In a final victory against the forces of comics snobbism, the New York Times has announced they will reinstate their graphic novel bestseller list. The list will be available starting October 3 online and October 20 in print.
Nearly three years ago, the New York Times delivered a shocking blow to the comics publishing industry by announcing they were discontinuing their graphic novel bestsellers lists. These lists – coming from the ultimate authority on bookselling prestige – had enabled countless comics creators to put “NY Times bestselling author/artist” in their Twitter bios – and also energized the marketing and library ends of the industry.
Without them, the comics industry lost some prestige and marketing oomph. The Times book section editor Pamela Paul promised to make up for the lack of a list with more editorial coverage, but whether or not that happened is debatable.
Today it was announced that the Times would be bringing back several of the lists they discontinued three years ago, including comics and graphic novels. And Paul acknowledged the news:
Great news for comics fans as The New York Times Book Review brings back graphic books and manga bestseller lists. Plus a return to mass market bestsellers and two new paperback lists for kids. https://t.co/a0KXzAISh9
— Pamela Paul (@PamelaPaulNYT) September 26, 2019
The new New York Times graphic novel bestseller list will incorporate “graphic books” and include manga, adult, and kids all on one list. (The old format has three lists one for manga one for paperbacks and one for hardcovers.)
“We are thrilled to bring back to our readers graphic books and mass market best sellers as two monthly best-seller lists,” said Pamela Paul, editor of the Book Review. “Our new monthly graphic books list combines the format as it exists across all platforms — hardcover, paperback and digital — in order to represent the range of ways in which publishers create and people of all ages read these books. And readers are passionate about the many genres — from horror to romance — represented on the mass market fiction list.
The mass market paperback list that was also killed will be coming back in this refresh, as will Middle Grade Paperback and Young Adult Paperback lists. Meanwhile (shhhhh) the monthly Science and Sports lists are going away.
Since discontinuing the comics specific lists, several graphic novels made the ACTUAL REAL NY Time bestseller list, including the smash hit Adventure Zone and George Takei’s They Called Us Enemy. It’s likely that seeing that “graphic books” had such impact on the “real charts” – and the continued prominence and importance of the category – helped the Times to change their minds.
At any rate, WE WON! WE WON! WE WON!!!!