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.