With the return this month of an in-person Comic-Con and amid reports of a record year for comics, LibraryPass this week reported that its Comics Plus service has posted significant growth in its customer base and circulation during the first half of 2022 —already doubling total checkouts compared to all of 2021.
“Our unlimited, simultaneous access model is obviously appealing to libraries, but that model doesn’t mean anything if the content isn’t appealing to readers,” said Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, LibraryPass’ Chief Content Officer, in a statement, noting that Comics Plus readers drove nearly half a million checkouts of digital comics, graphic novels, and manga through more than 2,000 schools and libraries in the first half of 2022, with schools now representing “a majority of Comics Plus customers.”
In a release, LibraryPass offers a look at the overall Top 10 checkouts for January through June 2022 in a number of categories. With schools making up the majority of customers, "franchises popular with younger readers are leading the way, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, Big Nate, Bone, Minecraft, and Sonic the Hedgehog, along with popular creator Svetlana Chmakova (Awkward, Crush) and relative newcomer, Roye Okupe (Iyanu). And while traditional manga is popular with older readers," the release notes, while "Immedium’s The Discovery of Anime & Manga proved popular with younger readers who wanted to learn more about manga itself."
The Comics Plus service, which Library Pass began reviving in 2020, currently offers access to more than 20,000-plus digital comics, graphic novels and manga through schools and libraries with unlimited access to its content for one annual fee.
“We are building a company that is mission driven,” CEO Ian Singer told PW for a recent profile. “That's reflected in everything we do, from how we curate and present the content to the tools and resources we develop, the customer service, all the way through our pricing. We don’t charge maintenance fees and there’s no baked-in annual price increase. We want to be good partners with libraries and librarians because we believe in the mission.”