While the sales of graphic novels and comics have been hitting a new high, it’s the print copies that have had a major upshot!
“The comics and graphic novel market hit another new high for the century in 2014, and a new high since the mid-90s, according to a new joint estimate by Comichron’s John Jackson Miller and ICv2’s Milton Griepp. Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in the U.S. and Canada reached $935 million in 2014, a 7% increase over sales in 2013.”
While this may be cause for rejoice among the comic/graphic novel world one can’t help but wonder why the sudden jump in sales like this? Is it all the super hero movies coming out, drawing people into the source material? Has the ‘only nerds read comics’ stigma slowly dying out and people are no longer ashamed to read stories revolving around muscular men and women in tight outfits? What is it that’s drawing people into the wonderful world of comics? I’ve been trying to think and find a definite answer but one doesn’t really exist.
Something that also adds to the complexity of this question is the digital sales of comic books. One would think if the print sales have gone up then digital must as well right? This is the age of digitalization, more and more comics are being made available and at much cheaper costs! Not always a significant difference but when something is available for $10 through Amazon’s kindle services and about $25 for a hardback copy, ten dollars looks pretty tempting. At least that’s the thought process.
“Download-to-own digital sales reached $100 million in 2014, but the growth rate declined to around an 11% increase over 2013’s $90 million in sales, compared to a 29% growth rate in 2013…”
Now the digital drop and the idea why people don’t buy more of them is something I have myself experienced. Something that tends to be a problem with digital anything is the formatting. Panels don’t always translate well onto an e-reader and sometimes it forces a person to zoom in on a panel to read a speech bubble. The zoom tends to be fairly low quality too. Even though digital is cheaper the cons to gambling that everything will be in a perfectly readable size and not be too squashed or stretched on a screen is a bit of a gamble. And even if it saves a few dollars something that you can’t read certainly isn’t worth anything.
Overall comics seems to be a booming business and with sales overall going only up it certainly draws more attention to them and makes people wonder why are comics booming? There are so many hypothetical answers but I honestly can’t come to one solid answer about it.
The article I pulled the above information (the sales #s) from is