The Top 50 Selling Graphic Novels For January 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 me.
1 SUPERMAN RED SON TP $17.95 DC 10,081
I know that those of you who have read writer Mark Millar's writing about this book actually believed him when he said that DC would never publish this as a collected trade, so to keep from thinking Millar is a liar, just believe that this collected trade is a mirage. For the rest of you, this is one of the best "Elseworlds" to come out. Rather than putting the hero in a completely different setting and telling the same story as every other Elseworlds, this is an examination of what would happen if Superman landed in Russia instead of the US. Highly recommended.
2 TRIGUN VOL 2 TP (MR) $14.95 DAR 6,991
The first one didn't sell this well when it came out, so I'm wondering if people missed it, or it is gaining by word of mouth. Either way, I haven't read it yet. Sorry.
3 ULTIMATE X-MEN VOL 7 BLOCKBUSTER TP $12.99 MAR 6,839
Is this that last of the Mark Millar Ultimate X-Men trades? Look this up when I get home.
4 CHRONICLES O/CONAN VOL 3 MONOLITHS & STORIES TP $15.95 DAR 5,717
More of the work of Barry Windsor Smith on Conan, the comic that pretty much made him a fan favorite. By this point, he had found his own art style, and Conan was a new enough character that it had a HUGE fan base. Like most 70's Marvel stuff, it's a bit overwritten, but still fun to read, even if you aren't on a nostalgia trip. Mildly recommended.
5 JLA ZATANNAS SEARCH TP $12.95 DC 4,853
Reprinting all of the early appearances of the character, and these are VERY typical DC 60's stuff. Pure nostalgia only.
6 OUTSIDERS LOOKING FOR TROUBLE TP $12.95 DC 4,586
Reprinting the first 6 issues of this mediocre super-hero team series. It's not bad, but really all that good either.
7 BERSERK VOL 2 GUARDIANS O/DESIRE TP
(MR) $13.95 DAR 3,900
8 GLOBAL FREQUENCY PLANET ABLAZE TP $14.95 DC 3,384
The first 6 issues of this mini-series that will be a possible series on the WB next year. I don't understand why they only did a six-issue reprint of the 12 issue series. I guess they think that since there will be a TV series coming soon, they would be able to squeeze more money out of people by making it two trade paperbacks instead of one. Lousy bastards.
9 MEGATOKYO VOL 2 TP $9.95 DAR 3,295
Damn you Christy for not getting this in your shop for me to buy!
10 LIBERTY MEADOWS VOL 2 CREATURE COMFORTS HC $24.95 IMA 3,277
This is one of the few comic strips that was well drawn and VERY funny while it was in the newspaper, but the artist got tired of dealing with the censorship. Now you can get his jokes without all the input of editors who know nothing about the funny. Highly recommended.
11 LUCIFER VOL 5 INFERNO TP (MR) $14.95
12 HELLBOY JUNIOR TP $14.95 DAR 3,090
Oh, how CUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUTE. Sorry, I love Hellboy, but I didn't find this trade very funny at all, and if it was meant to be serious, it did a shitty job. Pass.
13 RANMA 1/2 VOL 25 TP $9.95 VIZ 3,010
14 UNCANNY X-MEN VOL 4 DRACO TP $15.99 MAR 2,814
This story just ended last month. It wasn't good then and it's still not good as they delve into Nightcrawler's origin and make it so painfully convoluted, it's going to take a decent write a few stories to fix the mess that was created here.
15 EXILES VOL 6 FANTASTIC VOYAGE TP
$17.99 MAR 2,663
16 X-TREME X-MEN VOL 6 INTIFADA TP $16.99 MAR 2,645
17 ELFQUEST VOL 1 GRAND QUEST TP $9.95 DC 2,529
Reprinting the first 5 issues of the classic series in the "manga trade" format. This was one of the first independent comics, and is still the best fantasy comic that has seen print. Highly recommended.
18 BATTLE ROYALE VOL 5 GN (Of 8) (MR) $9.99 TKP 2,422
This is a VERY violent comic that isn't for younger readers, but is probably my favorite manga series. Telling the story of a future where reality shows are taken to the extreme, and a group of high school students are taken to an island, and the only one who survives, wins. At once a satire of entertainment, a character drama and an action series, this is highly recommended.
19 EARTH X VOL 5 PARADISE X BOOK 2 TP (RES) $29.99 MAR 2,404
The last part of this series of mini-series, and for hard core fans only. If you haven't been reading this series for a long time forget it, because it's utterly unreadable without a LOT of history.
20 SPIDER-MAN LEGENDS VOL 3 TODD MCFARLANE BOOK 3 TP $24.99 MAR 2,369
I can understand just printing the ones drawn by McFarlane, but they leave out the 6th part of a six-part story in this book because he didn't draw it, making it so you don't get the whole story? Bad move Marvel.
21 GREEN ARROW SOUNDS O/VIOLENCE TP $12.95 DC 2,333
Reprinting more of the Green Arrow series, which just doesn't seem like it's worth having the entire series reprinted in trade paperback form.
22 JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVS VOL 1 MAGNIFICENT
SEVEN TP $6.95 DC 2,324
23 JUDGMENT DAY TP $16.95 CHE 2,315
This is reprinting one of the weirder series to come out of the 90's. Alan Moore wrote a mini-series to revamp Rob Liefeld's universe, with art by both Liefeld's assistants and comics legend Gil Kane, who's work is so much better than the other artists, you wish that he would have drawn the whole thing. Moore does a great job of making sense of Liefeld's ideas, and would have put together a bunch of good series spinning out of this, if Liefeld hadn't gone belly up, forcing Moore to take his plans to his own ABC comics line. Mildly recommended.
24 NIGHTWING BIG GUNS TP $14.95 DC 2,217
More of this series, which has been printed in odd drabs and doesn't feel like it's worth the trade paperback treatment.
25 JUSTICE LEAGUE ADVS VOL 2 FRIENDS
& FOES TP $6.95 DC 2,208
26 PRIDE & JOY TP (MR) $14.95 DC 2,191
A Garth Ennis mini-series that wasn't up to his better efforts. It has already been printed in book form, as far as I know, so this is a new printing.
27 CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL 4 CAPTAIN AMERICA LIVES AGAIN TP $12.99 MAR 2,155
The best Captain America story since it went to Marvel Knights, with Dave Gibbons (the artist on Watchmen) telling a GREAT little "What If" tale of what would have happened if Germany won WWII and Cap woke up to a US run by the Red Skull.
28 STAR WARS RITE O/PASSAGE TP $12.95 DAR 2,137
Reprinting more of the "Clone Wars" stories that have taken over the Star Wars comic. Which is probably a good thing, since it is bridging the gap between Episode 2 and Episode 3, but I find myself utterly unable to will myself into giving a damn.
29 SAGA O/SEVEN SUNS HC $24.95 DC 2,102
30 KOLCHAK NIGHT STALKER PAIN MOST HUMAN GN (MR) $6.95 MOO 2,075
I REALLY wish someone could explain to me why this is a "graphic novel" yet the squarebound books from every other publisher are considered comics in the sales charts.
31 STAR WARS TALES VOL 4 TP $19.95 DAR 2,030
Reprinting the already kind of expensive 64 page bi-monthly book. These are the only Star Wars comics stories I like, since they are by a rotating creative team that does short stories based in the Star Wars universe. For Star Wars fans, it's fun, for everyone else it's a waste of time.
32 WONDER WOMAN ARCHIVES VOL 4 HC $49.95 DC 2,004
I like Golden Age comics. Not because they are Great Works Of Art, but because they are usually filled with boundless creativity, a crudeness that gives them life and to know more about the history of comics. Wonder Woman is the only one of the DC Archives I just can't force myself through. I don't know what it is, maybe the character doesn't speak to me, maybe it's just that the stories are horridly unreadable, but this is the only Archives I pass on, and that should let you know what you should do.
33 ASTRO BOY VOL 23 TP $9.95 DAR 1,781
34 THUNDERCATS VOL 2 RETURN TP $12.95 DC 1,567
Hopefully this proves that the whole "80's nostalgia" is a few years too soon and will quit cluttering up comics shelves with its painful nostalgia sometime soon.
35 SOCK MONKEY COLL WORKS O/TONY
MILLIONAIRE VOL 3 & 4 TP $12.95 DAR 1,558
36 AL CAPS LIL ABNER FRAZETTA SUNDAYS VOL 3 HC $18.95 DAR 1,541
I ever so love this book. Frazetta was a master of the human form, but he was drawing in Al Capp's style (which was good enough for me). The reproduction isn't as good as the Kitchen Sing books, and the stories aren't as elaborate (since the Sunday strips had different stories than the daily strips), but compare the work in this book to the crap on the funny pages of newspapers today and you'll see why L'il Abner was so well liked by both fans and other artists. Highly recommended.
37 SHANGRI LA GN $7.95 IMA 1,505
38 ELEKTRA VOL 3 RELENTLESS TP $14.99 MAR 1,496
Continuing Marvel's new tradition of putting out a trade paperback while the ink is still getting cold on the issues it is reprinting. This was a decent enough story arc, but not good enough that I think it should have been collected instead of other stories. A mediocre comic that is for hard core fans only.
39 KARE KANO VOL 7 GN (Of 13) $9.99 TKP
40 WARREN ELLIS BAD SIGNAL VOL 2 GN (MR) $6.95 AVA 1,443
The first one was a collection of his essays for a comic book fansite, and this one is a collection of essays from his mailing list. And they are much better then they show up in your e-mail box for free, so subscribe to it here.
41 HAPPY LESSON MANGA VOL 1 TP (MR)
$9.99 ADV 1,407
42 HELLBOY VOL 1 SEED O/DESTRUCTION TP NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 1,389
Rolling out the trades for the new movie, and reading over the first one again, it's easy to see that Mignola was just tossing stuff at the wall to see what stuck. The scripting isn't all that good (trying to create catchphrases for T-shirts and the like) but the underlying story is a lot of fun, and the art is Mignola at his best, with inky shadows and a feeling of real horror. Highly recommended.
43 PUNISHER VOL 3 HC $24.99 MAR 1,380
44 MAC RABOYS FLASH GORDON VOL 4 TP $19.95 DAR 1,354
The last of the collected versions of this, and while it's not as well drawn or inventive as the Raymond Flash Gordon stuff, as late 50's SF, it's moderately fun. For comic strip collectors only, as most modern audiences would see it as hopelessly campy.
45 AI YORI AOSHI VOL 1 GN (Of 9) (MR)
$9.99 TKP 1,327
46 X 1999 VOL 13 LAMENT TP $9.95 VIZ 1,327
47 HELLBOY VOL 4 RIGHT HAND O/DOOM TP NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 1,256
48 HELLBOY VOL 5 CONQUEROR WORM TP NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 1,247
49 HELLBOY VOL 3 CHAINED COFFIN & OTHERS TP NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 1,247
More cool Hellboy comics, all highly recommended and from #3 on, John Byrne scripting free, which is a bonus!
50 DEMON DIARY VOL 5 GN (Of 7) $9.99 TKP 1,247
Dear Diary, another lovely day in paradice...NOT. Satan woke up on the wrong side of the bed again and came down on me for my flogging technique. Some day I'd like to lead a rebellion against him, wouldn't that be ironic?
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