The Top 100 Selling Graphic Novels For May 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 SPAWN SIMONY $7.95 IMA 17,215
Just a reminder to people. Some "prestige format" comics are called graphic novels and some are just called comics. This is one that should have been called a comic, since it was just a glorified annual. 64 pages, perfect bound, and if DC would have published it, it would have been on the comic list and come it about #150.
2 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 8 CATS & KINGS TP $17.99 MAR 7,804
Reprinting the "Black Cat" story from Ultimate Spider-Man, which was one of the better story arcs. Great art by Mark Bagley, because it isn't flashy, but just tells the story. Highly recommended.
3 WITCHBLADE/DARKMINDS RETURN O/PARADOX TP $9.99 IMA 6,958
Another of the Annuals all dressed up to be a graphic novel so that the publisher can get a big slot on this top 100 list. And it teams up two characters FAR past their expiration date.
4 CHRONICLES O/CONAN VOL 4 RED NAILS & OTHER STORIES TP $15.95 DAR 6,166
Reprinting the last of the Barry Smith Conan stories, showing that there is still a lot of interest in those issues. Marvel could have had these sales for YEARS, but just didn't care enough about Conan to try anything. The stories themselves are some of the best of the stuff Marvel put out in the 70's, with Barry Smith at the peak of his ability, and Roy Thomas turning in the best of his career. Highly recommended, and after reading these, you'll understand why Conan was the best selling comic of the 70's.
5 TRANSMETROPOLITAN VOL 10 ONE MORE TIME TP (MR) $14.95 DC 5,836
Wrapping up the series. By this point, it was clear that Ellis's well was pretty dry, and he doesn't even have the guts to give the series the ending he'd built up towards. The first 5 volumes are some of the best comics of the 90's, but by this point it was for the hard-core faithful only.
6 NEW X-MEN VOL 7 HERE COMES TOMORROW TP $10.99 MAR 5,728
Grant Morrison's final X-Men story, marred by Mark Silvestri art that gets in the way of a VERY complex story that people are Marvel didn't quite understand. Still, if you take your time and read carefully, it is probably one of the ten best X-Men stories of all time and is highly recommended.
7 COMPLETE PEANUTS VOL 1 1950-1952 HC $28.95 FAN 5,713
By FAR the best book of the month. The first two years of Peanuts has never been completely reprinted, and it shows just how much the strip changed while it was going. Schultz's keen observational eye of childhood behavior was never better, and his cartooning itself completely changed how newspaper strips were drawn. Not only highly recommended, but a must for anyone who likes comics.
8 TRIGUN MAXIMUM VOL 1 HERO RETURNS TP (MR) $9.95 DAR 5,467
9 WALKING DEAD VOL 1 DAYS GONE BYE TP (MR) $9.95 IMA 5,374
A Zombie comic, and I have to admit that as a huge fan of the George Romero, I like most zombie stories. This one starts VERY derivatively, but quickly moves into its own voice. One of the better comics on the stands, and the fact that the collected version of the first six issues shows that a lot of people were "waiting for the trade" and that some comic should be published in a trade format to reach their audience. Highly recommended.
10 CSI MIAMI THOU SHALT NOT (MR) $6.99 IDW 4,652
Another glorified annual. I wish that they would get more realistic artists on the CSI stuff, as the stories have all been very good, but marred by "experimental" art. For hard-core fans of the series only.
11 GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW VOL 1 TP $12.95 DC 4,398
Reprinting the Neal Adams/Denny O'Neil issues again. They were reprinted as a trade in the early 90's, then as a deluxe hardcover a few years ago, and now a trade paperback again. They are VERY 60's in their story, but as long as you realize that they are dated, and it was really the first time DC tried doing stories that touched on current events. Mildly recommended for older fans and people who want to see what the fuss was all about.
12 FILTH TP (MR) $19.95 DC 4,375
An amazing graphic story by Grant Morrison, who is a master at stories that deal with different levels of reality. Not for super-hero fans or younger fans, but if you loved the Invisibles or other Vertigo books, this is one of the better ones. Highly recommended.
13 BATMAN/SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN TRINITY HC $24.95 DC 4,344
Matt Wagner is an artist that I cannot be objective about. His work always strikes me as an art-deco blend of Golden Age clean-ness and Modern Age sensibilities, and this story of the first meeting of these three classic characters is a great example of that. Highly recommended.
14 EMPIRE TP (MR) $14.95 DC 3,913
Collecting a series that many thought would never be completed. This story of a world where a super-villain has won and rules the world was part of the failed "Gorilla" line, but DC picked it up and allowed it to be completed. It is a fascinating read, and it shows Barry Kitson's art to its best advantage in years. Cold, cruel and innovative, this trade is a highly recommended.
15 ESSENTIAL X-MEN VOL 5 TP $16.99 MAR 3,906
By this point in the X-Men run by Chris Claremont, the book has turned to nearly unreadable crap. Endless stories of characters being tortured, the things that made his writing interesting in the early run were now crutches he used to prop up ever more outlandish plots, and the subplots that never ended had taken over the comic. I love the Essential format, and if you HAVE to read these stories, this is the way to get them, but it won't be an easy read.
16 BATTLE ROYALE VOL 7 GN (Of 11) (MR) $9.99 TKP 3,275
The best manga comic currently being printed, set in a near future where a group of teenagers are put on a reality show where the last one left alive, wins. A mix of social satire, Action Movie, and teen angst, it is highly recommended for mature readers.
17 UNCANNY X-MEN VOL 5 SHE LIES W/ANGELS TP $11.99 MAR 3,268
A mess, from plot to art. This is why I quit reading the X-Books before Morrison took over.
18 JSA ALL STARS TP $14.95 DC 3,160
An odd little book that was structured like an old JSA story from the 40's (the heroes gather, then split up and finally get back together at the end), with a lot of creators working on the individual stories. A fun read, but not as good as I would have hoped it would be. For JSA fans.
19 MICHAEL CHABON PRESENTS ADVS O/ESCAPIST VOL 1 TP $17.95 DAR 3,045
Reprinting the first two issues in a book format and at the same price it would have been if you bought the first two issues. The stories are a nice mix, showing the strengths of an anthology. The premise is that the comic referred to in the prize-winning novel "The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" was real, and this is a bunch of stories from it. Go with it, and be entertained. Highly recommended.
20 ORBITER SC (MR) $17.95 DC 2,952
Warren Ellis and Colleen Doran put out this original graphic novel about a space shuttle that returns after being missing for ten years. It has Doran's best art of her career, and the story is as good as, if not better, than a vast majority of SF novels. I WISH comics were routinely this good. As it is, this is highly recommended.
21 FANTASTIC FOUR VISIONARIES JOHN BYRNE VOL 2 TP $24.99 MAR 2,860
In the early 80's, Byrne did some really good work, and this is an example of it. His FF was the last great run until the current team, so if you don't already have these issues, and like the FF, this is mildly recommended. It would be highly recommended if the price were a bit more reasonable.
22 RING VOL 2 TP (MR) $12.95 DAR 2,629
Continuing the story from the movie, and I THINK this adapts the second movie of the series in Japan. As is, it was a nice manga horror story that should be read by those who liked the movie.
23 GOON VOL 2 MY MURDEROUS CHILDHOOD TP $13.95 DAR 2,583
24 TERRA OBSCURA TP $14.95 DC 2,560
An ABC series co-written by Alan Moore. While a little Alan Moore is better than most writer's work, this just didn't grab me, and felt like it was a bad 3rd generation photocopy of his work. You can pass.
25 HULK GRAY HC $21.99 MAR 2,545
The best Hulk story in the past 5 years, and I LIKE the stuff Bruce Jones is doing on the comic. Not only making sense out of the very odd early issues, but telling a great story along the way, Sale and Loeb show why they are considered one fo the best teams in comics. Marvel is going to regret not signing them up to do work like this on ALL of their characters. Highly recommended.
26 HELLBOY VOL 2 WAKE DEVIL TP NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 2,506
Still selling. Movies can help sales. Go figure.
27 VENOM VOL 1 SHIVER TP $13.99 MAR 2,491
Reprinting the first 6 issues of a series I didn't like the first time.
28 CHALLENGERS O/T UNKNOWN ARCHIVES VOL 2 HC $39.95 DC 2,460
More Jack Kirby work at DC right before he went to Marvel. DC's house style of the 50's and 60's was VERY bland, and if I didn't already know that this was Jack Kirby's work, I wouldn't have guessed it. Not up to his usually imaginative standards, but better than the other Silver Age stuff DC has reprinted. For nostalgia buffs and Kirby fans only.
29 FRUITS BASKET VOL 3 GN (Of 11) $9.99 TKP 2,430
30 TSUBASA GN $10.95 RAN 2,330
31 STAR WARS EMPIRE VOL 2 DARKLIGHTER TP $17.95 DAR 2,291
32 THANOS VOL 4 EPIPHANY TP $14.99 MAR 2,199
While it's volume 4, it is only reprinting the first 6 issue of the new series (the other volumes were "Infinity" reprints). Starlin's stuff hasn't changed since the late 70's, so if you like it, here it is. For nostalgia buffs only.
33 XXXHOLIC VOL 1 GN $10.95 RAN 2,107
I am hoping that this is some kind of manga story, because if a porn comic sells this well, I'll be VERY surprised.
34 NEW TEEN TITANS ARCHIVES VOL 2 HC $49.95 DC 2,099
I don't know why this is being printed in an archive instead of as a trade paperback or "essential" type collection, since it's only about 20 years old. Still, it's Marv Wolfman's second best work (I think Tomb of Dracula was better) and Perez's shining hour. It is actually cheaper to hunt down the back issues, but if you want to know what all the fuss was about, this is a nice way of getting the comic in the best possible printing.
35 THUNDER AGENTS ARCHIVES VOL 4 HC $49.95 DC 2,022
Buy it for the art only...this series was started by Wally Wood, and he had some incredible artist working on the comics, but it is easy to tell that after a roaring start, they quickly fell into lesser hands. For nostalgia buffs only.
36 NEGIMA VOL 1 GN (MR) $10.95 RAN 1,999
37 OH MY GODDESS VOL 18 PHANTOM RACER TP $17.95 DAR 1,968
38 DRAGONBALL VOL 15 TP SHONEN J ED $7.95 VIZ 1,914
39 AI LOVE YOU VOL 3 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 1,891
40 THOR VOL 5 REIGNING TP $17.99 MAR 1,868
Reprinting more of the Thor series, this arc tells a story of Thor taking over as Lord of Asgard after Odin had died. It didn't interest me at all, but a few people have liked it.
41 ULTIMATES VOL 2 HOMELAND SECURITY TP $17.99 MAR 1,853
Re-orders of last month's #1 selling graphic novel. I REALLY don't care for this comic, and feel it is a nasty, mean-spirited take on the characters with really good art.
42 ANGEL SANCTUARY VOL 2 $9.95 VIZ 1,768
43 SUPERMAN/BATMAN PUBLIC ENEMIES HC $19.95 DC 1,722
More reorders of the hardcover of the first six issues of the new Superman/Batman series. This is what they call a success. I don't think it was good enough to warrant being a hardcover, but it looks like I was wrong.
44 GTO VOL 18 GN (Of 25) $9.99 TKP 1,707
45 SIMPSONS BIG BRATTY BOOK O/BART SIMPSON TP $12.95 BON 1,676
This reprints the first few issues of the Bart Simpson comic, which I haven't ever warmed up to. It always reads like those TV based comics from when I was a kid by Charlton, where the squeezed the character into a story they wanted to tell instead of telling a story that fits the characters.
46 DEAD AT 17 VOL 1 COMP FIRST SERIES TP (MR) $14.95 VIP 1,668
Another zombie series, this one with a girl in a schoolgirl outfit killing zombies. Suffice it to say it's not as serious as The Walking Dead.
47 ALL NEW TENCHI MUYO VOL 4 GIRLS GET BUSY TP $8.95 VIZ 1,653
48 GRAVITATION VOL 6 GN (Of 12) $9.99 TKP 1,645
49 SHAMAN KING VOL 3 TP $7.95 VIZ 1,568
50 ALIAS VOL 1 TP $19.99 MAR 1,530
Re-orders for the series that was Marvels' first Mature Readers series set in the Marvel Universe. If you haven't read it yet, it is far better than it should have been, mostly because Brian Michael Bendis is very good at creating flawed characters that you want to see succeed. Highly recommended.
51 CANNON GOD EXAXXION STAGE 3 TP (MR) $15.95 DAR 1,530
52 INITIAL D VOL 12 GN (Of 26) $9.99 TKP 1,530
53 KARE KANO VOL 9 GN (Of 13) $9.99 TKP 1,522
54 REMOTE VOL 1 GN (Of 6) (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,522
55 CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON VOL 6 GN $13.95 HK 1,515
56 SAMURAI DEEPER KYO VOL 7 GN (Of 18) $9.99 TKP 1,461
57 ALICE 19TH VOL 4 UNREQUITED LOVE GN $9.95 VIZ 1,399
58 GRENDEL DEVIL INSIDE TP (MR) $12.95 DAR 1,392
I can't be objective about Grendel, since I have a Grendel tattoo, but The Devil Inside was one of the most amazing comics stories of the 80's, and ranks up with Watchmen in hos it influenced other creators. Highly recommended.
59 COMIC PARTY VOL 1 GN (Of 3) $9.99 TKP 1,384
60 DNANGEL VOL 2 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 1,384
61 SEIKAI TRILOGY VOL 1 GN (Of 3) $9.99 TKP 1,376
62 DEUS VITAE VOL 1 GN (Of 3) $9.99 TKP 1,376
63 HELLBOY VOL 4 RIGHT HAND O/DOOM TP NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 1,369
More for the movie. I think Dark Horse sold more Hellboy trades because fo the movie than when they actually came out.
64 ALIAS VOL 2 COME HOME TP $13.99 MAR 1,353
More re-orders. Also highly recommended.
65 HELLBOY VOL 1 SEED O/DESTRUCTION TP NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 1,299
66 THUNDERCATS DOGS O/WAR TP $14.95 DC 1,299
More nostalgia. I didn't like this stuff the first time.
67 AI YORI AOSHI VOL 3 GN (Of 9) (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,292
68 DEADY MALEVOLENT TEDDY GN (MR) $5.95 SIR 1,253
69 BATTLE VIXENS VOL 2 GN (Of 6) (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,246
70 IRON EMPIRES VOL 2 SHEVAS WAR TP $17.95 DAR 1,215
71 GREGORY TREASURY VOL 2 TP (MR) $9.95 DC 1,215
Reprinting the second two Gregory graphic novels. VERY odd, and not for everyone, but if you like the more abstract comics and have a strong sense of humor, this is right up your alley. Once you read it, it kind of infects you, and you will find yourself shouting "I Gregory!" at odd times. Mildly recommended.
72 TOKYO BABYLON VOL 1 GN (Of 7) $9.99 TKP 1,215
73 SCOOTER GIRL TP (MR) $14.95 ONI 1,192
74 FAKE VOL 7 GN (Of 7) (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,192
75 RUROUNI KENSHIN VOL 5 GN $7.95 VIZ 1,176
76 GUNDAM SEED GN $10.95 RAN 1,176
77 IMMORTAL RAIN VOL 1 GN (Of 5) $9.99 TKP 1,176
78 CHRONO CRUSADE MANGA VOL 1 TP $9.99 ADV 1,153
79 HOUSEWIVES A/PLAY ORIGINAL RECIPE GN (A) $9.95 ERO 1,123
80 NEON GENESIS EVANGELION VOL 3 TP 2ND ED $9.95 VIZ 1,123
81 PLANETES VOL 3 GN (Of 3) $9.99 TKP 1,099
82 PRETEAR MANGA VOL 1 TP $9.99 ADV 1,099
83 3X3 EYES VOL 8 DESCENT O/T MYSTIC CITY TP (MR) $18.95 DAR 1,092
One of the manga I read, and this reprints the stuff from Super Manga Blast, so as far as manga goes, it's well done for the people who don't read a lot of it. However, since it IS volume 8, good luck trying to figure out what's going on without reading the older books.
84 GET BACKERS VOL 3 GN (Of 23) $9.99 TKP 1,084
85 KINGDOM COME TP $14.95 DC 1,076
86 SUPREME POWER VOL 1 CONTACT TP (MR) $14.99 MAR 1,069
One of the better new Marvel series, taking the old Supreme Squadron and updating them. Best read as trade paperbacks, since the comic reads like picking up a novel one chapter at a time.
87 ESCAFLOWNE VOL 6 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 1,061
88 DEMON DIARY VOL 7 GN (Of 7) $9.99 TKP 1,046
89 PEACH GIRL CHANGE O/HEART VOL 8 TP (Of 10) $9.99 TKP 1,030
90 MAHOROMATIC AUTOMATIC MAIDEN VOL 1 GN (Of 6) (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,023
91 WORLD O/NARUE BOOK 1 GN $9.99 CPM 1,000
92 BOYS OVER FLOWERS VOL 6 TP $9.95 VIZ 992
93 PRINCE O/TENNIS VOL 1 GN $7.95 VIZ 992
94 TOKYO MEW MEW VOL 7 GN (Of 7) $9.99 TKP 984
95 SUIKODEN III VOL 1 GN (Of 4) $9.99 TKP 976
96 SAIYUKI VOL 2 GN (Of 9) $9.99 TKP 976
97 MEGAMAN NT WARRIOR VOL 1 GN $7.95 VIZ 976
98 PET SHOP O/HORRORS VOL 6 GN (Of 10) $9.99 TKP 969
99 Y THE LAST MAN VOL 3 ONE SMALL STEP TP (MR) $12.95 DC 946
More re-orders of Vertigo's best on-going series. Read the first two first, since this is like reading the third chapter of a novel.
100 WATCHMEN TP $19.95 DC 946
And closing out the list is possibly the most re-ordered and read graphic novel ever. If you read comics and haven't read Watchmen, you owe it to yourself to do so. Highly literate, endlessly ripped off and never duplicated, Watchmen is highly recommended.
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