With the official announcement that One Piece has sold over 490 million copies, the manga written by Eiichiro Oda surpasses Batman’s sales (484 million copies) and becomes the second best-selling comic book in the world, only behind Superman (600 million copies).
This is a truly extraordinary achievement since One Piece is created by a single person and it’s short in length compared to Superman and Batman comics. One Piece has been going for 25 years, while Batman and Superman have almost 100 years of sales to pull from. We have Superman which first started publication in 1938, and it’s still selling. The same goes for Batman serialized since 1939. The authors for Superman and Batman comics keep on changing so it’s highly unlikely that they will ever stop their publication.
However, it should be remembered that unlike the paperback book format, American comic books are thinner periodicals and stapled together. Each American comic issue is typically 20-40 pages, and usually consists of a single chapter. So there is a humongous difference between each ‘sale’. The One Piece manga volumes would typically be about 200 pages which is 5 to 10 times the size of Batman or Superman comics.
Furthermore, in addition to tankōbon sales, One Piece has had a total estimated circulation of approximately 3.1 billion copies in Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine.
Not only that but Oda is currently the 12th highest selling fictional author of all time and has a high chance of surpassing J. K. Rowling, Gilbert Patten and Dr. Seuss in a short time.
Oda continues to break new records. In 2015, One Piece set the Guinness World Record for “the most copies published for the same comic book series by a single author”.