EW Charts Comics

In the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (the one with the Pirates sequel on the cover), the Books section, instead of listing typical best-sellers, lists top-ranking comics.

The list was provided by Golden Apple Comics in LA as of the week ending June 27, 2006. Here’s their sales rankings:

Top 10 Graphic Novels

  1. DMZ Volume 1
  2. Invincible Volume 9
  3. Hellboy Volume 6
  4. Power Girl
  5. Fear Agent Volume 1
  6. Conan Volume 3
  7. Star Wars: Omnibus Volume 1
  8. Sin City Library Set 2
  9. Stupid Comics Volume 1
  10. She-Hulk Volume 3

Things that struck me about this list: Look at all those volume numbers. Even when they’re 1, it gives the impression that even comics in book format are heavily serialized. And the topics listed are heavily genre: horror (or horror-sounding), fantasy, superheroes.

I didn’t expect manga or adult-audience independent graphic novels to show up on the list, though — those titles are consistent sellers, racking up big numbers over a longer period of time, while genre works tend to sell more quickly the first week, especially if pre-ordered.

Top 10 Comics

  1. 52 #7
  2. Civil War #2
  3. The Flash #1
  4. Astonishing X-Men #15
  5. Supermarket #3
  6. All-Star Superman #3
  7. Justice #6
  8. New Avengers #20
  9. Eternals #1
  10. Mouse Guard #3

Go Supermarket! Go Mouse Guard! The rest, not surprising — heavily promoted superhero event books.


9 Responses to “EW Charts Comics”

  1. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    I like that they went with a store that seems to sell a decent range of comics vs. the Diamond best-sellers list. It’d be nice if they change the source each time out, hitting a different region, and seeing what variations come from that.

    And yes, go Mouse Guard!

  2. Johanna Says:

    I wonder if/when they’ll ever do it again. I didn’t see anything that indicated why they chose that week to substitute the best-seller list.

  3. Chad Anderson Says:

    I actually found it kind of half-ass that they went with just one store (but Guy’s suggestion of rotating sources might make it more palatable to me, if the list appeared on a regular basis).

    I know there’s no central data for comics sales other than Diamond, which skews heavily toward superheroes and wouldn’t include any of the other avenues by which shops get artier fare, but I doubt using one shop to represent an entire industry would fly for any of the other entertainment fields they cover (music, movies, etc.)

    I don’t think it’d be that hard to go a step further and gather a list of shops around the country that sell a range of books (Hanley’s, Chicago Comics, Comix Experience, etc., etc.) and use their data as their list. I’m sure interns could gather the info with a little guidance, and they could even brand it as the EW bestseller list for comics or somesuch.

    But yes, go Mouse Guard!

  4. Lyle Says:

    My first reaction was a touch of annoyance at the choice of shop. Yes, Golden Apple is a great comic shop, but what I saw of it (several years ago, admittedly) it was a great shop for people who already love comics. I had a great time shopping there but it was one of those shops that had me apologizing (for the decor) to the female friend who accompanied me (our primary stop was the Virgin Megastore nearby) and it was the first time I encountered a back issue bin where the bags were sealed with glue.

    (BTW, Golden Apple is the shop featured in the movie Free Enterprise… so the moment when she gives the guy her phone number was an annoying discontinuity.)

    I’d love to see what the list would look like if it focused on the sales of a comic shop more comfortable to general audiences like Comic Relief in Berkeley, Lee’s Comics in Mountain View or San Francisco shops like Comix Experience or Isotope. (Lea Hernandez also recommended Dr Comics and Mr Games in Oakland, that comment has finally spurred me to check that store out today.)

    If this were seven years earlier, I would have mentioned 21st Century Comics, which had a great store in… was it Orange? Does SoCal have a new store that matches 21st Century’s greatness?

  5. Sam Hobart Says:

    Unfortunately, taking the results of a single week makes for lists incredibly skewed towards what came out that week in any medium, but comics and the Wednesday mentality that dominates at most shops leads to a magnification of that trend. I’m hearing rumblings from a few areas about more accurate sales lists compiled from several stores across the country, though, so hopefully we’ll see such lists sooner rather than later.

    Just for the sake of comparison, below are MacGuffin’s best sellers for the week of 6/21 – 6/27.

    Graphic Novels:
    1. Naruto Volume 1
    2. DMZ Volume 1
    3. Kingdom Hearts Volume 3
    4. Tales of Woodsman Pete
    5. Y: The Last Man Volume 1
    6. Runaways Volume 3
    7. Mystery Play
    8. Mome Volume 4
    9. Astonishing X-Men Volume 1
    10. Conan Volume 3

    Comics:
    1. Eternals #1
    2. Ultimates #11
    3. Civil War: Frontline #1
    4. All Star Superman #4
    5. Flash #1
    6. Astonishing X-Men#15
    7. Civil War #2
    8. Gargoyles #1
    9. Star Wars Legacy #1
    10. Thunderbolts #103

  6. ~chris Says:

    It’s nice to see a b&w indie book like Jim Mahfood’s Stupid Comics on the list, but I can’t help thinking that non-comics readers will see the title and think “See, even people in the comics business think comics are stupid!”

    Lyle, 21st Century Comics was in Orange, and moved to Fullerton several years ago. Sadly, it went out of business last year just a few months after Barry Short sold it.

    I recommend Comics Toons N Toys in Tustin (near where the 5 and 55 freeways meet). It’s cramped, but they are very indie and manga friendly. If you see a tall bespectacled customer with Oni Press books in his hands, however, avoid him at all costs.

  7. Johanna Says:

    There doesn’t seem to be much incentive for anyone to do the work and effort to create a real comic sales ranking, and it’s uncertain whether honest information could be reliably obtained.

    It did seem a little lazy to me that they just called a local shop, but I know Golden Apple’s well-known in Hollywood.

    Thanks very much, Sam, for sharing comparison data!

  8. Guy LeCharles Gonzalez Says:

    I’ve always gotten the impression that EW’s comics coverage, much like Variety’s Bags and Boards blog, came about because a staffer or three happened to be comics fans and saw the opportunity to give their passion some high-profile coverage; as much a labor of love as most comics blogs. Unlike their TV, movie and books sections, comics don’t yet have the added angle of attracting advertiser $$$, at least not on a regular basis. If, say, a Mile High, Midtown and/or Image signed on for a monthly schedule of full-page ads, I bet you’d see a stronger emphasis on more comprehensive coverage of the industry.

  9. paul Says:

    Thanks for the mention of 21St Century Comics as having greatness. I was Barry’s store manager for 9 years up till he sold the store. I agree about Toons and Toys being a good store. I hear good things about the Relm in Brea.

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