It’s time to dive deeper with a look at the top 20 Author, Manga, and Superhero graphic novels in the book channel, based on NPD BookScan data for April 2021 (4/4/21-5/1/21) provided to ICv2.

Exactly half the titles in the Superhero top 20 are new releases.  That includes one reprint, though, the paperback edition of The Batman Who Laughs; the hardcover, also on the chart, came out in 2019.

The first and third slots are taken up by two Godzilla vs. Kong tie-ins, part of a flurry of titles that Legendary announced in February (see "Legendary Comics to Launch ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Publishing Program").

In the number 2 spot is the deluxe hardcover collected edition of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Dark Nights: Death Metal, the sequel to their Dark Nights: Metal series (see "DC Announces ‘Dark Nights: Metal’ Sequel").

Batting cleanup is X of Swords, the hardcover collection of Jonathan Hickman’s massive X-Men crossover event (see "Jonathan Hickman to Headline ‘X of Swords’").

And then there’s Watchmen (2019), which is always on the chart.

Looking over the chart as a whole, DC Comics dominates the top 20 (as usual), Batman dominates the DC offerings (as usual), but Legendary snagging two of the top three spots is worthy of note.  Also, further down the chart we see another non-Big Two comic, Volume 4 of Life Is Strange, from Titan; Volume 3 of the series was in last April’s top 20 (see "April 2020 NPD BookScan – Top 20 Author, Manga, Superhero Graphic Novels").

NPD BookScan Top 20 'Superheroes' Graphic Novels – April 2021 (4/3/21 – 5/1/21)

Rank

Title

Author

Publisher

1

GVK GODZILLA DOMINION

GREG KEYES

LEGENDARY COMICS

2

DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL: DLX. ED. HC

SCOTT SNYDER

DC COMICS

3

GVK KINGDOM KONG

MARIE ANELLO

LEGENDARY COMICS

4

X OF SWORDS HC

JONATHAN HICKMAN

MARVEL COMICS

5

WATCHMEN (2019 EDITION)

ALAN MOORE

DC COMICS

6

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS HC

SCOTT SNYDER

DC COMICS

7

DCEASED: DEAD PLANET HC

TOM TAYLOR

DC COMICS

8

THE BATMAN WHO LAUGHS HC

SCOTT SNYDER

DC COMICS

9

BATMAN: THREE JOKERS HC

GEOFF JOHNS

DC COMICS

10

BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN

JEPH LOEB

DC COMICS

11

DARK NIGHTS: DEATH METAL: THE DARKEST KNIGHT

VARIOUS

DC COMICS

12

HARLEEN HC

STJEPAN SEJIC

DC COMICS

13

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE DLX. ED. HC (NEW ED.)

ALAN MOORE

DC COMICS

14

BATMAN: YEAR ONE

FRANK MILLER

DC COMICS

15

BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH HC

SCOTT SNYDER

DC COMICS

16

LIFE IS STRANGE VOL. 4: PARTNERS IN TIME: TRACKS

EMMA VIECELI

TITAN COMICS

17

STAR WARS VOL. 2: OPERATION STARLIGHT

CHARLES SOULE

MARVEL COMICS

18

BATMAN VOL. 2: THE JOKER WAR HC

JAMES TYNION IV

DC COMICS

19

BATMAN: A DEATH IN THE FAMILY THE DLX. ED. HC

JIM STARLIN

DC COMICS

20

BATMAN: WHITE KNIGHT

SEAN MURPHY

DC COMICS

Source: The NPD Group/BookScan

There’s only one new title on the Author chart, Living with Mochi by Gemma Gené, at number four.  The alert reader will not be surprised to learn that this is a collection of short, funny comics that first ran on Instagram; Andrews McMeel seems to be doing quite well with this category of late.  In fact, directly below Living with Mochi are two more Insta-comics, In Love and Pajamas and Strange Planet, and further down is Fangs, by Insta-darling Sarah Andersen, and Stranger Planet.

There are some new-ish titles on the chart as well, with Solo Leveling and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology making return visits after debuting on the March chart and David Walker and Marcus Kwame Anderson’s The Black Panther Party returning to the chart for the fourth month in a row since its January release.

The first volume of Robert Kirkman’s Invincible Compendium is back on the chart for the second month in a row; this is not a new title, but the animated adaptation began running in late March on Amazon.  The first volume of Invincible: The Ultimate Collection also makes the chart at number 19.

The rest of the chart is the usual variety of recurring titles, with They Called Us Enemy in first place.

NPD BookScan Top 20 Author Graphic Novels – April 2021 (4/3/21 – 5/1/21)

Rank

Title

Author

Publisher

1

THEY CALLED US ENEMY

GEORGE TAKEI

TOP SHELF PROD.

2

SOLO LEVELING VOL. 1

CHUGONG

YEN PRESS

3

MARCH: BOOK ONE

JOHN LEWIS

TOP SHELF PROD.

4

LIVING WITH MOCHI

GEMMA GENÉ

ANDREWS MCMEEL

5

IN LOVE & PAJAMAS: A COLLECTION OF COMICS ABOUT BEING YOURSELF TOGETHER HC

CATANA CHETWYND

ANDREWS & MCMEEL

6

STRANGE PLANET HC

NATHAN W. PYLE

MORROW GIFT

7

DUNE: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL BOOK 1 HC

FRANK HERBERT

ABRAMS

8

MONSTERS HC

BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS

9

FANGS HC

SARAH ANDERSEN

ANDREWS MCMEEL

10

INVINCIBLE COMPENDIUM VOL. 1

KIRKMAN, ROBERT

IMAGE COMICS

11

STRANGER PLANET HC

NATHAN W. PYLE

MORROW GIFT

12

MARCH (TRILOGY SLIPCASE SET)

JOHN LEWIS

TOP SHELF PROD.

13

NORSE MYTHOLOGY VOL. 1 HC

NEIL GAIMAN

DARK HORSE COMICS

14

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD: A GRAPHIC NOVEL HC

HARPER LEE

HARPER

15

SAPIENS: A GRAPHIC HISTORY: THE BIRTH OF HUMANKIND

YUVAL NOAH HARARI

HARPERCOLLINS PUB.

16

FUN HOME: A FAMILY TRAGICOMIC

ALISON BECHDEL

MARINER BOOKS

17

THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY VOL. 1: APOCALYPSE SUITE

GERARD WAY

DARK HORSE COMICS

18

INVINCIBLE: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION VOL. 1 HC

ROBERT KIRKMAN

IMAGE COMICS

19

THE BLACK PANTHER PARTY: A GRAPHIC NOVEL HISTORY

DAVID F. WALKER

TEN SPEED PRESS

20

CRITICAL ROLE: VOX MACHINA ORIGINS LIB. ED.: SERIES I & II COLL. HC

CRITICAL ROLE

DARK HORSE COMICS

Source: The NPD Group/BookScan

The Manga top 20 may look familiar, as it is identical to the Adult top 20, but it’s worth looking at it in context with the other charts.  One thing worth noting is that there are four April releases, as readers snapped up the latest volumes of My Hero Academia, Chainsaw Man, Jujutsu Kaisen, and Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba.

Also, while VIZ Media has 19 of the 20 slots on the chart, what’s less obvious to the American observer is that all 19 of those titles are from the same Japanese publisher, Shueisha, which is part of the group of Japanese companies that own VIZ (the other manga publisher in that group is Shogakukan).  What’s more, all those top-selling titles are part of VIZ’s Shonen Jump imprint and are available on the Shonen Jump app; new chapters are also available for free on the MangaPlus website, which is run by Shueisha but is in English.  Some, but not all, of these titles, ran in the Japanese Shonen Jump magazine.

Now, there are several ways of interpreting this. One is that the Shueisha folks really know how to make manga that sell, and that’s definitely true; Weekly Shonen Jump is the best-selling manga magazine in Japan.  Anime is a driving factor as well, but there is no Chainsaw Man anime.  So it’s very possible that one of the reasons for these titles’ success is that they are readily available digitally, which helps keep fans engaged.

NPD BookScan Top 20 Manga Graphic Novels – April 2021 (4/3/21 – 5/1/21)

Rank

Title

Author

Publisher

1

MY HERO ACADEMIA VOL. 27

KOHEI HORIKOSHI

VIZ MEDIA

2

CHAINSAW MAN VOL. 4

TATSUKI FUJIMOTO

VIZ MEDIA

3

JUJUTSU KAISEN VOL. 9

GEGE AKUTAMI

VIZ MEDIA

4

DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA VOL. 1

KOYOHARU GOTOUGE

VIZ MEDIA

5

DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA VOL. 2

KOYOHARU GOTOUGE

VIZ MEDIA

6

CHAINSAW MAN VOL. 2

TATSUKI FUJIMOTO

VIZ MEDIA

7

DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA VOL. 21

KOYOHARU GOTOUGE

VIZ MEDIA

8

ATTACK ON TITAN VOL. 1

HAJIME ISAYAMA

KODANSHA COMICS

9

MY HERO ACADEMIA VOL. 2

KOHEI HORIKOSHI

VIZ MEDIA

10

SPY X FAMILY VOL. 1

TATSUYA ENDO

VIZ MEDIA

11

JUJUTSU KAISEN VOL. 1

GEGE AKUTAMI

VIZ MEDIA

12

DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA VOL. 3

KOYOHARU GOTOUGE

VIZ MEDIA

13

DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA VOL. 8

KOYOHARU GOTOUGE

VIZ MEDIA

14

JUJUTSU KAISEN VOL. 7

GEGE AKUTAMI

VIZ MEDIA

15

DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA VOL. 4

KOYOHARU GOTOUGE

VIZ MEDIA

16

TOKYO GHOUL VOL. 1

SUI ISHIDA

VIZ MEDIA

17

DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA VOL. 9

KOYOHARU GOTOUGE

VIZ MEDIA

18

MY HERO ACADEMIA VOL. 26

KOHEI HORIKOSHI

VIZ MEDIA

19

DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA VOL. 7

KOYOHARU GOTOUGE

VIZ MEDIA

20

DEMON SLAYER: KIMETSU NO YAIBA VOL. 10

KOYOHARU GOTOUGE

VIZ MEDIA

Source: The NPD Group/BookScan


For charts of April 2021 graphic novel sales from NPD BookScan:
April 2021 NPD BookScan – Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels
April 2021 NPD BookScan – Top 20 Kids Graphic Novels

For the charts with the actual sales numbers from NPD BookScan, see these articles on the ICv2 Pro site:
April 2021 NPD BookScan - Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels with Actual Sales
April 2021 NPD BookScan - Top 20 Author, Manga, and Superhero Graphic Novels with Actual Sales
April 2021 NPD BookScan - Top 20 Kids Graphic Novels with Actual Sales


NPD BookScan collects weekly point-of-sale data on print books from over 16,000 locations including e-tailers, chains, mass merchandisers, independent bookstores, and more.  NPD BookScan covers approximately 85% of the U.S. trade print book market.  The ranks on this chart are based on piece sales.  Some publishers classify titles that are primarily text, or art books, as graphic novels; we've removed those titles from the ranking above.

For past BookScan Top 20 Graphic Novel lists, see the "BookScan Top 20 GN Index."