Man at His Best

Comics Are A Thing Again

Comics circulation have hit ‘90s levels.

BY Jason S Ganesan | Sep 19, 2016 | Books


Paralleling Marvel’s resurgence, comics circulation is at its highest level since Rob Liefeld decided that butts begin where boobs end, just before the great crash in the mid-'90s.   

Although speculators are often blamed for the '90s crisis, others point a large finger at the two distribution behemoths, Diamond and Capital City, whose aggressive tactics led to an overabundance of retailers.

In any case, Diamond shipped 10.26 million copies of comics and graphic novels to retailers in August this year, which is the single highest distribution for a month since December 1996, according to ComiChron. USD 57.7 million worth of comics and graphic novels were distributed for August, which is an over 30 percent increase from 2015 levels.

Amazingly, DC titles account for about 45 percent of that figure, which is believed to be due to June’s ‘Rebirth’ event, where every monthly title was relaunched. And, undoubtedly, comic book adaptations, reflected in the Harley Quinn reboot being the most-ordered comic for August.

Besides Harley Quinn #1 and #2, the top ten for individual comics include All-Star Batman #1, Batman #4 and #5, Suicide Squad #1, Suicide Squad Rebirth #1, and Justice League #2. Additionally, the top ten for graphic novels includes the Harley Quinn Book and Mask Set, and the Harley Quinn & The Suicide Squad: Adult Colouring Book.

If indeed adaptations are the reason behind this, it goes to show that expert opinion not only matters little, but is seemingly being challenged openly. Y’know, like with Trump (topical).

Marvel has a lone comic title in the top ten, Amazing Spider-Man #16. They fared a little better for graphic novels, with Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol. 3 in first place, and the Ta-Nehisi Coates-penned Black Panther Book 1 in third.

Marvel has the second largest share of the overall pie, with 32 percent of units distributed, followed by Image in a distant third (7.78 percent), IDW (3.53 percent) and Dark Horse (2.28 percent).

Perfect time then for Todd McFarlane to announce to the world (and listening studios) that he really wants to get his “dark, R-rated, scary, badassSpawn reboot made already.