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BookScan’s Top 20 Graphic Novels for August 2008

'Watchmen' Continues to Dominate

Published: 09/04/2008 12:00pm

Traditional American-published graphic novels continued to dominate graphic novel sales in bookstores for the second month in a row according to the BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novels chart.  Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen remained the top title; since the debut of the trailer for the Watchmen movie with The Dark Knight on July 18th, sales of the Watchmen graphic novel have been truly phenomenal (see “A Million Copies of Watchmen”).



Rank

Title

Author

Pub

PubDate

1

WATCHMEN

ALAN MOORE

DC

4/1/95

2

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE SPEC. ED. HC

ALAN MOORE

DC

3/1/08

3

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

FRANK MILLER

DC

5/1/97

4

NARUTO VOL. 30

MASASHI KISHIMOTO

VIZ

7/1/08

5

STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED

HADEN BLACKMAN

DHC

2/1/08

6

ROSARIO+VAMPIRE VOL. 2

AKIHISA IKEDA

VIZ

8/1/08

7

FRUITS BASKET VOL. 20

NATSUKI TAKAYA

TKP

7/1/08

8

BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN

JEPH LOEB

DC

11/1/99

9

BATMAN: YEAR ONE

FRANK MILLER

DC

4/1/07

10

D.GRAY-MAN VOL. 10

KATSURA HOSHINO

VIZ

8/1/08

11

NARUTO VOL. 29

MASASHI KISHIMOTO

VIZ

5/1/08

12

NARUTO VOL. 31

MASASHI KISHIMOTO

VIZ

9/1/08

13

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM

GRANT MORRISON

DC

11/1/05

14

DEATH NOTE VOL. 1

TSUGUMI OHBA

VIZ

10/1/05

15

KITCHEN PRINCESS VOL. 7

NATSUMI ANDO

DEL

8/1/08

16

NARUTO VOL. 28

MASASHI KISHIMOTO

VIZ

3/1/08

17

TSUBASA VOL. 18

CLAMP

DEL

7/1/08

18

V FOR VENDETTA

ALAN MOORE

DC

4/1/95

19

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS ADVENTURES VOL. 1

HADEN BLACKMAN

DHC

7/1/04

20

IN ODD WE TRUST

DEAN R. KOONTZ

DEL

6/1/08


These rankings, provided by Nielsen BookScan, track the bestselling U.S. graphic novels in major book chains, mass merchants, online retailers, and some independent bookstores using POS data from August 3 to September 2nd.

 

For the second straight month five Batman-related titles made the top 20 list, with four of them in the top ten (including the #2 and #3 spots), all of which testifies once again to the powerful impact of The Dark Knight movie itself on graphic novel sales.  American-published titles accounted for half of the top 20, down one from last month, but it doesn’t appear that this occidental dominance of the list is the result of declining manga sales; rather it seems to reflect the enormous effect of the theatrical presentation of The Dark Knight (along with the Watchmen trailer, it is linked to 7 of the ten “American” titles) and to a lesser extent Star Wars: The Clone Wars (linked to two titles).

 

On the manga side Viz Media’s Naruto remains the dominant force with four volumes in the top 20.  Vol. 31 appeared on this list as the #12 bestselling title in bookstores before its scheduled release date; Diamond accounts aren't receiving it until this week.

 

Viz Media’s Death Note #1 is the only initial volume of a long-running series in the top 20, while the same publisher’s Rosario+Vampire appears to be consolidating its position as perhaps the strongest series to debut in 2008 so far.  Tokyopop’s Fruits Basket remains the top shojo manga in the American market, but this month it was Del Rey, not Tokyopop with three titles in the top 20 including Kitchen Princess Vol. 7, Tsubasa Vol.18, and the Dean Koontz-based OEL manga In Odd We Trust, which remained on the list for the third straight month.

 

In August DC Comics and Viz Media tied with seven titles each followed by Del Rey with three, Dark Horse with two and Tokyopop with one.

 

For comparisons, see also “BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novels for July 2008,” “BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novels for June 2008,” “BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novels for May 2008,” and “BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novels for April 2008.”

 
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