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Film, Comic Books
Considering that the first volume of Twilight: The Graphic Novel sold more than 66,000 copies in its first week of release — the largest-ever debut for a graphic novel in the United States — it’s no surprise it’s topping sales charts.
On Thursday, the Yen Press adaptation debuted at No. 6 on the USA Today bestseller list, which reflects sales of books in all categories at about 7,000 brick-and-mortar stores plus online retailers. And now this morning, Twilight topped The New York Times graphic book list, which employs some arcane formula that no one seems to understand.
Twilight: The Graphic Novel, adapted by Young Kim, was released on March 16 with a 350,000-copy first printing. Stephenie Meyer’s series of young-adult novels on which the comic is based has sold more than 53 million copies worldwide.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, Yen Press announced yesterday that Twilight: The Graphic Novel had a highly successful debut week. Here’s the official word:
The graphic novel adaption of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight sold over 66,000 copies in its first week, the largest debut for a graphic novel in the US, according to publisher Yen Press. Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Volume 1, illustrated by Korean artist Young Kim, already broke the record for largest first printing for a graphic novel with 350,000 copies.
You may be saying, “Duh! It’s Twilight!” but success doesn’t always transcend genres when a prose work is adapted into a graphic novel. When best-selling author Christine Feehan tested the waters with Dark Hunger, a global manga based on her Carpathian novels, readers on Amazon gave it terrible reviews (some of which, admittedly, were due to people buying it online and not realizing it was a graphic novel). The book was on the remainder tables within months. And this for an author whose readers are so obsessed, they compile book-length guides to her created world.
Twilight looks like it will fare better. While the initial burst in sales is not surprising, early reviews have mostly been positive, aside from Chris Sims’ brutal commentary on the lettering. Japanator’s Karen Gellender does a good job of explaining how the graphic novel compares to the prose book, and what it does better.
Of course, these numbers are tiny compared to the real giant of the industry: Jeff Kinney’s graphic novel-ish Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has sold 24 million copies, according to official company PR. That gives Bella and Co. something to shoot for.
Publishing | Yen Press’ graphic-novel adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight debuts today in bookstores. With its staggering 350,000-copy first printing, the $19.99 hardcover likely will be the bestselling English-language comic this year (if not for some time afterward). But how will “possessive” Twilight fans — the same ones who have helped the YA series sell 53 million copies worldwide — react to artist Young Kim’s rendition of the characters after seeing them brought to life on the big screen? [USA Today]
Comics | Just weeks after Action Comics #1 and Detective Comics #27 were bought at record prices of $1 million and $1.07 million, respectively, a near-mint copy of Flash Comics #1 has sold for $450,000. The 1940 comic features the first appearance of The Flash and Hawkman. [ArtsBeat]
Conventions | It looks as if Thursday memberships for Comic-Con International could sell out by the end of the day. That will leave only Sunday passes. [Comic-Con International]
We’re continuing our look at the year ahead in comics with a rundown of Yen Press’ plans up through the summer. The company has their own online schedule that you can peruse, but I thought it might be useful to point out a few titles of note. As with Viz and other manga publishers, I’m not going to list every single ongoing volume that they’ve got in the hopper, but merely highlight the ones that strike my fancy. I’m flighty that way.
Retailing | An accident involving a truck carrying comics for Diamond Comic Distributors’ warehouse in Plattsburgh, New York, is expected to create delays for retailers serviced by that location. Earlier this week, Diamond’s headquarters in Timonium, Maryland, was shut down for two days after the region was slammed by winter storms. [ICv2.com]
Publishing | R. Crumb’s critically acclaimed, and heavily promoted, The Book of Genesis Illustrated reportedly has sold more than 120,000 copies since its release in October. [Publishers Weekly]
Publishing | Kirkus Reviews, the well-regarded book-review journal closed in December after Nielsen Business Media failed to find a buyer, has been rescued by Herb Simon, owner of the Indiana Pacers NBA team. Editor & Publisher, whose closing was announced at the same time, was purchased last month by Duncan McIntosh Co. [Media Decoder]
Publishing | Deb Aoki notes that within hours of the announcement last Wednesday of a March 16 release, Twilight: The Graphic Novel, Vol. 1, rocketed from No. 230 on the Amazon.com sales chart to within the Top 10. As of this morning, the Yen Press adaptation hovers at No. 7. The current issue of Entertainment Weekly features a 10-page preview of the hardcover, which will receive a staggering first printing of 350,000 copies. [About.com]
Passings | Tom Spurgeon pens an obituary for French cartoonist Jacques Martin, who passed away on Jan. 21 at age 88. Martin, who collaborated with Herge on several Tintin books, in 1948 created the series Alix, which centered on the adventures of a young Gallo-Roman in the late Roman Republic. [The Comics Reporter]
Sales charts | Viz Media’s accelerated release schedule for Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece — five volumes a month through June — seems to be paying off, as two volumes vault onto The New York Times’ graphic books bestseller list. R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated remains atop its perch on the hardcover chart, while Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen reclaims its paperback throne. Meanwhile, the fourth volume of Naoyuki Kageyama and Kazuki Takahashi’s The Yu-Gi-Oh! GX 4 debuts at No. 1 in the manga division. [The New York Times]
Publishing | Gonzalo Ferreyra, Viz Media’s vice president of sales and marketing, discusses the state of the manga market in North America, the performance of top titles like Vampire Knight and Naruto, digital comics and, yes, the impact of Twilight: “[Fans] can only read Twilight so many times. That’s when they come over and they start poking around and they find the Vampire Knights and Rosario & Vampires and other titles. … Let’s not kid ourselves, the Twilight fans number in the many, many millions — they’re manga-like numbers in Japan, here. If we can get a fraction more of those readers actively reading manga, if Yen can do that and bring those kids over to read the Twilight manga, and then move on and become manga fans it’s very encouraging.” [ICv2.com]
Publishing | Speaking of Twilight, Simon Jones points out that, with a 350,000-copy first printing, Yen Press’ $19.99 hardcover Twilight: The Graphic Novel has a retail value nearly $7 million, “which immediately vaults it into contention for one of the best-selling comics in the U.S. for 2010, by both volume and dollar sales”: “Whether you like the source material or not, or welcome the books’ legion of female fans young and old (it’s shocking how elitist fandumbs can be), there is absolutely no questioning the significance of this title. If it does as well as Yen clearly hopes it would, it will expose more fresh eyeballs to comics than any other single release, even series, in 2010.” More at the link. [Icarus Publishing]
Yen Press will debut its graphic-novel adaptation of Twilight on March 16 with a staggering first printing of 350,000 copies.
That figure comes from Entertainment Weekly‘s Shelf Life blog, which offers a look at the cover and interior art, plus an excerpt from an interview with Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. (A 10 -page preview plus the full Q&A will run in the new edition of the magazine, which hits stands on Friday.)
Announced in July, Twilight: The Graphic Novel is adapted and illustrated by Korean artist Young Kim, with input from Meyer, whose series of young-adult novels has sold 53 million copies worldwide.
Yen Press, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group USA, recently published adaptations of James Patterson’s Maximum Ride and Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak, and in December announced plans to “re-imagine” Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl novels.
Update: Brigid Alverson posts the official press release, which indicates Twilight: The Graphic Novel will be a $19.99 hardcover.
Move over, Joker and Green Goblin: Edward Cullen’s here to give you a real run for your money.
New Moon, the second in a series of adaptations of author Stephenie Meyer’s teen-vampire Twilight saga, stunned Hollywood and shattered box-office records this past weekend by taking in $140.7 million over its opening weekend. As best I can tell, the film is now the box-office record-holder for Biggest Advance Ticket Sales, Biggest Midnight Screening, Biggest Opening Day, Biggest Friday, Biggest Two-Day, Biggest November Opening, and Biggest Non-Summer 3-Day Weekend. The movie currently ranks third on the list of all-time opening-weekend box-office champs, behind only the summer superhero blockbusters The Dark Knight ($158.4mil, 2008) and Spider-Man 3 ($151mil, 2007).
In shattering all those other records, the movie leapfrogged claims previously staked by such fanboy-beloved franchises as Batman, Spider-Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, Harry Potter, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. In particular, New Moon‘s dethroning of The Dark Knight as the reigning opening-day record-holder caused much agita among nerds of my acquaintance. Fortunately for them, the movie ultimately came up short for the weekend title — proving that when push comes to shove, audiences prefer serious stuff like billionaires who dress up as bats to fight evil clowns or young men whose spider-like superhuman abilities interfere with their love lives to all this emo-vampire-werewolf silliness.
Then again, when No. 3 in the series, Eclipse, hits this summer on June 30th, who knows what’ll happen?
Okay, not really — I live with a Twilight fan, and as a co-writer of the latest episode of Marvel.com’s Marvel Super Heroes: What The–?! video series, I can assure you it’s all good-natured ribbing. Still, I think veterans of this summer’s bloody Twilight-at-Comic-Con culture war will get a kick out of this Marvel-fied parody of Stephenie Meyer’s teen-vampire saga, whose latest movie adaptation, New Moon, hits screens at midnight tonight. (Did anyone else know Dr. Michael Morbius was European?)
Bluewater Productions isn’t all about biographies of politicians, dead celebrities, dead politicians and presidential pets.
Just two months ago the publisher announced a comic detailing the life of Twilight author Stephenie Meyer. And now comes news the Vancouver, Washington-based company is setting its sights on one of the biggest names in modern fiction: Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
Like the Meyer comic, the Rowling one-shot will be released under the “Female Force” banner, which has been home to biographies of such public figures as Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin and Princess Diana.
It’s unclear, though, whether, like Meyer’s title, Rowling’s will be narrated by a fictional character. (In Meyer’s case, it’s “the most famous vampire of them all.” For Rowling, I vote for a house-elf.)
“She is a remarkable and multi-dimensional woman,” writer Adam Gragg said in a press release. “Learning about who she is and how she struggled to become a success was a truly enlightening experience. Twelve publishers turned her down. If it weren’t for the daughter of a British publisher who liked Rowling’s first chapter of Philosopher’s Stone, we might never have met Harry Potter.”
The comic’s cover, as Rowling devotees are well aware, depicts a pivotal moment from the author’s life previously only seen air-brushed on the side of a van: When an aged unicorn-physician tended to Rowling’s dislocated shoulder.
Female Force: J.K. Rowling is set for release in December.
Awards | Girl Genius, Vol. 8, by Kaja and Phil Foglio, and The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, received the 2009 Hugo Awards last night for Best Graphic Story and Best Novel, respectively. The awards, presented each year at Worldcon, recognize the best in science fiction and fantasy. [The Hugo Awards]
Events | An art auction held Saturday at Chicago Comic-Con raised more than $13,250 for veteran writer John Ostrander, who’s been battling glaucoma. An additional $15,000 has been donated through the Comix 4 Sight website. [Comic Book Resources]
Publishing | Tom Spurgeon previews some of the fall’s more notable releases. [The Comics Reporter]
Creators | Playing off of a recent article at The A.V. Club, Justin Zyduck considers 21 writers who changed mainstream comics, for better or worse. Among them: Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Claremont, Gardner Fox, Geoff Johns, Stan Lee and Harvey Pekar. [MightyGodKing]
Creators | Neil Gaiman discusses storytelling, the mainstreaming of comics, and working with Marvel and DC: “They’re sweet people and I love working with them but dealing with them is often a lot like being nibbled to death by ducks.” [io9.com]
Conventions | Retailer Christopher Butcher, organizer of the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, surveys the comics-convention landscape and wonders where the comics are. He also comments on the Twilight “controversy” at Comic-Con International: “… The 10,000 Twilight fans at the con really were a problem for the show, but a lot of the reasons that got floated came from a sexist, xenophobic, bullshit fanboy place. I actually feel bad even writing this, but truly, legitimately, 6,000 people at the show just for Twilight means 6,000 people that weren’t spending money at the show means 6,000 people that might’ve wanted to go that had an interest in dropping a few bucks at the various vendors? Shut out.” [Comics212]
Publishing | Where have all the great comic-book hucksters gone? [Comiks Debris]
There’s turmoil brewing in Camp Twilight, the name given to the tent-and-sleeping bag city that sprang up outside of the San Diego Convention Center as fans began lining up two days ago for this afternoon’s New Moon panel.
Jevon Phillips reports that some people — adult TwiMoms are singled out — have been cutting in line and saving spaces. Needless to say, that doesn’t sit well with some of the fans, whose numbers last night were placed anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000. A few teen girls, outraged that convention security is allowing places to be saved, speak out on video.
“They asked a 17-year-old [actor Taylor Lautner, presumably] to sign their thong,” on girl says. “That’s disgusting. If a guy was asking a 17-year-old girl that, he could get arrested.”
By 1:45 this afternoon, things could get really ugly.
And if fans spot the glaring discrepancies between the anemic, fully clothed Edward doll and the buff, shirtless Jacob doll, convention organizers may have to call in the National Guard.
More than 100 Twilight fans already are lined up outside the San Diego Convention Center for Summit Entertainment’s New Moon panel … which doesn’t actually begin until 1:45 p.m. tomorrow. By then, of course, there will be enough members of Team Edward and Team Jacob to fill Hall H to overflowing.
(via Sean Collins)