Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stats Week: Amazon Top 50 for 2013

Here are the top 50 comics from the weekly Amazon Top 50 posts of 2013:

  1. The Walking Dead Compendium Volume 1
  2. The Walking Dead Compendium Volume 2
  3. Darth Vader and Son
  4. How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You
  5. Vader's Little Princess
  6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 7 (Kindle)
  7. Saga Volume 1
  8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 7: The Third Wheel
  9. Hyperbole and a Half (paperback)
  10. The Walking Dead, vol. 18: What Comes After
  11. Dork Diaries 5 (Kindle)
  12. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6 (Kindle)
  13. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6: Cabin Fever
  14. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
  15. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
  16. Dork Diaries 6 (Kindle)
  17. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
  18. Saga Volume 2
  19. Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition
  20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 1 (Kindle)
  21. Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (The New 52)
  22. Dork Diaries 4 (Kindle)
  23. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 (Kindle)
  24. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 5 (Kindle)
  25. The Walking Dead, vol. 19: March to War
  26. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4 (Kindle)
  27. The Complete Calvin and Hobbes (paperback)
  28. Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Search, Part 3
  29. Star Wars: Jedi Academy
  30. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 8 (Kindle)
  31. The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book (revised and expanded edition)
  32. Watchmen
  33. Dork Diaries 6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker
  34. Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Search, Part 2
  35. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3 (Kindle)
  36. The Walking Dead, vol. 17: Something to Fear
  37. The Walking Dead vol. 1 (Kindle)
  38. Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Search, Part 1
  39. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 8: Hard Luck
  40. The Walking Dead, Book 9
  41. Big Nate Makes the Grade (Kindle)
  42. Injustice: Gods Among Us #1 (Kindle)
  43. Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants
  44. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
  45. Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52)
  46. Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52)
  47. The Complete Persepolis
  48. Hyperbole and a Half (Kindle)
  49. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 5: The Ugly Truth
  50. Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life as a Weapon
Methodology: I took my weekly (compiled on Friday) lists of Amazon Top 50 Comics & Graphic Novels, and for each week assigned a comic a numerical score equal to 51 minus its ranking; e.g. the #1 book got 50 points, the #2 book got 49 points, the #3 book got 48 points, etc., all the way down to the #50 book getting 1 point. I poured everything into a spreadsheet, and voila. You can download a spreadsheet with all of the data here.

  • This was the year that weirdness happened. Specifically, in late August, Amazon reclassified all of the Dork Diaries and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books to not be comics and they disappeared entirely from the Comics & Graphic Novels bestseller chart. This caused no end of havoc on my weekly snapshot compilations. Had they stayed on the chart I am almost certain that DoaWK 7 would have been the #1 book of 2013. But they didn't, and so we're stuck with the data as Amazon gave it to us. And unless Amazon reverse course sometime in the next year, you won't see any of the Diary books on the chart in 2014.
  • So, the top book this year was the first Walking Dead Compendium, followed closely by the second Walking Dead Compendium.  But while in 2012 every extant Walking Dead collection showed up on the Top Fifty chart for at least one week, that wasn't the case in 2013. Still, many WD collections did chart, including quite a few that ended up in the yearly top fifty.
  • Once again, Batman is the only one of DC's New 52 properties to place any collections in the yearly top 50. A couple of Justice League volumes also charted during the year (at #112 & #117) as did a Nightwing collection for one week (placing it in a tie for #311). A few sale-priced New 52 Kindle editions charted as well.
  • Marvel actually placed a title in the annual top 50 this year! Okay, it was in the #50 slot, but still... compared to other Marvel collections, Hawkeye is a mainstream hit!
  • The two Saga collections had a great year, placing at #7 and #18. Granted those aren't quite Walking Dead numbers, but then again Saga doesn't have any sort of television or movie exposure, meaning it achieved its sales based solely on the appeal of its comic-ness. 
  • It was a great year for Jeffrey Brown. He had two of the top five books with Darth Vader and Son and Vader's Little Princess, and his Star Wars: Jedi Academy (which came out later in the year) is at #29. 
  • Several perennials make the annual top fifty, including Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Persepolis, Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke, Maus, and Fun Home.
  • There were 347 different works that showed up at least once on the weekly top fifty charts during the year (up from 275 last year). Of those, 123 only showed up once. Five showed up for all fifth-two weeks: The two Walking Dead Compendia, Darth Vader and Son, How to Tell if Your Cat…, and the first volume of Saga.
  • It was not a great year for manga; the top seller for the year was the first volume of Attack on Titan, which places at #107. Most of the AoT volumes charted at some point during the year, as did most of the volumes of Sailor Moon and Naruto that were released; they just never stuck around the chart very long.
  • This was the year that regular-priced Kindle editions of single issues started to chart. Mostly Walking Dead, but also Sandman: Overture, Forever Evil, and Justice League. Mostly they just appeared for one or two weeks, but that's more than we've seen in the past.
  • On the digital first single issue front, Kindle editions of the Injustice: Gods Among Us tie-in comic ruled the year, especially for the weeks around the release of the video game. But for all the noise the individual issues made on the weeks they were released, most didn't stick around for long (I detail this in yesterday's post). Only the debut issue made the annual top fifty chart.
  • Predictions for the coming year can be hard to make; last year I didn't foresee the wholesale Diary reclassification... We're likely to see continued strong sales from Hyperbole and a Half and Walking Dead collections (particularly the Compendia). I won't be surprised if the third Saga trade shows up in the #1 spot when it is released. If there's another Matthew Inman book or another Jeffrey Brown Star Wars book those should sell strong. I predict that in spite of at least four Marvel-related movies coming out in 2014 the sales of collections to the general public will remain weak. The new Sin City movie might drive sales of the trade collections (if Dark Horse can keep them in stock/print).

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