Christopher Nolan’s billion-dollar blockbuster film The Dark Knight (and its accompanying trailer for Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Watchmen) drove sales of traditional graphic novels to the forefront during the third quarter of 2008 according to market reports in the newly released ICv2 Guide #60: Graphic Novels & DVDs (see “ICv2 Releases ICv2 Guide #60: Graphic Novels & DVDs”).  Sales of the Watchmen graphic novel exploded after the trailer hit theaters and it will clearly be the number one graphic novel of 2008, but a number of Batman-related graphic novels including The Killing Joke and The Dark Knight Returns also showed huge increases in sales, while Mark Millar’s Wanted graphic novel published by Top Cow clearly benefited from having a hit movie adaptation.  The release of The Dark Knight on DVD in December should provide another boost for graphic novel sales, while the theatrical debut of Watchmen in March should keep sales of Alan Moore’s classic strong through Q1 of 2009.


The largely movie-driven sales of traditional graphic novels apparently did not come at the expense of manga as the major manga properties continued to have success in both the bookstores and comic shops.  Viz Media’s shojo series Vampire Knight, the top manga series to debut in 2007, gained strength in 2008 and Viz Media also has one of the best new series of 2008, Rosario & Vampire.  With the maturing of the manga market, the number of new releases slated for 2009 is declining, though the quality of those new series appears to be going up.


The anime market continues to struggle and Cartoon Network, which has dissolved its Saturday night Toonami Block, appears to be cutting back on anime.  Anime companies are increasingly experimenting with digital delivery in order to compete with the rampant illegal downloading of anime via the Internet.


For the top traditional superhero and genre graphic novel properties of Q3 2008, see “Top Q3 2008 Traditional Graphic Novels.”


For the top 20 Manga Properties from Q3, see “Top Q3 2008 Manga Properties.”


For the top 10 Anime Properties from Q3, see “Top Q3 2008 Anime Properties.”


For information on the release of ICv2 Guide #60:  Graphic Novels & DVDs, and information on how to get the ICv2 Guide, see “ICv2 Releases ‘ICv2 Graphic Novel #60: Graphic Novels & DVDs.