Bookscan top 20 manga graphic novels

ICv2 posts the BookScan top 20 graphic novels, and it appears that news of the manga bubble bursting may be somewhat premature.

1. Naruto, vol. 29
2. Naruto, vol. 30
3. Bleach, vol. 23
4. Negima!, vol. 18
5. In Odd We Trust
6. Kingdom Hearts II, vol. 2
7. Naruto, vol. 28
8. Rosario+Vampire, vol. 1
9. The Gentlemen’s Alliance+, vol. 6
10. Watchmen
11. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
12. Death Note, vol. 1
13. Wanted
14. One Piece, vol. 18
15. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, vol. 2
16. Batman: The Killing Joke
17. Vampire Knight, vol. 4
18. Death Note, vol. 2
19. Wild Ones, vol. 3
20. Naruto, vol. 1

Remember, Bookscan tracks sales in bookstores, mostly chains. As always, it’s a very Naruto world, and I actually think this list is evidence that Viz’s magazines are working for them, as a number of these titles are featured in Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat. Also, we see the evergreen nature of manga with volume 1’s of two mature series, Death Note and Naruto, making the cut. The fact that manga dominate isn’t suprising, given that this list is drawn from bookstores; have you ever seen Marvel and DC trades in a bookstore? If you can find them at all, they look terrible when they are shelved spine-out, because the spines are mostly black and all look alike. Very unattractive. Barnes & Noble has started a DC section where the trades face out, and that’s much better. That may explain why the Batman title made the list, but that’s really just a guess. Feel free to add your own opinions in comments.

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  1. My theory is that manga is heavily marketing itself in bookstores as opposed to comics which is marketing itself in comic shops. Manga fans will buy their manga in bookstores while comic fans will buy them in comic shops, not bookstores.

    As for the non-manga titles that made it to the least, I suspect it’s there because of mainstream (i.e. non-hardcore fan interest). Indiana Jones and Wanted (pre-movie interest) for example as well as Buffy. Watchmen and Batman can be argued as pre-movie interest as well although Watchmen has a sturdier backbone as a “comic classic”

  2. Sorry, list, not least.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Since Wanted and Batman: Killing Joke both have the “movie bump.” I’m surprised that a Hell Boy book isn’t up there, too.

  4. B&N also ran a movie tie-in table on the main aisle of most stores last month, featuring Killing Joke, Watchmen, Indy…

  5. The Killing Joke was just re-released as a hardcover edition and a hardcover edition with action figures. They may be adding the sales of both together for the purposes of this list and having such a large box for the edition with the figures means that it probably was facing out.

  6. Check out a sample chapter of Black Jack over at It’s a series being released bi-monthly for the first time in the states by the legendary Osamu Tezuka. The sample will definitely help satiate that manga appetite.