Even as the previous item showed graphic novel sales down from last year, Sandy Bilus has posted a list of books to look forward to for the rest of the year, and if you can’t find a few things to get all excited about, you are not a comics-lover. OUr own, eager-beaver list would include:








…but the whole list deserves support.


  1. Well, us retail veterans know that “Black Friday” is called that because that is when (apocryphally) businesses turn a profit.

    The Fall list of books, along with the gift book market and calendars, are all heavily geared towards the high volume of sales during the holiday period. That graphic novels, which have been integrated into most major publishing houses, follows this trend, is not a surprise.

    HOWEVER, the big GN sellers during Christmas, etc. are gift books, usually licensed to other publishers. This year, the big “get” is “DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book” by self-proclaimed fan Matthew Reinhart, complete with light-up bat signal! (Some might recall his Star Wars pop-up book of a few years ago.) Will he outsell reigning fanboy Chip Kidd’s latest historical tome, “Shazam!: The Golden Age of the World’s Mightiest Mortal”? Or will they both be bludgeoned by Hall of Famer Paul Levitz and his massive 650 page “75 Years Of DC Comics: The art Of Modern Mythmaking” from Taschen?

    And how will Marvel respond to the onslaught of product celebrating DC’s 75th anniversary?

    Andrews McMeel is pushing Doonesbury’s anniversary with a huge retrospective volume similar to Dilbert 2.0, and Yale University will also publish a history book on the strip. Baby Blues celebrates two decades.

    And Fantagraphics is reprinting Nancy! Along with a mind blowing treatise on How To Read Nancy by Paul Karasik!

    New Amelia Rules! Lynd Ward from the Library of America (oh man…it’s beautiful…)! Running Press retrospects Sergio Aragones! Neil Gaiman edits the Best American Comics! Tron comics! Lots of books from university presses! WHEE!

    In bookstores, it’s easiest to sell what people know. So the Smurfs, Little Prince, Bone, and various comicstrip titles will catch the eye. Possibly even the Rock ‘n Roll comics from Bluewater.

  2. That’s a good point, Torsten. Don’t forget, last year two major graphic novels came out in late December — Joe Sacco’s Footnotes in Gaza and Eddie Campbell’s Alec. Their lateness in the year might have led to a lack of reviews and fewer people listing them on their “best of 2009” lists, which might have hurt sales. It doesn’t look like any publisher is going to do that this year — the December graphic novel releases are relatively minor works (or are just collections of previously published stuff).

    Thanks for the link, Heidi!

  3. Sorry, Paul… and Mark! I was plotzing… and all I could remember was the great lecture you gave at the Splat! conference.

    In book retail, everything hits before Thanksgiving (so it’s in stores when magazines do their “shopping” issues), or after February. The holiday season generally lasts until Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with sales after Christmas to clear out unsold inventory and to encourage consumers to use gift cards. Clearance sales usually end sometime in February.

    The only new books to be promoted in January are the “New Year New You” self improvement books (to tie into resolutions), and wedding books (because popping the question along with a champagne cork on New Years Eve is not yet considered cliche).