Newsarama holds its annual powwow with DC publisher Paul Levitz. The whole thing is worth reading, especially for its status report on DC’s sales in various channels, but here’s an excerpt to whet your appetite:
NRAMA: As you said, DC is seeing good penetration into the bookstore market, but obviously, there’s still room for growth, which you said in regards to the distribution deal DC has signed with Random House. So what’s the next outlet? What’s the next frontier to move into? Is it a big push for mass merchandise retail, or other ways to get them in front of more eyes?
PL: Let’s be serious about what we’ve accomplished and what we haven’t accomplished. Nobody knows exactly the size of the present audience for graphic novels as a category. My suspicion is that there are probably more people reading graphic novels today than there are reading periodical comics. I think that has probably crossed in the last year or two years. That still means that maybe we’re reaching, as an industry, half a percent or one percent of the American population. I think we’ve got a pretty good challenge just increasing that.
When you look at the demographics, behavioral information of the people that are reading comics on a regular basis, comic shops are a good place to sell them, bookstores are a good place to sell them, online is a good place to sell them. I’m not sure that we match that wonderfully to the mass merchandiser. I think you can create comics that can do very well in a mass merchant’s environment, but I’m not sure that the bulk of what we publish as an industry fits that definition.