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When 'The Walking Dead' Ruled The Holidays

Robert Kirkman's long-running zombie series dominated comic sales in the bookstore market last month, new sales chart reveals.

Walking Dead Comic Cover - H 2012

Last year's holiday season was, it appears, the most undead time of the year. The newly-released Bookscan figures for the top-selling graphic novels and collections for December in U.S bookstores reveal a staggering nine placements in the Top 20 for Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead.

What's particularly impressive in terms of the Walking Dead's success on the chart is the number of times the same material appears on the list. The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 1 (#1 on the list), The Walking Dead Vol. 1 (#4 on the list) and The Walking Dead Book 1 HC (#10 on the list) all contain the first six issues of the original comic series, in different formats and at different price points -- a lesson to publishers to keep material in print and as available as possible, if nothing else.

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The Walking Dead took four of the top five slots, with DC Entertainment's Batman: The Court of Owls keeping it from making a clean sweep. Looking at the top 20, it's clear that Batman is the closest thing Walking Dead has to competition in terms of mainstream success -- the Dark Knight is responsible for five different titles throughout the top 20, with writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo's fan-favorite current run responsible for three of that five.

Elsewhere on the list, the first volume of Neil Gaiman's Sandman makes an appearance, as does the beginning of Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples' Saga. Entirely absent, perhaps surprisingly, is any material from Marvel Entertainment, although that publisher has been traditionally weak in the bookstore market for some time.

The full Top 20 list can be found here.