Believe it or not, the best-selling comic of July wasn’t Batman, or the Avengers, or even Walking Dead. It was Rocket Raccoon — and he led the comic industry to its biggest month in history.
The latest data from Diamond Comic Distributors has been released, and it shows that Guardians of the Galaxy spinoff Rocket Raccoon #1 led all other books for the month with a reported 300,000 issues, though exact figures have not been released.
For the month, comic sales totaled $53.6 million — the highest in the modern era since Diamond started tracking all this stuff in 1997. Behind Rocket Raccoon, Batman #33, Amazing Spider-Man #4, Original Sin #5 and Spider-Man 2099 #1 rounded out the top five. Also of note: Fellow Guardians spinoff Legendary Star-Lord # 1 cracked the Top 10 at number nine.
So yeah, Guardians’ boffo box-office numbers don’t seem like quite as much of a surprise when you see all the comic buzz that was generated the month before it opened. Well played, Marvel. Well played.
Not to be outdone, mainstay The Walking Dead led the top graphic novels and trade paperbacks list, with The Walking Dead Volume 2: All Out War Part 2 at the top. The rest of the top five was made up of Avatar: The Last Airbender Volume 8: Rift Part 2, Deadly Class Volume 1: Reagan Youth, Saga Volume 1 and Bryan Lee O’Malley: Seconds.
The July numbers beat the previous high of $50.32 million set in October 2013, with a month led by The Walking Dead 115, Batman 24, Infinity 4, Forever Evil 2 and Infinity 5. The top trade paperback collection that month was Batman Volume 3: Death of the Family.
Considering that down-home comic shops seem be dying on the vine these days, it's nice to see there’s still a ton of life left in this medium. Plus, woo-hoo, we’re right in the middle of a Guardians renaissance. Now let's just get Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning back together ...