Led by sales of the graphic novel format, total sales of graphic novels and periodical comics in the U.S. and Canada was approximately $1.09 billion in 2018, according to a joint estimate by trade news sites ICv2 and Comichron.
The 2018 sales total is an $80 million increase over 2017 and represents a new high for combined sales of comics and graphic novels. The ICv2/Comichron report contains many of the same conclusions as a recent PW report on the 2018 comics and graphic novel marketplace.
Comichron owner John Jackson Miller noted that, "after a brief downturn in 2017, the market bounced back last year." According to the report, sales of all three formats--comics, graphic novels, and digital--grew in 2018
"An historic shift is playing out as the market grew, primarily in the book channel, in 2018," said ICv2 CEO Milton Griepp in a statement. "While comics stores are still the largest channel, they represented less than half the market for comics and graphic novels in 2018 for the first time in at least three decades."
2018 sales of book format comics, or graphic novels, were $650 million, traditional periodical comic books sales were $360 million, and digital comics sales were about $100 million.
Although sales via the direct market (aka the comics shop market) were slightly down from 2017, the report noted that sales via the book retail channel (which includes chain bookstores, mass market retail, online retail, and Scholastic Book Fairs) rose by double digits, led by kids' graphic novels. An increase in the number of titles released as well as an estimated increase in digital sales were also a factor in rising sales.
This year’s joint sales report also added the estimated impact of sales via crowdfunded graphic novel and comics publishing for the first time. Print sales figures are based on full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup. Digital sales do not include subscription-based "all you can read" services. Information used for their report include data from NPD BookScan, Diamond Comics Distributors and other sources of information.