The Top 50 Selling Graphic Novels For October 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 Cory!!
1 JLA LIBERTY & JUSTICE OVERSIZED SC $9.95 DC 41,201
The new Big Alex Ross painted graphic novel, and for $10, it IS a good value. The story is tolerable (not as preachy as the previous ones have been) and I am suffering for Alex Ross art fatigue. His stuff is good, but after a while, it all looks the same, same models, same poses, same idea of making super-heroes look like real people instead of hyper-real. Still, if he only does one book a year, it's good that he gets it done in a format that works for his art. Now, I'd like to see him try something new (like he did with Uncle Sam).
2 VAMPIRES CHRISTMAS GN $5.95 IMA 10,433
Yeah, that's a lot, and it IS a Linsner book, which means great art and no discernable story. Oddly enough, it's in the format of an 80's Marvel Graphic Novel, which struck me as strange. Stranger still is that there are a LOT of these on comic store shelves. Which means that while over 10,000 were ordered, a LOT of fans just didn't feel like buying it.
3 LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN BOOK TWO HC $24.95 DC 8,943
I find it VERY funny that some of my more...Ned Flanders-y associates loved the movie since it has gotten their kids interested in reading older books. I hope they don't ever read this. It's better than the first, filled to the brim with Alan Moore's typical twists on an idea, and a VERY dark view of the old characters. Highly recommended for mature readers.
4 MATRIX COMICS VOL 1 TP $21.95 RED 8,285
My local didn't get it. Bad, horrid evil local. Must remember to kick them in the shins.
5 SGT ROCK BETWEEN HELL & HARD PLACE HC $24.95 DC 7,830
Joe Kubert drawing and a Vertigo writer putting the story together. I don't know if I have said it here, but the DC war comics never did much for me. I know that they were well done (in a jingoistic kind of way), but I just didn't care for them. The only good war comics have been the old EC Kurtzman titles. So, I'll prolly pick this up as a paperback in order to see how Kubert's art is, but I'm not exactly waiting with baited breath.
6 BATMAN DETECTIVE #27 HC $19.95 DC 6,930
Another Batman hardcover with a flimsy premise. Hey, DC, how about only giving the hardcover treatment to KNOWN creators who want to knock our socks off?
7 TRANSMETROPOLITAN VOL 9 CURE TP $14.95 DC 5,884
The last of the Transmet trades, and by this time, the series was completely out of steam, even going for a VERY typical ending that was unexpected because it was SO trite. It's a shame that the book lost all of the urgency during the fourth year and just coasted in for a landing, when the first 2 - 3 years were about the best comics had to offer.
8 MARVEL ENCYCLOPEDIA VOL 4 SPIDER-MAN
HC $24.99 MAR 5,420
9 JOSS WHEDONS FRAY FUTURE SLAYER TP $19.95 DAR 4,210
Has the upside and downside of being by the creator of Buffy. On the upside, it WAS a great story about the future of a world with slayers, with clear characters, conflicts and storyline. It was like watching a special series of Buffy episodes. On the downside, it WAS like more episodes of a TV series, and followed a very predictable story arc. Every action movie cliché was here, right down to the "big revelation" at the end to motivate the hero. If you are a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, you should pick it up, just don't expect anything all that new once you get past the main character and the setting. Mildly recommended.
10 RING VOL 1 TP $14.95 DAR 4,152
The Japanese adaptation of the movie that US filmmakers remade last year. Um...and the reason you can't just buy the DVD for $10 at Blockbuster and WATCH it instead of buying this is...?
11 SEI DEATH & LEGEND GN $6.95 IMA 4,152
12 ART O/MARVEL COMICS VOL 1 HC $29.99 MAR 3,910
13 BATGIRL YEAR ONE TP $17.95 DC 3,910
A story that Chuck Dixon left half finished when he left DC gets finished by another writer, which shows most of Dixon's flaws (too formulaic) but also makes Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) a bit more interesting. Mildly recommended for Batman fans, most other people can find something better to spend their money on.
14 O/T ROAD TO PERDITION BOOK 2 SANCTUARY $7.95 DC 3,784
Continuing the story that was made into a movie last summer. Max Allen Collins knows Chicago crime history, having written a LOT of novels in that setting, and this graphic novel is just as good as the best of them. It fills in some of the time glossed over by the first graphic novel, and shows that, as always, the book is better than the movie. Highly recommended.
15 ORIGIN TP $14.99 MAR 3,746
The Wolverine origin, available again. Still mildly recommended.
16 BATMAN CHILD O/DREAMS SC $19.95 DC 3,746
A softcover of the Japanese Batman graphic novel from last year, which is a nice mesh of American and Japanese styles to tell a very Japanese story. It's also one of the heftier graphic novels, but since it is told in the Japanese style, it is a VERY fast read. Mildly recommended.
17 SANDMAN PRESENTS FURIES SC $17.95 DC 3,571
Hey kids, look! Another trade collecting a mini-series meant to feed off of the stuff that Neil Gaiman created. Wake me up when we get to the next review, ok?
18 JUSTICE SOCIETY RETURNS TP $19.95 DC 3,455
Reprinting the mini-series that showed that the Justice Society could be done in a way that didn't immediately make readers say, "Who are those old guys?" It's not as good as the series has become, but it is STILL a very solid super-hero story with characters who are interesting because of their long history instead of trapped in nostalgia and continuity. Highly recommended for super-hero fans.
19 THANOS VOL 3 MARVEL UNIVERSE END TP $16.99 MAR 3,320
Jim Starlin was the man who brought REAL cosmic thought into comics back in the 70's. His work has, for the most part, stayed the same, dealing with the same themes in the same way, just changing the chairs around a bit. This is another nostalgia romp by Starlin, and as such, has a limited but devoted audience. Recommended for nostalgia buffs.
20 RUROUNI KENSHIN VOL 1 GN $7.95 VIZ 3,281
21 BATTLE ROYALE VOL 3 GN $9.99 TKP 3,252
Probably my favorite manga series, but the art style and subject matter is VERY hard to get in to. The story is that in the future, when Japan is under dictatorial rule, a 7th grade class is taken to an island where they are forced to hunt each other down for a TV audience, and the one who is left at the end, wins. Told is a much more frantic style than many manga, and brutally violent, it also delves into each character in a way that makes them ALL interesting and more than quick, throw away cannon fodder. Highly recommended for mature readers, but keep the kids away.
22 BATMAN ARROW RING AND BAT $19.95 DC 3,136
23 TRIGUN VOL 1 TP $14.95 DAR 2,981
24 STAR WARS CLONE WARS VOL 2 VICTORIES & SACRIFICE TP $14.95 DAR 2,971
Filling in more of the gap between Episode II and Episode III. Is it just me, or after seeing the Lord of the Ring trilogy has the second Star Wars trilogy become a LOT less impressive?
25 ELFQUEST WOLFRIDER VOL 2 TP $9.95 DC 2,923
More Elfquest stories not by Richard and Wendy Pini. For hardcore elf fanciers only. I used to LOVE Elfquest, but I couldn't force my way through these comics the first time they were printed.
26 BATMAN HUSH VOL 1 HC $19.95 DC 2,807
Reprinting the first six issues, and this is all re-orders, since the book came out months ago. I didn't much care for it, but I seem to be the only one. As usual.
27 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 1 POWER & RESPONSIBILITY TP $14.95 MAR 2,642
Re-orders of the Ultimate version of Spider-Man's origin. Not to take anything away from Lee and Ditko, but this version reads better for a modern audience, taking the TIME to make us care about the characters. Highly recommended for anyone who likes super-heroes, as it doesn't get a whole lot better than this.
28 ULTIMATE X-MEN VOL 1 TOMORROW PEOPLE TP $14.95 MAR 2,613
This, on the other hand, was what I thought the Ultimate versions of comics would be, an updating that makes the concept darker, puts twists on the characters that only exist to say "This is NEW" and scratchy, poorly executed art.
29 OH MY GODDESS VOL 17 TRAVELER TP $17.95 DAR 2,613
One of the few manga still coming out as a monthly as well, and I am still buying that in that format. A nice little sitcom of a comic, with light action and humor. Mildly recommended for new manga fans.
30 WILL EISNERS SPIRIT ARCHIVES VOL 12 HC $49.95 DC 2,574
The return of Will Eisner from the war kicked this feature into high gear, and when people talk about how good "The Spirit" is, THESE are the stories they are talking about. Quick 8 pagers that were printed in Sunday newspapers in the late 40's. While the character of Ebony seems very racist to us now, back in the late 40's, this was a bit better than Blacks were portrayed in the media. One of the few Golden Age comics that seems as fresh and entertaining as when it was published. Highly recommended.
31 CATWOMAN CROOKED LITTLE TOWN TP $14.95 DC 2,497
Reprinting early issues of the relaunched Catwoman series, which relies on gritty crime stories rather than the size of Catwoman's chest. Highly recommended for crime fiction fans.
32 PUNISHER VOL 5 STREETS O/LAREDO TP $17.99 MAR 2,497
More of Garth Ennis turning this comic from his dark humor action comedy to a straight action comic. While he CAN do a good action story, it just doesn't strike me as good as his humor stuff, since the action genre is pretty played out.
33 STRANGERS I/PARADISE VOL 13 FLOWER TO FLAME TP $15.95 ABS 2,458
The fact that people still buy this comic shows me that there are still people who will buy stuff if it is twee enough. I couldn't get past the first story, what with the major plot holes, fashionable lesbian overtones and endless amounts of poetry. Maybe someone out there likes it a lot, but it has to be because they haven't ever read anything GOOD to balance their judgement.
34 ULTIMATES VOL 1 TP $12.99 MAR 2,362
Speaking of comics that aren't all that good...this one is selling very well, despite the fact that it's just a story that could have been told in a single issue stretched to 6, and with a nice dose of hatred for women spread on top like fudge.
35 ULTIMATE X-MEN VOL 5 ULTIMATE WAR TP $10.99 MAR 2,352
I finally got around to reading this. If I would have bought the mini-series, I would have been PISSED, since the story is ALL build-up and NO resolution. Nice art, but you would think that if it's going to be a four part story, by the forth part, you'd get an ending, rather than an invitation to buy more comics to get the rest of the story. Avoid.
36 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 2 LEARNING CURVE TP $12.99 MAR 2,303
Highly recommended. Again.
37 STAR WARS STARK HYPERSPACE WAR TP $12.95
38 ULTIMATE X-MEN VOL 2 RETURN TO WEAPON X TP $14.95 MAR 2,226
39 GTO VOL 15 GN $9.99 TKP 2,226
40 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 4 LEGACY TP $14.99 MAR 2,216
41 WOLVERINE LEGENDS VOL 5 SNIKT TP $13.99 MAR 2,207
A trifle of a story with Japanese art. Wolverine goes to a distant future, fights some robots and comes home. The art is interesting, but not worth $14.
42 ULTIMATE X-MEN VOL 4 HELLFIRE &
BRIMSTONE TP $12.99 MAR 2,178
43 ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN VOL 5 PUBLIC SCRUTINY TP $11.99 MAR 2,149
44 WIZARD BEST O/X-MEN LTD DLX HC $29.99 WIZ 2,100
More than a few people who bought this from Wizard are a bit pissed, since Wizard said in their ads that it was exclusively through them. I guess they meant it was exclusive through them if it sold well, otherwise, they'll dump the leftovers on the comics shops and hope that people aren't mad that they had to pay shipping and handling when they could have waited four months and bought it from their local.
45 FULL METAL PANIC MANGA VOL 2 TP $9.99
46 ARCHIE AMERICANA SER BEST O/50S VOL 2 $10.95 ARC 2,071
The Archie trades are nice, if WAY too small for the price. 96 pages for $11? I can get more pages when I buy an Archie Digest. By the 50's, Archie was the lone survivor of the "teen humor" genre, and while it has been well done, it IS a comic that you grow out of pretty fast.
47 ASTRO BOY VOL 20 TP $9.95 DAR 2,061
48 GREEN ARROW ARCHERS QUEST HC $19.95 DC 1,994
49 NEW X-MEN VOL 1 E IS FOR EXTINCTION TP $12.95 MAR 1,994
50 MARS VOL 15 GN $9.99 TKP 1,984
Most of the lower level stuff is just graphic novels being shipped again, so if you would like to know more about them, look for the past reviews. Or just look at them yourself. It's not like they are going anywhere.
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