Monday, February 23, 2009

Watchmen: Watch the Movie, Read the Books...

Watchmen has sold around 750,000 copies since it was first published in 1986. Following its appearance in Time magazine's Top 100 English Novels since 1923 and the release of the Watchmen movie trailer, it has been racking up sales at an astonishing rate these past few months. It was the highest-selling graphic novel in the USA in 2008 and DC—Brian Hibbs revealing recently that Bookscan figures put the 2008 US sales at 308,396 copies (and that's probably a low figure as Bookscan does not cover all outlets).

If you've never read the book, now's your chance—you won't be disappointed. Here's a quick rundown and Amazon links to various editions of the original graphic novel and a number of movie tie-in books, plus the first of what will probably be a ton of academic studies of the series.


  1. Steve - I have been aware of this book forever but took the plunge recently and bought it. I was amazed at how much depth there were in the characters and the storyline with its mixture of prose sections and graphic stuff is excellent. This is a masterpiece of literature and shows what the graphic storytelling format can do.
    Can't wait for the film

  2. Surely it has sold more than '750,000' copies since it was originally published? Is that a figure solely for America perhaps?

  3. Reuben,

    I plucked the figure from an interview Dave gave recently which he said was based on his royalty statements. Could well be six months or a year out of date. Paul Levitz recently said that the first appearance of the trailer had boosted sales of the book well over 1000% and they sold more copies in January 2009 than in the whole of 2007.

    The figure should now be well over a million -- again, Levitz has said DC have probably printed "over a million since San Diego" (July 2008), so I imagine Dave will be very pleased with his next royalty statement!

    Could well be that Watchmen is the first British-created million-selling graphic novel. I can't think of any other contenders. I'd have asked the man himself... but there's photographic proof that he was busy.



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