For over a year, there’s been some consternation among comics publishing types that the prestigious New York Times bestseller list did not include graphic novels any more. There had been rumblings that a separate list was in the works, and indeed, THREE separate lists debuted online today. There are a hardcover list, a paperback list, and a manga list. As George Gene Gustines writes:

We’ll update those lists weekly in this space, and offer a few observations along the way.

Here’s the first: Notwithstanding Terry & the Pirates, Green Lantern, and a trippy ecological romance called “Beanworld,” there is going to be a lot of Alan Moore on these lists for the first couple of months. Moore is the author of the “Watchmen” series, first published in 1986 (and collected into a 12-issue edition that is No. 3 on our hardcover list). On the softcover side, he is comfortably seated at No. 1 for “Watchmen” and No. 7 for “The Courtyard,” about an F.B.I. agent investigating gruesome murders.

The lists are NOT what we expected to see, but they give multiple publishers the chance to crow “A NYTimes bestseller!” on blurbs from here on out.

Doubtless developing.


  1. This is a fairly significant moment for the format. My hope is a new sense of credibility is there for the teachers and librarians who still face incredulous staffers who are opposed to shelving graphic novels.

    May the next phase begin!

  2. YIPPEE! Imagine walking along the street, and seeing a “New York Times Bestsellers” display in a comic shop window!

    Congrats to DC on their #1 titles. Congrats to Larry Marder! Congrats to everyone who made the list!

    A great day…

  3. I’m surprised by pretty much everything on this list, but none more so than spying Eden: It’s an Endless World! on the manga list. Not that long ago, Dark Horse was lamenting how poorly that book was selling, leading people to believe it’d get cancelled.

  4. The description of the list’s methodology says, “In addition, these rankings also include unit sales reported by retailers nationwide that specialize in graphic novels and comic books.” So, presumably, there are at least some direct market comic book stores that’re reporting data for this NYT list. I’m naturally curious, then, as to which stores these might be…

    But this reminds me that I’ve got to get a copy of that Beanworld book soon!

  5. The NYT lists lost much of the credibility a decade ago when they monkey with the rankings the week Howard Stern would have been #1.

  6. >> The Starman Omnibus is beating out Watchmen? I did not see that coming. AT ALL.>>

    Doesn’t mean it’s sold more copies, just that it’s out more recently, so it sold more THAT WEEK than the hardcover WATCHMEN did THAT week. The HC WATCHMEN has been out longer, and is in competition with the SC WATCHMEN.

    I doubt SUPERMAN: CAMELOT FALLS Book Two is in any danger of outselling, say, SEASON OF MISTS, but it’s recent so its sales velocity is higher at the moment, while the Sandman books sell more steadily over time. The lists are a snapshot, not cumulative.

    But hey, this means that now and forever, I’m a “New York Times Bestselling Author”! Woo!


  7. This is huge and I’m ridiculously excited to see this!

    That said, I find it funny how comics people who hate the DM rail on the narrow focus on super heroes in the DM and western comics, act like manga is our savior, and ignore that list of Naruto books.

  8. In 1997 when I was new to DC Comics I had my very first meeting with the graphic novel buyer from a major retailer (he was not the buyer for a long period of time – thank god) – the first sentence out of his mouth was “Graphic novels are dead!”

    A long way indeed.