The Top 50 Graphic Novels: April 2002
1 LONE WOLF & CUB VOL 21 FRANGRANCE OF DEATH TP (MR) 13,299
The best thing being published in the comics market, period. This samurai drama is not just a comic that has been stolen from repeatedly by Americana and Japanese creators, but is a gripping read all on its own. Highly Recommened ever for people who don't read comics.
2 STAR WARS EP II ATTACK O/T CLONES TP 8,154
I see no point for comic book adaptations of movies anymore. You want a version of the movie? Wait 6 months and buy the DVD.
3 GREEN LANTERN LEGACY LAST WILL & TESTAMENT HAL JORDAN 6,907
They just can't let Hal Jordan not be Green Lantern, can they? *laughs* GOOD. I don't like that this 96 page Annual is all dressed up as a hardcover, but in a year or so when they print it as a paperback, I'll buy it.
4 SPIDER-MAN MOVIE TP 6,849
Again, do we need comic book versions of movies when the Video or DVD is available in a couple of months?
5 FORGE #1 6,064
6 EDGE #1 5,817
These are two collections from CrossGen, whose books hold no appeal for me in any way. I think the best thing about CrossGen is that they get rid of hack writers like Barbara Kesel and Chuck Dixon so I don't have to put up with them on books I want to read.
7 ASTRO BOY VOL 3 TP 4,396
The first one isn't out yet, and I have no memory of Astro Boy from when I was a child. Guess I didn't pay attention to Japanese animation until they started putting school girls in it.
8 MARVEL MANGAVERSE TP 4,301
Another "What If" type version of the Marvel Universe. Oddly, I am reading this graphic novel and liking it. The new versions of characters aren't painfully dependent upon knowing Marvel history, and the art is well done. Mildly recommended for Manga fans.
9 DAREDEVIL YELLOW HC 4,091
The "Batman: Dark Halloween" team delves into Daredevil's origen. Good, but not worth buying a hardcover of at $35.
10 BATMAN IN FIFTIES TP 4,077
This is weird, goofy stuff that people who only know Batman from the past 30 years or so just won't believe. It's a nice tonic for people who said that the Batman TV show was horrible and put comics in a bad light...compared to this bizarre stuff, the Batman TV show was an adaptation of The Dark Knight Returns.
11 TANK GIRL VOL 1 GN 3,647
Kind of shocked this book sold so well. Guess the movie didn't kill it completely off.
12 FURY TP (MR) 3,629
Marvel's "Mature" version of Nick Fury, who ends up being a typical Howard Chaykin hero. I know a lot of older fans hated it, saying it destroyed his character, but this is how I always pictured Nick Fury when he wasn't telling Captain America what to do. Drinking heavily, engaging in illicit sex and being a nasty, bad ass spy.
13 SPIRIT ARCHIVES VOL 7 HC 3,037
Reprinting the ones not done by Eisner. I'd wait until they get to the post-war Spirits. THOSE are the true classics.
14 ROBIN YEAR ONE TP 3,001
This book goes to show that if Chuck Dixon takes his time and doesn't try to write too many stories at once, he CAN write well. A good update of the First Robin's origin. Highly Recommended.
15 STAR WARS TALES VOL 2 TP 2,915
Reprinting the Dark Horse short story anthology, which is just now starting to turn out some decent stories. Why is it that most American anthologies feel that they have to use fill-in talent and toss away stories, and then complain that no one buys anthologies?
16 AVENGERS KORVAC SAGA TP 2,794
Jim Shooter's "Master Opus" on the Avengers. As far as early 80's comics go, this one was OK, but not the "Big Cosmic Masterwork" Shooter was aiming for. Nifty Perez art, tho. For Avengers fans only.
17 GUNDAM THE ORIGIN #1 2,745
18 DUMPED GN 2,418
A short little graphic novel about being dumped (duh!). Nicely done in a very Indy way, and mildly recommended.
19 COWBOY BEBOP VOL 1 GN 2,386
20 SPIDER-MAN WEDDING TP 2,355
Reprinting AGAIN the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. At the time, it was a pretty big step for Marvel, and despite what the current creative teams think, it made the Spider-Man books a bit stronger. Now it seems to have been swept under a rug somewhere, and while they aren't divorced, they aren't together either, and the Spidey books are missing something. These stories, however, are very typical 80's comics, light on any sort of story, but a bit bloated and blandly drawn.
21 WOLVERINE & ELEKTRA REDEEMER HC 2,220
Waiting for the paperback version.
22 VAMPIRE MASQUERADE GN NOSFERATU (MR) 2,139
23 VIOLENT CASES TP 2,117
24 OBERGEIST DIRECTORS CUT TP 2,108
OK, this is a comic that was made into a mini-series, retroactively, and Top Cow gets it out pretty quickly and it sells moderately well. Why can't Top Cow get the second Rising Stars trade out, when that book sells a lot better and the second tade was solicited almost a YEAR ago now?
25 AMERICAN CENTURY VOL 2 HOLLYWOOD BABYLON TP (MR) 2,050
Howard Chaykin, you either like his comics, or you don't. If you like his cynical, nasty heroes you'll love this book. Hard to believe it's the same guy who does all those shitty TV shows like Viper.
26 LOVE HINA VOL 1 GN 1,843
27 JUDGE DREDD JUSTICE ONE GN 1,700
I am buying these, simply because they are reprinting some great Judge Dredd stories. I had no idea Garth Ennis worked on Dredd, and his take on the character is the same as everyone else's...Dredd is one-dimentional at best, you have to put him in interesting situations, and Ennis does. Mildly recommended.
28 WOLVERINE GAMBIT VICTIMS TP 1,700
By the same team at Daredevil: Yellow, back when Marvel was too busy pumping out tons of shitty X-Men miniseries to know what a good one would be. That being said, this is not one of their better efforts.
29 SERGIO ARAGONES ACTIONS SPEAK TP 1,669
Sergio's latest collection of silent comic strips. I remember when he would get these printed through MAD in their paperback book program (which died in the early 90's, it seems) and they would give me minutes of reading pleasure. Sergio is almost TOO good at the storytelling aspect, as you can read a book like this is about 15 minutes and not miss anything.
30 TRANSFORMERS VOL 3 PX HC GN PRIMAL SCREAMS 1,574
OK, so the new comic is #1, with almost 120,000 copies sold, and the collection of issues from near the end of the run of the comic sold this poorly? What am I not understanding, should this book sell a tad better?
31 CHOBITS VOL 1 GN 1,485
32 CABLE SHINING PATH TP 1,413
Cable is a book that should just be put to sleep. The character is too confusing for the streamlined X-Books, and there has only been one good run on the comic (by Ladronn). Can ANYONE give a valid reason to put together these stories in a permenant collection?
33 BTVS OZ TP 1,413
Collecting the mini-series and proving again why I don't need to buy Dark Horse mini-series.
34 TONY DANIEL F5 TP 1,292
35 TRUE FACTS TP 1,198
36 CAGES HC COLLECTION (MR) 1,148
I bought every issue of this comic about a month after it finished, and it is a powerful, challenging masterpiece that should be in every collection of comic fans who want more than Hulk Smash in their reading. Highly Recommended.
37 POISON ELVES VOL 8 TP 1,139
Why? Why is this amateurish tripe still being published? Does the artist have pictures of the publisher blowing goats?
38 BONEYARD VOL 1 TP (MR) 1,063
39 TRIBULATION FORCE VOL 1 GN 1,036
40 TO AFGHANISTAN & BACK HC 987
A graphic novel of a cartoonist going to Afghanistan to report on conditions there. I know that this sort of thing is good for me, but I just can't help thinking that it was done with "Fax from Sarijevo" and "Palestine" and Rall is just jumping on a bandwagon for "comics journalism". Still, it could be interesting.
41 INITIAL D VOL 1 GN 987
42 CLIVE BARKERS HELLRAISER PX LEATHER BOUND ED 955
Wait and buy the paperback version. Unless you are a sick bastard who wants leather bound comic books.
43 KING VOL 2 TP (MR) 951
Ho Che Anderson's biography of Martin Luthor King is FINALLY finished. It will be interesting to see how much his style has changed from the first volume almost a decade ago. Highly Recommened.
44 EXTERMINATOR 17 HC 946
Can't get it. I haven't heard of the first 16 volumes.
45 KABUKI VOL 6 SCARAB HC 933
Does David Mack even do comics anymore, or just keep reprinting the old stuff he did 5 years ago when he was hot?
46 GUNWITCH OUTSKIRTS OF DOOM TP 924
47 MARMALADE BOY VOL 1 GN 911
I make fun of this every month in the top 300 listing. And now I could make fun of it here. Instead I'll just ask, "Why the hell is this getting published?"
48 MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 0079 VOL 4 TP 893
49 MARVEL MASTERWORKS AVENGERS HC NEW PRTG 879
I'm glad that Marvel is keeping these books in print. It didn't sell all that great here, but over time, they'll sell very well. DC keeps their archives in print, and they all sell out over time. This is stuff that should be kept available for when fans finally save up enough money to buy them.
50 REAL BOUT HIGH SCHOOL VOL 1 GN 879
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