From the October 13th BP Report:
DC Comics’ Vertigo graphic novel The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman debuted at number 20 among New York Times hardcover fiction bestsellers, marking the first time a U.S. comic book publisher has made the list.

The fast-selling original graphic novel, released on Sept. 17, is a collection of seven short stories – addressing the themes of death, desire, despair, delirium, destruction, destiny and dreams. Seven artists have illustrated these stories.

“We are extremely proud to have this extraordinary graphic novel mark the growing importance of the category to book buyers across the country,” said Paul Levitz, president and publisher of DC Comics.

Graphic novels are a growing category in bookstores and comic shops. As a result, book wholesaler Ingram Book Group (LaVergne, TN) has seen an emergence of new opportunities in hobby stores and other similar outlets selling graphic novels.

“The growth in graphic novels has been explosive,” said George Tattersfield, director of merchandising for Ingram Book Group. “I expect to see consolidation in this area among publishers until there are a few major players.”

Ingram developed its first catalog devoted to graphic novels last year, and has published two in 2003.

DC Comics, one of the top U.S.-based publishers of graphic novels, has high expectations for several of its upcoming titles, including Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place by Brian Azzarello and Joe Kubert, which will be published on Nov. 5.

DC Comics is a division of Warner Brothers Entertainment Co.