'Walking Dead' Dominates Bookstore Graphic Novel Sales
Takes 7 of Top Ten Spots in March
Published: 04/12/2012, Last Updated: 05/04/2012 12:01am
Does anyone doubt the influence of media sales drivers like AMC’s adaptation of The Walking Dead on graphic novel sales? Well if they do, they should take a look at the BookScan list of the bestselling graphic novels in March released by the A.C. Nielsen Company. While the finale of the second season of the adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s Image Comics series The Walking Dead was setting all sorts of TV ratings records for a basic cable series (see “The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale Sets Series Records”), Kirkman’s The Walking Dead collections were totally dominating bookstore graphic novel sales, occupying seven of the top ten spots on the chart, and an amazing twelve of the top 20. While all six of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim titles made the top ten during the run-up to the debut of Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim movie, no single series has ever managed to place seven titles in the top ten since ICv2 has been tracking bookstore graphic novel sales.
Another example of TV-driven sales is Dynamite Entertainment’s A Game of Thrones Vol. 1, which debuted at #7, and which ties in with HBO’s popular adaptation of the first volume in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice epic fantasy series. With season 2 of HBO’s Game of Thrones debuting to record ratings (see "It's Official: 'Game of Thrones' Renewed"), expect this Dynamite volume to have a long run in the BookScan top ten. Another TV-driven title Dark Horse’s adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, which top the chart in February, remained on the list at #16.
The impressive performance of The Walking Dead relegated manga to its worst performance in months, with only four titles in the top 20 compared with 13 out of 20 in February. While Viz Media’s Naruto Vol. 55 topped Kodansha’s Sailor Moon Vol. 4 in the direct market (see "'AVX' #1 Ends 'Justice League’s' Reign"), the order was reversed in the bookstores, where Sailor Moon came in at #2 just ahead of Naruto at #3. The other two manga on the list, both of which are published by Viz Media, were the shojo hit Blackbird Vol. 13 at #11 and the long-running One Piece Vol. 61 at #14.
Note that the final volume on the list Diablo III: Book of Cain HC is also a media tie-in based on the popular series of video games. It has now spent four consecutive months on the list, a very impressive performance for any title.
For past BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novel lists, see the "BookScan Top 20 GNs Index."
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