Brad Meltzer's Justice League of
Brian Michael Bendis had two titles in the top five, New Avengers at #3 and New Avengers: Illuminati in the #5 spot. Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men #19, which begins Whedon's last story arc on the series, registered one of the few gains among top titles -- an increase that can be traced to the fact that issue #19 had a second variant cover (50/50 ratio).
DC Comics dominated the top portion of the list with six of the top ten and eight out of the top 12 titles although Marvel had 14 out of the top 25 and maintained a lead in both dollar and unit market share.
In contrast to November, which had a Civil War title, no December comic came close to the 200K mark, and while 12 November titles topped 100K only eight December books did.
Batman #660 was down substantially reflecting the fact that the Grant Morrison/Kubert team was no longer on the title.
Fables Volume 8 topped the graphic novel list, which was no surprise since that Vertigo series has topped the list several times before, but the fact that Tokyopop's Fruits Basket Vol. 15 was the Diamond's second best-selling graphic novel of the month was surprising -- even for a month that did not feature that many strong graphic novel releases. But the fact that Viz Media's Naruto Vol. 12 was #4, Dark Horse's Berserk Vol. 14 came in at #7 and Viz Media's Bleach Vol. 16 at #8, giving manga four out of the top 10 titles was astounding.
While it's easy to make too much out of what could be an aberration, it is interesting to note that while traditional American graphic novels are doing better in the bookstore market, manga appears to be making increasing inroads in the direct market.
Here are ICv2's estimates of the sales by Diamond Comic Distributors to comic stores on the top 25 comic titles in December:
136,709 Justice League of
132,460 Justice League of
122,670 New Avengers #26
121,300 Astonishing X-Men #19
103,952 New Avengers: Illuminati #1
102,990 Justice Society of
100,657 Iron Man/Captain
100,596 52 Week 31
99,634 52 Week 32
99,431 52 Week 33
98,887 Justice #9 (of 12)
98,379 52 Week 34
97,948 Civil War Frontline #9
85,995 Uncanny X-Men #481
84,895 Fantastic Four #541
84,771 Civil War: War Crimes One-Shot
84,733 Wolverine: Origins #9
81,716 Superman/Batman #31
78,807 Wolverine #49
78,114 X-Men #194
76.967 Batman #660
76,251 Ultimate Spider-Man #103
75,512 Batman #661
73,388 Iron Man #14
70,148 Ultimate Power #3