2012’s Best Selling Graphic Novels — The Individual Store Version

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201212131654 195x300 2012s Best Selling Graphic Novels    The Individual Store Version‘Tis the season for what the bestsellers of the previous year were.  And with it comes the annual opportunity to illustrate that tastes can be regional and different shops sell different titles.  Here’s the graphic novel edition of this phenomenon.   We’ll start out with Diamond’s top 10 list for graphic novels and then contrast it with the top 25-ish lists from three well-known Direct Market shops.

The Diamond List (A.K.A. Robert, Batman and Alan)

RANK DESCRIPTION VENDOR
1 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 01 DAYS GONE BYE IMA
2 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 02 MILES BEHIND US (MR) IMA
3 BATMAN EARTH ONE HC DC
4 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 16 A LARGER WORLD (MR) IMA
5 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 03 SAFETY BEHIND BARS IMA
6 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 17 SOMETHING TO FEAR (MR) IMA
7 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 04 HEARTS DESIRE IMA
8 BATMAN HC VOL 01 THE COURT OF OWLS (N52) DC
9 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 15 WE FIND OURSELVES (MR) IMA
10 LOEG III CENTURY #3 2009 (MR) TOP

No huge surprises here.  Walking Dead has been the lifeblood of the Direct Market for awhile now and DC does pretty well with those “Earth One” titles.

For our first retail stop, lets go to Challengers Comics + Conversation in Chicago, IL

01 Saga TP VOL 01
02 Mike Nortons Battlepug HC VOL 01
03 Walking Dead TP VOL 16
04 Walking Dead TP VOL 01
05 Loeg III Century #3 2009
06 Batman Hush Complete TP
–  Revival TP VOL 01
08 Sixth Gun TP VOL 01
09 Batman HC VOL 01 the Court of Owls
–  Strange Talent of Luther Strode
11 Batman Noel Deluxe Edition HC
–  Batman Year One Deluxe SC
13 Sixth Gun TP VOL 03
14 Batman the Killing Joke
15 Chew TP VOL 01
16 Locke & Key TP VOL 01
17 Chew TP VOL 05
18 Batman the Long Halloween TP
–  Abominable Charles Christopher SC VOL 01
–  We Appreciate Your Enthusiasm
–  Walking Dead TP VOL 15
22 Walking Dead TP VOL 02
23 Flex Mentallo Man of Muscle Mystery
24 Sixth Gun TP VOL 04
–  Y the Last Man TP VOL 01
–  Walking Dead TP VOL 17
The differences are immediately apparent with Saga appearing in the #1 slot and Batman: Earth One not being in the top 25 (it’s actually #27 at Challengers).  They’re a little lighter on Walking Dead, plenty heavy on Batman and have some local creators popping up high.  Chicago man about town Mike Norton has the #2 book with his Battlepug webcomic and his Revival collaboration with Chicago’s Tim Seeley is tied for #6.  Multiple volumes of Chew, Sixth Gun and Locke & Key appear.  Also another webcomic collection with The Abominable Charles Christopher.
Next, let’s head out west to San Francisco for the Comix Experience list.

1 SAGA TP VOL 01
2 LOEG III CENTURY #3 2009
3 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 16 A LARGER WORLD
4 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 01 DAYS GONE BYE
5 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 15 WE FIND OURSELVES
6 MANHATTAN PROJECTS TP VOL 01 SCIENCE BAD
7 WALKING DEAD TP VOL 17 SOMETHING TO FEAR
8 DARTH VADER AND SON HC
9 LOVE AND ROCKETS NEW STORIES TP VOL 05
10 WALKING DEAD COMPENDIUM TP VOL 01
11 ALAN MOORE NEONOMICON TP
—  MY FRIEND DAHMER SC
13 WATCHMEN TP
14 BATMAN YEAR ONE DELUXE SC
15 CHEW TP VOL 05 MAJOR LEAGUE CHEW
– -FABLES TP VOL 17 INHERIT THE WIND
— HARK A VAGRANT HC
— NINJAGO GN VOL 01 CHALLENGE OF SAMUKAI
— PROPHET TP VOL 01 REMISSION
— WALKING DEAD TP VOL 02 MILES BEHIND US
— WALKING DEAD TP VOL 03 SAFETY BEHIND BARS
22 FLEX MENTALLO MAN OF MUSCLE MYSTERY DLX HC
— OGLAF BOOK ONE
24 FATALE TP VOL 01 DEATH CHASES ME
25 HABIBI GN
— RICHARD STARKS PARKER v3 THE SCORE
– -UNTERZAKHN GN

An even more diverse and indie-friendly list.  Saga is again #1  Comix Experience has three Alan Moore titles on the list.  Two webcomics with Hark A Vagrant and the NSFW Oglaf.  Darth Vader and Son and My Friend Dahmer may well show up higher on the Bookscan lists than they do on Diamond’s.  Five different series from Image appear here, although I don’t think Image’s status as a local publisher is the key factor with that.

Finally let’s take head south down to San Diego and Comikaze

1 Batman HC Earth One
2 Walking Dead TP 16 A Larger World
– Walking Dead TP 01 Days Gone Bye
4 Batman HC 01 Court of Owls
5 Superman Earth One HC 02
6 Walking Dead TP 02 Miles Behind Us
– Walking Dead TP 15 We Find Ourselves
8 Walking Dead Compendium TP 01
9 Walking Dead HC 01
– Channel Zero TP Complete Collection
– Saga TP 01
12 Avatar Last Airbender TP 01 The Promise
13 Get Jiro HC (MR)
– Walking Dead TP 03 Safety Behind Bars
15 Walking Dead TP 17 Something To Fear
16 Locke & Key HC 01 Welcome To Lovecraft
– Fables TP 17 Inherit the Wind
18 Avatar Last Airbender TP 02 The Promise
19 Sandman TP 01 Preludes & Nocturnes
– Walking Dead TP 05 The Best Defense
21 Superman Earth One HC 01
– Magneto Not a Hero
23 Walking Dead HC 01 Rise Of The Governor
– Justice League HC 01 Origin
– Locke & Key HC 05 Clockworks
– Fables TP 16 Super Team

This list suggests a customer base that agrees on their franchises.  Ten Walking Dead titles.  All three of DC’s “Earth One” OGN line, with the Batman edition taking their top spot.  Two each for Fables, Locke & Key and Avatar: The Last Airbender.  Saga comes in a tie for #9.  A Marvel title finally appears in the top 25 with Magneto: Not a Hero.

Looking at individual lists, one wonders if Saga is the #11 graphic novel for Diamond or if a lot of shops had that book sneak up on them?  Fables, Chew and Locke & Key all manage to make on it on two of the individual top 25 lists and are steady sellers in collected editions.  It’s interesting to see webcomics randomly popping up highly.  They _do_ occasionally sell in the DM, but the distribution is so very idiosyncratic.

Diamond’s top 10 does show up in our 3 random samples (though the weighting of Walking Dead varies a little), but there’s a LOT of variation by store, something we sometimes forget when we look at the overall Diamond estimates.

Comments

  1. Mesektet says:

    Marvel need to get there act together. Its pathetic.

  2. Saga is a great book, number one! Comics are back baby!

  3. Happy to join the party here and post Flying Colors list of best-selling book format comics for 2012:
    http://flyingcolorscomics.blogspot.com/2013/01/2012-top-selling-books-flying-colors.html

  4. I might be wrong, but I *think* Comikaze’s list is sorted by dollars, rather than pieces like I know mine is, and it looks like Challenger’s and Flying Colors lists are, which would not exactly yield apples-to-apples.

    -B

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