Each month,Diamond Comics Distributors releases data on the top selling products from single issue comics, to graphic novels and trade paperbacks, to toys. Their sales data represents items sold through comic book shops.
Starting last month, I’ve started including information from the New York Times’ weekly bestsellers’ list for graphic books. Their list comprises sales data for items sold through venues other than comic book shops, like bookstores. As it’s weekly, it won’t be an exact picture of all the days in the month, but it will still be valuable to see what fans who aren’t buying at comic shops are reading.
Those following the triumphant success of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, with current domestic gross approaching $200 million, won’t be surprised that this month’s top single issue comic is Rocket Raccoon #1. Also making an appearance in the top ten singles is The Legendary Starlord #1.
For July, Marvel and DC dominated the top ten singles. Marvel took six of the top ten and DC took four.
In the graphic novel arena, The Walking Dead Vol. 21 topped Diamond’s list and made the NYT list for the last week of July. Also popular on the NYT list was The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 1, featuring the first eight volumes. With the popularity of the television show — the season 4 finale had almost 16 million viewers— it’s no surprise that some of those fans might want to take a gander at the comic.
Again this month, Saga Vol. 1 and 3 made both the Diamond top ten list and stayed on the NYT list for all five weeks in July. Seems like Saga could be the title that connects comic shop and bookstore. It also probably doesn’t hurt that it took home three Eisners this year: Best Continuing Series, Best Writer – Brian K. Vaughn,and Best Painter/Multimedia Artist- Fiona Staples.
The anticipated new hardcover graphic novel, Seconds, from Bryan Lee O’Malley, creator of the popular Scott Pilgrim series, made a strong debut on both lists even though it was released mid-month. It came in fifth on Diamond’s list and took first spot on the NYT’s hardcover graphic novel list the first week it was out for the remaining two weeks.
Female representation is split a bit this month on the Diamond list. Two of the ten titles had a woman on the creative team but both were Saga. Eight titles had women on the cover but about half were part of a group shot. So last month there were more images of women on the most popular comics in comic shops, but fewer women writing them.
What’s really exciting is that women took a front seat on the NYT’s graphic novel list; for the first two weeks of July, there were women on the covers, strong female main characters, and women on creative teams. The first week of July saw eight titles with women on the cover and six had women on the creative team. The second week saw eight titles, including the very popular, Rat Queens, with women on the cover and five with women on the creative team.