The Top 100 Selling Graphic Novels For March 2003
This list comes from digging through sales figures, asking too many questions and using Diamond Comics information. The snotty comments in white are from deep in Cory's sick twisted little brain.
1 Y THE LAST MAN VOL 3 ONE SMALL STEP TP (MR) $12.95 DC 7,303
Another Good installment of this series, although the books don't come to an end so much as feel like much smaller parts of a continued story. The art isn't flashy, but tells a compelling story that is one of the better SF efforts comics have ever had. Highly recommended.
2 TEEN TITANS KIDS GAME TP $9.95 DC 6,886
The first few issues of the Teen Titans comic...and part of DC's new strategy of putting out quick "get started" trades of their new series and a low price point. I like it (and it undercuts Marvel's pricing on their trades by as much as $7), and as I have often said, this is a solid, if unremarkable, super-hero team book for those who like such things.
3 SUPREME POWER VOL 1 CONTACT TP (MR) $14.99 MAR 6,828
JMS doing his version of the Squadron Supreme. It does NOT work as a monthly comic, and is clearly written for trades. While it's a good story, it's not as groundbreaking and fresh as it tries to be. The themes have been explored before (super-heroes affecting the world in a realistic manner), and this is just another attempt at doing that. Mildly recommended.
4 FORMERLY KNOWN A/JUSTICE LEAGUE TP $12.95 DC 5,427
The Best Graphic Novel Of The Month. Maybe the year. Yes, it's super-heroes, and yes there are fight scenes, but this is a fresh take on the whole thing, just as it was when Giffen, DeMatties and Maguire did it back in 1987. A light, fun, humorous approach to super-heroes is something that went away in the 70's, and is SORELY needed. The odd thing is, despite how it reads like a situation comedy, it treats the characters with more care and respect than so-called "serious" books, and gives more entertainment than most other comics. Highly recommended.
5 HELLBOY VOL 1 SEED O/DESTRUCTION TP NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 5,361
Still riding on the Hellboy Movie, and this is a good graphic novel. Do I need to tell you that these are all re-orders of a graphic novel that has been available for almost a decade?
6 PLANETARY CROSSING WORLDS TP $14.95 DC 4,519
Reprinting the three crossovers involving the "Planetary" characters. While they are all right, they are not nearly as good as the non-crossover stories. The Batman story in particular reads like a left-over "Zero Hour" story with more swearing. Stick to the main Planetary stuff and give this one a pass.
7 BATMAN I THE FORTIES TP $19.95 DC 3,927
Other than the very first Batman stories (without Robin and highly pulp-based) most of the Batman stuff of the 40's and 50's is pure dreck. This has a couple of the early stories, but it's more a simple nostalgia fest and for historians only.
8 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN VOL 6 HAPPY BIRTHDAY TP $12.99 MAR 3,885
Reprinting the run up to issue #500, which was a story that didn't quite work for me, because of all of the mystic elements. Spider-Man fights street level thugs and the like, and when he gets involved in Big Mystic or Cosmic battles, he just doesn't seem to fit. This is another example of that.
9 DONALD DUCK ADVS VOL 5 TP $7.95 GEM 3,835
A nice little Disney Duck digest, and while the price is a bit off-putting, I guess it's what we have to pay for these stories. Not the top of the line Duck stuff either, but decent little stories than kids like and adults don't feel like they've been slumming for reading. For Disney fans only tho, since they lack the artistic skill and story sweep of a Barks or Rose story.
10 MIGHTY LOVE HC (MR) $24.95 DC 3,693
I bought it. I am SUCH the Howard Chaykin fanboy that I had to break down and buy the hardcover. It's not for people who aren't already Chakyin lovers, but if you are, it's a solid work of Chaykin's standard story elements, the best art he's done since "The Shadow" and almost as good as "American Flagg." Recommended for Chaykin fans only.
11 HELLBOY ART O/MOVIE SC $24.95 DAR 3,585
12 HELLBOY VOL 3 CHAINED COFFIN & OTHERS TP NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 3,568
13 STREET FIGHTER VOL 1 TP $9.99 DEV 3,510
Reprinting a couple of issues of the comic which I haven't read. I can almost see why some video games make for good comics...problem is that I haven't' seen any that have actually MADE good comics.
14 HELLBLAZER SON O/MAN TP (MR) $12.95 DC 3,502
I have been disillusioned with Hellblazer as a series for quite some time, but I keep reading it out of a combination of lethargy and inertia. It's not BAD enough to drop, and there are sparks of good ideas once in a blue moon, but for the most part, it's just coasting.
15 HELLBOY VOL 4 RIGHT HAND O/DOOM TP
NEW PRT $17.95 DAR 3,427
16 MARVEL ENCYCLOPEDIA VOL 5 MARVEL KNIGHTS HC $29.99 MAR 3,352
17 PUNISHER MOVIE TP $12.99 MAR 3,335
If it is as poorly done as the movie, it's probably painful to read. Damn but that was a bad movie. At least Daredevil had a story that held together...this had plot holes so big you could show them to Chris Claremont and he'd say, That's messed up."
18 HELLBOY VOL 5 CONQUEROR WORM TP NEW
PRT $17.95 DAR 3,176
19 STAR WARS CLONE WARS VOL 3 LAST STAND O/JABIIM TP $14.95 DAR 3,126
*yawn* It's too bad that the Star Wars comics are such a snooze now. Dark Horse started with some really good work, but that was 10 years ago. Now, it's just license maintenance.
20 MAXX BOOK TWO TP (MR) $17.95 DC 3,076
The Maxx was one of the best comics of the 90's, and might possibly have been the best work Sam Keith will ever do in his career. A mix of horror, humor and personal drama that tells a very strange story in a way that makes it seem almost universal. If you haven't read it, the trade paperbacks are a great way to see why it was so well-reviewed as well as the subject of a MTV animated series that just scratched the surface of the series. Highly recommended.
21 HELLBOY VOL 2 WAKE DEVIL TP NEW PRT $17.95
22 JSA LIBERTY FILES TP $19.95 DC 3,026
Reprinting two different Elseworlds JSA mini-series that were in the "Prestige Format". Buying the single issues for it was $28, the trade is $20. That's why I wait for the trade on some things.
23 TRANSFORMERS GENERATION ONE VOL 2 WAR & PEACE TP $17.95 DRE 3,018
Oh how the fad has fallen. In 2002, anything they slapped the Transformers on was top of the charts. Now it's falling, mostly because it just isn't very good, ad once you get over the shock of "Oh wow, this isn't for kids this time", there's no THERE there.
24 INU YASHA VOL 17 TP $8.95 VIZ 2,935
See what a change of format and a TV series can do for sales? I like this manga series (since Rumiko's work translates well into American culture), and think it's one of the few that appeals to anyone who reads comics, and doesn't mind a little humor and romance in their action series. Mildly recommended.
25 ALIAS VOL 4 SECRET ORIGIN O/JESSICA JONES TP (MR) $17.99 MAR 2,801
Powerful, powerful stuff as we see just why Alias had to be mature readers only, and why it was one of Brain Michael Bendis's best works. A story about the dark side of the super-hero world without being a "look, it's super-heroes having sex" sort of thing. Highly recommended.
26 WOLVERINE LEGENDS VOL 6 MARC SILVESTRI BK 1 TP $19.99 MAR 2,701
Mark Silvestri is one of those artists who I have no idea why anyone likes their art. All of his women have the same body, he puts little to no detail into faces or expressions of his characters, and his work just seems overly busy with tons of ink lines covering up the underlying artistic flaws. He also drew some of the dumbest Wolverine stories ever (like Wolverine fighting a little girl robot who talks like Elmer Fudd). If you like this kind of stuff, just buy everything I give a bad review of, and you'll do fine.
27 DAREDEVIL VOL 8 ECHO VISION QUEST TP $13.99 MAR 2,693
NOT a mainstream comic, and a book that took artistic chances. I loved the story and the style, but it's not for everyone. David Mack tells the story of the character "Echo" through a series of abstract paintings and complex wordplay that attempts to approximate how that character perceives the world. Mildly recommended for non-super-hero fans and indy comics buys.
28 SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN VOL 2 COUNTDOWN TP $11.99 MAR 2,685
A mediocre Dr. Octopus story that just completed a couple of months ago in this re-launched Spider-man comic. The plot was decent enough, but the art was just TOO "manga-esqe" in its figure drawing without picking up the storytelling aspect of the manga style. Pass on it.
29 FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 3 AUTHORITATIVE ACTION TP $12.99 MAR 2,618
An excellent story arc on the FF, where Reed attempts to end the threat of Dr. Doom after his most recent defeat. A solid super-hero story that actually explores the consequences of the standard "super hero fight" and ties in to recent political events in a subtle way. Highly recommended for super-hero fans...for non-fans, not so much.
30 INCREDIBLE HULK VOL 6 SPLIT DECISIONS TP $12.99 MAR 2,601
Bruce Jones came onto the Hulk with a new way of looking at the character, and turned a lot of heads for his horror approach. However, 6 trade paperbacks into it, he hasn't really taken the idea very far, and seems to be treading water more than he should. Because of that, this is for hard core fans only, but I do HIGHLY recommend the first two or three of his Hulk paperbacks.
31 ELFQUEST GRAND QUEST VOL 2 TP $9.95 DC 2,585
Reprinting the early Elfquest stuff in the manga sized format. The work done by Wendy Pini is almost universal in its appeal, and is highly recommended for fantasy fans. However, when they started a bunch of related series by other creators, it all read like fanfiction and should be avoided like you would a new Rob Liefeld Youngblood series.
32 MARVELS 10TH ANNV HC (RES) $49.99 MAR 2,543
A Big Hardcover of one of Marvel's best works for their hard core fan audience. This story, telling the story of Marvel's history through the eyes of a newspaper photographer, is filled with thing that will make long-time fans smile in recognition, and art that made Alex Ross a star. But, 10 years away from it, it's pretty clear to me that if you don't know comics, this will be a big mess that hops too fast from story to story. This version is filled DVD style extras, so it's just for the fans who already know and love it. Not bad sales for such a collection, though.
33 HELLBOY MIKE MIGNOLA ART O/HELLBOY SC
$29.95 DAR 2,534
34 BATTLE ROYALE VOL 6 GN (Of 10) (MR) $9.99 TKP 2,526
One of the few manga series I am still following, the story of a reality show in a fascist future where teens are put on an island, hunt each other, and the last one alive, wins. It's for mature readers only, and it dances between character drama, action flick and social satire, and does all with ease. Highly recommended.
35 AVENGERS VOL 3 SEARCH FOR SHE-HULK TP $12.99 MAR 2,468
Just a big, horrible mess from top to bottom. The "hunt" takes less than 20 pages, the art doesn't fit the story, the coloring doesn't fit the art and the story is a poor excuse for a lot of fighting and bad characterization. This is probably why they are having to restart the Avengers comic, and I am STILL having a hard time getting the bad taste out of my mouth from reading it.
36 GI JOE VS TRANSFORMERS VOL 1 TP $15.95 DEV 2,459
Do you think when they started work on this series, the people involved said, "Oh, this is a license to print money" and were a bit shocked when they were outsold by a trade paperback reprinting the worst Avengers story in 8 years?
37 AUTHORITY HARSH REALITIES TP (MR) $14.95 DC 2,434
Any Authority story done after issue #29 is not worth reading. This is a glaring example of that.
38 DOOM PATROL ARCHIVES VOL 2 HC $49.95 DC 2,368
More DC Silver Age stories, and while there are a lot of people who point to the Doom Patrol as one of DC's better Silver Age books, it still doesn't hold up well to a modern audience. The art is stiff, the stories are gimmicky and in some places it's very hard to get through the issues. For Silver Age collectors only.
39 PVP VOL 1 DORK AGES TP $11.95 IMA 2,259
I do a webstrip, but this one I just don't care about. Someone tried to explain to me that the creator only mocks things he loves...but to me it seems like most webstrips when I read it. Video game jokes, bitching about pop culture crap and mediocre art. But if you like it, there it is.
40 AVENGERS THUNDERBOLTS VOL 1 TP $19.99 MAR 2,209
As a tie-in to the recent mini-series, this reprints the crossover between the two groups when Kurt Busiek wrote them both. A fun super-hero story that seems like it was written in the 70's (and I don't mean that in a bad way), but really only for people who like the "superhero soap opera" style of stuff that Marvel did so well in the 60's and 70's.
41 THOR LEGENDS VOL 3 WALTER SIMONSON BK 3 TP $24.99 MAR 2,209
One of the things about Walt Simonson's run of Thor that most people forget is that he didn't draw it all. There was a lot of very solid art by Sal Bucema, who was Marvel's workhorse through the 70's and 80's. This collection is a helluvalot of fun, and if you are a super-hero fan who hasn't read it, you should. Highly recommended for super-hero fans.
42 GREEN ARROW STRAIGHT SHOOTER TP $12.95 DC 2,168
I didn't think this was all that great a story arc. And I don't understand why DC keeps reprinting stuff like this as soon as it is done, while other books just sit in the archives, waiting to be released that would fetch much better sales. Must be why I'm not in their editorial department.
43 YU-GI-OH VOL 4 TP $7.95 VIZ 2,093
44 RELOAD/MEK TP (MR) $14.95 DC 2,034
Dear Warren Ellis,
Your shorter stories don't work well in the formats comics are available in. Either change how you format things or find another medium, and quit bitching. Oh, and if you bought this as single issues, you would have paid $18. Seriously, his 3 issue miniseries strike me as padded one shots instead of longer stories squeezed down.
45 FUSHIGI YUGI VOL 10 ENEMY GN (Note
Price) $9.95 VIZ 1,901
46 NEON GENESIS EVANGELION VOL 8 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,893
47 X-STATIX VOL 3 BACK FROM DEAD TP $19.99 MAR 1,868
This is the story arc that hurt the book, in my opinion. First, it was announced to be about Princess Di, but that upset people, so they did some cosmetic re-drawing to get it different enough to get past the people who would have been offended...but didn't change the thrust of the story. Still, the story arc threw the book off of its stride, and while still having the fun and social satire, for the first time it felt as if the characters were just going through the motions and not reacting as the character we have gotten to know so far. However, even a BAD X-Statix arc is better than most comics, and is mildly recommended.
48 KWAIDAN TP $14.95 DAR 1,859
49 ANGEL SANCTUARY VOL 1 $9.95 VIZ 1,767
50 GTO VOL 17 GN (Of 25) $9.99 TKP 1,751
No, I don't buy this, but I like the fact that Viz is starting to let people know how many books will be in a series like other manga publishers do. Also, the spread between the #1 trade and the #50 trade is not nearly as huge as the spread between the #1 comic and the #50 comic.
51 DARKNESS VOL 4 RESURRECTION TP $16.99 IMA 1,701
You're kidding, right? This comic is getting collected as a trade? SOMEONE ACTUALLY READS THIS COMIC? I didn't think it was physically possible to read this comic? I can't even figure out the damn covers.
52 KINGDOM COME TP $14.95 DC 1,684
More re-orders of one of DC's best fan-only mini-series.
53 ONE PIECE VOL 3 TP $7.95 VIZ 1,676
54 DRAGONBALL Z VOL 15 TP SHONEN J ED $7.95 VIZ 1,634
55 30 DAYS O/NIGHT TP $17.99 IDW 1,617
More re-orders for possibly the most successful non-Marvel or DC trade in history. It is a good, solid horror story (although I don't care for the over-artsy art style) that really would work in any medium. If the story I heard is true (that it was a movie script first and the author got turned down by everyone in Hollywood and made a comic of it instead) it shows that comics have changed...instead of being just super-hero wankery, now they can be a deposit for stories no one else wants. I don't know if that is a good thing or not...
56 CAPTAIN MARVEL VOL 3 CRAZY LIKE FOX TP $14.99 MAR 1,609
This is most probably why the Captain Marvel series was canceled. Sure, it is on the sales bubble, but when a new trade can't even crack the top 50, there isn't much long-term incentive for the company to keep it going. It has its hard core fan base, and no matter what sales trickery they pull, it isn't going to grow over time. Oh, and this story doesn't really come to an end, it just stops, frustrating those of us who followed the "Captain Marvel Is Crazy" story for over two years.
57 GREGORY TREASURY VOL 1 (MR) $9.95 DC 1,584
This should have sold better, but I'm guessing it was for the book trade and not comic shops. Gregory was a WONDERFUL series of short strips about a boy in a mental asylum, his rat and...OK, no matter how I describe it, it's going to keep you from reading it. Trust me, it is a funny strip that will appeal to EVERYONE, even if they don't read comics. Highly recommended.
58 MIKE MIGNOLAS BPRD COLL TP $17.95 DAR
59 AL CAPP LIL ABNER FRAZETTA SUNDAYS VOL 4 1960-1961 HC $18.95 DAR 1,509
The last collection of the L'il Abner strips, and while I understand why it was done the way it was done, it just didn't look very good. Lil Abner was a great comic strip (and in my mind possibly one of the 5 best ever), but the printing made it look as if you were given color photocopies of old newspapers. Still, it's an amazing run of strips, and the notes in the back help understand the subtle satire that Al Capp would put in the strips...but even without the notes, they are funny, well done and, oddly enough, look NOTHING like Frank Frazetta art. Highly recommended.
60 KARE KANO VOL 8 GN (Of 13) $9.99 TKP
61 HERO VOL 1 TP $16.95 ONE 1,451
62 IRON EMPIRES VOL 1 FAITH CONQUERS TP $17.95 DAR 1,442
63 ALICE 19TH VOL 3 GN $9.95 VIZ 1,417
64 SAIYUKI VOL 1 GN (Of 9) $9.99 TKP 1,409
65 VAMPIRELLA CRIMSON CHRONICLES VOL 1 TP $19.95 HAR 1,409
Reprints of recent Vampirella stories. I'm much more interested in the series of trades coming out that will reprint the original Warren stuff from the 60's and 70's that starts in July.
66 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 7 IRRESPONSIBLE TP $12.99 MAR 1,367
At first I wondered why this sold so low, then I realized it was re-orders. A GREAT story arc on a great comic, and possibly one of the best Spider-Man stories ever. You read that right. Highly recommended.
67 SUPERMAN RED SON TP $17.95 DC 1,317
The best Elseworlds featuring Superman, telling the story of what would have happened if Superman's spaceship landed in Russia instead of America. A well-done "alternate history" story and beautifully drawn. Highly recommended. Oh, and these are re-orders as well.
68 GI JOE FRONTLINE VOL 2 ICEBOUND TP $12.95
69 AI YORI AOSHI VOL 2 GN (Of 9) (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,284
70 SLAYERS RETURN TP $9.99 CPM 1,259
71 ULTIMATES VOL 1 TP $12.99 MAR 1,209
More re-orders for the "grim gritty" Avengers stuff in the Ultimates Universe. I didn't care for it, but a lot of people do. I just think they are WRONG!
72 MARVEL MASTERWORKS UNCANNY X-MEN VOL 3 HC 2ND ED $39.99 MAR 1,184
10 more issues of Claremont/Byrne, which was pretty much the peak of both of their careers. It's hard to see just how influential these comics were when they came out, since, once again, SO many have just re-done what was done here (including both Claremont and Byrne). Still, for many fans, this is the modern equivalent of the first Superman or first Fantastic Four stories, and it's still a great read. Highly recommended.
73 MEGATOKYO VOL 1 TP $9.95 DAR 1,184
The first webstrip to go Big, and I'm darn proud of them.
Mine is better, tho, and I WILL outsell them when we get into print.
74 LOUIE THE RUNE SOLDIER MANGA VOL 1 TP
$9.99 ADV 1,176
75 VAGABOND VOL 9 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,176
76 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 3 DOUBLE TROUBLE TP $17.95 MAR 1,167
More reorders for the best Spider-Man stories seeing print now. Highly recommended.
77 FAKE VOL 6 GN (Of 7) (MR) $9.99 TKP 1,167
78 ESCAFLOWNE VOL 5 GN (Of 8) $9.99 TKP 1,151
79 NEON GENESIS EVANGELION VOL 1 TP 2ND ED $9.95 VIZ 1,142
80 PARADISE KISS VOL 5 GN (Of 5) $9.99 TKP 1,109
81 BLACKSAD VOL 2 TP (MR) $12.95 POC 1,100
82 PEACH GIRL CHANGE O/HEART VOL 7 TP (Of 11) $9.99 TKP 1,092
83 DARK SIDE BLUES MANGA VOL 1 TP (MR) $14.98 ADV 1,084
84 Y THE LAST MAN VOL 1 UNMANNED TP $12.95 DC 1,084
STILL selling. This has to be one of DC's success stories, and it's one that deserves it. The first in a series of trades about a world where all the men in the world have died due to some virus except for one. And rather than going for a straight fantasy line, it deals with the social and political changes as well as tells a very human story using all of that as a backdrop. Highly recommended.
85 CSI BAD RAP TP (MR) $19.99 IDW 1,067
For fans of the show only, and about 3 times as expensive as a novel, which is usually a better read. Still, as a fan, I liked the comic well enough.
86 WATCHMEN TP $19.95 DC 1,067
STILL SELLING almost 20 years later. Not the greatest super-hero story ever told, but a very important one, and one that deserves the format. Highly recommended, but I can't believe that there are that many comic book fans who have never bought a copy or read this.
87 FABLES VOL 2 ANIMAL FARM TP $12.95 DC
88 MARVEL MASTERWORKS FANTASTIC FOUR VOL 6 HC 2ND ED $49.99 MAR 1,050
This was when Kirby/Lee were at their peak. Kirby tosses new concepts into the book at an alarming pace, and Lee kept it all grounded with fun, dramatic dialog. Highly recommended, but the "Essentials" are cheaper and give a lot more story to read.
89 STEEL ANGEL KURUMI MANGA VOL 3 TP (MR)
$9.99 ADV 1,050
90 TELL ME SOMETHING GN $8.95 FAN 1,025
91 BOYS OVER FLOWERS VOL 4 HANA YORI DANGO TP $9.95 VIZ 1,017
92 EERIE QUEERIE VOL 1 GN (Of 4) $9.99 TKP 1,017
93 BOYS OVER FLOWERS VOL 5 TP $9.95 VIZ 1,017
94 TOKYO MEW MEW VOL 6 GN (Of 7) $9.99 TKP 1,017
95 Y THE LAST MAN VOL 2 CYCLES TP (MR) $12.95 DC 1,017
96 INU YASHA VOL 9 TP 2ND ED $8.95 VIZ 1,009
97 DEMON DIARY VOL 6 GN (Of 7) $9.99 TKP 1,000
98 BATMAN HUSH VOL 2 HC $19.95 DC 992
More re-orders...and I'm really shocked this book is on the sales chart in this slot. I would think that either people are still trying to get it (charting higher) or they sold all they would sell the first month and everyone else is waiting for the cheaper trade paperback version. Shows what I know.
99 INU YASHA VOL 10 TP 2ND ED $8.95 VIZ
100 SHADOW STAR VOL 5 FLOWERS FRAGRANCE TP $15.95 DAR 984
Not bad when the 100th best selling graphic novel sells over 900 copies.
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