SNAPSHOT: What are the best selling graphic novels?

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Everyone knows you can check out a “rolling” best-seller list on Amazon in any category—including comics and graphic novels— any time you want. But did you know you can make a feed of it? If you use such things as feeds, that is. Anyway I made a little widget and check it every day or so. And I can tell you the Top Ten Graphic Novels for the last six months has pretty much looked like this:

#1: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
#2: Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
#3: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
#4: Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
#5: Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History
#6: The Complete Persepolis
#7: Watchmen
#8: The Walking Dead: Compendium One
#9: The Walking Dead: Compendium Two
#10: Dilbert 2014 Day-to-Day Calendar: There’s No Kill Switch on Awesome.

The Dilbert calendar is not a comic and also new to the list—the #10 spot can be Saga, an Oatmeal collection, or one of Jeffrey Brown’s Star Wars comics, or another volume of Maus, or maybe another Walking Dead comic. But it is safe to say that Persepolis, Fun Home, Maus, Watchmen and The Walking Dead are the best selling graphic novels month in and month out.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh has been on the list since it came out—it’s on the list twice because one is print and one is Kindle. I predicted this would be the best selling graphic novel of the year, and okay maybe it didn’t beat Asterix or One Piece, or the new Wimpy Kid (which was the best selling book of the year, according to Bookscan) but it is still a monster hit. According to Bookscan number reprinted by Publishers Weekly, it sold 144,549 copies in 2013 and has already sold 15,212 copies in 2014. I suspect it may be joining the list of hardy perennials on this list, at least for the next year or so.

Comments

  1. Steve Eidson says:

    Ha ha.

    This post seems like it just might have some tangential relationship to another post filled with unnecessarily bile spewed comments but, perhaps that’s just my perception.

  2. Back in August, Amazon reclassified the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books so that they no longer show up in the Comics & Graphic Novels category…

    (My year-end analysis of Amazon graphic novels sales is here, if anyone is interested…)

  3. Just looking at the Hyperbole and a Half graphics here was enough to send me to Amazon to find out more. Terrificly expressive drawings!

  4. Paul Houston says:

    If I was a marketing rep at DC or Marvel I would think I’d be doing my best to replicate one of these top books year in and year out. Maybe they are and I’m not paying enough attention? Or are they happy with their 50-75,000 niche crowd?

  5. Johnny Memeonic says:

    Of course Marvel and DC are happy with their niche. While that one graphic novel sold ~150k over a year, they collectively sell many times that every month in single issues and resell six months’ worth of those stories several times a year.

    While I would personally classify superhero comics as a cottage industry, Marvel and DC are as far as I know making at least some profit. The comics side has also been reliable as a story farm for the far more profitable film and TV sides of the company.

  6. Torsten Adair says:

    Yup… DC appears quite well on the weekly NY Times list.
    Marvel… meh.

    DC has one perennial, and that’s Watchmen. It shows up around college time, just like Fun Home and Maus.

    Heidi, where does Smile and Drama chart on that Bookscan list?

Trackbacks

  1. […] book illustrator and sometime cartooner Jed Alexander read my piece on top selling graphic novels the other day, and spun it off into his own piece entitled The Future of Comics: A Casual […]

  2. […] Amazon graphic novels. I look at this list every night about the same time, and it’s usually pretty similar to the list I published in January. However tonight, MANY CHANGES, and the usual backlist perennials are not in the top […]

  3. […] you mean like this? The chart that shows Fun Home, Persepolis and Hyperbole and a Half consistently selling graphic […]

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