The Top 100 Selling Graphic Novels For August 2004
This list comes from digging through sales figures, asking too many questions and using Diamond Comics information. The snotty comments in white are from deep in Cory's sick twisted little brain.
1 LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN VOL 2 TP $14.95 DC 10,142
Just a GREAT story, and if you saw the movie, wash it from your mind. This story takes a number of 19th Century fictional characters and has them fight the invasion of HG Wells's Martians. Well, kind of. This is one of the few series so good that I buy it as a hardcover. Incredibly inventive, perfectly drawn and a package that fits the subject matter, this is Highly Recommended.
2 ULTIMATE X-MEN VOL 8 NEW MUTANTS TP $12.99 MAR 7,503
Normally, I would be recommending anything by Brain Michael Bendis, but his take on the X-Men wasn't one that I cared for. I guess you can't write everything.
3 SANDMAN ENDLESS NIGHTS TP (MR) $17.95 DC 6,643
Sandman is back, and this graphic novel shows that there is still a LOT that Neil Gaiman can do with his creation. This is a series on connected short stories, all done by different artists, and the reader need not have ever read a Sandman story before to jump right in. It sold amazingly well in hardcover outside the comics shop world, and probably will do the same in softcover. Highly Recommended.
4 JLA/AVENGERS COLL ED OVERSIZED SLIPCASED HC $75.00 DC 5,928
I am AMAZED at the sales figures for this collection. Yes, I bought it, rather than buying the mini-series, and yes, it is an amazingly well-done package for the hard core fanboys who are going to want it, but still, a $75 book selling almost 6K copies? The story itself is a pure geekgasm, but I would imagine that non-comics fans will just be wondering who the hell all of these people are. As a gift for nerds, however, it's nearly perfect. Still, if you didn't already buy this, you aren't going to, so just wait for the regular trade paperback.
5 TRIGUN MAXIMUM VOL 2 DEATH BLUE TP (MR)
$9.95 DAR 5,646
6 TRANSMETROPOLITAN VOL 11 TALES O/HUMAN WASTE TP $9.95 DC 5,364
Collecting two of the specials they did of this series where the essays of the main character were printed with pin-ups by a lot of really good artists. The problem is, the essays have not aged well, are all WAY too short, and betray the source of the character and read like second rate Hunter S. Thompson. Go read "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail" instead.
7 SUPERMAN GODFALL HC $19.95 DC 5,262
8 RUROUNI KENSHIN VOL 6 GN $7.95 VIZ 5,205
9 ESSENTIAL AVENGERS VOL 4 TP $16.99 MAR 4,359
Reprinting the late 60's issues of this series, and it features some of John Buscema's best non-Conan art. The stories are also some of Roy Thomas's best, and as such, this is highly recommended...even without the fact that it reprints the Kree Skrull War, which is probably the highlight of the whole damn series.
10 NARUTO VOL 4 TP SHONEN J ED $7.95 VIZ
11 PUNISHER MAX VOL 1 I/T BEGINNING TP (MR) $14.99 MAR 4,157
Reprinting the first six issues of the new series, which has left behind the dark humor of the previous run. This story, tying up a couple of loose ends from the 90's series, is a perfect starting place for this character, and shows that the simple stories are the best. The Punisher is simply an action/adventure character with no frills, and Garth Ennis is one of the few writers who can flourish under that idea. Highly recommended.
12 ESSENTIAL IRON FIST VOL 1 TP $16.99 MAR 3,990
70's comics have NOT aged well. It was a time where comics were still selling to mainstream audiences, but the fans were writing them, so they were more like super-hero soap operas than action stories. All of the cliches are here (fight scene in every issue, tons of talking during fights, faux Stan Lee captions), and art that swings from very good to horridly rushed. Still, for $17, you get the complete solo run of the character, and the first three issues of the team-up of Iron Fist and Power Man, which should have failed quickly but lasted 75 issues. A decent nostalgia romp, and at the price, it's a LOT of silly reading for the price. You also get the see the early work of John Byrne and Chris Claremont before their trollies went off their tracks.
13 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL 7 BOOK O/EZEKIEL TP $12.99 MAR 3,925
I REALLY disliked this story. Spider-Man doesn't belong in big mystic stories, and this long-running subplot was supposed to bring a deeper meaning to Spidey's origin, but instead just read like a story that Spidey was shoehorned into, with an ending that felt more like a Michael O'Donoghue parody of how to write than actual writing. Not recommended.
14 BLADE O/T IMMORTAL VOL 13 MIRROR O/T
SOUL TP $17.95 DAR 3,802
15 X-MEN DAYS O/FUTURE PAST TP $19.99 MAR 3,766
This is the X-Men story that ruined the X-Men. No, not the story itself, which was the crowning achievement of the Bynre/Claremont team, and still is a GREAT read, but the fact that everyone who has EVER done the X-Men or a related book since feels the need to revisit it and move the Marvel Universe toward it. In the future, Mutants are kept in prison camps and so on. The story itself was only two issues, so they toss in a few of the MILLIONS of stories that follow it up, and they show just how thin the premise has gotten. Look for the $5 prestige reprinting of the two issues if you want to read it, or just pick it up in one of the Essential X-Men reprints.
16 LUCIFER VOL 6 MANSIONS O/T SILENCE TP
(MR) $14.95 DC 3,708
17 STAR WARS INFINITIES RETURN OF THE JEDI TP $12.95 DAR 3,506
A What If...? For the Star Wars movies. For hard core fans only.
18 BATMAN DEATH & MAIDENS TP $19.95 DC 3,354
Greg Rucka is one of the best writers to work on Batman in the past decade, and with this mini-series, he writes Ra's Al Ghul "last story" for a while. Klaus Jansen's art is a style that people either like or tolerate...and I'm in the like category. A fitting goodbye for the writer, who has moved on to other projects, and highly recommended.
19 MARVEL KNIGHTS 4 VOL 1 WOLF A/T DOOR TP $16.99 MAR 3,325
The New Fantastic Four series, and as I read it, I kept thinking that I had read the story of the FF going bankrupt so many times, it's not fun anymore. This story strips the FF of the scientific trappings and fantastic locales and makes them a struggling family who happen to be super-heroes. It's not BAD, just not what I read the FF for.
20 ROBIN UNMASKED TP $12.95 DC 3,123
Reprinting the issues of Robin when his father discovered his secret identity. That part of the story was VERY well done, and made a lot of sense. The super-hero aspect, however, didn't work for me, with Robin against a big time mystic enemy, which just doesn't fit with the crime element of the Batman series. A mixed bag, so it's mildly recommended.
21 SAMURAI EXECUTIONER VOL 1 TP (MR) $9.95 DAR 3,087
Amazingly, these are re-orders. That's right, re-orders. From last month. I guess this series, by the same team that did "Lone Wolf and Cub" caught shop owners by surprise, but it shouldn't have. It's more of a side-story to Lone Wolf and Cub that anything else, and is just as good as that series, which is probably the best manga series that has made it to the US. Highly recommended.
22 DONALD DUCK ADVS VOL 7 TP $7.95 GEM 3,058
23 FLIGHT GN $19.95 IMA 2,928
24 SUPERMAN GREATEST STORIES EVER TOLD TP $19.95 DC 2,848
An updating of the late 80's collection, with a few stories from the 90's added. A nice collection for people who haven't read a lot of Superman stuff, but there's nothing here that hasn't been reprinted a few times already.
25 NEW X-MEN VOL 3 HC $29.99 MAR 2,761
The last third of Grant Morrison's X-Men run, and in it, he ties everything together, tells the best Magneto story in years, deals with Wolverine's origin and shows the end of the Marvel Universe. That's right. The Best X-Men run in the title's history ends here, and this book is Highly Recommended.
26 MARVEL AGE EMMA FROST VOL 1 HIGHER
LEARNING DIG TP $7.99 MAR 2,646
27 TRANSFORMERS/GI JOE VOL 1 TP $17.95 DRE 2,646
If you didn't already buy this, you won't be interested. I know I'm not.
28 MARVEL AGE SPIDER-MAN VOL 3 DIG TP $5.99 MAR 2,530
The "new reader friendly" Spider-Man series that re-tells the early Lee/Ditko stories in a format that kids will like a lot better. I can't say I like the fact that kids won't read the old Spidey stuff because "it looks old", but I didn't much care for Golden Age stuff when I was a kid, so I can understand it. So, this is for them. Most comics fans won't give a damn about it, and this series isn't for them. You want to read this stuff? Read the Essential Spider-Man's first two collections for all the Ditko stuff. It's better.
29 WIZARD BEST O/WOLVERINE LTD DLX HC $29.99 WIZ 2,458
Let's see...it doesn't have the Frank Miller mini-series, so it's NOT the best of the character. Really, it's some OK stories that haven't been reprinted anywhere else in a while, and has intro pages that look like Wizard articles, which actually makes the thing look cheap. But the Frank Miller/Chris Claremont trades and the first three trades from the bew series by Rucka and Robinson and you'll have the best of Wolverine.
30 NEGIMA VOL 2 GN $10.95 RAN 2,414
31 WILL EISNERS SPIRIT ARCHIVES VOL 14 HC $49.95 DC 2,385
They are now re-printing the Post-WWII Spirit stories, which were drawn by Will Eisner, and are some of the best comics ever done. Other than the mild racism (which was a part of all popular culture in the 40's), the stories feel as fresh now as they did then, and are highly recommended. Probably the BEST of the DC Archives, and if you want to read the very best fo the Golden Age, this is the book to get.
32 SUPERMAN ADVS VOL 1 UP UP & AWAY TP $6.95 DC 2,349
Reprinting some of the Mark Millar Superman stories based on the animated series. They were all very well done single issue stories, and deserved a LOT more readers than they got. Not just for kids, but stories that just tell damn good Superman tales.
33 GREEN LANTERN PASSING TORCH TP $12.95 DC 2,342
Another reprinting of the early Ron Marz Green Lantern stories, when Hal Jordan was replaced by a new character. They haven't aged well at all, and this was the first run where Marz's anti-woman plotting really started to stand out.
34 SUPERMAN ADVS VOL 2 NEVER ENDING BATTLE $6.95 DC 2,255
More of the Millar Superman Animated stories. A great all-ages read.
35 SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN VOL 3 HERE THERE BE MONSTERS TP $9.99 MAR 2,183
Boy, this series has been pretty damn bad. I LOVED the creative team's first run on the character, filled with human moments, and dealing with Peter Parker and his cast. Now, those are gone for bad super-hero antics. Pass.
36 ELFQUEST GRAND QUEST VOL 4 TP $9.95 DC 2,169
Continuing the reprinting of the original Elfquest series, and a great way to read one of the best fantasy series in comics. Highly recommended.
37 LEGION FOUNDATIONS TP $19.95 DC 2,147
A collection of the post-Zero Hour relaunch of the Legion to get people read for the next re-launch of the Legion. Post-Zero Hour, the Legion was fun again, and they worked very hard to bring in new readers by clearing away everything and starting over. It only took them about 6 years to screw it all up again. The Legion is one of those comics that is HIGHLY dependent on a good creative team, and this is when they had one. If you haven't ever read this series about a team of super-heroes 1000 years in the future, this a good way to try it, but be warned, there are a LOT of characters, and it is SF super-hero soap opera stuff. Mildly recommended for hard core super-hero fans.
38 BATMAN HUSH VOL 1 TP $12.95 DC 2,132
Reprinting the first 6 issues of Jim Lee's run yet again. These are re-orders as well, but I have to know...who is it that wants to read this that hasn't picked up a copy yet? DC has reprinted the thing 4 times now, and the sales on the issues were the biggest in comics. Are these new readers? What is going on here?
39 GREEN ARROW ARCHERS QUEST TP $14.95 DC 2,111
I've not been a big fan of Green Arrow since Kevin Smith left, and while I don't dislike the stories, I don't think they are good enough to be given the hardcover treatment with every story arc. This is a trade collecting one of the lesser arc that came after Smith.
40 RING VOL 3 SPIRAL TP (MR) $12.95 DAR 2,096
The second "Ring" manga wasn't all that good, and I'm prolly not going to hunt this one down. The Ring was a great horror movie, and an OK horror manga, but it is really a one-note horror idea, and any sequels feel more like remakes than continuations.
41 TOMMYSAURUS REX GN $11.95 IMA 2,089
42 THOR VOL 6 GODS & MEN TP $13.99 MAR 2,053
43 ACTION HERO ARCHIVE VOLUME 1 HC $49.95 DC 2,053
This is an odd archive from DC, as it reprints a bunch of Steve Ditko Charlton comics of Captain Atom. While it is vintage Ditko, the production from Charlton was always pretty bad. Poor lettering, shoddy coloring (the comics were printed on a cereal box press) and mediocre writing don't help the very heavily over-inked Ditko work, and this one is for hard-core Ditko fans and completists only.
44 CROW FLESH & BLOOD TP DH ED $9.95 DAR 1,995
Reprinting some of the Crow comics from the 90's, and these had the same problem as the movie sequels, how many times can you tell the same story?
45 SILENT HILL DYING INSIDE TP (MR) $19.99 IDW 1,930
Based on the VERY creepy video games, and done in the IDW "blurry art" style. There's nothing here than people who aren't fans of the game will care about.
46 DRAGONBALL VOL 16 TP SHONEN J ED $7.95
47 STAR WARS CLONE WARS VOL 1 DEFENSE O/KAMINO TP $14.95 DAR 1,872
48 STAR TREK KEY COLL VOL 1 TP $22.95 CHE 1,829
When I was a kid in the 70's, there were a LOT of comics (mostly put out by Gold Key) that were based on TV shows. I'd buy one or two of them, but never really liked them because they were just too different from the shows themselves. This is a PERFECT example of that. Draw by artists who had never seen the show, and written by a comic hack who churned out scripts for pretty much every Dell comic at the time, these stories miss what was great about the Star Trek TV series, the character interplay and scripts that told relevant stories in a SF setting. These were all pretty much standard, bland SF stories that had been recycled over and over again. Checker is a company I like because they are putting stuff into print that you can't find anywhere else, or just has been neglected, but these stories are for Die-Hard Star Trek collectors only.
49 NAJICA BLITZ TACTICS MANGA VOL 1 TP (MR)
$9.99 ADV 1,814
50 VENOM VOL 2 RUN TP $19.99 MAR 1,814
Never much cared for this character, and I always think it's a bad idea to give a villain their own series. You can ignore this...Lord known Marvel will once it's done.
51 KOLCHAK NIGHT STALKER PAIN W/OUT
TEARS GN (MR) $6.95 MNS 1,814
52 CAPTAIN AMERICA/FALCON VOL 1 TWO AMERICAS TP $9.99 MAR 1,793
The first 4 issues of the new Captain America series by Christopher Priest and Bart Sears. I haven't liked their other work (Priest is too confusing a storyteller and assumes you've read everything he's ever written and Sears's art is all bulging muscles and poor storytelling), so it's not a stretch to think I wouldn't like this either.
53 CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL 5 HOMELAND TP $19.99 MAR 1,677
Another aborted run on the Marvel Knights Cap series, showing that Cap is NOT an easy character to write. Some interesting ideas, but yet another time travel to an alternate universe story, which have lost all appeal to me.
54 EXCEL SAGA VOL 8 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,670
55 LIBERTY MEADOWS VOL 1 EDEN TP LANDSCAPE ED $19.95 IMA 1,641
This is one of the best comic strips of the past 10 years, and once you get past the OBVIOUS Bloom County influence, you can marvel at the amazing art and good gags. It's a shame it's not in the newspaper anymore, but thankfully, Cho still does it for his comic series, which this is a collection of. Highly recommended.
56 HANA KIMI VOL 1 GN $9.95 VIZ 1,634
57 DOCTOR CYBORG OUTPATIENT GN $9.95 IMA 1,626
58 STAR WARS TALES VOL 1 TP $19.95 DAR 1,619
Reprinting a few issues of the anthology series. Most of the stories in Star Wars Tales have been well done, interesting, and make for good reading. If you're a Star Wars fan, this is highly recommended, if you aren't, it won't convert you.
59 GI JOE REBORN VOL 1 TP $9.95 DEV 1,576
60 METABARONS TP (MR) $14.95 DC 1,547
61 RED STAR VOL 3 PRISON O/SOULS TP $24.95 ARC 1,525
This series was a Huge Hit when it started, but horrid shipping schedules, leaping from company to company between issues, and an overall lack of focus have made it pretty much unreadable. Looking through this trade, the only thing I can think is that it's pretty probable that the story will never be completed, so why bother reading it?
62 FUTURAMA ADVS VOL 2 TP $14.95 BON 1,518
This is how a TV comic should be done. It reads like unproduced episodes of the series, and are just as fresh, funny and satirical as the show was. Highly recommended.
63 JOHNNY THE HOMICIDAL MANIAC DIRECTORS CUT SC $19.95 SLG 1,504
This will prolly sell well for years to come, and Vasquez is one of the indy creators that has a hard core following. I bought it YEARS ago, and while I apppeciate the humor, I just couldn't read it due to the art style and the painfully illegible writing.
64 DAVE JOHNSON SKETCHBOOK $6.99 ATO 1,504
65 ALL PURPOSE CULTURAL CAT GIRL NUKU NUKU MANGA VOL 1 TP $14.99 ADV 1,489
66 BLEACH VOL 2 GN $7.95 VIZ 1,467
67 WILDCATS CYBERFORCE KILLER INSTINCT TP $14.95 DC 1,446
Back when Image started, they wanted to have a "shared universe" like Marvel, which fits, since pretty much all of their super-hero teams were thinly-vieled version of the X-Men. This is from the height of that boom, and looking at it now, it's virtually unreadable. Lots of scratchy two page spreads, single page character shots and people leaping about with swords and guns. Not plot at all to get in the way of the pin up art, and if you REALLY wanted it, you could pick up all four issues out of a quarter bin at a con somewhere. Pass.
68 BONE VOL 9 CROWN O/HORNS HC $26.95 CAR 1,439
The end of the story, and I've commented on it previously, but this ties one of the storylines up, leaves other hanging, and feels more like the end of a first book in a series than an complete story. Unreadable without the previous volumes.
69 WALKING DEAD VOL 1 DAYS GONE BYE TP (MR) $9.95 IMA 1,417
Set in a world much like "Dawn of the Dead", this focuses on character and situation, rather than action, and because of that, it succeeds. A great horror comic that is highly recommended, even if you aren't a horror fan.
70 WATCHMEN TP $19.95 DC 1,337
STILL selling, and prolly the best mainstream comic of the 80's. Alan Moore crafted a story that works as a quick read, but rewards the careful reader looking for more than a surface read. Highly recommended.
71 VAGABOND VOL 14 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,330
72 INU YASHA VOL 1 TP 2ND ED $8.95 VIZ 1,316
73 BPRD SOUL O/VENICE & OTHER STORIES TP $17.95 DAR 1,308
74 ARIA VOL 3 USES O/ENCHANTMENT TP $16.95 IMA 1,229
75 COMPLEAT MOONSHADOW TP $39.95 DC 1,200
One of the best things Marvel did in the 80's, and while some people dismiss it as twee, at the time, this sort of SF just wasn't done in comics. You will either find it cloying or moving, and it is a SF version of a "coming of age" story that I find incredibly well done. This version also reprints the "Farewell Moonshadow" one-shot by the same creative team. I highly recommend it, but you should prolly give it a flip through before spending money on it.
76 PRETEAR MANGA VOL 2 TP $9.99 ADV 1,164
77 NEON GENESIS EVANGELION VOL 6 TP 2ND ED $9.95 VIZ 1,120
78 HOLLOW GROUNDS TP (MR) $19.95 DC 1,120
79 THOSE WHO HUNT ELVES MANGA VOL 6 TP $9.99 ADV 1,113
80 SEVEN BLOCK GN (MR) $5.99 IDW 1,106
81 STEEL ANGEL KURUMI MANGA VOL 7 TP (MR) $9.99 ADV 1,106
82 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 9 ULTIMATE SIX TP $17.99 MAR 1,092
Re-orders of the one of the best Ultimate Spidey trades. A good starting point if your shop doesn't have the first one.
83 KINGDOM COME TP $14.95 DC 1,077
More re-orders. A really well-done fanboy project about the future of the DC universe, and with so many characters, the casual reader will just give up.
84 HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS VOL 1 TP $9.95 ONE
85 PVP ARCHIVES VOL 1 AT LARGE TP $11.95 IMA 1,012
86 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 1 POWER & RESPONSIBILITY TP $14.95 MAR 976
The BEST non-Ditko version of Spider-Man's origin, and completely readable by people who have never read a comic book before in their entire life. These are re-orders, but if you don't already have it, it's highly recommended.
87 100 BULLETS VOL 7 SAMURAI TP (MR) $12.95 DC 947
An odd little crime series that has a great gimmick, and would make a good anthology TV show. There is some mild continuity but it is easily ignored if you like, and this is recommended for crime fiction fans.
88 30 DAYS O/NIGHT TP $17.99 IDW 940
One of the best American horror stories in a LONG time. The story is about a town in Alaska that is far enough north that they have a month of darkness every year...and vampires have discovered it. Done is a very dark, sketchy art style, the art may put off casual readers, but the story is rewarding enough to get through it. Highly Recommended.
89 CASE CLOSED DETECTIVE CONAN VOL 1 GN
$9.95 VIZ 904
90 DEICIDE VOL 1 TP (MR) $14.95 DC 904
91 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 6 VENOM TP $15.99 MAR 889
I don't care for the Venom character in the regular Marvel Universe, and it's not as bad here, but it's still not as good as the other Ultimate Spidey collections. Try V1 or Ultimate Six instead.
92 50 RULES FOR TEENAGERS MANGA VOL 1 TP
$9.99 ADV 882
93 POWERS SELLOUTS TP $19.95 MAR 860
94 Y THE LAST MAN VOL 3 ONE SMALL STEP TP (MR) $12.95 DC 860
95 Y THE LAST MAN VOL 1 TP UNMANNED $12.95 DC 860
96 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 10 HOLLYWOOD TP $12.99 MAR 853
97 WHY I HATE SATURN (MR) $17.95 DC 839
98 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 8 CATS & KINGS TP $17.99 MAR 831
99 SANDMAN VOL 1 PRELUDES & NOCTURNES TP $19.95 DC 831
100 ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 1 THE FANTASTIC TP $12.99 MAR 824
Everything down here is re-orders, and I've reviewed them so many times, I can't think of anything interesting to say about them. So, I'm done!
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