For the week ending April 3, sales of Frank Miller's Sin City graphic novels from Dark Horse increased 25% or more across the board (with Volume 1 reaching its highest weekly total ever), and Dark Horse's graphic novel adaptation of the new Star Wars movie had a debut that would have topped the charts for most weeks, but Del Rey's Negima Vol. 5 grabbed the top spot with the best sales performance of any graphic novel in American bookstores so far in 2005 (narrowly nosing out the debut of Fruits Basket Vol.7).  It also took the #9 rank on the trade fiction bestseller list. 



Negima Vol. 4 had a slightly stronger debut back in December of 2004 (see 'Negima 4 Leads Manga Charge in '05'), but it was obscured by the fact that Ken Akamatsu's sexy comedy manga was mistakenly placed in the 'Children's Books' category.  The strong performance of Negima Vol. 5 indicates that this title belongs in the very front ranks of contemporary manga properties.


Now that the Sin City movie has been released it should be interesting to see what happens to bookstore sales of the Sin City graphic novels.  The conventional wisdom would have sales for the Sin City graphic novels dropping off precipitously now that the film is in theaters, but Sin City is not a conventional movie and it should be interesting to see if the movie can expand the audience for the graphic novels even more than it already has.


The Sin City graphic novels will face strong competition in the weeks to come.  In addition to the Star Wars movie adaptation, Tokyopop's Fruits Basket Vol. 8 and D.N. Angel Vol. 7 should do better in their first full weeks of release as will Viz's Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 13 and Naruto Vol. 6. 


Dark Horse dominated the Top 10 for the week ending April 3'rd with five books (four Sin City titles and Star Wars) followed by Del Rey with two (Negima Vol. 5 and Wallflower Vol. 3), and Viz (Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 12), Tokyopop (Fruits Basket Vol. 8) and Broccoli (Until the Full Moon Vol. 2).  Two titles from Del Rey's second wave of releases, Wallflower Vol. 3, which reached number 8 and Othello Vol. 3, which made it to number 12, are in the process of establishing themselves as top manga properties here in the U.S.  Buoyed by the performance of five Sin City books, six of the Top 25 and eight of the Top50 titles on the BookScan graphic novel list were non-manga releases.