to the ongoing comic too. They already have been.

James Droegemueller

November 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm

As a store manager I ordered 10 times the amount of my normal order. I ended up selling NO EXTRA copies. The numbers are inflated because stores purchased more than “really” sold.

But why James?

double your normal order, even that is iffy. Why did you and other retailers order 10X as much?

The next TPB will end at #102, so #103 will get a bump in orders.

The question to ask is why isn’t the book selling more on a regular basis? One of the best titles out there. Kirkman’s such a great writer I zip through the book and am left wanting more despite how much content he puts in there. Plus the show is my favorite show on TV. Anybody wanting to be a comic book writer, and writer in general, can take some lessons from Kirkman on character development. He makes us care about these characters which is why their deaths are so heartbreaking (especially #100!). I’m thinking the jump probably has to do with the timing of the season premiere than anything or maybe people thinking someone was going to bite the dust given that cover.

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