The Top 100 Selling Graphic Novels For November 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 ASTONISHING X-MEN VOL 1 GIFTED TP $14.99 MAR 10,901
This shouldn't surprise anyone, since Joss Whedon is doing the best X-Men comic on the stands, the John Cassady's art is perfectly suited for it. At once a fresh approach to the X-Men, while keeping the best parts of the past and building on the re-imagining that Grant Morrison did. Highly recommended.
2 CREATURES OF THE NIGHT HC $12.95 DAR 8,325
Dark Horse has become the home of illustrated Neil Gaiman short stories. If you are a big Neil Gaiman fan, this is highly recommended, but if you aren't, it seems like a lot of money to plop down for a short story in a hardcover book, and won't win you over. Try "American Gods" instead.
3 SAMURAI EXECUTIONER VOL 2 TP (MR) $9.95 DAR 5,651
The second of six book that tell a side-story to Lone Wolf and Cub, the greatest manga of all time. While not a good as Lone Wolf and Cub, it's still miles beyond most comics, and is a read that you can rush through for the action, or linger over the art. Highly recommended, even if you don't like manga.
4 ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 2 DOOM TP $12.99 MAR 5,578
The Fantastic Four continue their "Ultimate" treatment, this story focusing on Victor Van Damme (yeah, it's just as dumb as Victor Von Doom) and his first encounter with the FF. Stripped of all of their continuity, the FF are still a great creation, and even in this slightly remastered version, the core of the characters shines through. A well-done super-hero story, and mildly recommended.
5 POWERS VOL 7 FOREVER TP (MR) $19.95 MAR 5,517
The first Powers arc that I didn't much care for. Starying at the dawn of man, this story tells how super-powered beings came to be, and misses the point of the series, in my opinion, which is how normal cops deal with super-hero crimes. Pass.
6 CHRONICLES O/CONAN VOL 6 CURSE O/T GOLDEN SKULL TP $15.95 DAR 5,322
All done with the Barry Windsor Smith issues, this series is now in the John Buscema Conan stories of the early 70's, and even with the garish re-coloring, it's easy to see hwo this became a huge hit. Buscema's art is at its peak, and Thomas captures the raw pulp action of the character in each story. Not just nostalgia, but timeless and highly recommended.
7 HELLSING VOL 5 TP $13.95 DAR 4,817
8 AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED THOR TP $16.99 MAR 4,805
Marvel has done so many "Rangarock" stories with Thor that I can't even keep track of them all. This one, however, follows through on the promise, and takes Norse myth and turns it into a super-hero story without losing the joy of either. While many older fans decry this as "destroying the character", I see it more as trying to wipe the slate clean so it can be restarted, without screwing it all up. Highly recommended and the ONLY Avengers Disassembled story that stands on it own.
9 JLA ANOTHER NAIL TP $12.95 DC 4,756
While this is a good story, and features some of Alan Davis's best art EVER, if you haven't read the first part in the last few weeks, and know a LOT about the history of the DC Universe, you are going to be completely lost as you read this. Besides, the point of the first series was that Superman wasn't around, and how it changed things...now he is. For fanboys only.
10 MATRIX COMICS VOL 2 TP $21.95 BUR 4,726
Another collection of short stories from the Matrix Website. Nothing here that will appeal to non-Matrix fans.
11 FRUITS BASKET VOL 6 GN $9.99 TKP 4,726
12 ESSENTIAL IRON MAN VOL 2 TP $16.99 MAR 4,464
13 BATTLE ROYALE VOL 10 GN (MR) $9.99 TKP 4,397
Nearing the end of this manga that doesn't read like most manga. It's an action story that's also social satire, although the satire seems to be dropping out of the story as it goes on. There really isn't a way to grasp what's going on by picking this up first without the previous nine books.
14 DC THE NEW FRONTIER VOL 1 TP $19.95 DC 4,184
I ignored this when it first came out, simply because I was tired of DC re-telling old Silver age stories. They spend most of the 90's doing that sort fo thing, and I'm pretty done with that time period. However, when I picked this up, I was amazed at how fresh it seemed. It is set in the 60's, but doesn't retell old stories so much as tells a story that is dependent upon the time period. A fresh look at old characters with clean, animation inspired art, this book is highly recommended.
15 WHAT IF CLASSIC VOL 1 TP $24.99 MAR 3,983
As a kid, and a big comics fan, I LOVED this series. It played with Marvel history, and wallowed in continuity. This book reprints the first six double sized issues, and is a good idea of what kind of stories they were doing. They all read as incredibly dated now, but if you are a hardcore fanboy, know your Marvel history and haven't read these, it's worth the price.
16 GLOBAL FREQUENCY DETONATION RADIO TP (MR) $14.95 DC 3,904
Warren Ellis's 12 issue series ends here with the last 6 issues collected. I wasn't really blown away by this comic, and feel it was pretty much your average Vertigo type book. For Ellis fans only.
17 RUROUNI KENSHIN VOL 9 TP $7.95 VIZ 3,849
18 UNCANNY X-MEN NEW AGE VOL 1 END O/HISTORY TP $12.99 MAR 3,709
Starting the new Chris Claremont run. Claremont is still writing exactly as he did in 1979, and is about the last man writing overwordy super-hero soap operas filled with angst. If you still like his stuff, you'll like this, but I've grown out of it.
19 VENOM VS CARNAGE TP $9.99 MAR 3,502
10 years ago, this would have made so much money, people at Marvel would have been swimming in it. While they had a good writer on the mini-series, both characters are so one-dimensional it could only work as a goof. And it wasn't.
20 X-MEN DREAMS END TP $17.99 MAR 3,416
21 INU YASHA VOL 20 TP $8.95 VIZ 3,374
22 SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN VOL 4 DISASSEMBLED TP $14.99 MAR 3,252
Possibly one of the worst story arcs in Spider-Man history, where he is mutated into a giant spider. EVERY character acts like a complete idiot, and the story ends up having nothing to do with "Avengers Disassembled". Waste of paper.
23 TALES OF THE VAMPIRES TP $15.95 DAR 3,179
Set in the Buffy world, written by Buffy writers...and my comic shop hasn't gotten it for me yet. That no good bastard must PAY!
24 FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 5 DISASSEMBLED TP $14.99 MAR 3,161
While this had nothing to do with Avengers Disassembled either, it was a VERY good story by Mark Waid, who has shown he understands the FF better than anyone since Kirby. Highly recommended.
25 DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES VOL 9 TP $7.95 GEM 3,161
26 ARKHAM ASYLUM ANNIVERSARY EDITION HC (MR) $29.95 DC 3,130
At the time, this was the highest selling hardcover DC ever published. It is STILL up there on the chart, but most people who bought it were disappointed. They expected a big slugfest where Batman beats up all of his rogues gallery, and instead, Grant Morrison wrote a story dealing with the inner madness of every character, including Batman. Groundbreaking at the time, it's now even easier to read, since most comics have picked up on the stylistic things Morrison did here. One of my favorite Batman stories of all time and Highly recommended.
27 STAR WARS CLONE WARS VOL 5 THE BEST BLADES TP $17.95 DAR 3,124
28 AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED IRON MAN TP $14.99 MAR 3,069
Iron Man has suffered over the past 10 years. Good creators come on, do a few stories, leave, and then lesser folks come in and try to make the character interesting by attempting the Big Things the more talented people do. This story ends up being a muddle, poorly plotted and hard to follow, and in the end, the story doesn't end so much as just stop.
29 NARUTO VOL 5 TP $7.95 VIZ 3,057
30 AVENGERS DISASSEMBLED CAPTAIN AMERICA TP $17.99 MAR 3,051
Captain America is another of Marvel's big guns that has had creative trouble over the past few years. That being said, this story arc was a blast to read, with twists that seem out of nowhere, but instead come from careful plotting, and feel like a well done movie serial. Great cliffhangers, a deep understanding of what makes the character readable, and a solid action plot make this highly recommended.
31 MARGES LITTLE LULU VOL 1 TP $9.95 DAR 3,027
Kid comics that are just as fun to read now, this is a series that deserves to be reprinted. In the format Dark Horse is using, you get more than your money's worth, and for stories from the 40's they seem as fresh and well drawn now as they did then. Highly recommended.
32 BATMAN JAM PACKED ACTION $7.99 DC 2,966
33 BATMAN DARK KNIGHT ARCHIVES VOL 1 HC $19.95 DC 2,856
Reprinting the very first Batman stories, in a hardcover $30 cheaper than normal. The stories here are crude, pulp action stories, and really read poorly to a modern audience, but if you are at all interested in the early stories of Batman from 1937, this is the cheapest you are going to get your hands on them.
34 VERY BIG MONSTER SHOW GN $7.49 IDW 2,734
35 FANTASTIC FOUR VISIONARIES JOHN BYRNE VOL 3 TP $24.99 MAR 2,655
John Byrne has kind of gone round the bend over the past 15 years or so, with sloppy art, stories that dump years of continuity as he complains that other people dump his continuity, and a message board that waffles between creepy and dangerous. But, when he was doing the Fantastic Four, he was at his creative peak, and while this back issues aren't hard to find, this IS the best run on the comic not done by Jack Kirby or Mark Waid. Highly recommended.
36 DC COMICS RARITIES ARCHIVES VOL 1 HC $75.00 DC 2,582
Reprinting some of the BIG special books DC did in their early days, none of which have been reprinted before. None of these stories are great, but if you are curious about early DC, this reprints pretty much a little of everything. For history buffs only.
37 HELL HOUSE VOL 1 TP $6.49 IDW 2,558
38 ADVENTURES IN THE RIFLE BRIGADE TP (MR) $14.95 DC 2,515
Garth Ennis's over-the-top war stories that are about as gonzo insane as anything you are going to read. Filled with dark humor, ultra violence and slapstick, this isn't something that anyone will point to and say "it's brilliant", but it is a sick sort of guilty pleasure if you like the British style of humorous violence.
39 NEW X-MEN ACADEMY X VOL 1 CHOOSING SIDES TP $14.99 MAR 2,442
This series is coming out of the re-launch of "The New Mutants" which ended and was restarted. In an odd way, this comic uses the idea of the X-Men from the 60's, with teenagers in a super-hero school. It has manga style art, a slower pace than most comics, but is definitely a decent super-hero read, and is aimed clearly at the YA book market.
40 SWAMP THING BAD SEED TP (MR) $9.95 DC 2,430
41 SPIDER-MAN MAXIMUM CARNAGE TP $29.99 MAR 2,418
Back in the 90's, Marvel would do HUGE crossover events in "families" of books. This was probably the most successful, and features every character that was being used in the Spider-Man books at the time, and took place over three months worth of Spider-Man comics. Let Me Repeat That. It took three months of all four Spider-Man comics. It has NOT aged well, and probably shows why the market for comics sank during the 90's, and the "plot" careens from fight to fight without much rhyme or reason.
42 BATTLE VIXENS VOL 5 GN (MR) $9.99 TKP 2,418
43 MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL TP $15.99 MAR 2,363
Reprinting a bunch of older Jesus H. Christmas stories from Marvel's past, none of which have been all that good. But if you want to read about super-heroes fighting in the snow, you've got it here!
44 YU GI OH THE MOVIE ANI MANGA GN $13.99 VIZ 2,345
45 TRANSFORMERS GEN 1 MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE VOL 2 TP $24.95 DRE 2,338
46 IDENTITY DISC TP $13.99 MAR 2,296
Marvel put this mini-series out at the same time as DC's "Identity Crisis", and most people at the time said that it was trying to leech off of the success of that comic. Title-wise, they may be right, but when it comes to story, this is a typical "caper" story, like "The Sting" or the recent "Ocean's Eleven" movie, using six of Marvel's more interesting super-villains being forced to take part in a high tech robbery. I didn't have any interest in the book until I read the first issue, and then I was hooked. A well-done comic that would appeal to anyone who likes crime fiction. Highly recommended.
47 SAMURAI DEEPER KYO VOL 10 GN (MR) $9.99 TKP 2,229
48 JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA ARCHIVES VOL 9 HC $49.95 DC 2,168
Reprinting more issues of this comic from the 60's, and pretty much for people who love Silver Age DC comics, and boring as all get out to anyone who isn't.
49 ART OF GREG HORN HC $39.95 IMA 2,125
50 ELFQUEST THE GRAND QUEST VOL 6 TP $9.95 DC 2,119
Finishing up reprinting the series from the early 1980's, and really, the only good Elfquest run. The first 20 issues are now available in this manga-sized format, and it is probably some of the best fantasy ever done in comics. With great art, characters that resonate and a strong story, this whole series is highly recommended.
51 MYSTIQUE VOL 3 UNNATURAL TP $13.99 MAR 2,089
52 ASTRO CITY LOCAL HEROES HC $24.95 DC 2,083
The latest Astro City mini-series, now in hardcover form. When the comic started, it was the first comic of its kind, focusing on super-hero related short stories told in a new style. Now, there are any number of comics that are using that style (Powers, Common Grounds, and others). Add to that the long break between the previous series and this one, and it has lost a LOT of momentum...to the point where I am waiting for the paperback version of this, instead of buying the hardcover.
53 INITIAL D VOL 15 $9.99 TKP 2,040
54 KONG KING OF SKULL ISLAND HC $24.95 DAR 1,997
55 AMERICAN SPLENDOR OUR MOVIE YEAR GN $16.95 RAN 1,973
Harvey Pekar was one of the first people to work in the autobiographical form in comics when he started toward the end of the "Underground comix" era. This tells the story of his cancer relapse, the making of a movie based on his work, and other small stories involved. Pekar is a master of small observation, and can make a simple conversation at a file cabinet seem interesting, and this book brings HUGE life events down to a small level. Highly recommended.
56 BATMAN HUSH VOL 1 TP $12.95 DC 1,961
57 GET BACKERS VOL 6 GN $9.99 TKP 1,882
58 YU GI OH VOL 7 TP $7.95 VIZ 1,839
59 MARVEL AGE SPIDER-GIRL FATHER LIKE DAUGHTER VOL 2 DIGEST TP $7.99 MAR 1,839
Reprinting more early issues of this series, which is fun for new readers, and one of the better super-hero soap opera series on the stands. Aimed at younger readers, this is a great gift for a kid who isn't reading comics yet.
60 BATMAN HUSH VOL 2 TP $12.95 DC 1,809
61 STAR TREK KEY COLLECTION VOL 2 TP $22.95 CHE 1,760
These stories are pretty much universally bad. It's hard to believe that anyone who worked on this book ever even watched an episode of the series. For Star Trek collectors only. And then only the ones who are completist.
62 BLEACH VOL 4 TP $7.95 VIZ 1,754
63 ALPHA FLIGHT VOL 1 YOU GOTTA BE KIDDIN ME TP $14.99 MAR 1,711
Scott Lobdell is back at Marvel, and this time, his work isn't selling because he's not writing the X-Men. His style hasn't changed at all, one-dimensional characters, confusing plotting and a reliance on fight scenes to carry the plot. It's like reading a bad 90's comic about characters you don't care about.
64 ULTIMATE X-MEN VOL 7 BLOCKBUSTER TP $12.99 MAR 1,687
65 ANGEL SANCTUARY VOL 5 GN $9.99 VIZ 1,644
66 THUNDER AGENTS ARCHIVES VOL 5 HC (MR) $49.95 DC 1,644
Now that I HAVE read the THUNDER Agents stuff, it's clear that most of the love people have for the series is either based on their love of Wally Wood art, or nostalgia. Not as stiff and formula bound as the DC stuff, and not as action oriented and fun as Stan Lee's stuff, this is pretty much for people who like the artists only, so if you are a Wally Wood or Steve Ditko fan, you already have this.
67 BLOOD A TALE TP NEW PTG (MR) $19.95 DC 1,638
68 WILL EISNERS JOHN LAW VOL 1 TP $14.99 IDW 1,602
Reprinting the John Law comic that Eisner did in the 40's, as well as a couple of new stories by lesser talents, this is an attempt to get a new series out of the old work that just falls flat.
69 COMIC PARTY VOL 4 GN (TKP) $9.99 TKP 1,602
70 WALKING DEAD VOL 1 DAYS GONE BYE TP (MR) $9.95 IMA 1,553
71 Y THE LAST MAN VOL 4 SAFEWORD TP (MR) $12.95 DC 1,547
Both of these are reorders of very good comics, and were both highly recommended when they came out.
72 FUSHIGI YUGI VOL 13 GN $9.95 VIZ 1,522
73 KING OF HELL VOL 8 GN $9.99 TKP 1,510
74 VAGABOND VOL 17 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,486
75 REMAINS TP (MR) $19.99 IDW 1,468
A zombie comic I haven't read yet. I know, shocking, isn't it? I thought I read EVERY zombie comic.
76 WALKING DEAD VOL 2 MILES BEHIND US TP (MR) $12.95 IMA 1,449
77 STRANGERS IN PARADISE POCKET VOL 3 TP $17.95 ABS 1,401
78 RAVE MASTER VOL 12 GN $9.99 TKP 1,401
79 KRAZY & IGNATZ 1933-34 NECROMANCY BY THE BLUE BEAN BUSH $14.95 FAN 1,395
Never a popular comic strip with the general public, but beloved by artist, this continues the reprinting of the Sunday comic strips. There is nothing here that will win over new fans, and the strip has become hard to read for me as comic have gotten so much better with storytelling. However, Fantagraphics does an incredible job of presenting the strips well, giving historical background, and explaining the things that won't make sense to a modern audience, so it's recommended to comic strip historians.
80 MARVEL MASTERWORKS INCREDIBLE HULK VOL 2 NEW ED HC $49.99 MAR 1,388
The first Hulk Masterworks reprinted the six issues of Marvel's first flop of the Silver Age, and this reprints the stories from "Tales To Astonish", showing that when Stan started it up again, he had no idea where to go with the series. Slowly, he hit on a soap opera formula that pretty much ran the comic until the mid-80's of a child-like Hulk who lashes out at a confusing world while being hunter by villains and the military. It's much more fun to read in the Essentials (and you get 400 pages for $16).
81 WATCHMEN TP $19.95 DC 1,358
82 MARVEL MASTERWORKS INCREDIBLE HULK VOL 2 2ND ED HC VAR DUST $54.99 MAR 1,334
83 MIDNIGHT NATION TP NEW PRTG $24.99 IMA 1,328
84 MAGE VOL 1 THE HERO DISCOVERED HC $49.95 IMA 1,321
Probably my favorite comic of the 80's (and yes, I have a Mage tattoo), this is the first High Quality complete reprinting of the series. It's the story of a man drawn into a mystic battle he doesn't understand, and learning of his part of it almost against his own will. Matt Wagner's art improves by leaps and bounds through the series, but the story and scripting is always dead on, and this book will always be Highly Recommended.
85 ART OF USAGI YOJIMBO HC $39.95 DAR 1,297
86 BATMAN DARK KNIGHT RETURNS TP $14.95 DC 1,285
87 LORE TP (MR) $19.99 IDW 1,242
88 TALES OF THE REALM TP $14.95 IMA 1,206
89 DARE DETECTIVES VOL 1 SNOWPEA PLOT TP $5.95 DAR 1,194
90 DEADY THE TERRIBLE TEDDY GN (MR) $5.95 SIR 1,175
91 CROUCHING TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON VOL 9 GN $13.95 HK 1,157
92 SERAPHIC FEATHER VOL 5 WAR CRIMES TP (MR) $17.95 DAR 1,151
93 KINGDOM COME TP $14.95 DC 1,114 94 TRAMPS LIKE US VOL 3 GN (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,114
95 NECK & NECK VOL 1 GN (OF 4) $9.99 TKP 1,108
96 DIABLO VOL 2 GN (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,108
97 AWAKENING GN (MR) $9.95 ONI 1,090
98 VAMPIRELLA CRIMSON CHRONICLES VOL 2 TP $19.95 HAR 1,072
Reprinting more of the early Vampirella stories from the 70's, and a good example of the black and white horror magazine boom of that time. Excellent art, passable stories that often come off as silly, it's a decent enough look at the stuff that was on the newsstands in the 1970's. Mildly recommended.
99 DRAGON KNIGHTS VOL 17 GN $9.99 TKP 1,072
100 SIN CITY THAT YELLOW BASTARD TP $19.00 DAR 1,017
And that's it! Done on time for once!
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