The Top 100 Selling Graphic Novels for June 2004
1 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 9 ULTIMATE SIX TP $17.99 MAR 8,217
Not just the best-selling trade paperback of the month, but the best mainstream book of the month. It is a story that not only tells a story that affects all of the "Ultimate Universe", but does it in such a way that it is self-contained AND entertaining without knowing anything about previous stories. Highly recommended.
2 ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN VOL 6 TP $16.99 MAR 5,337
They are finally getting to the point in the reprints where you can see how Marvel lost a lot of its creative juice just as it was getting to be #1 in sales. Stan Lee left, and John Romita didn't do many of these stories, and aside from the famous "Death of Gwen Stacy", they are just damn bland stories. Spider-Man under Stan Lee was a comic that blended soap opera and dynamic action, and after Stan Left, it became the first thing it had never been. Boring. For nostalgia buffs only.
3 WALT DISNEYS VACATION PARADE $8.95 GEM 5,193
A wonderful reprint of old Disney summer themed stories that should have been listed as a comic instead of a graphic novel.
4 DARK HORSE BOOK O/WITCHCRAFT HC $14.95 DAR 4,912
Another of the Dark Horse anthology titles, and well worth the money. Most people avoid anthologies, but this one has a stellar lineup, well-done stories and is highly recommended.
5 HELLSING VOL 3 TP (MR) $13.95 DAR 4,797
6 BATMAN ILLUSTRATED BY NEAL ADAMS VOL 2 HC $49.95 DC 4,559
Better than the first one, which reprinted a bunch of sub-par stories with amazing art that was like nothing DC was printing at the time. When Adams was paired up with Dennis O'Neil, the stories took a HUGE leap in quality, and most of them hold up very well today. The presentation is top notch, and could be considered part of the archives program. For Adams fans, this is the best stuff he ever did, and if you aren't, try one of the many Neal Adams trade paperbacks, and if you are won over by his art, look these hardcovers up. Highly recommended.
7 SPIDER-MAN 2 MOVIE TP $12.99 MAR 4,285
8 CATWOMAN NINE LIVES O/FELINE FATALE $14.95 DC 3,903
A trade to tie in to the disastrous movie that is leaving theaters as soon as utterly possible. It shows that Catwoman has never really had a clear "vision" as has been a blank slate for whatever creator wanted to do with her. She didn't even have a real "origin" until the late 80's when Frank Miller gave her a background and tied it DIRECTLY to Batman's first year. The trade shows that there haven't been a lot of good Catwoman stories, but it does show a nice wide variety of stories. A good trade for nostalgia buffs.
9 RUROUNI KENSHIN VOL 5 GN $7.95 VIZ 3,831
10 DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES VOL 6 TP $7.95 GEM 3,673
The digest sized Disney book, and I WISH they would print an array of older Barks stories and the more modern European stories that haven't been printed in the US instead of the blander stories they are printing, but it is the best of the Disney books and is great for the Disney fans, but not much for the non-Disney buffs.
11 SLEEPER VOL 2 ALL FALSE MOVES TP (MR) $17.95 DC 3,543
One of the best super-hero themed books of the past 5 years, this reprints the last 6 issues of the first series. Unreadable without reading the first trade, but if you have read it, you've already bought this one.
12 HELLBLAZER HIGHWATER TP (MR) $19.95 DC 3,507
13 BATMAN BROKEN CITY HC $24.95 DC 3,464
I REALLY don't think this was worthy of a hardcover treatment. It was a GOOD Batman story, but not a GREAT Batman story. If you didn't buy it is individual issues, wait for the trade and get it then. Or troll your local shop, because they probably have stacks of the damn things.
14 INU YASHA VOL 18 TP $8.95 VIZ 3,421
The series that the Cartoon Network anime series is based on. A solidly entertaining manga series that is unreadable if you haven't read it from the beginning now.
15 UNCANNY X-MEN VOL 6 BRIGHT NEW MOURNING TP $14.99 MAR 3,320
A Chuck Austin X-Men story. If you have read one, you know that it's not worth reading. If you haven't....IT'S NOT WORTH READING. Get the Morrison trades instead.
16 MYSTIQUE VOL 1 DEAD DROP GORGEOUS TP (RES) $14.99 MAR 3,226
17 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 4 HC $29.99 MAR 3,190
The fourth year of Ultimate Spider-Man, in a very nice format. If you didn't buy it as individual issues, or as trade paperbacks, buy it in this format. Highly recommended.
18 ON ROAD TO PERDITION BOOK 3 DETOUR $7.95 DC 3,003
The final continuation of the Road to Perdition story that no one paid any attention to when it first came out. Max Allen Collins is one of my favorite writers, and he is amazing when it comes to stories about the Chicago crime history and this is no exception. Highly recommended.
19 PLANETARY VOL 3 LEAVING 20TH CENTURY HC $24.95 DC 2,938
The issues from the series after the nearly two year break the comic took, and it REALLY hurt the comic. It doesn't read as well, and seems as if the series lost its innovation and urgency. It is still a solidly well-done metatextural comic, but it just doesn't seem as good as the first 12 issues were.
20 GTO VOL 19 GN (Of 25) $9.99 TKP 2,931
21 STAR WARS CLONE WARS VOL 4 LIGHT & DARK TP $16.95 DAR 2,766
You would think that stories telling what happened between Star Wars 2 and 3 would get more attention, but the problem is that they just seem bland, and are by little known artists who can't seem to make the events very exciting. For Star Wars hardcore fans only, but they already bought it. And still have hope that Episode 3 won't be an uneven pain in the ass as well.
22 AI YORI AOSHI VOL 4 GN (Of 9) (MR) $9.99 TKP 2,766
23 WAR STORIES VOL 1 TP (MR) $19.95 DC 2,751
Reprinting a smattering of the Garth Ennis war stories that came out after he finished up his run on "Preacher", but before he went to work on "Punisher." They are good war stories, but nothing more than that, and seem to be missing the innovative plotting or wicked sense of humor that Ennis is known for.
24 HEDGE KNIGHT TP $14.95 DDP 2,737
25 USAGI YOJIMBO VOL 18 TRAVELS W/JOTARO TP $15.95 DAR 2,686
26 KARE KANO VOL 10 GN (Of 13) $9.99 TKP 2,643
27 INCREDIBLE HULK VOL 7 DEAD LIKE ME TP $12.99 MAR 2,564
The story of how Betty Brant came back from the dead, which felt totally unnecessary and did little to add to the character. Bruce Jones's run on The Hulk is nearly over, with him signing an exclusive contract with DC, and I think it comes at the right time for his Hulk work. His new approach was incredibly well-done and presented a new look at a character that had been around for 40 years, but he is starting to rely on mood over story, and it's time for a new approach.
28 BATMAN ADVS VOL 1 ROGUES GALLERY TP $6.95 DC 2,420
Reprinting the very well done early issues of "Batman Adventures", and at the item they came out, they were the best Batman comic on the stands, and used the style of the superior Batman Animated series. Not just for kids, these are solid Batman stories done in an animated style and is highly recommended.
29 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 500 COVERS HC $49.99 MAR 2,413
As a coffee table book, this is a fun idea. For $50, there is no way I would touch it. I wonder how long until it's on the clearance rack at book stores all over America, making you regret paying full-price for it?
30 SUPERMAN I/WORLDS FINEST ARCHIVES VOL 1 HC $49.95 DC 2,391
VERY early Superman stories (once where he leaps instead of flies are included in this batch) making it one of the better Archives to pick up, just to see how Superman was developed over the years. If you want to read about the early days of Superman, this is an excellent book. Otherwise for nostalgia buffs and Golden Age fans only.
31 BATMAN ADVS VOL 2 SHADOWS & MASKS TP $6.95 DC 2,305
Just as good as book one, and VERY cheap for what you get. Highly recommended.
32 ELFQUEST GRAND QUEST VOL 3 TP $9.95 DC 2,283
More of the manga sized reprints of the Elfquest series, which is probably the best fantasy comic ever printed. The work by Wendy Pini is beautiful, while most of the other work in the same "universe" by other artists simply pales by comparison. Highly recommended for those who haven't read the story before.
33 PHANTOM VOL 5 GN VALLEY O/GOLDEN MEN $6.95 MNS 2,269
34 SAIYUKI VOL 3 GN (Of 9) $9.99 TKP 2,254
35 APHRODITE IX TP $14.99 IMA 2,218
Ooooo...a comic about a woman with big breasts. How is this different from other Top Cow books about women with big breasts? She has GREEN hair.
36 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 1 HC NEW PTG $29.99 MAR 2,197
The finest version of Spider-man's origin not by Lee and Ditko and a GREAT package, reprinting the first year of the comic. If you haven't read it yet, it's the best non-Ditko Spider-man comic and is highly recommended.
37 FALLEN ANGEL TP (MR) $12.95 DC 2,168
A dark series written by Peter David, and looking at these sales, it's not doing all that well. Too bad, since it is his best work in a long time, and is well worth picking up. It feels like an Anne Rice novel (back when she was good) with a super-hero in it. Highly recommended.
38 KIDS WB JAM PACKED ACTION VOL 1 $7.99 DC 2,161
39 FREAK GN $6.95 IMA 2,139
40 MARY JANE 2 HC $14.99 MAR 2,117
A prose novel about Mary Jane, aimed at teenage girls. Since they don't go into comic shops, I wonder who is buying this book.
41 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 2 HC $29.99 MAR 2,096
More copies that shipped to take advantage of the movie. Also highly recommended.
42 YU-GI-OH VOL 5 TP $7.95 VIZ 2,081
43 MARS HORSE W/NO NAME GN $9.99 TKP 2,074
44 TEEN TITANS KIDS GAME TP $9.95 DC 2,045
Reprinting the first few issues of the new, hit series. This is a perfect example of a competent super-hero team book that doesn't have anything new in it, other than it's a new comic. Mildly recommended. I don't want to say it is BAD, it's just amazingly average and is pretty much only for super-hero fans.
45 ALICE 19TH VOL 5 JEALOUSY GN $9.95 VIZ 2,017
46 WALKING DEAD VOL 1 DAYS GONE BYE TP (MR) $9.95 IMA 1,981
I think it's pretty well known by the people who read this site that I love zombie stories. I have even written a novel or two about them. This is a great zombie comic, not because it is innovative, unique or even has a new take on the whole thing. It doesn't. It is the typical George Romero end of the world by zombie thing, but what makes it work so well is because of the skill in which it is written, and the depth of characterization you'll find in the stories. Highly recommended.
47 MARVEL AGE SPIDER-MAN/DR OCTOPUS OUT O/REACH TP $5.99 MAR 1,959
A VERY cheap reprinting of last year's Doc. Oc miniseries that was made specifically for people to pick up after the movie, and as a comic for people who saw the movies, it doesn't work all that well. It's a typical fanboy project that demands you know a lot about the characters involved.
48 PRINCESS AI VOL 1 GN (Of 3) $9.99 TKP 1,923
49 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 3 HC $29.99 MAR 1,909
More re-shipments. At some big chain bookstores, they reprint the first three Hardcovers in a single hardcover for a price MUCH lower than buying the three books. It's a great deal, but I wish they had made it available in comic shops to push when the movie hit. Oh, and this is highly recommended too.
50 STAR WARS CLONE WARS VOL 1 DEFENSE O/KAMINO TP $14.95 DAR 1,887
51 FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 1 HC $29.99 MAR 1,873
Reprinting the first year of Mark Waid's run on the book, and again, if you don't already have it, it is highly recommended. The best Fantastic Four stories since Byrne left the comic back in 1986. And yes, I DO feel old now.
52 BEST O/SPIDER-MAN VOL 3 HC $29.99 MAR 1,844
This is NOT a sifting through all the Spider-Man stories of the past 40 years and picking the best ones, but is the 3rd year of JMS's run on Amazing Spider-Man. So, they are GOOD stories, but not the BEST.
53 FUSHIGI YUGI VOL 11 VETERAN TP (Note Price) $9.95 VIZ 1,837
54 YU YU HAKUSHO VOL 4 TP $7.95 VIZ 1,793
55 CITY O/SILENCE TP $9.95 IMA 1,793
Another of Warren Ellis's three issue mini-series that lend themselves to trade paperback very well, as they just seem like bigger comics. This is also more expensive that buying the individual issues on their own. Is the story any good? It is more a good IDEA than a fully fleshed out story. For Ellis fans only.
56 TOKYO BABYLON VOL 2 GN (Of 7) $9.99 TKP 1,764
57 IMADOKI VOL 1 $9.95 VIZ 1,764
58 REAL BOUT HIGH SCHOOL VOL 6 GN (Of 6) $9.99 TKP 1,764
59 MAHOROMATIC AUTOMATIC MAIDEN VOL 2 GN (Of 6) (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,656
60 BLEACH VOL 1 GN $7.95 VIZ 1,649
61 PEACH GIRL CHANGE O/HEART VOL 9 TP (Of 10) $9.99 TKP 1,635
62 PET SHOP O/HORRORS VOL 7 GN (Of 10) $9.99 TKP 1,628
63 BONE VOL 9 CROWN O/HORNS SC (RES) $18.95 CAR 1,592
The last of the Bone books, and the series works much better as books than as individual issues. The ending, however, struck me as more of a "that's it" than a resolution of anything. I'll talk more about the series as a whole when the "big Bone Bible" comes out, but this is really a waste of money unless you have bought the nine previous volumes.
64 CHEEKY ANGEL VOL 1 $9.95 VIZ 1,592
65 ESCAFLOWNE VOL 7 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 1,592
66 ULTIMATES VOL 2 HOMELAND SECURITY TP $17.99 MAR 1,577
Reorders. I didn't like this series at all, but I have found that I am the minority on this one. That's fine. I don't mind being the minority, especially when the reason I dislike the book (the sheer mean-spirited of it) is the main reason behind the book.
67 SUIKODEN III VOL 2 GN (Of 4) $9.99 TKP 1,577
68 HIKARU NO GO VOL 1 TP $7.95 VIZ 1,570
69 TAROT WITCH O/T BLACK ROSE VOL 2 TP (MR) $24.99 BRO 1,541
Another big titty book, by the artist of the first Catwoman series. The women in this comic have breasts that can poke your eyes out. That's right, they are drawn with pointy, steel nipples. That is just creepy.
70 PRIEST VOL 12 GN (Of 15) $9.99 TKP 1,534
71 EVILS RETURN VOL 1 GN (Of 4) $9.99 TKP 1,512
72 JING KING O/BANDITS VOL 7 GN (Of 7) $9.99 TKP 1,498
73 VAGABOND VOL 11 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,484
74 PITA TEN VOL 4 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 1,484
75 FULL METAL PANIC MANGA VOL 5 TP $9.99 ADV 1,469
76 PROXIMITY EFFECT GN $9.99 IMA 1,462
77 ELEKTRA VOL 4 FRENZY TP $17.99 MAR 1,455
I don't know why Marvel went ahead with reprinting the failed Elektra series in trades, but by this point in the series, the things that were good about the comic were used up.
78 JIST CREATING DC UNIVERSE BOOK 3 TP $19.95 DC 1,455
A LOT of people have given this series bad reviews, but I think that is more their own VERY high expectations. I read it as Stan Lee telling some typically Stan Lee stories with a lot of different artists, and it is a lot of fun if you think of it that way. Lots of instant nostalgia and some artists doing the best work of their career and this one is highly recommended. And, like any good Stan Lee comic you do not have to have read what came before.
79 CULDCEPT VOL 1 GN (Of 3) $9.99 TKP 1,412
80 INU YASHA VOL 11 TP 2ND ED $8.95 VIZ 1,397
81 MODEL VOL 2 GN (Of 7) $9.99 TKP 1,390
82 EERIE QUEERIE VOL 3 GN (Of 4) $9.99 TKP 1,383
83 SAIKANO VOL 1 GN $9.95 VIZ 1,376
84 YOUR & MY SECRET MANGA VOL 1 TP $9.99 ADV 1,376
85 INU YASHA VOL 12 TP 2ND ED $8.95 VIZ 1,347
86 VAGABOND VOL 12 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,325
That's a LOT of Manga. It sells even better outside the comic shops, and while I do think it is a fad, it is enough of a fad that it is changing how American comics are marketed and sold. The only question is, if so many teenagers are buying manga in small $10 books, how many of them will ever want to read monthly comics that are 32 pages for $3?
87 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 1 POWER & RESPONSIBILITY TP $14.95
88 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 6 VENOM TP $15.99 MAR 1,296
More re-orders for the Spider-Man series that is more geared to new readers. Highly recommended.
89 VAMPIRE GAME VOL 7 GN (Of 12) $9.99 TKP 1,296
90 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 7 IRRESPONSIBLE TP $12.99 MAR 1,282
91 HOT GIMMICK VOL 5 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,275
92 ALEX RAYMONDS FLASH GORDON VOL 1 HC (RES) $14.95 CHE 1,260
This is another reprinting of the early Flash Gordon strips. I applaud Checker for printing strips like this (and the bother books they are putting out), but there have been a number of reprintings of these strips over the years, with the Kitchen Sink version being by FAR the best. If you don't have it, this is a good way to learn about the comic strip that got most of the better Golden Age artists interested in drawing comics. Mildly recommended
93 SCRAPBOOK UNCOLL WORK 1992-2004 TP (MR) $24.95 D&Q 1,260
94 KING O/HELL VOL 6 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 1,260
95 TRUE STORY SWEAR TO GOD 100 STORIES TP (MR) $9.95 AIT 1,232
A collection of short strips in the format of a Sunday comic strip that deals with small events, almost like journal entries. The creator's main book is a comic book about his long distance relationship, and this more about his day to day life, but done in a way that makes it far more entertaining that all but a very few comic strips you'd find in the newspaper. Highly recommended.
96 GIRL GOT GAME VOL 4 GN (Of 10) $9.99 TKP 1,224
97 MODESTY BLAISE VOL 1 GABRIEL SET UP SC $16.95 TIT 1,217
Reprinting the British comic strip that has never been all that popular in the US. I normally like spy stories, but this one comes off as flat and uninteresting.
98 SUKI VOL 3 GN (Of 3) $9.99 TKP 1,217
99 COMP FRANK MILLER SPIDER-MAN HC $29.95 MAR 1,217
For all of his time at Marvel, Frank Miller did very few Spider-Man stories, and he did them early in his career, so the art is crude and lacks his current facility with light and shadow. For hard core Miller fans, this is a great book, but for the average comic fan, it is a curiosity only.
100 KINGDOM COME TP $14.95 DC 1,210
And almost 10 years after being released, this book still sells. Probably the second best book Alex Ross ever did (as Marvels is far more accessible), but still a must read for comics fans.
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