Monday, January 12, 2004

Diamond manga watch... 

OK, the numbers for December are now up. Well, maybe "numbers" isn't the right word as this is the raw Diamond data instead of estimated actual numbers, but you know what I mean. ;)

I saw a bit of movement on the manga front, so I figured it might be worth looking at how things stand at the end of 2003:

First the publishers. Manga has been traditionally weak in the DM, but seems to be making inroads. Combined with the hits that Crossgen has taken lately, that makes even more room.

Tokyopop is at 5th place now, still half of Image's dollar share, but just above Dreamwave and a bit above Crossgen.

Viz comes in right after that at 8th place. This puts it above all the art publishers like Fantagraphics and Slave Labor.

Most interesting is ADV, which is barely out of the gate but already at 15th place, right above Archie. If they keep up the growth, it seems like they could rise up at least five places fairly easily..

Comicsone is near the bottom at 18th place.

Probably also good to point out that with the recent hits of Trigun and Hellsing for Dark Horse (in third place), they're probably getting a bit of a boost in sales from usual..

OK, so that is publishers, but what about graphic novels? Superheros and Conan take the top five spots with Hush Vol2 in the lead, but I see quite a lot of manga mixed into the rest. Out of the top 50, I count 16 manga titles (one of which is actually from HK).

Unfortunately, it also seems like most of the shoujo (girl's) manga has dropped off the list. I've seen stuff like Mars and Gravitation on there before, but Kodocha Vol10 seems to be the only thing left at the moment and that is at 43rd place. Inuyasha does appeal to both sexes, but still is technically shounen (boy's).

One interesting thing is Yu-Gi-Oh Vol3 is all the way up in 30th place. Hopefully this means more kids are visiting comic shops for their manga... I kind of like the manga myself, but I can't see most of the usual demographic touching it with a 10-foot pole. ;)

Trigun Vol1 seems to be hanging on pretty well at 46th place considering how many months it has been on the stands now.

Also, I just have to mention Hellboy, as Dark Horse manages to have three volumes simuntaneously on the top 50! No wonder they are third place above Image, with such strong titles lately.

As far as the monthlies go, is it me or is it odd to see 2 issues of Ultimate Spider-Man, 3 issues of Uncanny X-Men, *4* issues of X-Treme X-Men (all in a row and 3 of which are $3.50), and 4 of Superman/Batman up on there? Out of the top 25, 10 seem to be X-Men related...

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