A couple of mainstream media outlets look at the business side of comics … first, the San Mateo County Times talks to several Northern California comic retailers about their customers:
“They are not just for kids, they are for all ages,” said Mike Cresser, owner of Crush Comics in Castro Valley. “They are for males and females. A graphic novel is something that attracts all readers. Just because it’s a comic book or based on a comic doesn’t reduce its appeal.”
Recent sales trends back up suggestions that graphic novels are more popular than they were a few years ago, according to data released by ICv2, a Madison, Wis.-based company that tracks popular culture.
Graphic novels in 2006 generated $330 million in sales in the United States and Canada. That was up 12 percent from $295 million in graphic novel sales in 2005.
Sales of periodical comic books — the kind that usually ship once a month andinclude familiar titles such as “Uncanny X-Men,” “Batman,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” and “Witchblade” — totaled $310 million in 2006, up 15 percent from 2005.
“Do we see more women and more girls getting into comics? Yes, more so than we ever have,” said Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord. “Graphic novels and other comics are driving a lot of fans of all ages into comics shops to get the next dose of their favorite characters.”
And second, the Edmonton, Alberta-area Brandon Sun looks at how comics and the Internet aren’t the enemies that the music industry and the ‘net seem to be:
Online comics, moving into their second decade, are growing with Flash-like speed. But those who study and make a living in the comics business say that, unlike music providers being marauded by illegal downloaders and cyber-pirates, the Internet has been more of a trusty sidekick than an arch-villain.
“The whole thing is in its infancy,” said David Bryenton, owner of Warp One Comics and Games, in Edmonton.
“(The Internet) may present new challenges, but in the 23 years we’ve been here, there have always been challenges.”