BookScan's Top 20 Graphic Novels for January 2009
'Watchmen' & 'Naruto' Remain Dominant
Published: 02/05/2009, Last Updated: 02/09/2009 12:03am
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen continues to dominate sales of graphic novels in bookstores. Watchmen has now been the #1 graphic novel for seven months in a row, and for the second consecutive month a hardcover edition of the classic post-modern take on the superhero genre was in the third spot, trailing only a volume of Naruto, the king of manga titles, which placed no fewer than seven volumes on the January BookScan list. Naruto’s influence on the list was especially evident in January because Viz Media released four volumes of Masashi Kishimoto’s ninja-themed adventure in the second coming of the publisher’s “Naruto Nation” event (see “Free Naruto Anime”).
The January blitz of Naruto titles helped manga and anime-related titles expand its majority of the BookScan Top 20 from 11 in December to 15 in January. DC Comics held all the non-manga spots with Brian Azzarello’s Joker, which has been a huge hit in both the direct and bookstore markets, in fourth; Alan Moore’s venerable The Killing Joke in the sixteenth spot; and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns at #18. All of DC’s non-Watchmen titles on the list relate directly to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight movie and are probably still benefiting (in the bookstores at least) from the release of the TDK DVD in December.
These rankings, provided by Nielsen BookScan, track the bestselling
Other than Naruto, the top manga titles were Tokyopop’s Chibi Vampire, a title whose popularity continues to grow--it is now clearly the publisher’s second biggest franchise after Fruits Basket. The 21st volume of Natsuki Takaya’s shojo saga came in at #16 in January after finishing seventh in December and second in November. Ken Akamatsu’s Negima from Del Rey, the twentieth volume of which finished in the fifteenth spot, is another long running series that has developed a devoted following. Three substantial series from Viz Media, the shonen Bleach (#11) and Black Cat (#17) and the shojo Skip Beat! (#20) have also demonstrated considerable longevity.
Special mention should be made of Maximum Ride Vol.1 from Yen Press, the lone OEL title on the list, and the anime-based Bakugan Battle Brawlers from Del Rey. Maximum Ride is based on the bestselling YA series of novels by James Patterson and is the latest in an impressive string of graphic novel adaptations of popular works of fiction that have done well over the past 18 months, while the Bakugan title, which made the list for the second month in a row, is further evidence of the popularity of that toy and anime property among young readers.
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