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With Zack Snyder’s big screen adaptation of Watchmen due out in March 2009, sales of the Watchmen graphic novel have been building steadily since the film was announced.

Watchmen was the best selling non-manga graphic novel in American bookstores during the month of March and would have continued to be the bestseller in April and May if it wasn’t for the new hardcover edition of Alan Moore’s Batman: The Killing Joke.

Sales are expected to grow as the premiere of the Watchmen movie gets closer — and DC has a few plans to ensure those sales go through the roof.

In a recent press release, DC Comics and Diamond Comic Distributors announced that they are kicking off a three-part series of special consignment offers for the Watchmen trade paperback, allowing retailers to meet the demand for the tome as interest in the upcoming movie builds.

The first part of this consignment series of offers will run from June 18th until September 1st, and will allow comic retailers that use Diamond as their distributor to reorder the Watchmen trade paperback with no up front charges. It seems that DC wants to ensure the shelves stay packed, and that anyone who wants this book will be able to find it. There are no details yet on the other two offers.

Also, DC Comics will be adding a “just right” edition to the Watchmen collection priced at $39.99, right between the $19.99 trade paperback and the $75.00 Absolute Edition. The new 436-page hardcover edition will have a brand new cover illustration drawn by Dave Gibbons and will be released in October, the same month that Titan Books will be publishing Watching the Watchmen, Gibbons’ account of the creation of what is likely at this point, the most popular graphic novel of all time.

The new hardcover edition will contain the high-quality, recolored pages found in the Absolute Edition, which were restored by WildStorm FX and original series colorist John Higgins. Also included will be selected bonus sketch materials and original Alan Moore script pages.

A hardcover edition was originally planned for a 2001 release, to coincide with Watchmen’s 15th anniversary, but was cancelled due to a disagreement with the co-creator of the series, Alan Moore. As off this article’s posting, it is not known if Moore’s approval was needed by DC in order for them to publish the volume at this time.

6.20.08 Source: icv2.com, Comic Book Resources

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