'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.
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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