Updated on December 10, 2021
The New York Times has released their December 2019 graphic novel and manga best seller list. My thoughts on this month’s list are below.
“Strange Planet” tops the list
Topping the list is a compilation of “Strange Planet” comic strips by Nathan Pyle. The webcomic features aliens with a society and culture exactly like humans. However, all of their mundane daily activities (such as adopting a cat) are described in a wordy, Vulcan-like detail.
Telgemeier is the most prolific author
As usual, Raina Telgemeier’s books prominently appear on the best seller list. The author of “Guts,” “Drama,” and others make up five of the 15 graphic novel spots on the December 2019 list, with “Guts” at #2 (down from last month at #1).
Not a surprise, of course; Telgemeier’s books are all quite popular with younger readers. The holidays are also upon us, so maybe there’s a spike in sales as part of gift-buying?
Other entry thoughts
“The Midwinter Witch” by Molly Knox Ostertag is a sequel to the graphic novel “The Witch Boy.”
“My Hero Academia” by Kohei Horikoshi is the main manga representative on the list (as far as I can tell).
The only Big Two entries on the list this month are “Watchmen” (by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons) and “Teen Titans: Raven” (by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo), both by DC Comics. The former is a perennial seller for DC, though the HBO “Watchmen” TV show might be giving it a sales boost. The latter is one of DC’s new young adult graphic novels; this one features a 17-year-old Raven adjusting to life in a new town after a tragedy. DC’s young adult graphic novels seem to be getting both the critical attention and sales that their canonical DCU books lack (outside of their existing comic shop readership).