Quick Hits | ‘Demon Slayer,’ Dav Pilkey, Bill Watterson top 2023 graphic novel sales charts

Plus: ‘Monica’ wins in Angouleme, the Bram Stoker Awards ballot and more.

Pulling information from Circana BookScan, ICv2 has listed the top 20 graphic novels sold in 2023 in the superhero, manga and “author” categories. They’ve also posted lists of the top adult and kid’s graphic novels.

Looking through the lists (which don’t provide exact numbers, just rankings), it looks like the first volume of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba by Koyoharu Gotouge is the big winner, topping both the manga chart and the adult graphic novel chart. Or maybe I should say “a big winner,” because over on the kid’s graphic novel chart, Dav Pilkey rules supreme, as Dog Man and its Cat Kid Comics Club spinoff took 13 of the 20 positions, including the top 3.

Also, I’m not exactly sure how the superhero and author categories are defined. For instance, the Invincible Compendium shows up on the author list — which makes sense, given how popular the Amazon show is — with Robert Kirkman listed as the author. But I would have expected it to be on the superhero list, given it’s about superheroes and Kirkman isn’t the sole author.

Then for superhero graphic novels, IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin hardcover topped the list, followed by Tokyopop’s Nightmare Before Christmas: Battle for the Pumpkin King manga. I think you could make the argument that the Last Ronin is a superhero title, but the Nightmare Before Christmas manga seems like it’s in the wrong place. But maybe I’m misunderstanding the catgeories.

All that aside, sales numbers for comics disappeared during the pandemic when the industry went from a single distributor to multiple distributors, so seeing any kind of data like this is appreciated and interesting.

Awards | Following the news that Posy Simmonds won the Grand Prix at Angouleme this year, the festival revealed all of the other winners for the various prizes they give out. Monica by Daniel Clowes won the “Best Album” award, the equivalent of “book of the year,” while The Nice House on the Lake by James Tynion IV and Álvaro Martinez Bueno won the “Prix de la série,” or series award. You can read more about all the award winners on Down the Tubes.

Awards | The Audio Publishers Association has announced the nominees for the Audie Awards, “the premier awards program recognizing distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment.” Of note for comics fans: Hellboy: A Plague of Wasps by Christopher Golden was nominated in the “Original Work” category, while School Trip by Jerry Craft was nominated in the “Middle Grade” category.

Awards | The Bram Stoker Awards have announced their preliminary ballot for 2023, which once again includes a graphic novel category. Included on the ballot are Cullen Bunn and Leomacs’ Ghostlore, Past Tense by Jason McNamara and Alberto Massaggia, and Tombs by Junji Ito, among others.

Interviews | At The Comics Journal, RJ Casey speaks with comic creators Sally Madden and Katie Skelly about their podcast, Thick Lines.

Features | The School Library Journal has a good overview of publishers of “graphic format book,” which is an interesting way to not say graphic novels. The article includes quotes from Oni Press, Skybound, Yen Press, Mad Cave, Third State Books and more.

Retailers | The Springfield State Journal- Register reports on the death of comics retailer Jim Boarman, owner of Comic Service in Springfield, Illinois. Boarman passed away on Jan. 18, and his family is deciding what to do with the shop. In the meantime, they’re continuing to provide comics to the store’s regular customers and subscribers. “Our main focus is that these people cared about my dad,” his daughter said. “He cared about them and we didn’t want them all of a sudden to have nothing, so I wanted to do right by his customers that have been around for a really long time.”

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