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'Avengers Guide' Tops Bookstore GN Sales in May

Only 5 'Walking Dead' Titles in the Top 20

Published: 06/08/2012 12:44am

The box office success of Joss Whedon's The Avengers was reflected in the fact that DK Publishing's The Avengers: The Ultimate Guide to the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, though technically not a graphic novel, took the top spot in the Nielsen BookScan list of the "Top 20 Graphic Novels" sold in bookstores in May.   The problem for Marvel Comics in exploiting a major hit like The Avengers is that the film is not based on a single storyline or graphic novel collection.   That is why the DK Avengers Guide (#1) and the Marvel art book, Avengers: The Art of Marvel’s The Avengers (#11) both made the list along with Jim Starlin's Infinity Gauntlet (#19) that pits the Marvel heroes against a galactic foe all made the list, though none of them relates to The Avengers movie like Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr.'s Kick-Ass graphic novel to the Kick-Ass movie.

So May's list obviously reflects the success of The Avengers movie and also the fact that it has now been over two months since the end of the second season of The Walking Dead.   After putting an even dozen titles in the "Top20" in both March and April, Robert Kirkman’s zombie epic was only responsible for five books on the list in May.

BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novels in May 2012

Rank

Title

Author

Publisher

1

MARVEL AVENGERS: ULT CHARACTER GUIDE HC

ALAN COWSILL

DK PUBLISHING

2

SAILOR MOON VOL. 5

NAOKE TAKEUCHI

KODANSHA COMICS

3

NARUTO VOL. 56

MASASHI KISHIMOTO

VIZ MEDIA

4

BATMAN VOL. 1: THE COURT OF OWLS HC

SCOTT SNYDER

DC COMICS

5

JUSTICE LEAGUE VOL 1: ORIGIN HC

GEOFF JOHNS

DC COMICS

6

THE WALKING DEAD COMPENDIUM ONE

ROBERT KIRKMAN

IMAGE COMICS

7

AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER: THE PROMISE PART 1

GENE YANG

DARK HORSE

8

DC COMICS ULTIMATE CHARACTER GUIDE HC

BRANDON SNIDER

DK PUBLISHING

9

THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 1

ROBERT KIRKMAN

IMAGE COMICS

10

BATMAN: KNIGHTFALL VOL. 1

VARIOUS

DC COMICS

11

AVENGERS: THE ART OF MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS

JASON SURRELL

MARVEL COMICS

12

THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 15

ROBERT KIRKMAN

IMAGE COMICS

13

ONE PIECE VOL. 62

EIICHIRO ODA

VIZ MEDIA

14

FUN HOME: A FAMILY TRAGICOMIC

ALISON BECHDEL

MARINER BOOKS

15

THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 2

ROBERT KIRKMAN

IMAGE COMICS

16

BLACK BUTLER VOL. 9

YANA TOBOSO

YEN PRESS

17

A GAME OF THRONES: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL VOL. 1 HC

GEROGE R.R. MARTIN

BANTAM

18

THE WALKING DEAD VOL. 3

ROBERT KIRKMAN

IMAGE COMICS

19

INFINITY GAUNTLET

JIM STARLIN

MARVEL COMICS

20

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE HC

ALAN MOORE

DC COMICS


Manga titles in the "Top 20" slipped from 5 in April to just four in May, but the latest volumes of the two most popular manga series in North America fared very well.  Kodansha's Sailor Moon Vol. 5 and Viz Media's Naruto Vol. 56 took the second and third spots respectively.   A new volume of the rollicking pirate saga One Piece came in at #13, while Yen Press' Black Butler, Vol. 9 remained on the list for the second month in a row, slipping from #14 in April to #16 in May.

Mention should be made of Scott Snyder's Batman: The Court of Owls hardcover, which is doing extremely well in both the comic shop and bookstore markets.   Snyder's Batman is giving Justice League a run for its money in the struggle to be the top DC Comics title.   In the bookstore market at least The Court of Owls had the advantage in May coming in at number four, while Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s Justice League Vol. 1: Origin came in just behind it at #5.

Titles that reflect the influence of hit TV shows include not just Image's The Walking Dead but also Dark Horse's Avatar: The Last Airbender-The Promise.   The book, which is based on the popular Nickelodeon series and written by Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese), has been a fixture on the BookScan graphic novel list since it debuted in February.   It moved up from #13 in April up to #7 in May.

Alison Bechdel's Fun Home returned to the list at #14.   It is the only "literary" graphic novel to make the BookScan "Top 20" this month, though some might count the Dynamite/Bantam adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones HC, which slipped from #16 in April to #17 in May, though its presence on the list is likely driven by the success of HBO's Game of Thrones TV series.

For past BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novel lists, see the "BookScan Top 20 GNs Index."

 
 
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