March manga in the DM

April 13, 2010

I haven’t looked at manga numbers in the Direct Market in a while, so let’s see what happens when we extract the manga and manga-influenced work from ICv2’s Top 300 Graphic Novels Actual – March 2010, shall we?

(I hope that’s readable. Thanks to Dirk Deppey for the helpful suggestions on how to get a table into a blog post without plunging myself into coding hell.)

It’s not particularly surprising that Young C. Kim’s graphic-novel adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight (Yen Press) has been topping the Hardcover Graphic Books list over at The New York Times since its release, but it’s a little unexpected that it would crack the top ten in the Direct Market. Perhaps it was narrow-minded of me to assume that the property’s audience wouldn’t seek it out in local comic shops, or that local comic shops would be particularly inclined to carry it, or that there wasn’t much crossover audience between Twilight and your average comic-shop inventory.

Manga from Dark Horse continues to do well, and I’m pleased to see such a high ranking for the final volume of Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto (Viz). It’s also nice to see all five of last month’s volumes of Eichiro Oda’s One Piece (Viz) crack the top 100. It would have been nice to see higher rankings for the classic titles, but some of them came out late in the month, so maybe that’s the explanation.

Upcoming 4/14/2010

April 13, 2010

It’s time for another perusal of the week’s ComicList, which has a decidedly all-ages flair.

Yes, I know that Kiyohiko Azuma’s Yotsuba&! was originally published in a magazine for adult men, Dengeki Daioh. I’d still display no reluctance in recommending the series, now up to its eighth volume, to children and their caregivers, as it’s adorable and hilarious. This time around, Azuma will bring fresh mirth and charm to those old manga standbys, the school and community festivals.

On the home-grown front, there are two original graphic novels from Simon & Schuster’s Atheneum imprint for young adults. First, there’s a new collection of Jimmy Gownley’s terrific Amelia Rules! The Tweenage Guide to Not Being Unpopular is available in hardcover and paperback. I suspect this will be a nice comic-book follow up to the return of Glee. You can check out a preview trailer here.

A new graphic novel from Hope Larson is always cause for celebration. This time around, Mercury (also available in hardcover and paperback) offers a multi-generational mystery set in a family estate in Nova Scotia. Simon & Schuster informs me that the book “weaves together history, romance, and a touch of her trademark magical realism in this remarkable graphic novel of how the past haunts a teenage girl’s present.” I can believe that with no difficulty.

Ken Saito’s moody, moving The Name of the Flower (CMX) concludes with its fourth volume. I’ll be lazy and quote Kate (The Manga Critic) Dacey, who says that “Saito’s elegant, understated art is the perfect complement to this delicate drama, making good use of floral imagery to underscore the heroine’s emotional state. For my money, the best new shojo manga of 2009.” In case you’re curious, the series originally ran in Hakusensha’s LaLaDX. Hakusensha rules.

And swinging back to Yen Press, we have the third volume of Svetlana Chmakova’s Nightschool: The Weirn Books, which I’ve enjoyed a whole lot. It’s a supernatural mystery about a powerful girl who must enroll in a school for magic-users and monsters to figure out why her sister disappeared. There are tons of subplots and a big cast of adversarial forces, but Chmakova handles them well and keeps things moving at an appealing clip without neglecting character development or humor.