For a third consecutive year, comics have dominated as the bestselling books in France, according to data released by book trade publication Livres Hebdo and market analyst GfK. In 2023 a new twist on the theme was added with two (2!) titles holding the top spots: the latest instalments of classic Franco-Belgian series Asterix and Gaston Lagaffe series, jointly selling over two million copies despite only releasing in the later months of the year. 

According to Livres Hebdo (translated by DeepL):

“A year with Asterix… and Gaston! As in 2021 with Asterix and the Griffin, and in 2022 with World Without End, comics remain the best-selling books in France in 2023″

At over 1.5 million copies sold in 2023, Asterix and the White Iris stands tall at #1 in both the book and comics charts in France

Asterix remains a reliable juggernaut – where market analysts often define strong and weak years for comics sales on whether a new legacy continuation book in the René Goscinny & Albert Uderzo created series comes out, with it sitting on top for at least the last four biannual releases since 2013. True to form, the newest book – Asterix vol 40: L’Iris Blanc [Asterix and the White Iris] by Fabcaro and Didier Conrad – has sold over 1.5 million copies since its October 26 release. That said, at over half a million sales in a few weeks (released November 22), the return of classic character Gaston Lagaffe – Gaston volume 22: Le retour de Lagaffe [‘Return of Lagaffe‘], by Delaf (Dupuis) – may have been on course to upend the dominance of the plucky Gaul, hitting number 2 in France’s end of year book charts.

At #2 in the book and comics charts, with over half a million copies already sold in a few short weeks, the controversial return of beloved Franco-Belgian character Gaston Lagaffe

Gaston Lagaffe’s success is likely driven by a combination of novelty, controversy and canny marketing. The album is the first new book since the death of series creator André Franquin in 1997. The character first returned to the pages of Spirou Magazine briefly in 2022 but Franquin’s estate took publisher Dupuis to court until a settlement was agreed earlier this year – temporarily halting plans for a revival. Ten volumes (and counting) of Franquin’s vintage Gaston Lagaffe series – initially created as a place-filling gag strip in 1957 – have been published in English by UK-based publisher Cinebook, retitled ‘Gomer Goof’.

Last year’s number one in the book and comics charts – the controversial nuclear and renewable energy graphic non-fiction work by Christophe Blain and Jean-Marc Jancovici Le Monde Sans Fin [World Without End] – published by Dargaud in October 2021 – also remained a strong seller for another year, sitting at the number 15 spot in the book chart, and third in the comics chart. An English edition will by published by Penguin imprint Particular Books in 2024.

The highest selling manga of 2023 is the 104th volume in Eiichiro Oda’s ongoing Shonen pirate epic One Piece, sitting at number 19. Already a strong seller in France (it was the only manga series to break into Livres Hebdo/GfK’s Top 50 Books), the arrival of the international hit Netflix adaptation clearly turbocharged it into dominating the separate manga chart – where six of the top 10 and ALL of the top five were held by a volume in the series.

In the separate comics (bande dessinées) chart, while Asterix vol 40, Gaston vol 22, and World Without End ride the top three spots; mischievous kids series Mortelle Adele held four spots – with its newest mainline edition, volume 20 (released October 5), sitting at number four.

Vincent Lemire and Christophe Gaultier’s graphic nonfiction ‘History of Jerusalem‘ (Histoire de Jérusalem; Les Arènes, October 2022) slipped into the comics number 10 spot but didn’t place in the Top 50 book chart. The success of this title can almost certainly be attributed to current events in Israel and Gaza since October 7 and its impact on contemporary discourse and popular protest around the world.


1 1 Astérix vol 40: L’Iris blanc [Asterix and the White Iris], by Fabcaro & Didier Conrad
Hachette Astérix/Albert-René; October 26
— English edition available from Papercutz
2 2 Gaston vol 22: Le retour de Lagaffe [‘Gaston: Return of Lagaffe‘], by Delaf
Dupuis; November 22
3 15 Le Monde sans fin [World Without End], by Christophe Blain & Jean-Marc Jancovici
Dargaud; October 29, 2021
— English edition to be published in 2024 by Particular Books
4 17 Mortelle Adèle vol 20: J’apocalypse grave! [‘I’m Seriously Apocalyptic‘], by Mr Tan & Diane Le Feyer
Mr Tan & Co.; October 5
5 44 Elles vol 3: Plurielle(s), by Kid Toussaint & Stokart Aveline
Lombard, April 28 
— English edition available from Ablaze
6 45 Mortelle Adèle vol 1: Tout ça finira mal [‘This will all end badly’], by Mr Tan & Miss Prickly
Bayard; June 6, 2013
7 Mortelle Adèle vol 19: Face de Beurk! [‘Yucky Face‘], by Mr Tan & Diane Le Feyer
Bayard; October 19, 2022
8 Mortelle Adèle et les Reliques du Chat-Lune [‘Mortelle Adèle and the Moon Cat’s Relics‘], by Mr Tan & Diane Le Feyer
Mr Tan & Co; November 2
9 Blacksad Vol 7: Alors, tout tombe: Seconde partie [Blacksad: They All Fall Down – Part 2], by Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido
Dargaud; November 3
— English edition released November 3 (digital-only) from Europe Comics, Dark Horse full release in 2024
10 Histoire de Jérusalem [‘History of Jerusalem’], by Vincent Lemire & Christophe Gaultier
Les Arènes; October 27, 2022



1 19 One Piece (Édition originale) vol 104, by Eiichiro Oda
Glenat; April 19
2 23 One Piece (Édition originale) vol 1, by Eiichiro Oda
Glenat; July 3, 2013
3 29 One Piece (Édition originale) vol 105, by Eiichiro Oda
Glenat; September 30
4 39 One Piece (Édition originale) vol 2, by Eiichiro Oda
Glenat; July 3, 2013
5 50 One Piece (Édition originale) vol 3, by Eiichiro Oda
Glenat; July 3, 2013
6 Naruto vol 1, by Masashi Kishimoto
Kana; March 9, 2002
7 Le Voyage de Shuna [Shuna’s Journey], by Hayao Miyazaki
Sarbacane; December 20, 2022
8 Spy x Family vol 1, by Tatsuya Endo
Kurokawa; June 25, 2020
9 One Piece (Édition originale) vol 4, by Eiichiro Oda
Glenat; July 3, 2013
10 Naruto vol 2, by Masashi Kishimoto
Kana; April 15, 2002

Note: All of the above manga are published in English by Viz except Shuna’s Journey (First Second)



  1. Shuna’s Journey would have been much higher on that list if the publisher hadn’t been so conservative with their printing (Parisian retailer here…)

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