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Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market 2008-2009


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

The graphic novel market in North America, once a niche publishing segment, is rapidly growing. According to retail analysis site ICv2, sales of graphic novels in the U.S. and Canada rose from $75 million in 2001 to $375 million in 2007. The format has even breached such established segments as school textbooks, where graphic novels are being used to teach children about difficult topics.

Until the last few years, the graphic novel segment has been a market largely untapped by the traditional book industry. However, a growing number of publishers and retailers are realizing that this booming and diverse niche offers a significant opportunity for them.

Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market 2008-2009 offers publishers and retailers a guide to this market, with in-depth exploration of each of its unique sub-segments: graphic novels, manga and comic books. This report also contains Simba’s trademark bestseller data that tracks the growth of graphic novels over the last five years.

Companies looking to enter or expand in this market will need a deep understanding of the range of graphic novel buying habits and a detailed analysis of the competitive landscape to be successful. This report is designed to help publishers and retailers alike understand the challenges and spot the opportunities present in this misunderstood market. Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market 2008-2009 is a guide for:

  • Publishers of any size considering entering the market who want to know more about the present opportunities and challenges in this hot segment

  • Larger publishers who have begun to penetrate the graphic novel market but need a better sense of consumer purchasing trends and an accurate growth outlook for the next several years

  • Retailers who are serving the graphic novel market today—or who are evaluating whether they should enter the market—but who need greater insight into how to properly manage a graphic novel section

  • And more

Report highlights include:

  • Comprehensive profiles on eight leading publishers that include publishing summaries, sales and revenue estimates, and projections for 2009. Profiled companies include Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Marvel Comics, Random House, Tokyopop and Viz Media.

  • Estimated sales for all three segments—graphic novels, manga, and comic books—that include bestselling volumes, series, and more

  • Recommendations to publishers and retailers on how to capitalize on the expanding graphic novel and manga industry

Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market 2008-2009 is a vital market intelligence tool for publishers, marketers, retailers and distributors charged with developing strategies to succeed in the rapidly growing U.S. comic book and graphic novel market.


Stamford, CT—November 9, 2009—Simba Information, which this year published Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market, continued the analysis in its monthly periodical, Book Publishing Report, which reveals that one in 10 adult book buyers read comics and 70% of those adults who have read comics in the previous 12 months also bought at least one book.

Nearly overlooked for decades, the burgeoning market for graphic novels and comic books has led retailers to pause and address the industry in new light. But while the oft-misunderstood niche has made strides, media industry forecast and analysis firm Simba Information’s report, Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market, informs publishers and retailers alike that properly utilizing the segment requires finesse.

“Graphic novels are unlike any other segment of publishing, but are often mislabeled as just another category within children’s books, so they miss the chance to really shine,” said Warren Pawlowski, analyst for Simba Information’s Trade Books Groups.

Showing marked increases in their presence on bestseller lists, graphic novels have almost become their own industry at a time when growth in traditional publishing has become practically non-existent. The basis for numerous films, television shows, and other forms of media, graphic novels have grown in both sales and influence. “More works of art to bridge the fine line between the literary and visual mediums, graphic novels appeal to the largest audience possible and have untold potential because of it,” said Pawlowski.

Overview of the U.S. Comic Book and Graphic Novel Market details the many nuances of this industry, providing publishers and retailers who wish to expand, showcase, or begin to look at graphic novels a definitive source for doing so. “Attention has been drawn to the high-concept releases of the last year, both in film and literature, but viewers and readers should be reminded that everything explored in them was likely seen in graphic novels and comic books decades ago,” Pawlowski said. “The niche that graphic novels have been forced into has exploded, and what could never be found elsewhere is being seen there in droves.”

In addition to providing an overview for this segment of publishing, the report provides a detailed analysis of the three major brands bundled within the graphic novels category: graphic novels, manga and comic books. The report also features a thorough overview of the leading books and publishers, including price analyses as well as profiles for the major players detailing publishing strategies for the past and future and current production figures.

For additional information please visit www.simbainformation.com or contact Warren Pawlowski at 203-325-8193 x114.

About Simba Information:

Simba Information is widely recognized as the leading authority for market intelligence in the media and publishing industry. Simba's extensive information network delivers top quality, independent perspective on the people, events and alliances shaping the media and information industry. Simba provides consulting and reports that provide key decision-makers at more than 15,000 client companies around the globe with timely analysis, exclusive statistics and proprietary industry forecasts. For more information, please visit www.simbainformation.com.

  • Introduction
  • The Markets
    • The Direct Market
    • The Mass Market
  • Graphic Novels
    • Bestselling Graphic Novels
    • Bestselling True Graphic Novels
    • Bestselling Compilations
    • Graphic Novel Trends
  • Manga
    • Bestselling Manga
    • Bestselling Volumes
    • Bestselling Series
    • Manga Trends
  • Comic Books
    • Bestselling Comic Books
    • Bestselling Issues
    • Bestselling Ongoing Series
    • Bestselling Limited Series
    • Bestselling Stand-Alone Issues
    • Comic Book Trends
  • Obstacles
    • Superheroes
    • Distribution
    • Misidentification
    • Other Media
    • New Readers
    • Online Serialization
  • Forecasts & Conclusions
    • Comic Books
    • Graphic Novels
    • Manga
    • Recommendations

  • Table 1: Top 10 Trade Book Categories by Consolidated Ranking, 2003-2007
  • Table 2: Top Graphic Novel Publishers in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 3: Top 10 Bestselling True Graphic Novels in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 4: Top 20 Bestselling Compilations in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 5: Graphic Novel Sales in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 6: Top Manga Publishers in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 7: Top 20 Bestselling Manga in the Mass Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 8: Top 20 Bestselling Manga Volumes in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 9: Top 20 Bestselling Manga Series in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 10: Manga Sales in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 11: Top Comic Book Publishers in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 12: Top 20 Bestselling Comic Issues in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 13: Top 20 Bestselling Ongoing Comic Series in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 14: Top 10 Bestselling Comic Limited Series in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 15: Top 10 Bestselling Comic Stand-Alone Issues/One-Shots in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 16: Comic Book Sales in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008
  • Table 17: U.S. Consumer Comic Book, Graphic Novel and Manga Unit Sales in the Direct Market, July 2007-June 2008

Profiles of Leading Publishers

  • Dark Horse Comics
  • DC Comics
  • IDW Publishing
  • Image Comics
  • Marvel Comics
  • Random House
  • Tokyopop
  • Viz Media

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