Sales on adult graphic novels in the book channel declined 15% in Q3 vs. the same period a year ago, according to information provided by Nielsen Bookscan. This is a similar decline to what’s been happening in the comic store channel in recent months (see “Comics Up Again in August”).
The biggest reason for the decline is the tough comparison to sales of Watchmen in the year-ago period. After the trailer for Watchmen appeared in July of 2008, sales of the graphic novel boomed, and although the title remains at historic highs (see “Genesis Debuts at #9”), it’s at nowhere near where it was at its height.
The decline may be ameliorated somewhat by sales in other departments; sales in YA and kids' departments are not included in these BookScan numbers, and graphic novels for younger readers appear to be an area that's doing well this year.