Marvel Comics took the top spot on Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly sales estimates in December, effectively unhorsing DC Comics from their three-month streak. Marvel had a 34.43% dollar share and 39.05% market share for December with only two issues ranked in the top ten comic books ("Avengers: X-Sanction" #1 in fifth and "Defenders" #1 in seventh) and three graphic novels in the top ten ("Criminal" Volume 6 TP in fifth, "X-Men: Schism" HC in ninth and "Death of Ultimate Spider-Man" TP in tenth.)
DC trailed just behind Marvel with a 33.74% dollar share and a 37.72% market share. While the publisher may have lost the top position for December's sales rankings, it dominated the top ten comics list with eight out of ten spots going to #4 issues of the New 52. Geoff Johns and Jim Lee's "Justice League" #4 had another strong performance this month, taking the #1 slot for top ten comics. "Fables" Volume 16 made #2 on the top ten graphic novels list with "Brightest Day" Volume 1 coming in at #7.
The real winner of the top ten graphic novels chart was Image Comics' "The Walking Dead," which took the #1, #3 and #8 slots with various trade paperback collections.
Also published with December's monthly numbers were the year end comparative sales statistics. While 2011 was a year barely in the black for single issues, with an overall 1.16% increase in dollars and a 4.57% increase in units. Graphic novels fared less well with a 5.01% decrease in dollars and an 11.64% decrease in units. Unfortunately, December sales for both graphic novels and comics were down from November.
See Diamond's early overall estimates below, and stay tuned to CBR News for more on the numbers and market share.