Dark Horse released sales figures for its best-selling manga collections in its presentation at the Diamond/Alliance Retailer Summit in Las Vegas. That these books are bestsellers is not news; we reported it early this year (see 'Dark Horse Retro Manga Boffo'), and Lone Wolf and Cub and Akira routinely take the top spots in Diamond's bestselling trade paperback/graphic novel lists. What is news is the scale of that success, which would put these books on bestselling trade paperback lists in the book market at large. In fact, the first Lone Wolf and Cub has sold about the same number of copies as a typical issue of Batman, and at a much higher cover price.
The first Lone Wolf and Cub collection, for example, has over 42,000 copies in print and is in its fifth printing. The second and third are both on their third printings, and issues two through four each have about 35,000 copies in print. The remaining collections (5-12) have about 30,000 copies in print.
The first Akira collection is on its third printing, and like the first LoneWolf, has about 42,000 copies in print. The second has about the same number of copies in print, and collections three and four each have around 30,000 in print.
And although these titles have begun selling well in bookstores as well, for now the bulk of the sales are coming through pop culture stores. About 90% of the sales of Lone Wolf and Cub come from comic stores, and about 80% of the sales of Akira are from that channel.