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compiled/edited by B. Munn

The Bestseller List: Our last list came out just after the Scott Pilgrim 6 book launch and this one is being published just after the Scott Pilgrim movie‘s opening weekend. While the movie seems to be underperforming (if not exactly a bomb, its reported initial estimates of a weekend take of about $10 million in the U.S. and Canada is about 1/6th of its production budget and I don’t think that includes the huge marketing costs. Of course, word of mouth is a wonderful thing and there is also the dvd end to turn things around). However, it may be on track to become one of the most successful Canadian movies ever made. I’m not quite sure how such things are calculated, but surely an almost-all-Canadian cast, Toronto setting and book, and some Canadian money/tax credits/grants buried somewhere in the budget offset the British director and U.S. producer in some way to qualify. If not, then people should stop talking about Meatballs or Porky’s as Canadian movies.
Regardless of why or whether the movie Scott Pilgrim vs the World “Gets it Together” or experiences “Infinite Sadness,” the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels continue to be a publishing phenomenon. In that sense, the movie may well serve as a very expensive marketing campaign for the books. As with our last installment, as I compile this list the various volumes are racking up strong sales around the globe. Scott Pilgrim Vol.1 is #9 overall in the Amazon sales rankings and #1 in the comics and graphic novel category. Vol. 2 is #11 overall and Vol. 6 is #13. Even Bryan Lee O’Malley’s first book, Lost at Sea, ranks in the top 20 of Amazon’s graphic novel bestseller list currently. At, a bundled collection of all 6 volumes of the series priced at $47.61 is currently ranked at #5 overall. And so on. (Note: The list below is based on rankings compiled from sales data collected previous to the release of the movie this past Friday).
This semi-regular feature of Sequential presents a snapshot of comics sales in Canada.
Part 1.
Intro: The bestselling graphic novels and comics collections in Canada, courtesy of BookManager. The full list by BookManager is available, with some work, here. The list is compiled by BookManager based on sales through over 400 independent bookstores, including several comic book stores and the D+Q store. Sales through most comic shops and larger retailers like Chapters-Indigo are not reflected in this list. For balance, you might want to try the and Chapters-Indigo lists. See here for our previous list.

Sequential’s Over-All Top 30
from BookManager

1. (-) Bone Prequel, Jeff Smith (Scholastic)
2. (-) Warriors 3, Erin Hunter et al (HarperCollins)
3. (2) Scott Pilgrim 6, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
4. (20) Scott Pilgrim 1, Bryan Lee O’Malley (ONI)
5. (-) Black Bird 4, Kanoko Sakurakoji (VIZ)
6. (3) Twilight 1, Stephanie Meyer et al (Orbit)
7. (-) Rosario+Vampire : Season II, Vol. 2, Ikeda, Akihisa (VIZ)
8. (10) Scott Pilgrim 2, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
9. (-) Negima 27, Ken Akamatsu (Random House)
10. (4) Warriors 2, Erin Hunter (Harper Collins)
11. (1) Naruto 48, Masashi Kishimoto (Random House)
12. (15) Scott Pilgrim 5, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
13. (-) Scott Pilgrim 3, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
14. (-) Scott Pilgrim 4, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
15. (16) Watchmen, Moore/Gibbons (DC)
16. (13) Maus 1, Spiegelman (Pantheon)
17. (-) Manga Metamorphosis, (Tyndale)
18. (5) 500 Years of Resistance, Gord Hill (Arsenal Pulp)
19. (7) Simpsons Comics Get Some Fancy Book Learnin’, Groening et al (HC)
20. (-) Naruto 1, Masashi Kishimoto (VIZ)
21. (6) Vampire Knight 10, Matsuri Hino (VIZ)
22. (-) Tsubasa 27, Clamp (Random House)
23. (9) Fullmetal Alchemist 23, Hiromu Arakawa (VIZ)
24. (-) Pride Prejudice Zombies, Grahame-Smith (Random House)
25. (-) Blackest Night, Johns et al (DC)
26. (12) Book of Genesis, Robert Crumb (WW Norton)
27. (23) Manga Mutiny, (Tyndale)
28. (-) Walking Dead 12, Kirkman et al (Image)
29. (8) Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks (Crown)
30. (14) Wilson, Dan Clowes (D+Q)
Part 2. Canadian Content:
You have to wade through an awful lot of translated Japanese manga, U.S. superhero fantasies, and collected editions of Sherman’s Lagoon to come up with a list of 30 bestselling books created by Canadians. In total, BookManager lists over 4000 graphic novels, trades, and strip collections, the vast majority of which are not by Canadians. On this list, a single sale in a single tiny bookstore can make all the difference. This list does not include books that are only illustrated but not written/created-by Canadians.

Sequential’s All-Canadian Top 30
from BookManager

1. (1) Scott Pilgrim 6, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
2. (6) Scott Pilgrim 1, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
3. (3) Scott Pilgrim 2, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
4. (4) Scott Pilgrim 5, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
5. (7) Scott Pilgrim 3, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
6. (10) Scott Pilgrim 4, Bryan Lee O’Malley (Oni)
7. (2) 500 Years of Resistance, Gord Hill (Arsenal Pulp)
8. (16) Louis Riel, Chester Brown (D+Q)
9. (5) Neil Young’s Greendale, Chiang et al (DC)
10. (19) Red: A Haida Manga, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (Douglas & McIntyre)
11. (18) Kenk, Peter Poplak et al (PopSandbox)
12. (15) Pyongyang, Guy Delisle (D+Q)
13. (9) Home Sweat Home, Lynn Johnston (Andrews McMeel)
14. (14) Sweet Tooth 1, Jeff Lemire (DC)
15. (11) Bigfoot 1, Graham Roumieu (Plume)
16. (25) Important Artifacts, Leanne Shapton (FSG)
17. (-) Plain Janes, Castelucci et al (Minx/DC)
18. (-) Skim hc, Mariko Tamaki/Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood)
19. (-) Senior’s Discount, Lynn Johnston (Andrews McMeel)
20. (8) Skim sc, Mariko Tamaki/Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood)
21. (24) Burma Chronicles, Guy Delisle (D+Q)
22. (27) Graduation, Lynn Johnston (Andrews McMeel)
23. (28) The Hipless Boy, Sully (Conundrum)
24. (-) It’s a Good Life, Seth (D+Q)
25. (17) The Selves, Sonja Ahlers (D+Q)
26. (22) Children of the Atom, Dave Lapp (Conundrum)
27. (12) Wall-E Vol 1, J. Torres (Boom)
28. (13) George Sprott, Seth (D+Q)
29. (-) Nightschool 2, Chmakova (Yen/Orbit)
30. (-) Nightschool 1, Chmakova (Yen/Orbit)
I thought long and hard about including the new collection of Prince Valiant strips from Fantagraphics (vol. 2). This reprint from Canadian ex-pat Hal Foster ranks 17222 at Bookmanager, which would put him between #13 and #14 on the All-Canadian list.
Otherwise: 6 Scott Pilgrims in the top 6!


  1. Considering that O’Malley, Castellucci and even Neil Young are all Canadians living and working in Los Angeles, why would you exclude Hal Foster for doing the same?

  2. LOL… the same = living outside of Canada, not specifically Los Angeles.

  3. I haven’t read his bio, but my impression is he moved to the ‘states and became an American citizen, after which he created Prince Valiant . He’s been gone since 1919! Did he come back to Canada to visit his parents, pay taxes, vote, enjoy his summer cottage, shop at Strange Adventures, perform a concert, etc etc? I don’t know. Seems like an American to me. I’ve been listing the Young book in the bestsellers just to be a shit-disturber, but you’re the first to notice. I know in this post-modern, post-national era we live in, identity and nationality are fairly fluid and nebulous concepts, and nowhere is that more true than in Canada, an immigrant settler-colonist nation made up of several distinct nations and several less-distinct nations and groups, and the idea of a nationalism based on geographic borders and citizenship seems archaic and a and as an anarcho-communist internationalist I’m all for internationalism, but I figure what’s the point of contributing to a blog about so-called Canadian culture without some form of gate-keeping, analysis, and a modicum of hard-and-fast definitions, at least as a start to conversation.

  4. Yes, Foster regularly returned regularly to Canada… mostly to hunt, but also to holiday and visit family. I recently read the Kane bio book published by Vanguard, it was quite good. Foster referred to himself as a Canadian — there’s an excellent interview he did in his final years with Arn Saba for the Comics Journal that was recently reprinted in the Prince Valiant Companion (published by Fantagraphics) where he discusses the role Canada played in his life before and after he had to move where the work took him. Like most Canadian artists of his time there was very little work in Canada so he moved to Chicago and from there his career took off.
    Hey, it’s your blog. But it’s fascinating to me that you would on the one hand list Neil Young (a musician that’s lived in the US for 30 years but kept his American passport) as a Canadian creator for a project he handed over to American artists to write and draw, but on the flip side ignore Hal Foster, for whom the aforementioned Strange Adventures is lobbying to have a statue of erected in Halifax as a national hero and who also celebrated his birthday there this past weekend (as you yourself pointed out in a c-list).
    While I do consider Cecil Castellucci to be a Canadian (as does Cecil), all of her graphic novels were created after she relocated to the United States. Her situation directly resembles Foster’s — is she not an ex-pat in your opinion because she comes up for TCAF once a year?
    Scott Pilgrim Volume Six was created while O’Malley was in the United States. He recently returned to Canada for a movie premiere and a signing at the Beguiling – is that enough for him in your eyes not to be a Canadian ex-pat? Volumes 1-5 are definitely Canadian, no argument there. But O’Malley considers himself to be a Canadian.
    In my mind, they are all Canadian. The only creator I’ve ever heard define himself as no longer being Canadian after a certain point in his life where he relocated outside of Canada is John Byrne. He defines the day that he became an American citizen as the day he no longer was a Canadian. This is unusual as most Canadians I have encountered who live abroad still define themselves as Canadian. As did Hal Foster.

  5. Sorry, above it should read that Neil Young kept his Canadian passport.

  6. you’re almost tempting me to read that Foster book.

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