Industry analyst John Jackson Miller has taken the BookScan numbers posted by Brian Hibbs, and added them with the Diamond year-end sales charts, and then triangulated them with a cosine angle, trapped the outlines in their own layer, tossed the results with a bit of olive oil and garlic, and presented it all for you to read. The above infographic gives a visual representation of sales for each product (GNs and periodical) in various channels; as Miller points out, library and digital sales are not included and the BookScan numbers are very low, but the end result is a combined comics market of more than $700 million, which Miller notes, is the first time comics sales have reached this level since 1993 or 1994, the high times of speculation and chromium covers.
Now granted, $700 million went a lot further in 1993 than in 2013—you could easily buy 10 Manhattan apartments, 56 runs of MARVELMAN or 20,000 venti Frappucinos with all that cash—and we’ve kinda gone back to the chromium cover era with all the variant covers for everything these days, but still…it’s a good healthy number.
Informally, everyone in the comics sales business I’ve spoken with recently says sales are incredibly strong right now. and it isn’t any one thing driving sales. WALKING DEAD is probably the king of the hill, but all sectors are doing well right now. Things are looking good on the retail side…if we can just got a few more better-paying jobs on the creative side.
Miller has lots more analysis at the first link. We urge you to go over and have a look. Also, if any retailers are reading this, how are YOU doing?
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.