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Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels By Circana for December 2023 in the US

ICv2 has released it's updated report detailing the top 20 best selling Graphic Novels within the United States for the month of December (11/26/23 - 12/30/23) which rounds out the 2023 year


You can find our previous break down of the Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels in the United States here , as well as the Top 20 Manga in the US here


 

Who is Circana Bookscan?

Circana Bookscan is a platform that collects weekly point-of-sale data on various consumer products print books from over 16,000 locations which include but not limited to: e-tailers, chains, mass merchandisers, independent bookstores, and more!


While we can't personally access this information, Online trade magazine ICv2 publishes a report detailing from Circana Bookscan that showcases the top 20 adult graphic novels, Top 20 "Superhero" Graphic Novels, and more!


For this analysis, we'll focus on the Top 20 Graphic Novels for December 2023 which tracks from November 26th, 2023 to December 30th, 2023


 

What are the Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels for December 2023 in the US?



 

What's This Month's Publisher Ranking?


Here's how this month's publisher ranking stacked up for December 2023

Publisher

Titles in the Top 20 Best Selling Graphic Novels

Viz Media

15/20

Dark Horse

2/20

IDW Publishing

2/20

Andrews McMeel

1/20


Methodology

To achieve these numbers: we counted how many titles each publisher has in the top 20 and gave it a fraction (For example, Viz Media got 16 out of 20 total spots, so its 16/20) We then converted each fraction into a percentage to give us our percentage


How's it Compare to Last Month?


Here's how last month's publisher ranking stacked up for November 2023

Publisher

Titles in the Top 20 Best Selling Graphic Novels

Viz Media

12/20

Dark Horse

2/20

IDW Publishing

2/20

Square Enix

1/20

Yen Press

1/20

Tokyopop

1/20

Andrew McMeel

1/20


How's it Compare to Last Year?


Here's how last year's publisher ranking stacked up for December 2022

Publisher

Titles in the Top 20 Best Selling Graphic Novels

Viz Media

16/20

IDW Publishing

1/20

Del Ray

1/20

Kodansha Comics

1/20

Dark Horse

1/20


Quick Notes

Comparing to last month, Viz Media was able to gain two slots making it's dominance shown with a whopping fifteen slots in the top twenty knocking out Square Enix, Yen Press, & Tokyopop. Shifting over, Dark Horse continues to hold onto it's reign by taking two slots with their heavy hitter Berserk. The same can be said with IDW Publishing in which they also have two slots under their belt thanks to their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle: Last Ronin Series. Finally securing the last spot, Andrew McMeel still holds onto their single slot with The Mysteries.


Comparing to last year, Viz Media had a stronger presence in which they were able to secure sixteen of the top twenty spots. However, Dark Horse & IDW Publishing both saw improvement this year as both used to hold a single slot in the top twenty. Del Ray & Kodansha Comics are noticeably absent this holiday season with Andrew McMeel not appearing last year

 

What's the Total Sales Gross?


Methodology

To achieve these numbers: we took how many units each title sold and multiplied it by its MSRP. However, while we understand not "every" unit was sold at MSRP, when conducting research for this analysis: we've discovered Circana Bookscan uses this methodology in their reporting. In order to stay consistent with what we've found: this is the assumption we'll be going with moving forward


Here's a chart to help visualize how much in total sales each of the Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels grossed for December 2023




How's it Compare to Last Month?


Here's a chart to help visualize how much in total sales each of the Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels grossed for November 2023




How's it Compare to Last Year?


Here's a chart to help visualize how much in total sales each of the Top 20 Adult Graphic Novels grossed for December 2022




The Break Down

(Disclaimer: There are two key factors to keep in mind while reading this comparison. The first being Viz Media Price Increase. While the initial comparison between Dec. 2023 & Nov. 2023 both include the recent Viz Media price increase. Dec. 2022 does not include this price increase as it was not introduced until mid-late 2023. Second: store availability of manga have also increased in retailers like Walmart & Target as they continue to expand the manga they carry in store which has played a factor into boosting some of the titles on this list to the general audience)

The Top 20 of Dec. 2023 grossed a total of $8,785,305 and moved a grand total 417,028 units. Chainsaw Man Boxset takes the lead by grossing $1,562,144 (which is 17% of the total sales made in top 20) While Chainsaw Man Vol. 13 takes first place in units moved by achieving a whopping 59,409 units (which is 14% of the total units moved by the top 20)


Looking at the previous month, the top 20 grossed a total of $4,085,581 and moved a grand total of 222,656 units. Berserk Deluxe Vol. 14 took the lead by grossing $685,563  (which is 16.78% of the total sales made in top 20). While One Piece Vol. 104 takes the lead units moved by achieving 21,307 units (which is 9% of the total units moved by the top 20). When directly comparing Dec. 2023 & Nov. 2023: Dec. 2023 made a 73.02% increase in sales ($8,785,305 vs $4,085,581) and a 60.77% increase in total units moved. (417,028 units vs 222,656 units)


Looking at same month last year, The top 20 grossed a total of $7,055,203 and moved a grand total of 531,167 units. Berserk Deluxe Vol. 1 took the lead by grossing $1,052,739 (which is 14.92% of the total sales made in top 20) While Chainsaw Man Vol. 1 takes the lead in units moved by reaching 53,600 units (which is 10% of the total units moved by the top 20) When directly comparing Dec. 2023 & Dec. 2022: Dec. 2023 made a 21.84% increase in sales ($8,785,305 vs $7,055,203) and a 24.07% decrease in total units moved (417,028 units vs 531,167 units)


Lets Take a Closer Look


The Chainsaw Man Boxset was Viz's money maker, breaking over $1.5 million in gross sales. Holiday shopping definitely played a factor in its success, as its MSRP-to-volume ratio is more affordable and tempting to value seekers compared to other boxset offerings Viz Media has in its backlog. In addition, its small footprint makes it an excellent all-in-one package for those wanting to get into Chainsaw Man. But here's where it gets interesting: Retailers, with a discount, would reach prices as low as $60, which is arguably the best dollar per volume for value seekers. But what about those that already have volumes 1–11? Well, you only need to pick up volumes 12 and 13 to be completely caught up with the series physically. Add in the widespread availability in stores like Walmart and Target. Those factors combine help understand why Chainsaw Man was able to take four of the top 20 spots.


Looking at second place, Berserk Deluxe Volume 1 continues to be a powerhouse this holiday season by breaking a whopping $1.4 million in gross sales. This would make it the eighth time in a row in which we see volume 1 break the top 20. Compared to last month, it was able to move 29,209 units, compared to 10,257 units. Holiday shopping and increased availability definitely contributed to it's success. And for those that have volume 1, picking up the next volume would be the obvious choice for consumers. Which is why we see Volume 2 take the #4 spot with $607,678 gross and 12,156 units moved.







Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin has remained consistent since its release on July 5, 2022. While it has not changed its #3 spot in the Top 20 when comparing this month to the previous month, the title was able to gross $948,254 with 31,619 units.


The same can't be said for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin—Lost Years, which in November 2023 was able to secure the #4 spot with $317,414 grossed and 10,584 units moved. In December 2023, it finds itself in the #8 spot. However, it still manages to gross $363,389 and move 12,117 units, which, when compared to November 2023, performed better in both categories.






The Mysteries finds itself in a similar trend with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin, as it has remained consistently in the Top 20 since its release. While it hasn't changed its #6 spot, it was able to manage a gross of $426,207 with 21,321 units. Compared to November 2023, it grossed $254,693 with 12,741 units.






With the last episode of Jujutsu Kaisen: Shibuya Incident Arc aired last week with confirmation on the Culling Game Arc, we're now seeing the following post-anime consumer patterns:


  1. Those who really liked the anime enough are going out to pick up the manga.

  2. Continuing fans who are caught up with season two and are picking up the volume where the anime left off

  3. Fans who are already caught up with both the anime and manga but want to collect the series physically


These on top of the holidays and increased availability allowed Jujutsu Kaisen to take four of the top 20 spots (Volume 21 at #7 with $371,702 grossed and 31,001 units, Volume 1 at #11 with $230,829 grossed and 23,106 units, Volume 0 at #15 with $173,716 grossed and 17,389 units, and finally Vol. 20 at #18 with $140,899 grossed and 14,104 units).


While there wasn't an anime currently airing, Spy x Family and My Hero Academia both saw a similar pattern in which their first and latest volumes both made it to the top 20. Spy x Family Vol. 10 takes the #16 spot with $170,114 grossed and 14,188 units. Vol. 1 takes the #17 spot with $149,683 grossed and 12,484 units.


Shifting over to My Hero Academia, Volume 36 takes the #9 spot with $342,686 grossed and 28,581 units, while Vol. 1 bottoms out at #20 with $120,849 grossed and 12,097 units.


While we see the same pattern with One Piece, the new Egghead arc started to air last week, so I'm curious to see if this pattern continues into next month. But with that aside, One Piece Volume 104 finds itself at the #13 spot with $201,240 grossed and 16,784 units, and One Piece Omnibus 1 sits at the #12 spot with $203,609 grossed and 13,583. (One thing to note is that Vol. 104 is priced at $11.99, while the Omnibus is currently priced at $14.99.)


The last manga to talk about in this breakdown is yet another consistent title that finds itself in the Top 20: Demon Slayer Volume 1. With the Hashira Training Arc on the way later this year, similar to The Mysteries, this volume didn't change its #14 spot; it was able to manage a gross of $194,742 with 16,242 units. Compared to November 2023, it grossed $90,441 with 7,543 units.


Despite this volume receiving the $11.99 price increase, it doesn't look like that negatively impacted its performance.







Publisher Analysis & Speculation


(Note: The views and Opinions expressed here are those of MangaAlerts. These do not reflect the official position of BehindTheManga or any of the US Manga publishers listed below)


Viz Media:



This marks the third month since Viz Media has rolled out it's the new pricing model to all of it's titles and the first holiday with those changes How'd it do? I'd say from a business standpoint it's been very successful & those price increases didn't negatively impact the success of these title both new & reoccurring. Like I mentioned in my last analysis: Viz is now in a position in which it does not have to move as many units to achieve the high sales numbers. With that said, i'm curious if this could mean we see more reprints of Viz's backlog as now titles don't need to move as many units to break even compare to before. Recently, Shojo Beat on X (Formally Twitter) asked the community what titles they would like to see back in print. Whether the two are related or not remains to be seen.


Dark Horse:



Dark Horse also saw great success this holiday with both Berserk Deluxe Volume 1 & 2 breaking the Top 20. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Volume 2 & 3 pop up in later months as people make their way through berserk. Since the last analysis, Dark Horse announced they are giving the "Deluxe Edition" treatment to H.P Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness. With that & Trigun/Trigun Maximum Deluxe on the way as well, I'm curious to see which one will join berserk within the top 20



IDW & Andrew McMeels:


I'll admit I am not as into graphic novels as I am into manga. However I am continuously blown away how IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin was able to consistently break the top 20 and it doesn't have any signs of slowing down either. The same can be said for Andrew McMeel's The Mysteries. So now the question I raise is how long do these two titles have?


Citation:

Circana Bookscan. Circana BookScan. (n.d.). https://bookscan.npd.com/


Alverson, B. (2023). Pro: November 2023 Circana Bookscan - Top 20 author, manga, superhero graphic novels with actual sales. ICv2. https://icv2.com/articles/icv2-pro/view/55772/november-2023-circana-bookscan-top-20-author-manga-superhero-graphic-novels-actual-sales


The Publisher Ranking and Total Gross of each volume charts were created & Calculated by MangaAlerts with data supplied by ICv2 & Circana Bookscan

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