The Top 50 Selling Graphic Novels For October 2003
This list comes from digging through sales figures, asking too many questions and using Diamond Comics information. The snotty comments in white are from Cory!!
1 CHRONICLES OF CONAN VOL 1 TP $15.95 DAR 8,322
Reprinting the first 8 or so issues of Conan by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith (while he was still a Kirby clone). I'm amazed it sold so well, especially since Marvel couldn't seem to figure out a way to get Conan to sell during the 90's. Then again, the editor of the book when Roy Thomas came back on the book said, "It doesn't matter what we put in it, it only sells to bikers and tattoo freaks." Then, when they DID do a reprint of the Essential Conan, they printed only to orders, and saw prices of the damn things shoot up on eBay and let the license lapse. Hopefully, Dark Horse will keep doing right by the character, who was more popular than ANY comic character in the 70's.
2 SANDMAN ENDLESS NIGHTS HC $24.95 DC 8,017
So, Sandman got beat by Conan? You would think so if you thought this book came out in October, but it didn't. In September, it sold 26,230 copies, making it the best selling graphic novel in a LONG LONG time. DC also sold a LOT of these in the mass market (bookstores and the like), so their bottom line will be pretty healthy for quite some time. The book is also very well put together, and Neil should be happy that he took time away from working on novels to do it when he gets the check.
3 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 7 IRRESPONSIBLE TP $12.99 MAR 7,642
Ultimate Spider-Man is written for trades, much like manga. It works best when the creators don't worry as much about pacing and take the pages they need to tell the story right. If you haven't ever read Spider-Man, ANY of the Ultimate trades are the best way, and I really see this as the best way to honor what Stan Lee and Steve Ditko did, taking what they did and making a series that will do the same for kids today. Highly recommended.
4 TRIGUN VOL 1 TP $14.95 DAR 7,502
5 CRISIS O/MULTIPLE EARTHS VOL 2 TP $14.95 DC 6,036
Reprinting more Silver Age comics, and when you read a bunch of them in a row, you can't help but feel that these were NOT made to be read 40 years later. The stories are pretty formula driven, the art is stiff and the writing is stilted. For nostalgia buffs and comics historians only.
6 ESSENTIAL TOMB O/DRACULA VOL 1 TP $14.99 MAR 5,966
This, on the other hand, shows that some of the stuff from the 70's holds up VERY well. After a rough start (Gerry Conway and Gardner Fox wrote the first 5 issues), it quickly became the best example of how the Marvel soap opera method could be applied to horror...and work. Gene Colan's art was perfect for the series, and Tom Palmer perfectly matched on inks, smoothing out Colon's flaws. And Marv Wolfman put together an amazing run, playing with the pop culture of the time, while still telling excellent stories. Possibly the best horror series ever, this comic is highly recommended.
7 NEW X-MEN VOL 5 ASSAULT O/WEAPON PLUS TP $14.99 MAR 5,204
Grant Morrison is my favorite comics writer. So, any review of his work is going to be biased. However, in his New X-Men run, this comic is really the least of his work, dealing with plot threads from other creators, and a bridge between two stories. At the end, everything is in place for the Big Story he has been building towards, but this one is a bit of a mess. Still, a messy Grant Morrison story is better than pretty much anyone else's super-hero work, so this is Highly Recommended.
8 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL 5 UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES TP $12.99 MAR 4,876
More of the Amazing Spider-Man by JMS. He is doing a great job of mixing multi-part stories and one issue stories, but I have finally put my finger on why the book feels so...odd with him writing. It's not that he's a bad writer (since they stories are very good). It's that for its entire run, Amazing Spider-Man has been the MAIN comic that shows Stan Lee's Superhero soap opera, and now it reads more like a TV series based on Spider-Man, where things happen in good stories, but the multi-character soap opera concept no longer applies. You can decide if this is a good thing or not.
9 BERSERK VOL 1 BLACK SWORDSMAN TP (MR)
$13.95 DAR 4,735
10 GENESIS ART O/TRANSFORMERS HC $29.95 IMA 4,618
*sighs* I should just deal with the fact that a crappy 80's cartoon is still considered Art by some people, shouldn't I?
11 CHOBITS VOL 8 GN $9.99 TKP 4,606
12 SANDMAN PRESENTS TALLER TALES TP $19.95 DC 4,255
A bunch of Sandman spin-offs written by Bill Willingham. I don't much care for all the spin-offs and extra stories of supporting characters by other creators. I know why DC is doing it, and I know some people like it, but I think they should just let Neil Gaiman's characters be written by Neil Gaiman.
13 LIFE EATERS HC $29.95 DC 4,220
A graphic novel written by a guy who writes a lot of fantasy novels. At least this GN isn't like most fantasy novels (which means you have to read 5 to 10 novels to get a complete story). I'll try it as a paperback.
14 DAREDEVIL VOL 7 HARDCORE TP $13.99 MAR 4,032
Brian Michael Bendis has made Daredevil a must read book for the first time since...well, since Frank Miller made his mark on the series. This story deals with the fall of the Kingpin, but does it in a way that no one has tried before, and making it a gritty, realistic super-hero story without being overly grim and fatalistic. The art looks like a series of crime photos, and in many ways, this is Marvel's best series. Highly recommended.
15 HELLBLAZER RAKE A/T GATES O/HELL TP $19.95 DC 3,938
John Constantine is a character that is VERY hard to write, and most of the people who have tried have fallen short of the mark. Garth Ennis did a passable job on the character (although it was Preacher where he really made his name). This story shows that, while Ennis can write a good story, he is uncomfortable with a dark dichotomy that is John Constantine. Mildly recommended.
16 X-TREME X-MEN VOL 5 GOD LOVES MAN KILLS TP $19.99 MAR 3,903
In which Chris Claremont goes back and does a sequel to the only successful story he hasn't done a sequel to yet. Claremont is an acquired taste, and in these days of sharp dialogue and letting the art tell the story, Claremont's caption heavy work seems out of date. Still, if you like his work, this is pretty much standard Claremont.
17 DONALD DUCK ADVS VOL 2 TP $7.95 GEM 3,798
The best way to buy the Duck stories, in the new "manga digest" format. A nice price for a hefty book, and even if you aren't a kid, Disney Duck comics are some of the best comics around. Highly recommended.
18 ANIMAL MAN VOL 3 DEUS EX MACHINA TP $19.95 DC 3,716
It was this series that hooked me on Grant Morrison's writing. Before there was a Vertigo line, Grant took a second string super-hero and played with the form of comics, feeling out what was real and what wasn't, while staying within the super-hero formula. The other writers in the early Vertigo line had a disdain and palpable hatred for super-heroes, while Grant did brilliant work while still showing that he loved the characters and their past. Highly recommended, and possibly MY favorite of the DC books that eventually formed Vertigo. Yes, I liked it more than Sandman. So there.
19 BATMAN/SUPERMAN WORLDS FINEST TP $19.95 DC 3,598
Reprinting one of the "World's Finest" mini-series done in the early 90's to try and hype the new Batman/Superman series. If you don't have them, they are well done comics, but seem a bit dated. For Hardcore fans only.
20 FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 2 UNTHINKABLE TP $17.99 MAR 3,528
Mark Waid pulls out all the stops with the best Dr. Doom story since Jack Kirby left Marvel the first time. He and 'Ringo show that there IS still life in the old Marvel characters, and you can still tell a good story without tossing out the 40 years of history behind the characters. Highly recommended, and possibly the best Fantastic Four story for a new reader to try.
21 BATMAN TERROR TP $12.95 DC 3,528
22 SUPERMAN MAN O/STEEL VOL 2 TP $19.95 DC 3,352
Reprinting more of the early stories from the 1987 revamp of the character. Hard to believe we're over 15 years into the "new" Superman, where John Byrne and Marv Wolfman got rid of all the deadweight that had built up on Superman during the 50's, 60's and 70's. As such, the stories are more nostalgia than anything else, and show that the way DC saved their books was to make them more like Marvel's...nowhere did that show more than on Superman.
23 HERO POWERS & ABILITIES TP $9.95 DC 3,317
Reprinting the first 6 issues of the new series, which has early issues selling out, but still only selling about 15,000 per issue. I don't know if this is to meet demand, or to try and get interest in the series, but I DID pick it up. Still haven't been able to read it, tho.
24 RANMA 1/2 VOL 24 TP $9.95 VIZ 3,305
Viz's new format is one that I like, since it is more portable and costs about $8 less per book. Ranma 1/2 is pretty much the same story over and over, but that's the difference between American comics and Japanese, since Japanese comics CAN do the "sit-com" type story, and pull it off. If you haven't read Manga before, this is a good one to start with, since it successfully blends romance, action and humor.
25 INCREDIBLE HULK VOL 5 HIDE I/PLAIN SIGHT TP $11.99 MAR 3,282
Bruce Jones continues with his stories showing the horror of the Hulk. He is starting to do things in the series that I don't much care for (undoing past stories, bringing back villains in ways that give them MUCH more power), but the stories themselves work. Mildly recommended for horror fans.
26 INU YASHA VOL 15 TP $8.95 VIZ 3,153
27 BATMAN ABSOLUTION SC $17.95 DC 3,118
J.M. DeMatties doing his forgiveness/spiritual based story stuff with Batman. You either love his work or hate it. I love it. You might not. Flip through it before buying it, as some people find DeMatties's writing overblown.
28 SUPERMAN MAN O/STEEL VOL 1 TP $9.95 DC 2,954
Reprinting the mini-series that "restarted" Superman, back when John Byrne actually cared about what he was doing. How sad is it that after this, Byrne pretty much felt he had to completely re-do any series he came on after this, and usually not for the better. His work here was top-notch, tho, and this works as a good modern imagining of Superman. Not a bad price either, but you can prolly find all six issues at $1 or less if you look at your local. Mildly recommended.
29 GIANT THB VOL 2 #1 $6.95 HOR 2,930
30 BATTLE ANGEL ALITA LAST ORDER VOL 2 TP $9.95 VIZ 2,837
31 SGT ROCK ARCHIVES VOL 2 HC $49.95 DC 2,790
I never much cared for war comics. In fact, the only ones I ever liked were EC's two war comics. DC used to pump out a ton of the damn things, and they sold to kids, since anyone I knew who read comics had a few of them. I never did. Oh, the art on these is pretty nice, and the "Enemy Ace" Archive showed off some incredible art. The problem is that the stories all tend to blend, since they were of the same character in the same war. Still, the fact that they sold so well for so long means that they hit a chord with the general public, and there's nothing else like it available in comics now.
32 MORE FUND COMICS GN $10.00 SKY 2,661
I like this kind of book, an anthology where creators know the money from the book is going to charity. A bunch of short stories and sketches, some by well known creators and some by up and coming guys. About half the stories in here are really good, which means you get your money's worth. Highly recommended.
33 ALL STAR COMICS ARCHIVES VOL 9 HC $49.95 DC 2,637
By this point, WWII was winding down, super-heroes weren't as popular as they used to be, and the Justice Society stories were shorter, meaning that they changed from "each hero gets a chapter drawn by their normal creative team" to what we now think of as a team book. I LOVE this series, but it's all history and nostalgia, so if you aren't into Golden Age stories, this will leave you pretty cold.
34 LEGION OF EXTRAORDIANRY GENTLEMEN
BOOK ONE TP $14.95 DC 2,520
35 DEATH AT DEATHS DOOR SC $9.95 DC 2,438
Both of these books are reorder sales from previous months. I think DC is pretty happy about the fact that they are still selling well. Both are highly recommended, too.
36 CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL 3 ICE TP $12.99 MAR 2,415
Oh, was this a painful story. I have never liked Jae Lee's art (it looks like someone spilled ink on the page) and the story itself was bad. I mean REALLY bad. I mean so bad that halfway through you want to go to the writer's house and hit him on the nose with a newspaper for leaving a mess all over the character. I thought when they relaunched Captain America as a "Marvel Knights" series, they would be getting big name creators to do edgy stories, not whoever was around the office to do bad stories that end up being dreams. Ignore this one and you'll be much happier.
37 ATOM ARCHIVES VOL 2 HC $49.95 DC 2,403
More 60's DC gimmick stories. For nostalgia buffs only, as most of the 60's DC stuff has aged pretty poorly, and seem to new readers like the mediocre Golden Age stuff seemed to me as a kid.
38 ASTRO BOY VOL 19 TP $9.95 DAR 2,274
39 FULL METAL PANIC MANGA VOL 1 TP $9.99 ADV 2,168
40 STRAY TOASTERS TP (RES) $19.95 GRA 2,110
Bill Sienkevitch's best work, a very impressionistic tale of artificial intelligence. This was one of the last experimental works that Marvel did before the Image boys started to make their mark, and caused Marvel to quit doing things that looked unique. This is NOT a book for everyone, but if you want to see what all the fuss was about in comics in the late 80's, this is one of the books they were fussing about.
41 NEXTWORLD VOL 1 TP $13.95 DAR 1,993
42 WILL EISNER FAGIN THE JEW GN $15.95 RAN 1,969
Eisner's work is always great. He is the last of the Golden Age creators still active and vital and he is doing his best work NOW. Highly recommended.
43 ALL NEW TENCHI MUYO VOL 3 DARK WASHU
TP $8.95 VIZ 1,946
44 FUSHIGI YUGI VOL 9 LOVER TP $9.95 VIZ 1,922
45 21 DOWN TP $19.95 DC 1,911
This was an Image book, but since Wildstorm was bought by DC, it comes out through them. Why they did a trade of this, I have NO idea, since I could sell you THOUSANDS of copies of the mini-series. Just like and of the mid 90's Image mini-series, it has pretty, shiny art and the story makes no bloody sense at all.
46 QUEEN & COUNTRY VOL 4 OPERATION BLACKWALL TP $8.95 ONI 1,887
Greg Rucka's spy series is one of the few spy comics that has EVER been any good. This series feels like a series of well-written spy novels, and is highly recommended.
47 BLUE MONDAY VOL 3 INBETWEEN DAYS TP $9.95
48 MAC RABOY FLASH GORDON VOL 2 TP $19.95 DAR 1,805
Reprinting the Flash Gordon Sunday strips from the late 40's through the mid 60's. As with most of the "classic" Sunday strips, the stories aren't the best in the world (high melodrama and overwrought captioning) but amazing artwork so detailed that you can see why adventure strips used to be so popular. For art fans and people who want to know about classic comic strips.
49 RAGNAROK VOL 8 GN $9.99 TKP 1,805
50 EXCEL SAGA VOL 3 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,782
That's it! Now it's time for pie!
Back to the main page