An Anti-racist graphic novel reading list in tribute to the memory of George Floyd, the impact of the pandemic on comics retail, the loss of comics conventions and festivals, and the rise in popularity of digital comics for the mobile generation, are among the topics covered in the most-read comics stories of 2020. Starting below, we have a top-15 list of our most-read articles on comics and graphic novels in ascending order of popularity.

15. Superman Smashes the Klan: Superman and Me by Gene Luen Yang

In this essay-afterword to the graphic novel 'Superman Smashes the Klan' by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru, Yang uses his childhood love of Superman—and his personal experience of racism—to deliver a history of the Ku Klux Klan, the rise of white supremacy in the U.S., and the role the 1940s Superman radio show played in fighting bigotry.

14. DC Ends Comics Distribution Pact with Diamond

In a surprising development in the direct market comics shop channel, DC is ending its 25-year relationship with Diamond Comic Distributors, the dominant distributor of comics periodicals in North America.

13. A Look Inside the 21st-Century Comics Shop

The North American comics market continued to weather an ongoing industrywide transformation in 2019. Changing distribution models, outreach to promising new customer demographics, and an increasingly aggressive speculation market for comics periodicals presented challenges that kept retailers on their toes throughout the year. Comics retailers are embracing new titles, welcoming new readers, and shifting to a curatorial approach to stocking.

12. Marvel Trade Books: Going Big, Young, and Strong

With trade editions and graphic novels representing the largest and fastest-growing segment of the $1.1 billion–per-year comics publishing market, it’s surprising that Marvel Entertainment, which dominates comics periodicals and enjoys a gigantic media footprint for its IP, has not made the book business a priority—until now.

11. Is a New Publisher Called Bad Idea Actually Good For Comics?

Designed as an effort to revive monthly periodical comics and provide economic support to direct market comics shops, Bad Idea is a newly launched comics publisher with a publishing program and business model as eccentric as the name of the company. The house will publish a limited number of monthly serials by popular artists, sold exclusively via comics shops.

10. Comics Without Cons

For the first time in 50 years there will be no San Diego Comic Con International this summer, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With public gatherings on hold, comics publishers, creators, and pop culture show organizers struggle.

9. ‘Kent State’ On Top of PW’s 2020 Graphic Novel Critics Poll

Released in September during the 50th anniversary year of the 1970 tragedy, Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio (Abrams ComicArts) by veteran comics journalist Derf Backderf garnered the majority of votes in PW’s annual Graphic Novel Critic’s Poll, receiving eight votes from a panel of 14 comics critics.

8. Comics for a Mobile Generation

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought huge swaths of the publishing industry to a halt, but one channel remains open and thriving: mobile webcomics. What began as an experiment by several companies in the mid-2010s to import the vertically scrolling digital comics format, which is popular in Asia, to North America has grown into a sizable niche within the comics industry.

7. Diamond Comic Halts Payments to Publishers

In the latest blow to direct market comics shops and to publishers, Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest distributor of comics in North America, announced that it will not pay publishers and other vendors this week.

6. Manga Publishers Are Holding Steady—For Now

After years of sales growth, manga publishers are doing their best to respond to the pandemic. North American manga publishers are holding steady, making adjustments to their programs (including pivoting to more digital publishing and production processes), and trying new ways to promote titles and stay connected with fans.

5. Walden, Takei, Telgemeier, Tamaki Win 2020 Eisner Awards

Tillie Walden’s Are You Listening? (First Second), a magical and emotional story of the friendship and grief shared by two young women, was awarded the 2020 Eisner Award for the Best New Graphic Novel, during an online version of the annual awards ceremony that was streamed the evening of July 24.

4. 2019 North American Comics Sales Hit Record $1.21 Billion

Combined sales of graphic novels and periodical comics in the U.S. and Canada hit their highest point yet in 2019, according to a joint estimate produced by trade news sites ICv2 and Comichron.

3. Race and Representation: Relaunching Asterix in America

Papercutz has launched a new American edition of Asterix, one of the bestselling comics in the world, but there’s a problem: the popular French classic makes use of stereotypical caricatures of African characters that have long been considered offensive to many people.

2. Boom! Plans ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ Graphic Novel in 2020

Boom! Studios announced plans to publish Kurt Vonnegut’s classic sci-fi/antiwar novel 'Slaughterhouse-Five' as a graphic novel. It will be adapted by the writer Ryan North, artist Albert Monteys, and colorist Ricard Zaplana.

1. An Anti-Racist Graphic Novel Reading List

In tribute to the memory of George Floyd, who died at the hands of the Minneapolis police, and in support of the worldwide outcry over his death, the 'PW' comics editors have compiled a list of graphic titles about African American life and history.