We were hanging out with some people in the graphic novel biz earlier this week and the subject of the new DARK TOWER hardcover from Marvel came up — this book has shipped a LOT of copies and could even be a national bestseller based on the name of Stephen King. Shocker there, eh? It was also discussed that graphic novels in bookstores are not just competing with other graphic novels — they are competing with Danielle Steele and other Stephen King books in the eyes of readers who are not fans.
In our continuing obsession with charts, graphs and rankings, we checked the Top 10 best selling graphic novels on Amazon to see where they ranked in books overall. Of course, Amazon’s sales rankings are as capricious and mercurial as anything, (and tend to be a tad more nerd-centric than brick and mortar sales) but it’s a good way to pass a cold evening. Amazon’s overall rankings are in parentheses,
1. Stephen King’s Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by Peter David (Author), Stephen King (Author), Robin Furth (Author), Jae Lee (Illustrator) (#63)
2. Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography by David Michaelis (Author) (#111)
[Not a comic, oh well.]
3. Heroes, Volume One by Various (Author), Tim Sale (Illustrator) (#136)
4. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore (Author), Kevin O’Neill (Illustrator) (#145)
5. Snakehead (Alex Rider Adventure) by Anthony Horowitz (Author) (#183)
[As far as we can make out, this isn’t a graphic novel either. There IS an Alex Rider gn, but this isn’t it. Oh well.]
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, Volume 1: The Long Way Home by Joss Whedon (Author), Georges Jeanty (Author), Andy Owens (Author), Jo Chen (Author) (#197)
7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (Author) (#286)
8. The Perry Bible Fellowship: The Trial of Colonel Sweeto and Other Stories by Nicholas Gurewitch (Author) (#453)
9. The Absolute Sandman, Vol. 2 by Neil Gaiman (Author), Dave McKean (Illustrator), Colleen Doran (Illustrator), P. Craig Russell (Illustrator), Shawn Macmanus (Illustrator), Kelley Jones (Illustrator), Alisa Kwitney (Introduction) (#484)
10. Dancing With Werewolves: Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator by Carole Nelson Douglas (#502)
[Not a graphic novel.]
Amazon’s ranking change every hour, so this is just a snapshot of one particular Thursday evening. Our analysis? The graphic novels that are ranking high on the Amazon chart are selling respectably. For comparison, Naruto #24, the top selling manga on USA Today’s charts came in at #1,578. As we said, bookstore and online sales patterns are completely different.