“The Walking Dead” topped comic book and graphic novel sales charts for 2012, according to a news release from Diamond Comics Distributors Inc. The hit television show on AMC helped spur sales of the source material, written by Robert Kirkman. “The Walking Dead” No. 100 became the first comic from Image Comics to top the year-end chart since 1999.
In the year of the blockbuster “Avengers” film, two “Avengers”-related relaunches hit the charts for Marvel Comics. “Uncanny Avengers” No. 1, drawn by former Oklahoman John Cassaday, ranked No. 2. A new “The Avengers” No. 1, written by Jonathan Hickman, ranked No. 10. Marvel's final-for-now issue of “Amazing Spider-Man,” No. 700, ranked No. 4, despite a higher-than-average $7.99 cover price. The rest of the top 10 were issues of the Marvel Comics crossover “Avengers vs. X-Men,” pitting Marvel Comics' high-profile franchises against one another.
It was the third year in a row for “The Walking Dead: Days Gone Bye” to top the graphic novel sales chart.
“Walking Dead” collections took seven of the top 10 graphic novel slots. “Batman: Earth One” and “Batman: Court of the Owls” were Nos. 3 and 8; Alan Moore's “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century #3: 2009” was No. 10.
Alicia Cox, manager of Second Chance Books and Comics, 3909 N MacArthur Blvd. in Warr Acres, saw many of the same trends locally.
“All the Walking Dead graphic novels sold very well. I ordered piles and piles of No. 1. Everybody is wanting to get into it since they've been watching the show.”
“Amazing Spider-Man” No. 700 was also a hit at Second Chance.
“No matter how many copies we ordered of that, it was going to sell out the first day,” she said.
The “Death of the Family” crossover in Batman comics has also been selling well.
Batman's presence in the movie theaters this year may have helped push “Batman: Court of Owls” to best-seller status in the Warr Acres store. “Batman: Earth One” sold well for the shop, as did evergreen Batman titles including “Long Halloween,” “Hush” and “The Killing Joke.”
Of the Marvel NOW! Relaunch, Cox said “Uncanny Avengers” came out of the gate the strongest seller, with “Fantastic Four” and “FF” exceeding expectations.
Joey Belden, of Atomik Pop, 7884 S Western, said DC Comics' “Batman” and “Justice League” have remained mainstays, but the best-selling comic of the year for them was Marvel's “Uncanny Avengers” No. 1. “'Avengers vs. X-Men' was up there as well,” Belden said.
The first “Walking Dead” trades also topped Atomik Pop's list, followed by “Batman: Court of Owls” and “Batman: Earth One.”
Another Image Comics trade paperback, “Saga” Vol. 1, came in below those.
“I think Image has really done very well,” Belden said.
A surprise top-seller from Atomik Pop was Avatar's “Crossed,” which Belden said appeals to fans of “The Walking Dead” looking for another series along those lines.
While Diamond Comics doesn't release sales numbers alongside the rankings, Image Comics announced in a news release that initial orders for “The Walking Dead” No. 100 were 383,612 copies.