…but the only area that showed growth was graphic novel sales.
ALSO: Graphic novel sales beat periodical sales, $590 million to $405 million.
So please take that “periodicals are ruling comics!!!!!’ talk else where.
That’s the number from the annual joint Comichron/ICv2 report on the State of the Industry. According to their release (emphasis mine):
Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in the U.S. and Canada reached $1.085 billion in 2016, a $55 million increase over sales in 2015.
“It’s gratifying to see continued growth in the audience for graphic novels,” Griepp said. “This represents growth in the broadest part of the market, where increased variety of content is being found by new audiences for comics, including kids and women.”
“Marvel’s lucrative relaunch of the Star Wars line in 2015 set a high mark for the comics shop market to beat in 2016,” Miller said. “The fact that it pulled even, thanks in part to DC’s ‘Rebirth’ event, was remarkable—and the book channel’s strength was even more so.”
Graphic novels in the book channel were the only area of growth in 2016, as sales in comic stores, through download-to-own digital channels, and in newsstands remained flat. Sales of graphic novels through the book channel grew 16% to $405 million in 2016, after growing 23% in 2015 and 16% in 2014.
As presented above and in the accompanying infographics, the analysis by Comichron and ICv2 was divided up between periodical comics (what some call “floppies” or “pamphlets”), graphic novels, and digital download-to-own sales. All print figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup. Digital sales do not include subscription or “all you can read” services.
This is the fourth joint market size analysis from ICv2 and Comichron; the first was for 2013 sales.
These are good numbers, al things considered, but they also back up all the trends we’ve been talking about, the sunsetting of the Wednesday crowd, digital burnout, and the non-existence of newsstand sales.
With GN sales down a bit this year – mostly likely because of the end of the NY Times bestselelrs lists, believe it or not – 2017’s sales will need a big boost from a big hit to top 2016.
The news release ws accompanied by snappy new infographics designed by the Infographic Queen Kate Willaert, BTW.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.