34889482As always, WATCHMEN and NARUTO top this week’s Graphic Books Best Seller List. Tatsumi’s epic A DRIFTING LIFE debuts at #3 on the paperback list, reflecting the surge from the huge article in the New York Times last week.

The list has definitely calmed down now, and resembles way more closely what you would see on BookScan or Amazon. The makers are obviously refining their methodology as they go along…it’s kind of sad to not see all the oddball items on there, but hardly unexpected.


  1. Do you have thoughts/opinion on why Drifting Life doesn’t appear on the manga list when it’s a manga? I’m guessing that they’re classifying based on publisher.

  2. Mark: maybe the HUntress sales will be reflected NEXT week? It took a week for Tatsumi to chart.

    Johanna: I hadn’t even thought of that.

  3. Do you have thoughts/opinion on why Drifting Life doesn’t appear on the manga list when it’s a manga? I’m guessing that they’re classifying based on publisher.

    It could be, that for the purposes of the list, they refer to how the book is cataloged. Take a look at the book’s WorldCat entry. The book is primarily an autobiography. I tried several large public libraries, through the Library of Congress’s gateway, but couldn’t pull up a MARC record.


  4. There’s also inconsistency with Wolverine: Prodigal Son (manga style, manga imprint) being classified on the non-manga list, while Tokyopop’s latest Warcraft anthology appeared on the manga list a few weeks back (which on the content side is decidedly less “manga” than Wolverine). And just when we thought we could put the whole “what is manga?” debates behind us!

  5. Here’s a catalog record for a book, NARUTO, that is indisputably manga. Note the absence of subject entries.


    Well, I see that one can’t URL one’s way to a specific LOC catalog record. Here’s the relevant text of the record:

    Author: Kishimoto, Masashi, 1974-
    Uniform Title: Naruto. Takigakure no shit¯o, ore ga eiy¯u datte
    ba yo. English
    Title: Naruto. Mission: protect the waterfall village! /
    original concept by Masashi Kishimoto ; written by Masatoshi
    Kusakabe ; translated by Tomo Kimura with Janet Gilbert.
    Published: San Francisco : VIZ Media, 2007.
    Description: 184 p. : ill. ; 19 cm.
    LC Call No.: PL872.5.I57N3713 2007
    Dewey No.: 895.6/36 22
    ISBN: 9781421515021
    Notes: “First published in Japan in 2003 by Shueisha
    Inc., Tokyo”–T.p. verso.
    Other authors: Kusakabe, Masatoshi, 1964-
    Kimura, Tomo.
    Gilbert, Janet.
    Control No.: 14934969

  6. 895 in Dewey = Japanese literature!! not 741.598 !! (comic books, strips, etc.)

    of course, most libraries just catalog it as GN Nar and shelve it in a Graphic Novel display.

    Hmmm… there was a previous manga title in March which was “mainstreamed” into the regular list. Non-fiction GNs are included on this list (The Beats) so that may explain this week.

    Wolverine… that’s a style of drawing. If it’s CGI fumetti, or manga, or watercolor, or cartoony… it’s still Wolverine, and should not be listed on the manga list. NYT should make the distinctions clear, though.

    A bigger concern is that Absolute Watchmen sales ($75) are counted with the regular hardcover sales ($40). That’s like counting the sales of a $8 mass market book with the sales of a $17 trade paperback. (The NYT does split MM and TP editions.)

    Naruto is the envy of every publisher. Each volume hits the charts for a month, then the next volume, then the next. In regular prose publishing, one has to wait six months to a year for the next title from a bestselling author, and rarely is it a continung story. (Laurel K. Hamilton is an exception.)