It was observed to me by a third party that for a good part of 2012 Barnes & Noble was not stocking the "top 100" DC Comics, which I entirely forgot about in my BookScan 2012 report.
There are published reports that say that this ended at the end of June 2012, but there's also reports from
everyone's favorite muckraker, Rich Johnston, that some/much of the books were returning to some B&N locations before 2011 even ended.
What does this actually do to the charts? I have no real idea. Typically 4th quarter is the strongest sales quarter, so, in theory, this should have impacted DC's 2011 numbers much stronger than 2012, but even that's uncertain -- how much demand was simply delayed until the books returned to stock, how much was shunted over to Amazon or indy book stores? How much unmet demand yielded no sale for DC? I have no frickin' idea, but at the very least it should have been NOTED in the column, and that's a lousy mistake for me to have made.
There was just 12k difference (701k vs 689k) in sales between DC and Image this year, so it's possible, mayyybe even likely that DC actually "would have" been the #1 western publisher, but I can only analyze the numbers that are there, rather than the ones that aren't. Still.... asterisk that analysis, I think, to be safe.