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Wednesday, April 13, 2011 

Graphic novels declining in sales this past March

Here we go again witnessing the sad but understandable demise of the great world of comics. In this ICV2 article, they tell how graphic novels are becoming a casualty just as much as periodicals:
Year-over-year dollar sales of periodical comics through Diamond Comic Distributors declined 2.43% in March, while sales of graphic novels plummeted 10.01%. For the first quarter of 2011 comic sales were down by 8.57%, while graphic novel sales dropped 7.24% and combined sales of comics and graphic novels were down 8.14%.

The March year-over-year drop in comics was worse than in February when the decline in comic dollars was just 1.7%, while graphic novels, bolstered by the release of a number of popular higher price books, were actually up 6.92% in February. While the actual sales of comics and graphic novels were up for March of 2011 versus February of 2011, the more important and telling year-over-year trend is not good. The double digit graphic novel sales decline in March is emblematic of the market’s Q1 struggles overall, which are largely the result of a lack of “hits.”
And this one says:
Top 300 numbers for the first quarter were bleak for both comics and graphic novels. Comics were down 9.37%, while graphic novels were off by 10.67% and combined sales dropped 9.66%.
There's plenty of good explanations why this has affected GNs to boot: if the story was bad when first seen in periodicals, or just plain boring and dull, what's the point of buying it even in trades? Is it any wonder that, even with the cutback to 3 dollars, it's not helping much? Nor did the loss of at least 2 pages of story, apparently. On the charts, some of the titles at the lower ends were very stagnant, and the ones higher aren't far behind.

They might be able to change things by a]distancing themselves from Quesada and DiDio, b]reversing the effects of Identity Crisis and Avengers: Disassembled, c]ceasing all the crossovers, and d]going for better publishing formats, but still, no chance of that in sight.

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