Saturday, January 31, 2015

Stats Week: Amazon Top 50 for 2014

Here are the top 50 comics from the weekly Amazon Top 50 posts of 2014:
  1. Hyperbole and a Half (paperback)
  2. The Walking Dead Compendium Volume 1
  3. The Walking Dead Compendium Volume 2
  4. Saga Volume 1
  5. Saga Volume 3
  6. Darth Vader and Son
  7. Batman: The Killing Joke, Deluxe Edition
  8. Vader's Little Princess
  9. The Walking Dead, Vol. 20: All Out War, Part 1
  10. The Walking Dead, Vol. 21: All Out War, Part 2
  11. Can't We Walk About Something More Pleasant?
  12. Saga Volume 2
  13. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
  14. Hyperbole and a Half (Kindle)
  15. Batman: The dark Knight Returns
  16. How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You
  17. Watchmen
  18. Maus I: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History
  19. Star Wars: Jedi Academy vol. 2: Return of the Padawan
  20. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
  21. The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances
  22. The Walking Dead, Vol. 19: March to War
  23. The Complete Calvin & Hobbes (paperback)
  24. Goodnight Darth Vader
  25. Marvel Encyclopedia
  26. Batman Vol. 2: The City of Owls (The New 52)
  27. The Sword Sword: The Graphic Novel
  28. Batman: Year One
  29. Attack on Titan 1
  30. Star Wars: Jedi Academy
  31. The Walking Dead, Vol. 22: A New Beginning
  32. Batman Vol. 1: The Court of Owls (The New 52)
  33. Seconds: A Graphic Novel
  34. Saga Volume 4
  35. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
  36. Batman Vol. 3: Death of the Family (The New 52)
  37. The Walking Dead Book 10
  38. The Complete Persepolis
  39. Sex Criminals Volume 1
  40. the Walking Dead, Vol. 18: What Comes After
  41. Attack on Titan 2
  42. V for Vendetta
  43. Understanding Comics
  44. Batman: Death of the Family Book and Joker Mask Set
  45. Batman Vol. 4: Zero Year – Secret City (The New 52)
  46. Dilbert 2015 Day-to-Day Calendar
  47. American Born Chinese
  48. The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye (Kindle)
  49. The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye
  50. The Walking Dead, Vol. 17: Something to Fear
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.

  • As has happened for every year but one since I've started tracking these Amazon charts, the book that was #1 during the first week of the year ends up being the #1 item for the entire year. In this case it is Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half. Note that's just for the paperback edition; the Kindle edition came in at #14 for the year. And that's after having placed #9 in 2013. Clearly Hyperbole and a Half is a massive mainstream hit.
  • The Walking Dead places four collections in the Top Ten. The two compendia, placing #2 & #3 in 2014, were #1 & #2 back in 2013. Again, clearly a massive sales success, which is something that can be achieved when the TV show based on the comic is the top drama on television.
  • Without the benefit of any media tie-ins, two Saga collections take up the #4 & #5 spots for the year. Another collection comes in at #12, and Volume 4, not released until near the end of the year, charts at #34. Another clear mainstream sales success, all the more remarkable for there not being a movie or television show, just comics that people want to read because they've heard they're good comics.
  • In all, 357 different items made the Amazon Top 50 chart for one or more weeks. Of those, six were on the chart for all 52 weeks in 2014: Hyperbole and a Half, The Walking Dead Compendia 1 & 2, Saga vols. 1 & 3, and Batman: The Killing Joke Deluxe Edition. Another five were on the chart for all but one of those weeks. 
  • A whopping 227 items only showed up on the chart for one week, including four items who spent their only week in the #1 position (all four were sale-priced Kindle editions).
  • DC's presence on the 2014 top 50 is only all Batman titles, plus two Alan Moore works: Watchmen & V for Vendetta. Their top seller, Batman: The Killing Joke, is the perfect storm of a Batman comic written by Alan Moore.
  • Marvel doesn't place any items in the 2014 Top 50 (recall that the Marvel Encyclopedia is put out by DK, not Marvel). Their top book is the Kindle edition of Marvel 1602 (on sale price for several weeks in April & May) at #54, followed closely by the first Ms. Marvel collection at #56. Ms. Marvel didn't come out until late in the year, and early indications in 2015 are that it will be a strong seller, perhaps finally giving Marvel a strong mainstream success in the book market.
  • The best-selling Manga title for 2014 was Attack on Titan, with two volumes ending the year in the top 50.

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