Combined graphic novel and comics sales in North America grew 5% to $1.085 billion in 2016, a $55 million increase over the $1.03 billion reported last year, according to a joint estimate by industry news sites Comichron and ICv2.com.
Led by the continuing sales growth of book-format graphic novels (which rose to $590 million, from $350 million in 2015), the $1.085 billion figure represents the combined sales of book-format graphic novels, traditional comics periodicals ($405 million), and digital download-to-own comics ($90 million).
Physical sales of graphic novels sold through the book trade rose 16%, to $405 million. While total sales of both comics and books through the comics shop channel were about $570 million, the increase was driven by periodical sales. Sales of graphic novels in the comics shop market were flat in 2016, according to the joint report.
Milton Griepp, CEO of pop culture new site ICv2.com, cited the ongoing growth of graphic novels as key to the increase: "This represents growth in the broadest part of the market, where increased variety of content is being found by new audiences for comics, including kids and women."