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BookScan's Top 20 Graphic Novels for September 2008

Manga Strikes Back

Published: 10/02/2008, Last Updated: 11/30/1999 12:00am

Manga took back the bulk of the slots in the BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novel list for September from the American titles which had held a majority for the past two months.  Manga has dominated bookstore graphic novel sales for years, but American titles made a run this summer, fueled by media tie-ins, particularly The Dark Knight.  In September, manga took a more typical 16 out of the top twenty positions. 

 

Still, with sales driven by the release of the trailer for the upcoming movie, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen, which topped graphic novel sales in bookstores for the third straight month, continues to be the biggest phenomenon to hit the graphic novel market in years.  With six months until the debut of the Watchmen movie on March 6th, there is no doubt that it will be the bestselling graphic novel of 2008 in both units and dollars.


Rank

Title

Author

Pub

PubDate

1

WATCHMEN

ALAN MOORE

DC

4/1/95

2

NARUTO VOL. 31

MASASHI KISHIMOTO

VIZ

9/1/08

3

VAMPIRE KNIGHT VOL. 5

MATSURI HINO

VIZ

9/1/08

4

BLEACH VOL. 24

TITE KUBO

VIZ

9/1/08

5

NEGIMA! VOL. 19

KEN AKAMATSU

DEL

8/1/08

6

LOVELESS VOL.  8

YUN KOUGA

TKP

9/1/08

7

STAR WARS: THE FORCE UNLEASHED

HADEN BLACKMAN

DHC

7/1/08

8

THE GENTLEMEN'S ALLIANCE CROSS

ARINA TANEMURA

VIZ

9/1/08

9

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE SPEC. ED. HC

ALAN MOORE

DC

3/1/08

10

WANTED

MATSURI HINO

VIZ

9/1/08

11

NARUTO VOL. 30

MASASHI KISHIMOTO

VIZ

7/1/08

12

CHIBI VAMPIRE VOL. 10

YUNA KAGESAKI

TKP

9/1/08

13

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS

FRANK MILLER

DC

5/1/97

14

BLACK CAT VOL. 16

KENTARO YABUKI

VIZ

9/1/08

15

WILD ONES VOL. 4

KIYO FUJIWARA

VIZ

9/1/08

16

ROSARIO+VAMPIRE VOL. 2

AKIHISA IKEDA

VIZ

8/1/08

17

SKIP BEAT! VOL. 14

YOSHIKI NAKAMURA

VIZ

9/1/08

18

FRUITS BASKET VOL. 20

NATSUKI TAKAYA

TKP

7/1/08

19

SHAMAN KING VOL. 18

HIROYUKI TAKEI

VIZ

9/1/08

20

DEATH NOTE VOL. 1

TSUGUMI OHBA

VIZ

10/1/05


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 in September.

As usual Viz Media’s Naruto led the manga charge placing two volumes of Masashi Kisimoto's ninja saga in the top twenty, with Volume 31 grabbing the second spot just behind Watchmen.  Shojo manga-ka Matsuri Hino also placed two volumes in the top 20, the one-shot Wanted and the fifth volume of her Vampire Knight, which came in at #3 and is the current odds-on favorite to grab the crown of Tokyopop’s Fruits Basket when North America’s long time favorite shojo manga ends its 23-volume run in 2009.  Tokyopop’s Loveless (created by Yun Kouga), another solid contender for the top of shojo charts, finished at #6.

Seven of the top 16 manga titles were shojo series, while nine were shonen manga including many of the usual suspects such as Naruto, Bleach, Negima, Chibi Vampire, Black Cat, Shaman King, Rosario+ Vampire, and Death Note.  Of particular note are Rosario+Vampire, the only top 20 shonen series to debut in 2008, and Death Note, Vol.1, the only initial volume of an extended series to make the list--an indication that many new readers are picking up on the Death Note manga even though the12th and final volume of the saga was released last July.

In addition to Watchmen the other traditional graphic novels that made the list were Dark Horse’s original Star Wars graphic novel The Force Unleashed, which ties in to a major video game-led multi-media project, and two Batman titles, Batman: The Killing Joke Special Edition HC and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.  After five Batman-related titles made the BookScan list in both July and August, it appears that the considerable sales boost provided by the theatrical release of The Dark Knight has started to wane.

In September Viz Media led all publishers with 12 titles in the top 20 followed by 3 each for Tokyopop and DC, and one a piece for Dark Horse and Del Rey. 

For comparisons, see also BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novels for August,” “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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