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Saturday, September 16, 2006 

Are comics really back with a bang?

This article from the Boston Herald would certainly like us to think that.
Comic books may be a small business, but they pack a powerful punch. With superpowered licensing revenues and a crack team of loyal fans, the comic book is a fantastic format for entrepreneurs these days.
On the eve of tomorrow’s boffo comic book convention at Boston’s Radisson Hotel, vendors and collectors say they’re seeing a rebirth of interest - and spending - among older fans of the jolting genre.
“It’s a fun business selling stuff you enjoy to customers who are knowledgeable of the product,” said Matt Lehman, owner of the Kenmore Square comic store Comicopia, which just had its best summer for sales in the store’s 15-year history. “But I don’t want to paint the picture that there’s a fortune to be made. I’m certainly not going to take a week off on my yacht.”
Still, comics and comic book characters are big money. Marvel Comics, which publishes comic book legends the Hulk and Spider-Man, has reported net sales of $174,421,000 in the first half of 2006. Marvel’s publishing sales are up from $43,282,000 during the first half of 2005 to $48,945,000 in the same period this year.
I've seen some articles, and discussions, like this one plenty of times before, that say that comics are making a comeback, certainly in financial terms. But I always find myself in the position of questioning if they make much sense, partly because they don't give much insight into comics from a critical perspective. As a result, there's no telling if they're for real or not. And when the article here doesn't even mention DC Comics, one can only wonder if it was meant to serve as a promo for Marvel all along.

In fact, as the following paragraph suggests:
Licensing sales make up the larger portion of Marvel’s revenues. Those sales fell a bit this year because fewer Marvel characters hit the big screen than a year ago. Marvel expects a bump in 2007, with three movies based on its heroes slated for release.
So there you have it, a clue that sales aren't quite what one might expect.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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