Tag Archives: digital comics

Preview: The Re-Creation Project #1

THE RE-CREATION PROJECT #1

(W) Brian Hawkins
(A) Morgan Sawyer, Scappaticci
(L) Micah Myers
$2.99, 24 pgs, Full Color, Mature Readers
Digital Comic Book

When the unthinkable happens, a former rapper who claims to be God becomes humanity’s only hope for survival.

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Preview: make mine INDIE #2 (FALL 2016)

make mine INDIE #2 (FALL 2016)

FREE, 180 pgs, Full Color, Young Adult
Digital Comic Catalog & Magazine

Now with 50% more indie awesomeness! Make mine INDIE presents information and preview pages from some of the best indie comics around!

Highlighting comic creators and their creations, make mine INDIE is the easiest way to discover your next favorite indie comic book!

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Preview: Raygun #4

RAYGUN #4

(W) Greg Schoen
(A) Alonso Molina, Paulo Rivas
$2.99, 24 pgs, BW, Young Adult
Digital Comic Book

Captured and imprisoned by the Strategic Defense Initiative, Matthew Baker, is scared and being pushed to the edge of sanity. Alone and separated from the father who loves him how far can he be pushed until he cracks and decides to push back? This issue is sure to pull on the heartstrings and make you ask yourself, “Does protecting the interests of any country justify dehumanizing an innocent child?”

A troubled ten year old boy finds Nikola Tesla’s infamous “Death Ray” and sets out on a journey of self-discovery that will change the world forever.

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Humble Book Bundle Forbidden Books Supports the CBLDF

In honor of Banned Books Week, Fantagraphics has teamed up with Humble Bundle to offer a collection of controversial comics by some of our most popular artists including Jaime Hernandez, Simon Hanselmann, Matt Furie, Johnny Ryan, R. Crumb and more! When you purchase a bundle, not only do you get great digital comics at an amazing price, you also get to choose what portion of the proceeds will benefit our friends at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund!

Along with fantastic books from Fantagraphics, there’s also comics from Image and more!

How Does Humble Bundle Work?

  • Pay What You Want— Name your price. Pay more than the average to upgrade your bundle and unlock additional content
  • Read Anytime, Anywhere with DRM-Free downloads to your favorite devices like Kindle, iPad and Nook
  • Support Charity— Choose exactly how your contribution should be divided between the creators and charity

CBLDF is a non-profit organization protecting the freedom to read comics! Their work protects readers, creators, librarians, retailers, publishers, & educators who face the threat of censorship. They monitor legislation & challenge laws that would limit the First Amendment. They create resources that promote understanding of comics & the rights our community is guaranteed. Every day CBLDF publishes news & information about censorship events as they happen. They are partners in the Kids’ Right to Read Project & Banned Books Week. Their expert legal team is available at a moment’s notice to respond to First Amendment emergencies. CBLDF is a lean organization that works hard to protect the rights that our community depends on. Please support their work!

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The Comics Are All Right: The Power in Data

comic-unit-sales-not-300The point of the “Comics Are All Right” articles are to do a couple of things, but most importantly give a more analytical data driven approach to the comic market. The first article discussed the reality of the comic market and what the few numbers we know tell us. The second attempted to define what exactly the comic market is.

While both paint a more positive look at the comic market, that doesn’t mean there aren’t places for improvement.

This third article begins to dive into that and more importantly how data can be leveraged to expand the buyers, the fans, the buzz.

If you work for a publisher I want you to ask these questions:

  • The average age, gender, income, education, ethnicity of my readers are?
  • My readers live in ____?
  • My readers also like to purchase ____?
  • My readers also read ____?

Now ask those questions for each title you sell.

I’m sure a lot of you answered, “I don’t know.”  There’s nothing to be embarrassed about that, partially due to the fact the comic industry just straight up lacks a feedback loop to get information back. Publishers sell to distributors. Distributors sell to stores. Stores sell to individuals. Very little information goes back up the chain. The loop is broken.

Now, imagine a different scenario.

Publishers sell to distributors. Distributors sell to stores. Stores sell to individuals and get the information they can at the point of sale and that information is then returned back to the distributor and publisher. Imagine what that opens up.

Better targeting of marketing. Knowing who is purchasing and thus being able to better find look-alike individuals. Knowing what stores are underperforming so that help can be provided. Knowing what areas could benefit from a tour of individuals. Knowing sell-through, how long things are on shelves, the list goes on and on.

Information is Power

2016-09-20_1507I work in politics. Based on certain information (age, gender, income, education, etc.) I can figure out if you’re likely to vote, vote for my candidate, support my cause, donate money.  We have targeting and micro-targeting down to a science and here’s a bit of how we do it.

If you don’t believe the above statement, stop reading now, because you will fundamentally disagree with my point and my pitch. In Democratic politics we have some major databases, a national voter database and data warehouses.  That national voter database is a first stop for many campaigns. It has the voting history of voters in America.  I can look you up and tell you when you’ve voted, what primaries, and with a little bit of information and looking at your history I can predict how likely you’re going to vote. Imagine taking that voter information but combining it with purchasing data, demographic data, whatever you’re willing or unknowingly giving.

Through those two databases, and a little legwork, data models can be created to figure out who supports candidates and causes and the likelihood of individuals to vote or give money or take action. Through that information, I can then target accordingly with the right ask and right message. If I know men who are part of the NRA, drive pick-up trucks, and read Maxim are unlikely to vote for my candidate, I won’t spend money to court them. Also, if a group is more than likely to vote for my candidate I’d seek those individuals out and more importantly individuals who are like them and target my outreach to them.

The first question the comic industry needs to stop and ask is not who do I want to target, but who is currently reading? The above is a simplified version of what occurs, but I can predict elections down to percentage points.  Imagine the power of the above for marketing comics?

The Data

2016-09-20_1506As I stated above, the needed feedback loop to really get the information needed is lacking in the direct market. But, information can be gleaned from elsewhere. Facebook, website traffic, Twitter demographics, can all be leveraged to find individuals who will likely support your comics. They’ve shown interest by seeking you out already.

Digital comics have the greatest potential to spark this data revolution. With each digital purchases data is directly gained such as the frequency of purchases, what is purchased, and potentially even how much is read. Email addresses unlock a treasure trove of data as it can be used to append commercial data. At a 30% to 40% match rate you can know the gender and age of purchasers for instance. You can know if they’re parents, own a home, their estimated income, and more. One particular data vendor I’ve worked with offers over 250 data points that you can begin to append for just change a record.

That data becomes powerful when used for marketing. If you know individuals regularly purchase certain comics you can make that comic front and center in your marketing emails. You can tailor images to the individual, for instance showing women’s or men’s sizes based on the gender data you’ve appended. And, if you notice one particular segment is more likely to buy a book, you can then find more people like them and market that specific book to them.

While this might seem like a herculean task only available to the biggest of publishers, this is something the individual creator can do if they want.

And there are absolutely differences between publishers. Marvel fans enjoy Call of Duty, Xbox, and Playstation far more than DC Comic fans. None of that ranks high for Image fans. Marvel fans enjoy the UFC, NBA, WWE, and NFL compared to DC’s NBA, WWE, and UEFA Champions League. Image fans just enjoy the NBA apparently. Should Marvel advertise to the UEFA? Should DC advertise to the UFC? According to this, that’s not the best strategy. Image might find success by teaming up with the NBA from what I see. For very little investment you can test these things to see what works for you.

I gathered the above data differences for free in five minutes.

The Pitch

2016-09-20_1510The Democratic and Republican parties have something of what I’m about to describe. There’s numerous parts to this and I’ve laid it out to some folks who don’t seem to see the big picture.

1) National Database – Someone needs to do it.  A database that goes from the publishing level down to the store and blog level. Data can be appended and a good idea of who is purchasing can be truly known. Data can be walled off, but general data/demographics would be made so that everyone can gain.

People like telling you about themselves. Through questionnaires or even appending the data through purchases you’ll know you is buying what. All it takes is an email address to start believe it or not. When following up asking for an email address with a survey, online I got high 70’s to low 80’s conversion to filling out the form, with pretty personal questions.

2) Universal platform – Imagine a national platform. A national database of comics. A website in a box. All tied into the above database. The proposed would tie in weekly releases, sales, stock management, ordering, bloggers, website capabilities, and most importantly ways to capture data. Blogs would have community tools, stores would have stock management and websites, and all of that data would trickle up eventually to the publishers. Better targeting, printing and shipping would occur since the data is real time and real customers.

Those two items can be implemented tomorrow. But the above is just the tease.  I’m not about to lay it all out there for you, I need some secrets. The bells and whistles are held close to my chest, but hopefully you get the idea.

Imagine knowing who buys your comic and where those people really live. You can better advertise, send artists and writers to events, schedule promotions. As publishers and creators you’d be able to grow your business and sales intelligently. Stores would be able to use the information and tools to better keep in touch with customers, find new ones and easily promote themselves.

A win – win situation for all.

When I described the above to a few folks I’ve been told “It’s been tried before” or “it’s too complicated.”  The response to that is bullshit. It may have been tried, but when was it attempted? Who were involved? What technology was used? If you can get entire parties to subscribe to versions of the above, an industry can do it if they have the will. It’s just who wants to opt-in and gain and who wants to sit on the sidelines and fade to obscurity.

What is needed

It all comes down to vision and leadership.  Instead of bitching about sinking sales and what genders may or may not be reading, we as a whole should figure out who is reading and how to reach more people like them. We should be focusing on the right questions to ask? We should stop rehashing the same convesations we’ve been having for decades. It’s about a vision forward. Now, who wants to take up the cause and lead?

Koyama Press is Now Available on comiXology

koyama-press_kickass-annie_logoSmall Press Expo is taking place this weekend and to kick it off it has been announced that Canadian indie comics publisher Koyama Press has come to the digital comics platform comiXology. Twelve of Koyama Press’ comic have come to the service so far and are available for purchase now.

Koyama was founded in 2007 by Annie Koyama and has a mandate to “promote and support a wide range of emerging and established artists.” The Toronto-based publisher’s projects include a diverse range of titles that includes a myriad of genres.

You can check out their diverse comics including Julia Wertz’s Drinking at the Movies and The Infinite Wait and other Stories; Alex Schubert’s Blobby Boys Vol. 1 and 2, John Martz’s A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories, and Comics Class by Matthew Forsythe.

Preview: Heroes of Skyrealm #1

Heroes of Skyrealm #1

(DIGITAL COMIC ONLY – Available at Dynamite Digital, Google Play, MadeFire, Dark Horse Digital, iTunes, and Kindle.)
writer: Edwin McRae, Ian Morgenheim, Rik Hoskins
artist: Ilaria Gelli
$0.99 • Teen+

Welcome to Skyrealm–where a thousand different cultures meet and all things are possible.  Darius is a magic invoker of questionable prowess who’s A1:T13 of a trading party from the distant Unbroken Empire.  But when the Unbroken transport is blasted out of the sky by pirates, Darius and his single surviving shipmate, Captain Krieger, find themselves up to their necks in trouble.  Can they stay alive long enough to become the Heroes of Skyrealm?  Discover a world of adventure that goes even further in Heroes of Skyrealm, mobile coming soon from Mechanist Games for iOS and Android!

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Games Workshop’s Eisenhorn is Coming to Comics

TPub Comics, in partnership with Pixel Hero Games and Games Workshop, have announced their newest comic Eisenhorn: Xenos.

An original prequel to the recently released video game, based on the novels of the same name from the Black Library. Written by Ryan O’Sullivan, with art from Anthony Spay, Anthony Fowler, and newcomer Andre Campos, Eisenhorn: Xenos follows the exploits of one of Games Workshop’s most popular and enduring characters.

O’Sullivan has been a long time fan of Games Workshop playing the extensive collection of various games including Warhammer 40K, Inquisitor, Necromunda, Gorkamorka, and more.

For fans not prepared to wait until February 2017, Eisenhorn: Xenos is available as part of the Deluxe Game Edition from Pixel Hero Games (Available on PC & iOS), as well as ComiXology.

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Preview: Charge #4

CHARGE #4

(W) Chris Jury, Dan Jury
(A) Adhitya Zulkarnaen, Pam Siega
$2.99, 56 pgs, Full Color, Mature Readers, Science Fiction/Thriller
Digital Comic

“I should have taken that goddamn vacation.” Bear witness to the year 2035: the dystopian future that results should Hotel fail in its bold mission. Back in 1975, the survivors deal with the aftermath of a bloody battle, and dig in for the next attack. And Carter reveals his true motives for volunteering for a one-way trip back in time.

1975: trapped in a remote mountaintop research facility, scientists Jenson and Hobbs have made an amazing discovery. Just not the one they planned on. Now they must survive the night, and avoid being caught up in a future war between militarized corporations. And all before the machine’s next CHARGE. Dan Jury and Chris Jury craft a gripping story about the invention of time travel and the fight to survive it.

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The Comics Are All Right: The Comic Market is More than Diamond, Marvel and DC

diamond logo featuredWhile the drumbeat has diminished somewhat since I wrote my first entry in this new series of articles, there’s still a sense by some that the comic industry is full of doom and gloom due to a broken system that should be torn down. This “damn the man” attitude posits that the current distribution system is tilted towards the big two publishers and that Diamond Comic Distributors is a monopolistic overlord that works against small and indie publishers. That’s not to say there isn’t issues and room for improvement overall, but things aren’t an out of control dumpster fire as thought, the numbers show that’s the case.

That’s not to say there isn’t issues and room for improvement overall, but things aren’t an out of control dumpster fire as thought, the numbers show that’s the case. this post by Comixtribe outlines the struggles of a small publisher in the current distribution system. And I’ll be addressing issues with distribution as a whole in my next piece.

Shown in my first article, “The Truth is In the Numbers,” we see that the number of comics outside of the top 300 comic unit sales estimated by ComiChron has grown 150.85% since 2009 compared to the top 300’s 19.08%. If the cards were stacked against small print comics that number would most likely be flat, decreasing, and at best within the margin of growth of the top 300 comics. That’s not the case at all and either more series are being sold and/or more comics of those series are being sold. Either way, this dispels a lot of rumors.

comic-unit-sales-not-300

But, I’d also thrown out that just focusing only on the estimated sales (which can be off by thousands of issues) through Diamond is short-sighted and just wrong when it comes to the comic market as a whole. There are more avenues than ever before where creators can sell to stores or directly to fans. We’re going to explore that some, but first some history…

Direct Market

I’m not here to give a comprehensive break down of the history of comic distribution, but for those that might not know… In the 1970s and before you could find comics on newsstands, grocery and drug stores, toy stores and more. Growing up I fondly remember heading to the local pharmacy and going through their spinner rack attempting to find the latest exciting issue and realizing I missed one. It was an imperfect system then and with the newsstand sales diminishing, a new system was proposed that would create a system to allow stores to purchase comics “directly” from publishers, thus the direct market and current distribution system was born.

Basically, the way things work today is local comic book shops purchase their goods from a distributor, primarily Diamond Comic Distributors today. The goods are mostly non-returnable and through that comic book stories received greater discounts and the ability to tailor their purchases to their customers giving the rise to pre-ordering.

We’ll skip over the distributor wars and market crash of the 90s, because that doesn’t have an impact on today, but generally that’s one major direct market comic distributor, Diamond. There are about a half-dozen others, but they mainly deal with small press and low print run comics. Today IDW Publishing announced a deal with Penguin Random House Publisher Services as an example. If you want Marvel, DC, Image, IDW, Dark Horse, Dynamite, BOOM!, etc., and you’re a comic retailer, Diamond is your go to. But, Diamond isn’t even king.

As can be seen here with the 2015 estimates, Book Channel Sales of graphic novels accounts for $350 million compared to comic store’s orders of $185 million. “Book Channel” includes “book chains, independent bookstores, online book retailers, and book fairs.” That $350 million rivals comic book stores’ orders of actual comic books which was estimated at $385 million that same year.

Why do I bring that up? The sales of “Book Channels” aren’t included in the horse race discussion of the top-selling comics and estimates of a month. None of what follows is. We’re making assumptions and coming to conclusions with just one piece of the overall puzzle. This doesn’t even dive into the international market. It’s estimated that the UK alone sells 10% of the US. In a report I’ll release September 15, a Facebook study of “comic fans” found that while the United States has an estimated 37 million fans, Europe has 55 million, and that doesn’t even get into manga.

Discussions from experts on the success and failure of comics tends to fall into not just a “western” mindset, and even then an American-centric one. That’s not only short sighted, but fails to recognize the international impact and consumption of comics on a global scale.

But, the direct market and book channel aren’t even the whole comic market. There’s more avenues for creators to get their comics out to stores and individuals than ever before, all thanks to the power of technology.

Digital Comics

In 2005 DriveThruComics launched. The online retailer calls itself the “first online retailer to specialize in downloadable comics,” which could be very true, and shouldn’t be confused with digital comics in general which have been around since the mid-80s. In 2007 DriveThru was joined by comiXology which quickly turned into the 800 lb gorilla of the digital comic market. But, that date emphasizes that comics have been sold digitally for over a decade at this point. That is joined by the Kindle Store, Google Books, iBooks, MadeFire, Taptastic, Scrollon, publisher apps, and more all selling comics in single issues.

There’s also ComicBlitz, Marvel Unlimited, comiXology Unlimited, Scribd, ComicsFix, and I’m sure I’m missing some when it comes to “all you can read” platforms. There’s new business models we can’t even big to figure out who to measure such as ad-based services like Farrago Comics.

But even then, that’s not all. Digital comics have given way to digital first publishers like MonkeyBrain or Thrillbent and publishers selling directly to consumers like Image Comics. In 2013 comiXology launched comiXology Submit opening up the platform to indie creators with a 50/50 split of the profits.

Then there’s the recent teaming up of publishers with platforms like Humble Bundle (beginning in 2014) and Groupees. Both of which are “pay what you want” services that split the proceeds between the platform, publisher, charity depending on the whim of the purchaser and we know that services has sold 100s of thousands of issues. A recent Dark Horse Bundle saw close to 10,000 bundles sold. That’s roughly 10,000 copies of each issue and trade into the hands of readers.

In July 2014 is reported that Marvel was selling more digitally for Ms. Marvel than they were in print. That month the comic sold 36,041, which some might say was not impressive, but double that and it’s a very different story. Talking to creators, some have said they they see digital sales about 25% of print. Last year it was estimated that single issues in comic stores sold about $385 million while digital was estimated at $90 million, so 25% is not that far off.

But what has me most excited about digital is the willingness to try new models such as Panel Syndicate, a DRM-free digital comics publisher mostly known for the works of Brian K. Vaughan. The sales through that site go 100% directly to the creators. The “pay what you want” service is a relatively new one for comics and Vaughan has revealed that as of 2014 he had sold “well into the six figures” for both issues of his series The Private Eye out at the time in both downloads AND dollars earned. Even divide that six figures 3 ways and we’re talking at least $33,000 for each team member that’s near pure profit. There’s no cut, no advertising, no corporate publisher, that’s straight to the creators what amounts to an experiment.

Even though readers can still pay whatever they want for our DRM-free files (including nothing!), artist Marcos Martin, colorist Muntsa Vicente and I are proud to reveal that The Private Eye is already well into the six figures for both issues downloaded AND dollars earned… and that’s without advertising, corporate backers, Comixology-like distributors, or even a Kickstarter campaign. It’s all because of small contributions from readers around the world, so sincere thanks again for your coverage of our ongoing experiment. – Brian K. Vaughan on Panel Syndicate

There’s 1,026 apps with the keyword “comic book” according to App Annie, though not all are stores. Digital had estimated sales of $90 million (down from an estimated $100 million the year before), that’s surely an underestimate as some of the above have new revenue models that can’t be properly measured currently.

And the proliferation of comics and digital has given way to…

Webcomics

It’s unknown how many webcomics there are. An estimate buts it int he 100s of thousands, but there’s no definitive number. The Webcomic List has about 25,000 regularly updated online comics. What is clear is that since the first webcomic in 1985 this particular comic form has exploded. Webcomics are the evolution of traditional Comic Strips (which still exist and should also be included in the comic market) that are found in newspapers across the world.

Webtoons is a growing popular platform that launched in 2014 and claims 17 million monthly users. According to SimilarWeb has had 21.1 million visits with an impressive 9 minutes visit duration. Site Worth Traffic has it as 114,993 unique visitors a day with 344,978 daily page views. The platform offers daily updates for free, and talking to creators can “pay very well” if they’re an exclusive featured artist (four figures monthly talking to one creator). A Quora post pegs the number at $2,000 a month and additional payment due to views. It has been moving aggressively setting up shop at conventions to find new talent.

They have a business model that’s working for them and the success of webcomics vary as a whole, it provides a new platform by which creators can build their own audience while earning money through Ad Revenue and….

Crowdfunding

Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, Patreon, all are examples of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is basically a pre-sale page where people pledge dollars to meet a goal, if that goal is met a project succeeds and then is (hopefully) published. According to Kickstarter’s stats they have successfully funded 111,863 projects for almost $2.6 billion.

For comics, Kickstarter reports that there have been 8,378 projects launched for $55.48 million. With a 51.52% sucess rate, 4,235 projects total, $50.77 million has been raised and currently there’s almost another $700,000 from 158 projects currently looking for funding. On average that’s just shy of $12,000 a project. The majority of projects, 2,631 of them, have raised between $1,000 and $9,999. The first comic project I have for Kickstarter raised just $72 in June 2009. That averages out to $7.25 million raised a year. That’s not an insignificant amount.

Patreon is a little different. While it’s still crowdfunding the service has more in common with classic “tip jars” on sites. People give a recurring amount of money and in return may get sneak peeks, newsletters, or other special items. Zach Weinersmith has 3,341 patrons and gets $6,580 per month of comics. Ben Templesmith is listed with 222 patrons and receives $2,410 a month. They’re being funded directly by fans at not an insignificant amount and it all adds up to $10s of thousands of dollars a month if what’s reported is to be believed.

patreon

And crowdfunding itself has evolved over the years. While Kickstarter still sticks to the “it’s not a pre-order” mantra in reality it is and many creators are using it to help create their comics that are then distributed by bigger publishers. Smart creators like Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Justin Gray, and Frank Tieri, the team behind PaperFilms have launched numerous projects going back to previous backers and building an audience. 44Flood, a publisher composed of Menton Matthews aka Menton 3, Kasra Ghanbari, Ben Templesmith and Nick Idell, have gone a similar route. Publishers like RetroFit are offering their entire year’s catalogs through the platform. Going over the last seven days of projects about 1 in 20 offered a “retailer tier,” but it’s being offered. Crowdfunding has evolved into allowing direct sales to stores and direct digital sales which leads us to….

Direct Sales

Beyond Kickstarter, there’s Etsy, Shopify, Gumroad, directly talking to stores, and more options to get comics, both digital and print, into the hands of fans and on store shelves. On Etsy there’s 7,976 items listed under “Drawings & Illustrations,” and creators like Michel Fiffe offer their comics through the online store. Want the amazing Copra and can’t find it on your store shelves? You’ll need to go to Etsy if you want a physical copy. While it’s unknown how this dark market of comics is, it’s enough to make it worthwhile as an avenue to some creators.

But the existence of direct sales is an important conversation. Talking to publishers numerous variant covers and special issues are worked out directly with stores. These comics aren’t necessarily counted by Diamond, but some are. And this can be a significant amount.

Direct sales also occur to provide content for the explosion of geek boxes. Comic Block, Nerd Block, Blindbox Comics, Comic Bento, Loot Crate, all either primarily offer comics or have included comics in their boxes. Nerd Block and Loot Crate have subscriptions in the 100s of thousands and not all of those comics are reflected in Diamond’s numbers. Titan Comics and major issues from DC Comics haven’t been reflected in reported stats and if those subscription numbers are to be believed, they would put those books’ distribution in the mid-six figures. Add in digital only offerings and we get yet another distribution channel that isn’t tracked in the monthly horse race. These are significant amounts of comics sold that aren’t reported by any site or analyst.

And that finally leads us to…

Libraries and Schools

Raina Telgemeier‘s latest graphic novel Ghosts, which releases this week, has an initial printing of half a million copies. Graphic novel sales topped $535 million last year. Comics are being taken seriously by libraries and schools. Top Shelf‘s award-winning graphic novel March is required reading for numerous schools and Scholastic‘s book fairs and clubs have been a successful resource of getting comics into the hands of kids. IDW Publishing has praised the service and Publisher Ted Adams has described sales as “through the roof.” IDW has been willing to experiment not just with Scholastic, but by including comics in toy packaging, for instance with Hasbro’s line of Transformers.

While numbers aren’t available for how huge this segment is Shannon Maughan for Publishers Weekly has an article about the “state of the graphic novel in schools and libraries” that’s worth reading.

Add on the digital aspect of libraries and it’s even bigger. hoopla digital is a service that allows individuals to borrow digital media from their local library, and that includes comics! Their iPhone app is consistently in the top 20 book apps for the iPhone, top 1,500 for iPad, and top 50 for Android/Google Play.

Libraries and schools is yet another area we don’t have metrics and another blind spot when considering a comics success or failure.

So What is the Comic Market?

All of the above is just a high-level look at the various facets of what I consider the comic market. It’s clear the distribution choices have exploded in recent years putting the power in the hands of creators and publishers. Today one comic could Kickstarted, sold directly to fans on a digital store, distributed through a publisher or comiXology Submit, sold to stores direclty by the creator, and then eventually turned into a webcomic to be monotized further through ad revenue.

The amount of “indie comics” and “small press” comics that are created and sold are massive and probably dwarf mainstream comics. Digital comics are over $90 million a year. Kickstarter alone is over $7 million a year. Patreon is possibly $100,000+ a year. Not to mention schools, libraries, webcomics, and more!

When we talk about the “health” of the comic market, we should be considering all of this and not focusing on one distributor and two publishers. It’s insulting to comic fans, logic, and all of those creators who work their asses off to entertain us.

So what’d I miss? Get wrong? Sound off in the comments below! Up next… rethinking customers and data.

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