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Graphic Books Best Sellers: Scott Snyder's 'American Vampire …

The writer Scott Snyder seems to be making a home out of our hardcover list. This week, Volume 5 of “American Vampire,” about a new breed of bloodsucker, enters the list at No. 2. (He is also the writer behind the Batman stories at No. 1 and No. 8.) In this latest installment of “American Vampire,” Mr. Snyder has been blessed with two gifted collaborators: Rafael Albuquerque, the original series artist, and Dustin Nguyen, who illustrates a spin-off story included in this collection. Though vampires have seemingly given up their number one status in pop culture to zombies, Mr. Snyder proves there are still plenty of tales to tell about these creatures of the night. Mr. Nguyen lends his wonderfully expressive and moody art to an adventure involving the hunt for the granddaddy of all vampires, Dracula, while Mr. Albuquerque illustrates the exploration of all things related to Skinner Sweet, the first American vampire, who is more vicious and less bothered by sunlight. The only drawback to reading this book in collected form is that the reader does not get to long savor the cliffhangers with which Mr. Snyder ends most issues. (Click here for a profile on Mr. Snyder from Sept. 2011.)

There are two other noteworthy books that have crossed my desk recently, but have not, so far, made our Best Sellers list. “The New Crusaders,” from Archie, both digs deep into the company’s past and looks toward the future. The story revolves around The Mighty Crusaders, who are led by The Shield, a patriotic hero who had his debut in 1940. The heroes have seemingly won, but a forgotten enemy returns and a new generation of champions must rise. “The New Crusaders,” written by Ian Flynn and features artwork by Ben Bates and Alitha Martinez, began as a digital-first model announced by the company in 2011. This is the first collected edition. There aren’t a lot of surprises in this “gathering of forces” adventure, but I enjoyed my introduction to the new characters, I was a fan of the artwork and I would pick up Volume 2.

“Maximum Minimum Wage” is a hefty tome from the cartoonist Bob Fingerman, who confesses in his introduction that this just might be the final version of this semi-autobiographical work. (Mr. Fingerman prefers the label quasi-autobiographical, which he explains here). I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with Mr. Fingerman’s work. “Maximum Minimum Wage” is one of the ups. The characters are still flawed and I still wonder about some of their choices, but now, 10 years later, the story feels more grounded: I could see them as real people who make mistakes, sometimes big ones. The last page of the story, more than half way through before a ton of extras, left me feeling sympathetic for the main character who was riddled with doubt on one of the big days of his life.

As always, the complete best-seller lists can be found here, along with an explanation of how they were assembled.

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