The Top 25 Selling Graphic Novels for Feb. 2002
OK, if you need some explanation, this first number is the position on the sales chart, then the title of the graphic novel, then the number of copies ordered through Diamond Comics (the main comics distributor and exclusive distributor of most comics) and then the comments are my pain-in-the-ass opinions and observations.
1 LONE WOLF & CUB VOL 19 MOON IN OUR HEARTS 12,991
Still by far the best comic book being published. There are less than 10 more volumes to go, and the entire saga will be available in an affordable package. This Samauri drama is possibly the best comic series in the history of the medium and is highly recommended to anyone remotely interested in the medium.
2 ORIGIN 11,641
This is the first of Marvel's Big Expesive Hardcover reprints, and it's supposed to ship this month...and it will be late since the mini-series isn't completed yet. Myself, I'll wait until it's a trade Paperback, since I can't see this story being worth $36.
3 HISTORY O/T DC UNIVERSE 10,636
DC is reprinting a short mini-series Marv Wolfman and George Perez did right after Crisis on Infinite Earths finished up. While it was very nice at the time, it really has not held up. The continuity has been changed so much that most of the stuff written about is out-of-date. For nostalgia buffs and old time DC fans...but I don't understand why it sold so well.
4 AKIRA BOOK 6 8,058
The last of the Dark Horse reprints of the Akira saga in Huge black and white trade paperbacks. This was the Big one that, in a lot of ways, introduced Manga to the US mainstream audience. While it doesn't seem as fresh as it did when it first came out, it is still an amazing series, and for what you get, very affordable. Highly recommended for those who don't already have it...and if you have the movie, this is vastly different and much better.
5 IMAGE COMICS 10TH ANNIVERSARY 6,336
Oh dear Ghods. This is the Image boys who are left, getting together and doing a story about the characters they started with, and charging you a LOT of money to buy a hardcover of it. Do you REALLY want to pay this much for a new Shadowhawk story? Or another Spawn story? Maybe they will put it out as a trade eventually, then I'll look through it, but I didn't like this crap when they spun off from Marvel, why would I like it now? The Image books I buy are from people who have Nothing to do with the Original Image &, er...6...um 5 ...OK, they are down to four now.
6 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN Vol. 2 6,336
The second story in the series, which is even better than the first, since it wasn't a retread of the Ditko/Lee stuff. Highly recommended and I'm glad this is available for when the movie comes out. However, as individual issues, does Marvel really think that 4 - 6 part stories are the way to bring in new readers? Lee and Ditko were able to put two or three stories in a single issue when they first started Spider-Man...
7 ASTRO BOY VOL 1 5,900
Another of Dark Horse's manga repackagings to bring long running Japanese series ot the US. I have never really been an Astro Boy fan, but I might pick it up to see what all the fuss is about.
8 ESSENTIAL SPIDER-MAN VOL 5 4,933
The continuing reprints of the Spider-Man stuff from the 60's (and by this volume into the early 70's). I hate to say it, but this is the best thing being published in my opinion. You get about 25 comics for $15, it's the classic Stan Lee stuff which is always fun to read. If you are looking for some fun, cheap entertainment, you can never go wrong with the Marvel Essentials. Ghods, doesn't this sound like an ad for the stupid things?
9 COMPLETE FRANK MILLER SPIDER-MAN 4,401
Another of Marvel's new hardcovers, and to be honest, this is not some of Frank Miller's best work. He was just starting in comics at the time, and these stories are written by Dennis O'Neil and Bill Mantlo (who were not doing their best work). I also think these have been reprinted as trade paperbacks at one point. For hard core Miller fans who don't already have them.
10 HELLBOY CONQUEROR WORM 3,529
A collection of the latest Mike Mignola Hellboy mini-series. This is great stuff and a lot of fun, but I have realized that a lot of people don't like his wonderfully moody, shadow drenched work. These people are wrong. Buy the earlier volumes first, though, since has a lot of payoff from previous stories.
11 RANMA 1/2 VOL 19 3,311
I hate to say it, but this series has overstayed it's welcome with me. The first 10 or so volumes were fun variations on the sit-com theme of a boy who becomes a girl when splashed with hot water, but it's weezing on its last legs now, kind of like Three's Company after the third blonde left and Jack Tripper was married and running a restaurant.
12 HELLBLAZER GOOD INTENTIONS 3,248
They are reprinting Hellblazer in the wonkiest way, and I'm not a good judge of this stuff, since I think the book should have been canceled when Jamie Delano left. He's a very 80's character who is now being put into stories that, while good, don't seem to have much to do with John Constantine.
13 PHANTOM VOL 1 GN GHOST KILLER 3,168
14 AVENGERS DEFENDERS WAR 3,051
Marvel reaches back into the 70's for a story that was a bit of a legend when I was a kid. For one summer, Marvel's two teams fought each other, and rather than being like the Big Crossovers now where things all feel like a marketing ploy, they had the same writer for the whole damn story. At the time it was groundbreaking, but now it's just a fun super-hero story etched with nostalgia. Now I know how Golden Age fans felt when I would say, "That stuff isn't as cool as the stuff by Kirby and Perez."
15 OH MY GODDESS CHILDHOODS END 2,923
16 STARMAN VOL 7 STARRY KNIGHT 2,674
DC tried very hard to make Starman into their new verison of The Sandman, and for the first 25 or so issues, it was close. By this time, tho, I had lost interest and no longer cared about anyone in the series.
17 FLASH ARCHIVES VOL 3 2,647
This is the book that reprints the very famous "Flash of Two Worlds" story. I won't say that these are GREAT stories, because they aren't. They are fun little stories that were written for kids back in the 60's and had some stuff in it for older SF fans. If you are a fan of DC Silver Age, these books are great, but they are total nostalgia.
18 X-TREME X-MEN 2,466
Claremont's X-Men book reprinted in a chunk. If you like his stuff, you prolly buy it as the soap opera it is, since his writing NEVER works in collected volumes due to all of his dangling sub-plots and inability to finish a story.
19 STAR WARS JEDI VS SITH 2,387
In a STEEL CAGE!!! Imagine how well these books would sell if they were any good.
20 FUSHIGI YUGI VOL 6 SUMMONER 2,243
21 ELEKTRA 2,062
The first story arc by Bendis, and if you have ever read this website, you know that I think the man has yet to do wrong. Highly recommended.
22 TOM STRONG BOOK TWO 2,046
This would be a great buy, except it's a $25 hardcover. Moore hits all the right notes, making the main character interesting in a pulp hero way, putting all sorts of strange and wonderful science in the stories and making this one of the most fun comics being published today. Recommended when it is reprinted as a paperback.
23 BLADE DUEL WITH DRACULA 2,041
Marvel pulls out a few of the Tomb of Dracula stories that had Blade in them, but I don't know if the book will work, since Tomb of Dracual was a soap opera in the best sense. This was Wolfman's best work, dealing with everything from traditional vampire stories to deeper questions of religion and mysticism in an entertaining way. I would wait and get the Essential volumes when they start coming out.
24 SPIDER-MAN REVENGE O/T GREEN GOBLIN 1,898
Reprinting a Roger Stern mini-series and the issues of Spider-Man it tied in to. They were pretty damn bad, but it was almost as if they HAD to do something to try and justify bringing Norman Osborne back from the dead. It was a nice try, but if I were the editor of Spider-Man, I'd forget those stories were ever written.
25 DIVINE RIGHT BOOK ONE 1,860
This was Jim Lee's last continuing series, which, like most of his work, had some interesting ideas, some nice visuals and didn't make any sense at all as story. I doubt there will be anyone who reads this and says, "Damn, what a great story" but they might say, "Hey, this art would have been considered good a decade ago."
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