• Marvel files for bankruptcy following a series of maneuvers by owner Ron Perelman to reorganize the company, marking a low point for comics publishing in North America.
• Tokyopop, then known as Mixx Magazine, translates Sailor Moon into English for the first time, introducing a huge audience of girls to manga.
• Viz starts to publish Pokémon Comics, tapping into the popularity of the TV show collectible card game.
• Marvel’s comeback begins with the launch of the Marvel Knights line, featuring gritty characters like Daredevil, Moon Knight, and Black Panther.
• Pantheon publishes Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware to great acclaim and awards, including an ABA award, and, later the book was included in the Whitney Biennial.
• Tokyopop switches to publishing manga in the original Japanese right to left format, which ignites a surge in popularity.
• Dav Pilkey publishes his first graphic novel. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, and it becomes a bestseller for Scholastic.
• Diamond Book Distribution is founded, marking the extension of Diamond Comics distribution into the book trade. Kuo-Yu Liang named v-p of sales and marketing and heads DBD.
• The first Free Comic Book Day is held.
• The annual ALA conference holds a “Get Graphic with Your LIbrary” session that includes Neil Gaiman, Art Spiegelman, Colleen Doran, and Jeff Smith, kicking off growing interest in graphic novels and manga in libraries.
• Japanese publishing giant Shuiesha acquires a stake in Viz Media, beginning a fruitful partnership for manga in the U.S.
• BISG approves new BISAC category for graphic novels.
• Joe Sacco’s The Fixer: A Story from Sarajevo kicks off a new wave of nonfiction comics, including such bestsellers as The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation in 2006.
• Pantheon publishes Persepolis, Part 1 as the war in Iraq rages, and it becomes a bestseller. Marjane Satrapi becomes one of the first female cartoonists to get mainstream fame.
• The Scholastic Graphix imprint is founded, with Jeff Smith’s fantasy Bone as its first big launch.
• PW launches PW Comics Week newsletter of comics news.
• Alison Bechdel’s pioneering queer memoir Fun Home is published and later named Time’s Book of the Year.
• First Second launches, a dedicated graphic novel imprint at Macmillan, led by publisher Mark Siegel.
• Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese is published and becomes the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award. It wins the Printz Prize for best teen book, another first.
• ComiXology, a standalone site to sell digital comics, launches and soon becomes one of the top grossing apps on the iPad.
• Disney acquires Marvel for $4 billion, adding Spider-Man and Iron Man to Disney’s vast stable of characters.
• DC Comics reorganizes as DC Entertainment and longtime president Paul Levitz steps down, replaced by Diane Nelson.
• Japanese publisher Kodansha launches a line of manga in the U.S.
• Smile by Raina Telgemeier is published and becomes a bestseller, winning numerous awards, including multiple Eisner awards.
• PW Comics World launches More to Come podcast.
• Borders files for bankruptcy, leading many manga publishers to shut down or downsize.
• TCAF (the Toronto Comic Arts Festival) holds its first Librarian and Educators Day, bringing together creators, publishers, librarians, and educators for a day of targeted programming.
• The online webcomic portal Tapas launches, initially known as Comic Panda.
• Amazon announces it has acquired ComiXology, price unknown.
• Korean webcomic portal Webtoon launches globally as a desktop site
and mobile app.
• March, Book 3 wins the 2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the first graphic novel to be awarded an NBA.
• The first Dog-Man book by Dav Pilkey is published, spinning out of his Captain Underpants series, and becoming an even bigger publishing phenomenon.
• Dav Pilkey’s Dog Man and Cat Kid is published with a 1 million copy first printing, possibly the first graphic novel to hit that milestone.
• The Graphic Novel and Comics Round Table is officially founded at the ALA as an interest group to increase the connection between libraries and graphic novels.
• Scholastic announces 5 million copy first printing for Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild.
• Raina Telgemeier’s Guts launches with a one-million copy print run, her first book to hit that milestone.
• New Kid by Jerry Craft wins the Newbery Award, the first graphic novel to win this prize.
Correction: several errors in an earlier version of this timeline have been corrected.