Led by continuing sales growth in the book trade, the 2015 comics periodical and graphic novel market in North America is estimated to be about $1.03 billion, according to a joint report by pop culture trade news sites ICv2 and Comichron. The figure represents a 10% increase over the $935 million in sales reported in 2014.
The $1.03 billion figure covers the combined sales of periodical comics (mostly in the comics shop market) and graphic novel or book format comics (in both the book trade and the comics shop marketplace).
According to the joint ICv2/Comichron report, in 2015 book trade orders of graphic novels were about $350 million, while comics shop orders of graphic novels were about $185 million. Comics shop orders of comics periodicals were about $385 million. Digital sales in the category were about $90 million (a 10% decline from 2014), and sales of comics via newsstands totaled about $20 million.
Sales of graphic novels in the book trade grew 23% to $350 million, according to the report, while graphic novels in the comics shop market grew in single digits. Sales of print comics—book format graphic novels plus the traditional American comic book periodical—totaled about $940 million in 2015, up 13% over 2014.
The joint report was produced by ICv2, a pop culture trade news site, and Comichron, a repository of comics and graphic novels sales data and market analysis, which is directed by John Jackson Miller. All sales figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold, and do not account for retail discounts. The figures also do not include "all-you-can-read" digital subscription services.
ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp said the report makes it clear that the audience for comics and graphic novels is broadening, and that the format is reaching new readers in North America.
“The increase in sales reflects not only the increased awareness of comics properties from other media, but also rapid growth in new audiences for comics, including kids and women,” Griepp said.