But wait! Maybe comics are not ruined. The brief of some kind of data crunch by Simba Information suggests that things may be better than ever as far as “comic books” are concerned:

Study: One in 10 Adult Book Buyers Read Comics

From the outside, comic books may appear like a peculiar subculture. But be warned: the young man with his nose buried in a Fantastic Four comic may also be one of the book industry’s best customers.

According to a compilation of winter 2009 Simmons Market Research Bureau data by Simba Information, about 70% of adults who have read comics in the previous 12 months also bought at least one book. This is quite notable, given that only about 56% of the entire U.S. adult population buys books. …

Unfortunately, to reed the rest of the study will cost $695. Maybe if we take up a collection?

We’re hesitant to make any more interpretations without more knowledge of the study and its methodology, but it’s a fun factoid to quote at the haters!

Link via Bleeding Cool.


  1. If we compare that to France where Comics ( BD ) take up over 30% of the market and Japan which is well over 50%, then you could see where a US publisher might take some cheer from that figure. While 10% is good in itself, there’s a LOT of headroom for growth.

  2. The factoid is a nice one, but Simba’s market research report can’t be any better than the information it summarizes, and Simba’s information might be the same as ICv2’s. From Simba’s press release on its Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market 2008-2009:

    The graphic novel market in North America, once a niche publishing segment, is rapidly growing. According to retail analysis site ICv2, sales of graphic novels in the U.S. and Canada rose from $75 million in 2001 to $375 million in 2007. The format has even breached such established segments as school textbooks, where graphic novels are being used to teach children about difficult topics. [. . .]

    Report highlights include:

    * Comprehensive profiles on eight leading publishers that include publishing summaries, sales and revenue estimates, and projections for 2009. Profiled companies include Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Marvel Comics, Random House, Tokyopop and Viz Media.

    * Estimated sales for all three segments—graphic novels, manga, and comic books—that include bestselling volumes, series, and more

    * Recommendations to publishers and retailers on how to capitalize on the expanding graphic novel and manga industry

    The only information that might not be publicly available in that report would be the recommendations, and I doubt that the recommendations would be so insightful as to warrant spending $$$ on them.

    When I was at Sprint Corp. in the ’90s, the Corporate Strategy dept. got market research reports from Forrester, Gartner Group, IDC, and others — and Sprint proceeded to overbuild its network and invest in telecommunications and data services that there was no or insufficient demand for. Vendors of research reports naturally focus on expanding markets.


  3. How many comicbook fans purchase at least one trade a year? How many SF/Fantasy fans read at least one trade a year?

    Don’t quote me, because this is impirical data, but I’d guestimate that GNs account for 1-2% of booksales in bookstores, depending on the type of store, their demographics, and the titles offered. With major publishers entering the market with their sales departments and editorial staffs, GNs could become even more commonplace. (visual, accessible, viral, good at showing information, unlimited special effects budget, cheaper to produce than photography…)

    I am a bit unusual… I read as much outside the GN format as I do read GNs. I’m the guy who sits on the long tail of the graph, over where the number is “>50”. But then, I’m a librarian and bookseller. I’m not in the choir, I’m not preaching to the choir. I’m a one-man Salvation Army band, out on the street corner, shaking the tambourine, banging the drum, and spreading the good news to anyone who will listen! I seduce the innocent every chance I get! Can I get an “amen”, brothers and sisters?