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Tuesday, January 13, 2009 

USA Today exaggerates pamphlet sales, but at least gets GN sales right

In this article from USA Today, they say sales thrived last year:
The comic-book industry, helped by the enormous success of films such as "The Dark Knight," showed continued growth in the burgeoning graphic novel category, according to an exclusive look at top sellers.

Total sales remained "strong" and the graphic-novel category grew by 5 percent, says Steve Geppi, CEO of Diamond Comics Distributors, which services more than 4,000 comic-book stores nationwide.

"We remain optimistic about the comic-book industry heading into 2009," he says.
Sales figures show:

Marvel Comics’ "Secret Invasion No. 1" was the best-selling comic book of 2008. The eight-issue miniseries about the takeover of superheroes by shape-shifting Skrulls took the first six spots. Only "Uncanny X-Men No. 500" (No. 7) and DC Comics’ "Final Crisis No. 1" (No. 9) also cracked the top 10. Diamond did not release actual sales figures, but best-selling comic books (priced at $2.99 or $3.99) normally sell more than 100,000 copies.
No actual figures? Then what good is it to say they were doing well? And 100,000 isn't exactly something to crow over anymore. Business as usual, I'd say. The increasing price, which they do show there, is not likely to help much either. But the real disappointment is when no questions are asked just how good is any of the material and if it's worth buying.

But it does suggest where comics may be headed next, and that's the paperback format, the part of this report I can certainly believe makes sense. If that happens, I think the good part there would be that it'd be harder for company-wide crossovers to take place.

Update: ComicBook.Com confirms that 2008, in contrast to what USA Today claims, was not such a great year (via Robot 6).

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