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Comic Retailers Optimistic

Although Concerned about Some Publisher Strategies

Published: 03/12/2014 02:24am
Comic retailers entered 2014 optimistic about the future, after a 2013 that saw increases across formats, genre, and channel, according to a new report in ICv2’s Internal Correspondence #84.  The broad-based growth, however, did not preclude some concern about trends that direct market retailers feel hold risk for 2014.

There’s some hope among savvy retailers that publishers will avoid the over-production that has dampened earlier booms, although the concern remains.

The overuse of limited variant covers, especially tied to order levels that some called "impossible," was decried, and there are indications that the aftermarket for variants may be softening in the face of the large numbers being produced, some said.

Media exposure continues to drive sales, with The Walking Dead off the charts, and shows like My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Adventure Time, and Bravest Warriors all driving sales.  Adult-targeted live action superhero shows, on the other hand (Arrow and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) have yielded little in the way of graphic novel sales.

Beyond The Walking Dead, Image’s non-media creator-owned titles are also selling, with some seeing an industry-altering dynamic in the trend.

Manga sales appear to be picking up in comic stores, with the impact of Kodansha’s Attack on Titan a significant factor.  The strength of that relatively new series produced the biggest shake-up in years in the Internal Correspondence Top Properties charts for the Fall selling season (September  through December):  Attack on Titan knocked the mighty Naruto out of the top spot on the manga charts after a run at #1 that began in 2005, nearly a decade ago.

Here’s a list of ICv2’s bestseller charts of the top graphic novel properties across eight categories for Fall/Holidays (September-December) 2013, which appeared in Internal Correspondence #84:

Top 10 Genre Graphic Novel Properties--Fall/Holidays 2013
Top 10 Fiction & Reality Graphic Novel Properties--Fall/Holidays 2013
Top 10 Superhero Graphic Novel Properties--Fall/Holidays 2013
Top 5 Comic Strip Properties--Fall/Holidays 2013
Top 10 Kids & Tweens Graphic Novel Properties--Fall/Holidays 2013
Top 25 Manga Properties--Fall/Holidays 2013
Top 10 Shojo Properties--Fall/Holidays 2013
Top 10 Shonen Properties--Fall/Holidays 2013

For info on how to get your copy of ICv2's Internal Correspondence #84, with the full market reports, Pick Hits of the best upcoming releases, and reviews, see "ICv2 Releases 'Internal Correspondence' #84."
 
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