Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 25, 2004

1. A List. 2. Another List.

If you ever want to be reminded of the stakes involved behind the mass-merchandising and cross-media application of successful comic book characters, look no further than Forbes' "Top-Earning Fictional Character" list, a moderately interactive feature you access starting here. Make sure you can count up to the billions. Their top 10:
Mickey Mouse
Winnie the Pooh
Frodo Baggins
Harry Potter
Nemo from Finding Nemo
Spongebob Squarepants
Wolverine and the X-Men
Matt Groening's Homer Simpson and Simpsons cast barely missed the cut.

Another list to peruse is from the recent Publishers Weekly special section on graphic novel publishing, a top 25 of comics trades in bookstores for the year to date, which you can check out on the great comics linkblog Thought Balloons. Some thoughts to take with you:

image1. We should all know the names of solid volume-spanning manga hits, Rurouni Kenshin (Viz), Naruto (Viz), Fruits Basket (Tokyopop) and Trigun (Dark Horse). Don't feel bad: I only knew the one pictured here.

2. Art Spiegelman's In the Shadow of No Towers (#1) is a solid, briskly-moving hit, which due to its unique packaging and content was not a guaranteed thing. Pantheon was also right not to wait on publishing Persepolis 2 (#4).

3. Dark Horse Comics did manage to move at least a pair of Hellboy books in signficant numbers (#8 and #19), despite rumors I swear I remember hearing they did not hit the early summer movie release date as hard as they could have.

4. Never underestimate Neil Gaiman, with 1602 at #25 providing Marvel Comics' only list presence.
posted 8:00 am PST | Permalink

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