Image Dominates Bookstore Top 20
From December BookScan
Published: 01/15/2013 02:13amSaga also placed at number 12, giving the publish an astounding 11 books in the "Top 20 Graphic Novels" sold in the book channel provided exclusively to ICv2 by Nielsen BookScan. Hats off to the whole Image crew for the fantastic achievement. The Walking Dead's success was aided by heavy promotion at Barnes & Noble, where they ran a zombie endcap that featured the title prominently.
Pantheon ran out of copies of Chris Ware's Building Stories (#4) briefly, as demand for the book was stronger than anticipated, but they started filling orders again quickly and kept the book available for some last minute Christmas shopping. Look for this one to drop a bit in January, but I'd expect it to stay on the list until at least March.
DK Publishing's books about comics heroes make great gifts, so this month saw three of their guides hit the list: Marvel Avengers: The Ultimate Character Guide (the highest at #8), DC Comics: The Ultimate Character Guide at #13, and Spider-Man Chronicle: A Year By Year Visual History at #16. It was good thing that Avengers and Spider-Man were there to represent Marvel on the list, because Marvel itself dropped off completely. Unsurprisingly, last month's Avengers Vs. X-Men proved to be a one-off, probably driven by the heavy discounting of the $75 book on Amazon. In other words, readers bought this one for themselves, and not as a Xmas gift. The next Marvel movie is Iron Man 3 in May, but don't count on seeing any Iron Man books in the top 20 that month--except for the inevitable DK guide, of course.
The first of only two manga on the list debuts at #9: Yen Press' Maximum Ride. The other manga is Naruto Vol. 59 from Viz. Manga don't make great gifts, so this isn't a big surprise, but it's probably not a great way for manga publishers to end the year, nonetheless.
DC rounds out the list with three perennial bestsellers: Watchmen (#11), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (#14), and Batman: The Killing Joke Deluxe Edition (#20). Two of these are, of course, Alan Moore books; it remains to be seen when we'll get Killing Joke: The Movie, but it seems inevitable at this point.
So once again, that's a whopping 11 books from Image, three each for DC and DK, and one each for Pantheon, Viz and Yen. Next month, The Walking Dead should loosen its death grip on the market a little bit, but with no comic-based movies or TV shows dominating the market in January (and gift cards to be spent), look for manga to step back up into one or two of the
slots that The Walking Dead should be relinquishing.
For past BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novel lists, see the "BookScan Top 20 GNs Index."
[Disclosure: Dallas Middaugh is the director of publishing services for Random House Publisher Services. RHPS provides distribution and other services for several graphic novel clients, including DC Comics, Kodansha Comics, Archie Comics, and Vertical. He has also worked with or for Viz Media, Oni Press, and Slave Labor Graphics, and he co-founded Seven Seas.]