How many comic shops are there in the US? In the late ’80s/early ’90s, numbers like 8,000 were thrown around, but the great Distribution Wars of the ’90s took that down to what many reported to be south of 2000. Since then, the numbers have slowly built up, and on Thurdasy morning, Diamond announced
that comics shops were up 4% in 2013 with 2,638 different accounts ordering products in September 2013, over September 2012.
Now, this being Villains Month, I wondered if there was a surge because of the old ’90s style lenticular covers as well. I asked around but there didn’t seem to be any opinion one way or another on this. What did come across is that business is UP for most accounts. Comic Book Jones, the store shown above, told me that their sales are up 21% from last year and 60% from two years ago.
Given the disruption in the bookstore business, a rise in indie specialty retail shops of any kind is hugely significant. Perhaps more than anything, this solidifies the idea that we’re doing okay and the best could even be yet to come in the comics corner of the world.
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.