Comic sales are booming after receiving increased interest from readers. Both graphic novels and serial comics were collectively reported to have sold about $1.21 billion in North America during 2019, an eleven percent increase from 2018 sales.
A majority of the credit can be given to the sales of graphic novels – a recently preferred choice amongst illustration aficionados. This may be due to the stark difference between the two genres, as traditional comics tend to relay only part of a larger story in a serialized format. Graphic novels, however, contain one story from beginning to end.
High sales were also noted in graphic novels aimed toward the children’s book market, expanding interest in brick and mortar and online bookstores. Milton Griepp, CEO of “geek culture” magazine ICv2, described the incredible weight of the new record.
The massive shift to graphic novels as the preferred format for comics continued in 2019, bringing sales in the book channel above the comic store channel in North America for the first time in the history of the medium.
Perhaps one of the most popular graphic novels in 2019 was The Hard Tomorrow by Eleanor Davis, a plot that closely mirrors the current socio-political climate. It follows Hannah, a healthcare worker and activist, as she struggles to conceive with her husband, Johnny. Meanwhile, a war is brewing and the couple must make ends meet while fighting for a better future.
Regardless of genre, Jonathan Miller, owner of Comichron, ruminated upon the strength of the comic business during this challenging time.
The comics industry has displayed resilience during many difficult times over the decades. While the pandemic may prove its biggest test yet, 2019 provided the business with a strong base.
Featured image via janna jesson