by Josh Crawley
Over at The Comic Chronicles, John Jackson Miller gives his usual interesting (to me, anyways) analysis on the Top Comic Books of the 2000s (Estimated Sales of Comic Books to North American Comics Shops based on reports from Diamond Comic Distributors).
While there aren’t really any surprises as far as I can see, I was slightly surprised by Eric Powell’s response via Twitter: Out of the top 300 books of the 2000′s- 12 were non Marvel/DC superhero, 1 was creator owned. Just 1.
First, I disagree with his statement that just one of the books was creator owned. I’m assuming he’s referring to Spawn #100. However, Dark Tower shows up on the list eight times, and is owned by creator Stephen King.
Second, this list is the top 300 single comic issues (though multiple printings and variant covers for the same issue may be included) for an entire decade of sales. There are more than 300 single issues per month, so these are the top 300 out of over 36,000 comics.
As someone who is a proponent of creator-ownership and great comics, I see the rankings on this list neither a surprise nor a negative. As with many statistics, you can skew them many ways. I’m sure a look at the best-selling graphic novels of the decade could show a trend opposed to this. Titles such as Walking Dead may not compare as well as single issues, but their trade paperback sales far outshine the trade paperback sales of most other titles. Also, while published by DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint (who also maintain some rights), Transmetropolitan is the second best-selling series in our East side retail store; not super heroes, creator-owned (at least in part), and hasn’t had a new single issue in well over eight years.
Mind you, I’m not trying to downplay Powell’s passion for creator ownership, nor diversity. My original intent had really just been to point out that Stephen King wasn’t being recognized as a creator, which I didn’t think was too fair when pointing out the lack of creator-owned issues on the list. (I also realize systems in which statements that have to be 140 characters or less at a time isn’t always the ideal situation for discussion.)
Well, that wasn’t quite as short as I’d expected it to be, and while this column isn’t as long as I’d hoped it would be for the week, I think that’s going to be it. Next week’s column looks to be commentary on publisher ratings systems, prompted by the news that DC Comics and Archie Comics have both foregone the Comics Code Authority process.
Josh Crawley may or may not be the keyboardist for Everclear. He strongly suggests you not bet that he is.