The Top 100 Selling Graphic Novels For October 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 ALIENS VS PREDATOR THRILL O/T HUNT TP $6.95 DAR 12,192
Dark Horse has been printing Aliens Vs Predator stories since 1991, and while hey were very good at the time, there is no gas left in that tank. This is a tie-in to the movie, which also was not very good. I REALLY dislike these "graphic novels" which are simply double sized comics printed in a squarebound format being listed as Graphic Novels by Diamond. If this were listed as a comic (which is is) it would barely have made the top 100, but listed here, it gets to be number one.
2 BATMAN HUSH VOL 2 TP $12.95 DC 10,184
The third printing of this very popular (and ultimately empty) story. First as comics, then as a hardcover and now a trade paperback. It shows a number of bad trends in comics: Printing a continued story in book form so that people have to buy two (or more) books to get a complete story, shallow art that doesn't tell a story well but looks pretty, and the Big Story that wipes out all of the Big Changes at the end.
3 MARVEL 1602 VOL 1 HC $24.99 MAR 8,051
Neil Gaiman's romp through the Marvel Universe,. And while it is a great comic, it's not as good as we're used to from Gaiman. However, Gaiman writing a mediocre story is still better than most of the stuff out there, and this is for collectors only. The trade paperback will be highly recommended.
4 SUPERMAN TRUE BRIT HC $24.95 DC 7,148
John Cleese plots and John Byrne draws this version of Superman being raised in England rather than the US. There are some good jokes, and a LOT of shots at the British tabloid press, but it really isn't worth the $25. Wait for the paperback.
5 FABLES VOL 4 MARCH O/T WOODEN SOLDIERS TP (MR) $17.95 DC 6,288
The latest reprinting of issues from this series. If you have the first three trades, you'll get this one. If this is the first one you buy, you'll be confused and put it back on the shelf.
6 TEEN TITANS FAMILY LOST TP $9.95 DC 6,225
Reprinting more issues of this very successful series. If you like super-hero team books, you'll like this one, but it's not going to win over anyone who isn't already a fan.
7 SUPREME POWER VOL 2 POWERS & PRINCIPALITIES TP (MR) $14.99 MAR 6,218
Continuing the series from Marvel that I am buying as Trade Paperbacks. It is another version of Marvel's take on the Justice League, and is trying very hard to be an adult version of a super-hero comic. It's very well done, but doesn't quite hit the mark as well as I would like, tending to take WAY to long to get from plot point to plot point. A slower read than some readers will like.
8 RUROUNI KENSHIN VOL 7 GN $7.95 VIZ 5,078
9 ESSENTIAL TOMB O/DRACULA VOL 3 TP $16.99 MAR 4,924
A bit on the purple prose side, but still, hands down, the best horror series from either DC or Marvel from the 70's, when they were publishing a LOT of horror. Wolfman and Colan were doing their best work on this comic, and the black and white printing shows just how great Colan's work was. Unlike a lot of multi-volume series, this one takes time to get you set up and knowing what was going on, because that is how comics were written in the 70's. You can now get the ENTIRE series for less than $50 in this format, and all three volumes are Highly Recommended.
10 TRIGUN MAXIMUM VOL 3 HIS LIFE AS A TP $9.95 DAR 4,791
11 ULTIMATES VOL 1 HC $29.99 MAR 4,728
Reprinting the entire first volume (13 issues), and I really dislike Marvel's way of putting out hardcovers AFTER they have put out the trade paperback, but what can you do? I did NOT care for this updating of the Avengers, feeling it was too mean-spirited, and a rehash of Millar's run on The Authority, which was a pale imitation of Warren Ellis's work on the series.
12 BERSERK VOL 5 TP $13.95 DAR 4,693
13 BATTLE ROYALE VOL 9 GN (Of 11) (MR) $9.99 TKP 4,526
The only manga that I REALLY look forward to. A version of the reality show gone insane, with a group of high school freshmen put on an island with weapons, and the winner is the one who survives. VERY well done, but also very adult, so it's only for mature readers. Don't start with the 9th, however, as you'll really have missed out on a lot of the lead up.
14 ESSENTIAL MONSTER O/FRANKENSTEIN VOL 1 TP $16.99 MAR 4,449
This was not a very successful series in the 70's, and changed creative teams about as often as most 70's Marvel comics, often completely changing writers in the middle of a story. Still, it's almost 30 issues worth of story and art, most of which was drawn for Marvel's black and white magazines, and a fun Marvelized version of the Frankenstein story. Mildly recommended.
15 HYDE GN (RES) (MR) $7.49 IDW 4,407
16 FRUITS BASKET VOL 5 GN (Of 11) $9.99 TKP 4,351
17 HELLBOY WEIRD TALES VOL 2 TP $17.95 DAR 4,267
More Hellboy stories by various creative teams. As with all anthologies, you get some great stories, some that aren't so great and most are fairly good, but this has a higher success ratio. Highly recommended for Hellboy fans, and mildly recommended for others.
18 CSI MIAMI BLOOD MONEY (MR) $6.99 IDW 3,847
$7 for an oversized comic book? Sorry. I like CSI, but that's just too damn expensive.
19 HELLBOY ODDER JOBS ILLUSTRATED NOVEL $14.95 DAR 3,833
The previous Hellboy novel was passable and read like any other licensed novel. So, if you like that sort of thing, you'll like this, but there's nothing earth-shattering here.
20 PUNISHER BORN TP (MR) $13.99 MAR 3,532
Garth Ennis is best known for his "Black Humor" run on the Punisher, but here he first showed that he could handle the more serious aspects of the character, and do a war story that came off feeling more "real" than any other war comics since EC"s stuff in the 50's. Highly recommended.
21 SUPERMAN BIRTHRIGHT HC $29.95 DC 3,511
Reprinting the Mark Waid/Lentil Yu 12 issue maxi-series that updated Superman's origin and past for the current era. Not worth buying the hardcover unless you are a huge Yu fan.
22 MARVEL VISIONARIES JACK KIRBY VOL 1 HC $29.99 MAR 3,371
Jack Kirby is the best artist to work in comics, period. He invented the visual language that modern super-hero action comics still uses, and his sense of design has influenced every artist to work in the medium. A LOT of younger readers who did not read his work as it was coming out tend to focus on the stylistic choices Kirby made, while dismissing the sheer storytelling he poured into each page. This book highlights the best of his work throughout his career at Timely, Atlas and Marvel and is highly recommended.
24 PINUP THE ILLEGITIMATE ART TP (MR) $19.95 DAR 3,190
23 JSA VOL 6 SAVAGE TIMES TP $14.95 DC 3,190
More reprints of the JSA book, probably DC's best super-hero comic of the past 5 years. Each story feels like it is important, and never had any page filler. Each story arc updated the reader enough to get the gist of what is going on, but this is a comic better read as a monthly comic so that the issue ending cliffhangers has the correct impact. Still, if you don't read the comic. This is highly recommended.
25 JIMMY OLSEN ADVENTURES BY JACK KIRBY VOL 2 TP $19.95 DC 3,148
Kirby's DC work from the 70's is looked down on by some fans, especially his work in the Superman line of books, but looked at from a distance in time, it's easy to see what Kirby was doing. His sense of sheer fun and inventiveness makes these great comics for kids, while still filled with enough action and ideas that adults can enjoy them as well. The scripting is a little wonky, and the plots often veer into the strange, but it's compelling and VERY readable. Highly recommended.
26 STARMAN GRAND GUIGNOL TP $19.95 DC 3,043
Getting near the end of this series, and by this point, only people who have read all of the others in the series are buying these books. A very good series, but jumping in on this trade is like reading the last 100 pages of Moby Dick.
27 EXCALIBUR VOL 1 FORGING THE SWORD TP $9.99 MAR 3,001
Oh my GHODS how this comic stinks. Bad art and a story that spends the first 1/3rd dismissing work by other readers, this is everything bad about Marvel in one concentrated little ball of crap.
28 BATTLE ANGEL ALITA LAST ORDER VOL 4 TP $9.95 VIZ 3,001
29 INTRON DEPOT 4 BULLETS TP $49.95 DAR 2,994
30 BATMAN AS THE CROW FLIES TP $12.95 DC 2,994
Reprinting the Judd Winnick story arc featuring the Scarecrow, who is one of Batman's more interested rogues. While not a story that will make you want to rush out and buy a lot more of his work, it is a solidly entertaining Batman story, so if you are a Batman fan, it's mildly recommended.
31 DNANGEL VOL 4 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 2,987
32 MADARA VOL 1 TP (MR) $9.95 DC 2,896
33 CHALLENGERS O/UNKNOWN MUST DIE TP $19.95 DC 2,868
The creators of this comic have gone on to do "Batman: Dark Halloween" and the Marvel Colors mini-series, but this was their early work. Neither were very comfortable with the super-hero genre at this point, and the series suffers from trying to shove characters who aren't made for mature stories into one, but for fans of Leob and Sale, this is a must-buy.
34 GRAVITATION VOL 8 GN (Of 12) $9.99 TKP 2,798
35 WOLVERINE VOL 3 RETURN O/T NATIVE TP $17.99 MAR 2,784
The last of Greg Rucka's wonderful Wolverine stories, with breathtakingly great art by Darrik Robinson. This sheds light on Wolverine's past, without being a mind-numbing exercise in continuity. Highly recommended and the topped to a great run on the character.
36 TEEN TITANS GO VOL 1 TRUTH JUSTICE PIZZA TP $6.95 DC 2,763
37 BATMAN DETECTIVE #27 SC $12.95 DC 2,749
38 AI LOVE YOU VOL 5 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 2,742
39 TEEN TITANS GO VOL 2 HEROES ON PATROL TP $6.95 DC 2,665
40 EXILES VOL 8 EARN YOUR WINGS TP $14.99 MAR 2,644
I recently described this book to someone as the best example of someone getting paid to write fan fiction, and it fits. A gathering of obscure characters from different alternate realities jump from one alternative Marvel reality to another, fixing things that have gone wrong in their time stream. If this interests you, you might like it, and if you got a headache from that paragraph, stay away from this series.
41 BEST OF WOLVERINE VOL 1 HC $29.99 MAR 2,616
Not so much the BEST as a bunch of stories that fanboys remember best. This was put together by Wizard magazine, so it's not a good introduction to the character, but a decent book for fanboys.
42 LAND O/T BLINDFOLDED VOL 1 TP $9.95 DC 2,602
43 NEGIMA VOL 3 GN (MR) $10.95 RAN 2,595
44 SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATER VOL 2 THE FACE AND THE BRUTE (MR) $19.95 DC 2,462
The first time this has seen print, which is a damn shame. Sandman Mystery Theater was one of Vertigo's best series, which told stories of the Golden Age Sandman with a modern twist on the character, and it worked. Great writing my Matt Wagner and impressively 40's style art make this mystery comic highly recommended.
45 COUP DETAT TP (MR) $12.95 DC 2,406
This crossover was supposed to help the series it crossed through. All but one have now been canceled, and the story itself was utter shite. More like Coup D'Kiss of Death.
46 SWAMP THING REGENESIS TP (MR) $17.95 DC 2,399
47 BATTLE VIXENS VOL 4 GN (Of 6) (MR) $9.99 TKP 2,371
48 INCREDIBLE HULK VOL 8 BIG THINGS TP $17.99 MAR 2,322
By this point in his run, Bruce Jones had run out of ways to keep the "spooky Hulk" thing going, and was falling back on a ton of old comic book cliches. It's too bad that he started his run on the book so well, and had to end it so poorly.
49 TRANSFORMERS GEN 1 MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE VOL 1 TP $24.95
50 MY FAITH IN FRANKIE TP (MR) $6.95 DC 2,217
This has the distinction of being the lowest selling DC mini-series to make it to a trade paperback, mostly because it was a romance comic aimed at teenage girls. Which is why I found it a bit empty and shallow.
51 THOR SON OF ASGARD VOL 1 WARRIORS TEEN DIGET TP $7.99 MAR 2,217
52 LEGEND O/SLEEPY HOLLOW GN $7.95 IMA 2,210
53 XXXHOLIC VOL 3 GN $10.95 RAN 2,182
54 LEGAL DRUG VOL 1 GN (MR) $9.99 TKP 2,168
55 ORIGINALS HC (MR) $24.95 DC 2,154
Dave Gibbons is half of the team the created "Watchmen", and his art has always been amazing. Now, he is branching into writing after a 5 issue stint on Captain America. I would have bought this in a heartbeat if it were a paperback at about $15, but a hardcover for a book sight unseen is a bit steep. I'll review it when it's a paperback.
56 SAMURAI DEEPER KYO VOL 9 GN (Of 18) $9.99 TKP 2,119
57 CABLE DEADPOOL VOL 1 IF LOOKS COULD KILL TP $14.99 MAR 2,119
This is the perfect example of why people quit reading comics in the 1990's. Complete and utter crap, horridly overdrawn, unrealistic art and a story that doesn't make any sense if you think about it, this is one of those things that people point to when they say that comics suck, and in this case, they are right.
58 WICKED WEST GN $9.95 IMA 2,119
59 GOLDEN AGE SANDMAN ARCHIVES VOL 1 HC $49.95 DC 2,091
Reprinting the very early pulp-style adventures of Sandman from the 40's, before Jack Kirby made him into more of a super-hero. Interesting, but only for Golden Age buffs.
60 WONDERLAND GN $6.95 IMA 2,091
What the hell is with Image pumping out the $7, 48 page comics? Did someone have a balloon payment due on their mortgage. Not Worth The Price!
61 WOLVERINE WEAPON X PROSE HC $24.95 MAR 2,091
62 MARVEL MASTERWORKS GOLDEN AGE MARVEL COMICS VOL 1 HC $49.99 MAR 2,084
I though that Marvel had reprinted most of their very early work, but I looked through and found that only the first issue of Marvel Mystery Comics had been reprinted in its entirity, so this is mostly work that hasn't been reprinted before. The Submariner stories are amazingly good, and hold up well, and the Human Torch stories are fun in that they were just tossing anything into the mix and seeing if it worked, but the rest is forgettable page filler. For Golden Age buffs only.
63 FROM EROICA WITH LOVE VOL 1 TP $9.95 DC 2,070
64 GEORGE ROMEROS DAWN OF THE DEAD TP (MR) $17.99 IDW 2,035
A comic of the movie you can buy a loaded DVD version of for $12. You do the math.
65 INITIAL D VOL 14 GN (Of 26) $9.99 TKP 2,035
66 IDW TALES OF TERROR HC (MR) $16.99 IDW 1,993
67 ADVENTURES O/T FLY VOL 1 TP $12.95 ARS 1,944
Back in the early 60's everyone was starting to bring back super-heroes because of DC and Marvel's success with their new super-hero lines. Even Archie tried it, and the comics limped along off and on until the end of the Batman craze. Most of the stuff done at Archie in the 60's has been forgotten, or mentioned because there were a few Golden Age creators who worked on the books. This trade paperback will show why the stories are justly forgotten. This is "the best" of the Fly, and if this is the best, I don't want to know how bad the worst is. This is just bad stuff, and if not for the nostalgia craze with trade paperbacks, it would have never seen the light of day again.
68 FUSHIGI YUGI VOL 12 GN $9.95 VIZ 1,924
69 HARD TIME TP $9.95 DC 1,917
The first six issues of Steve Gerber's excellent new series, saddled in an imprint that no one seems to care about. It's the story of a teenager who discovers he has powers while in prison, and doesn't go for the normal super-hero stuff, but instead works in the realm of character . Gerber is one of comic's best writers when he's clicking, and this book clicks. Highly recommended.
70 ONE I LOVE VOL 1 GN $9.99 TKP 1,910
71 BLEACH GN VOL 3 $7.95 VIZ 1,903
72 MARVEL AGE SENTINEL VOL 2 NO HERO DIGEST TP $7.99 MAR 1,847
Hey, did you see The Iron Giant? Would you like to see it with manga art and Marvel tie-ins? Then you'd prolly like this. For anyone else, it's VERY much a retread of a much better story.
73 ANGEL SANCTUARY VOL 4 (MR) $9.95 VIZ 1,819
74 FATHOM VOL 1 TP $24.95 IMA 1,784
The entire series (I think) of Michael Turner's excuse to draw women in bathing suits. Maybe it's just me, but ALL of his women look exactly the same, and his storytelling is piss-poor. But, if you can't buy Playboy yet, this might suffice for a couple of hours.
75 ADVENTURES OF LITTLE ARCHIE VOL 1 TP $10.95 ARS 1,763
While most Archie stuff is amazingly formula driven, Little Archie was always the one Archie comic I liked. Bob Bolling was, in a lot of way, like Carl Barks, taking a character known for light comedy and instead doing light hearted children's adventure stories. A very fun comic, getting reprinted for the first time in ages, the only complaint with this book is that it is way too short. Highly recommended.
76 PRIEST VOL 13 GN (Of 15) $9.99 TKP 1,756
77 DRAGONBALL Z VOL 17 TP $7.95 VIZ 1,728
78 GET BACKERS VOL 5 GN (Of 23) $9.99 TKP 1,728
79 WALKING DEAD DAYS GONE BYE TP VOL 1 (MR) $9.95 IMA 1,721
Zombies. Re-orders. A nice action/soap opera set after zombies have destroyed civilization. I like that idea, but my novel came before this one. It's a solid adventure series and is highly recommended.
80 HIKARU NO GO VOL 2 TP $7.95 VIZ 1,721
81 BEAR VOL 1 TP IMMORTAL $14.95 SLG 1,679
82 MARS PATROL TOTAL WAR TP $12.95 DAR 1,679
More 60's reprints, and as with most of the Western stuff of the 60's there were solid artists working in a confining house style with bland scripts. For hard-core 60's buffs only.
83 COMIC PARTY VOL 3 GN (OF 3) (TKP) $9.99 TKP 1,665
I wonder if that's anything like a TV Party? Too bad it doesn't have an 80's punk song to go with it.
84 STAR WARS EMPIRE VOL 3 TP IMPERIAL PERSPECTIVE $17.95 DAR 1,616
Dark Horse has done something many people never thought was possible. They have made Star Wars uninteresting and filled with poor selling comics. Say what you will, that's a hell of an achievement.
85 DIABLO VOL 1 GN (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,609
86 CHRONO MECHANICS GN $6.95 IMA 1,546
87 YU YU HAKUSHO VOL 5 TP $7.95 VIZ 1,546
88 STAR WARS PANEL TO PANEL FROM THE PAGES O/DH TP $19.95 DAR 1,532
89 CBLDF SPX 2004 ANTHOLOGY $9.95 COM 1,518
An anthology of stories where all of the profits go to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. A nice mix of styles, and for $10, there are at least 5 or 6 stories you'll like. So buy it all ready, dammit.
90 VAGABOND VOL 15 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,511
91 METABARONS VOL 2 AGHNAR & ODA TP (MR) $14.95 DC 1,504
92 KING O/HELL VOL 7 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 1,483
And as King of Hell, I demand that Hitler and James Dean dance for me! No, I take that back, they are to backward skate to the song "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang, followed by a girl's choice couples skate.
93 FAMILY GUY CINEMANGA VOL 1 GN $7.99 TKP 1,483
94 SAIKANO VOL 2 GN $9.95 VIZ 1,420
95 DEUS VITAE VOL 3 GN (Of 3) $9.99 TKP 1,413
96 SANDMAN MYSTERY THEATRE VOL 1 THE TARANTULA TP NEW PTG (MR) $9.95 DC
The first four issues of this series that I praised up above. This one is one you should buy as well, even though it's only 4 issues worth of story. Highly recommended.
97 STRANGERS IN PARADISE PKT VOL 2 TP $17.95 ABS 1,406
98 RAVE MASTER VOL 11 GN (Of 21) $9.99 TKP 1,406
99 MARVEL MASTERWORKS UNCANNY X-MEN VOL 4 2ND ED HC $49.99 MAR 1,378
100 HANDS OFF VOL 1 GN $9.99 TKP 1,378
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