More evidence that the demand for digital comics is continuing to surge, Library Pass this week announced that its Comics Plus service posted another record year for digital circulation, surpassing one million checkouts of digital comics, graphic novels, and manga in libraries in schools.
The fast-growing Comics Plus service, revived three years ago by upstart Library Pass, offers readers in libraries and schools access to more than 20,000-plus digital comics, graphic novels and manga via phone, tablet, or browser with a school ID or library card on an unlimited, simultaneous access model. That means no wait times or holds lists for readers, and no worries for library budgets, as Comics Plus offers unlimited access for one annual fee.
“Unlimited, simultaneous access is what makes Comics Plus a no-brainer for many schools and libraries, but affordability doesn’t mean anything if the content isn’t appealing to, and appropriate for, their readers,” said Guy LeCharles Gonzalez, LibraryPass’ Chief Content Officer, in a statement acknowledging the one-million circulation milestone, praising the publishing partners who have embraced the service. “We’re proud to work with a library-friendly group of publishers who genuinely care about reaching more readers with as little friction as possible. Meanwhile, our age-appropriate guidelines ensure librarians can be confident in the collections we curate and make available to them and their readers.”
Gonzalez adds that the entire Comics Plus catalog is rated by age to ensure schools can offer age-appropriate materials to their students in collections for Elementary, Middle and High Schools, while Public Libraries typically offer the Children’s Public Library collection to their younger readers. Adult titles are only available to public and academic libraries.
Now in its third year, Comics Plus counts more than 2,500 customers, who enjoy access to a large and growing catalog. In 2022, Comics Plus added a host of new publishers, including more than 1,500 titles from Valiant Entertainment added in May of last year, and Image Comic, the third largest comics publisher in the United States, which joined in November, 2022.
Gonzalez says the most popular publishers in the Comics Plus collection in 2022 were, in order: Dark Horse, Andrews McMeel, Yen Press, IDW, BOOM! Studios, Kodansha, Capstone, Tokyopop, Papercutz, and Lerner, "all of whom offer a diverse range of comics, graphic novels, and manga for readers of every age and interest," he says.
And with schools representing a majority of Comics Plus customers, the Top 20 titles for 2022 were dominated by franchises popular with younger readers like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Big Nate, Minecraft, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Stranger Things, along with popular creator Svetlana Chmakova (Berrybrook Middle School, Dramacon, The Weirn Books) whose latest release, Enemies, just missed the top 20 despite being released in October 2022.
Manga is also growing, Gonzalez says, with traditional manga popular with Comics Plus’ older teens and adult readers (led by a broad range of Kodansha‘s popular series) and Immedium’s The Discovery of Anime & Manga proving popular with younger readers along with a range of "manga-influenced series" (such as Avatar and the Chmakova titles) as well as various Disney Manga adaptations, Manga Classics, and Saturday AM.
For more information or to sign up for a FREE demo at comicsplusapp.com.