Calvin Reid catches up with Paul Levitz and discusses the new WATCHMEN craze, with 300,000, not 200K as previously reported, new copies of the classic tome on their way:

“I don’t think there’s record of a trailer moving books with this velocity,” says DC Comics president Paul Levitz. “Bookscan records Watchmen selling 10,000 copies in one week. We’ve put more than 300,000 copies in print in the last two weeks. That’s a pretty amazing record for a 21 year old book.” In 2007, the title sold about 100,000 copies.

The book has also shot up to #29 on USA Today’s bestseller list. Alan Moore’s THE KILLING JOKE seems to have benefited from the rash of Nurse Jokers out there, shooting up to #114, while DIARY OF A WIMPY KID and Volume 30 of NARUTO keep their usual spots, at #49 and #101.

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  1. Other bestselling GNs (hitting the hourly Top 100 at since Dark Knight: the deluxe edition of Comic Book Tattoo (!), Anita Blake v2, Killing Joke, Dark Knight Returns, In Odd We Trust. Quite a few GNs in the Top 1000.

    Oh… and the movie novelization of The Dark Knight, by some guy name O’Neill, has hit the New York Times Mass Market bestseller list.

  2. I think it’s important to note that unlike almost all major comic book adaptions before it, WATCHMEN is actually based on a single GN and not a character with a large backstory — thus making it MUCH easier for the movie hype to turn into sales at bookstores. Spider-man, Iron Man, Batman, and Hellboy, as good as most of those movies were, did not directly translate into GN sales because there wasn’t a specific one you could directly point an audience towards. The recent exceptions that come to mind are 300 and to a lesser extent SIN CITY — the GNs actually had a big sales pop. The closest I can compare this to is when John Grisham’s THE FIRM was being made into a movie, while the book was popular in its own right, suddenly the paperback was everywhere.

  3. To be exactly precise, Watchmen is not a graphic novel. It is a 12-issue comic book series that has been collected in a trade.

    However, whatever it takes to sell it to the LCD is fine by me. The more money any comic book company makes, the better for all of us. If calling it a “graphic novel” gets Charlie Knuckledragger to buy it, then it is indeed okay to call it a “graphic novel”.

  4. The good news is that those books are selling to non comic book readers but movie enthusiasts. I applaud DC for keeping the trades in print when they can and the prices reasonable. Bravo DC. From NY