Comic book and graphic novel sales are booming and are showing no signs of slowing down. Last year, sales increased by over 60%, which are very surprising. Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in 2021 in the U.S. and Canada were approximately $2.07 billion. Consumer sales of graphic novels, primarily attributed by manga, jumped 76% in the year, to an estimated $1.47 billion, while sales of comics increased 53%, to $435 million. Sales of digital comics, which had a big gain in 2020, rose slightly in 2021, to $170 million. This data comes from ICv2‘s Milton Griepp and Comichron‘s John Jackson Miller..
“Publishers made more selling comics content than in any year in the history of the business, even when adjusted for inflation,” Miller said of the 2021 estimates. “The biggest year in the modern era, 1993, saw sales of around $1.6 billion in 2021 dollars — and the pricier product mix puts 2021 ahead of what the colossal circulations of the early 1950s brought in, also adjusted for inflation.”
Also impressive was the growth across channels. “Sales were up across all types of retailers,” Griepp said of the numbers in the analysis. “Sales through comic stores were up 60% vs. last year and 34% vs. 2019; sales through the book channel, including book fairs (which were back in operation) grew at a blistering 81% pace. Digital growth, while slower, was coming off a gangbuster year in 2020 during the shutdowns.”
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.