World Without End is France’s highest selling book and the manga explosion is well-represented in the Top 50
Consumer analytics firm GfK and Livres Hebdo released their report on the top fifty bestselling books for 2022 in France and comics took a hefty chunk of that: 18 comics titles sat in the top 50 bestseller list, including the year’s highest selling title, Christophe Blain and Jean-Marc Jancovici‘s World Without End.
Based on the report, which doesn’t include a full list of sales numbers, the general fiction prose book category remained dominant, represented by 27 titles (54%) but comics took a huge chunk of the remaining share – 18 titles (36%) , leaving just five titles of other book categories filling out the top 50. Quite a feat – and that is not taking into account the full scope of the sale figures.
According to the report,
“Symbolizing the new dynamics of the book market, the 2022 Top 50 Books list is dominated by comics and manga. This list reflects the major trends in the publishing market in recent years and comprises 11.7 million overall copies sold.”
“While general literature remains the dominant [book] category, comics and manga are establishing themselves permanently in the Top 50.”
France’s top three highest selling books of 2022 – which do have sales figures quoted – were led by a comic: the juggernaut 2021-released hit Le Monde Sans Fin [“World Without End“] by Christophe Blain and Jean-Marc Jancovici at 514,000 copies. The climate and energy crisis title had consistently remained in the monthly comics charts throughout the year and the cumulative success put it well ahead of the latest Joel Dicker novel The Alaska Sanders Affair (432,000) and Pierre Lemaitre’s The Great World (335,000) in the overall bestseller charts too.
The report also stated that while sales in 2022 were higher than in 2019 and 2020, compared to the massive bumper year of 2021 sales were actually down 9% – likely as a result of reopening from pandemic-induced lockdowns and French society returning to a degree of normality with less time stuck indoors to read.
GfK Market Intelligence Books consultant Casseline Rosello said in the report,
“General Literature and Comics dominate the 2022 ranking. General fiction accounts for 27 titles, almost entirely in Contemporary Fiction. At the same time, the French public favored 18 comics works, including 12 manga – Shonen exclusively, and among the classic series of the genre: Naruto, One Piece and Demon Slayer, were also joined by Spy X Family.”
Like the rest of the world, manga is booming in France. Manga was always trending upwards but the introduction of a government Culture Pass app during the pandemic that gave €300 (~$320) for 18-year-olds to spend on the arts, gave comics a major boost and manga was the drug of choice.
According to a 2021 New York Times article,
“As of [July 2021], books represented over 75 percent of all purchases made through the app since it was introduced nationwide in May  — and roughly two-thirds of those books were manga, according to the organization that runs the app”
In the top five selling manga of 2022 were three series – Eiichiro Oda‘s One Piece, Tatsuya Endo‘s Spy x Family, and Masashi Kishimoto‘s Naruto. Spy x Family‘s popularity is comparatively new but the comedy action series has already garnered acclaim and attention. It made the 2021 Angoulême official selection and an anime adaptation debuted earlier this year.
The top five selling comics (or bande dessinée) titles excluding manga were topped by the ongoing success of the 2021 released eco-conscious graphic non-fiction title World Without End, followed by the concluding sixth-volume in Riad Sattouf‘s Arab of the Future autobio series. The newest instalment in the continuation of Edgar P. Jacobs’ popular Franco-Belgian Blake and Mortimer series – vol 29: Eight Hours in Berlin (available in English with Cinebook) by Jean-Luc Fromental, José-Louis Bocquet and Antoine Aubin – had third place. Fourth and fifth place were both held by the latest (19th!) and first volumes of the extremely popular kids title Mortelle Adèle [tr: “Deadly Adele“] about a cynical and precocious schoolgirl. Mortelle Adèle is written by Antoine Dolé – under pseudonym Mr Tan – with art by Miss Prickly (vols 1-7) and Diane Le Feyer (vol 8-present). In late 2020 the Mortelle Adèle series had almost passed 5 million copies sold.
Here are the top five charts for Manga and Comics
Source: GfK & Livres Hebdo
[“World Without End“]
[Arab of the Future Vol. 6]
[Adventures of Blake & Mortimer Vol 29: Eight Hours in Berlin]
[“Mortelle Adele Vol 19: Yucky Face“]
[“Mortelle Adele Vol 1: This Will End Badly“]
Source: GfK & Livres Hebdo
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