Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Top 50 Comics at the University of Michigan Library

Fun Home
I recently got my hands on the circulation data (since 1988!) of all of the books in the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library at the University of Michigan, the library that holds the main comics & graphic novels collection. Through the magic of spreadsheet sorting, I now know how many times each volume has been checked out (i.e. 'circulated,' in library lingo). Here then are the Top 50 (actually 52, due to ties...) circulating comics items:

1. Fun Home
2. Batman: The Killing Joke
3. Understanding Comics (copy 1)
4. Understanding Comics (copy 2)
5. V for Vendetta
6. Persepolis
7. 300
8. Black Hole
9. Batman: Year One
10. Watchmen
11. From Hell
12. Scott Pilgrim vol. 1
13. Ghost World
14. A Child's Life and Other Stories
14. The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, vol. 1
14. Saga of the Swamp Thing, vol. 1
17. Comics & Sequential Art
18. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
19. Making Comics
19. Buddha vol. 1
21. Marbles
21. Transmetropolitan, vol. 1
23. The Incal
24. My Friend Dahmer
24. Preacher, vol. 1
24. Promethea, vol. 2
27. Fables, vol. 1
28. Incognegro
28. Sleepwalk and Other Stories
28. The Invincible Iron Man: Extremis
31. David Boring
31. The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For
31. Barefoot Gen, vol. 1
34. Persepolis 2
35. NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, vol. 1
35. Buddha, vol. 4
37. Saga vol. 4
37. Epileptic
39. 32 Stories
39. Saga vol. 3
39. Promethea, vol. 3
42. The Fixer
42. Promethea, vol. 1
42. The Arrival
45. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
46. The Book of Genesis Illustrated by R. Crumb
46. On Purpose: Lessons in Life and Health from the Frog, the Dung Beetle, and Julia
46. The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, vol. 2
46. The Complete Calvin & Hobbes, vol. 3
46. Blue is the Warmest Color
46. Akira vol. 1
46. Buddha vol. 8

The top book is either Fun Home or Understanding Comics—if you add together the circs for both copies of Understanding Comics (239), they surpass those for Fun Home (156).

These only count the circs for the volumes at the AAE Library; many of the popular titles have copies in other libraries in the library system, and aren't counted in the stats I received. This for example explains why vol. 1 of Promethea has fewer circs than vol. 2 or vol. 3, as there are copies of vol. 1 at other libraries on campus, but not the other volumes.

These are all-time circulation stats (the comics collection here started in the mid-2000s), so obviously a book that has been out for a long time has a chance to get more circs than a book that ws just published in the past couple of years.

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