The Future of Comics

Been involved in some discussions on the topic, so this is what I managed to glean.

So long as people are willing to pay a premium for key comic issues and even more for the limited variant of key issues, there will always be the printed floppy. We may even see floppies only for key issues. In the same way that hi-end watches are still collected today in these times when the vast majority of us rely on our phones to tell the time, comics will remain collectible.

There would be a very sharp convergence to quality. 99% of the comics produced will be worth less than cover price, but key issues will command ever-increasing high prices. Most of the value would converge to the key of the key comic books, and by extension, very scarce items such as original comic art. Again, the trend is mirrored in hi-end watches.

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Again I would say, floppy sales are very strong. Stronger than they have been in the past 20 years. We are in no danger of seeing floppies no longer be printed, or just printing key issues.

I don’t think so… they’ve been drastically going down in print run estimates since I started back in the game in 2013… where we were seeing ASM and Batman easily hitting the 100k publisher sales marks on every issue previously are now far gone it seems.

This is why Marvel I think loves reboots, it gives them a chance to hit those 100k marks with relative ease.

Gone? Look at this for 2021…

Comichron: 2021 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops

The number from the big 2 don’t appear to be getting any better, but It’s definitely stronger for the indie titles. Back in 2012-2013, 18,000 was considered a huge sales number (Bedlam #1) and the 30,000 sales for Saga #1 was said, at the time, to tank any secondary market value of that book.

The sales numbers we’ve seen for Crossover, SIKTC, Nocterra would never happen back then. Walking Dead was the only title flirting with 100K and that was after the show started to take off.

Some of those are one offs and people chasing signature variants and what not… You can’t judge the industry based on a few titles that went into the deep end, you have to look at the overall consistent average.

Overall, the publishing of floppies is decreasing and the only thing that’s likely keeping it afloat with numbers is speculators buying more than one copy. If there was no speculation in the comics, we’d see an entirely different scenario with publishing numbers.

Also, comichron is purely “estimates”… take it with a grain of salt!

How many copies of SWHR #1 are you yourself holding? Nuff said!

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|2009| 78.4 million copies
|2010| 73.8 million copies
|2011| 77.2 million copies
|2012| 86 million copies
|2013| 91.8 million copies
|2014| 92 million copies
|2015| 98 million copies
|2016| 99 million copies
|2017| 89.4 million copies
|2018| 84.4 million copies
|2019| 83.2 million copies
|2020| 63.2 million copies
|2021| 94 million copies

Here’s the annual data for units sold since 2009. Outside of a pandemic year, they’re incredibly consistent and 20% higher than a decade ago.

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And the speculation/resell game has greatly increased over the past decade as well. People are no longer buying a copy to read, they’re buying 2, 4 or 20 copies. So maybe we’re seeing a consistent average of comics being printed but think of the audience buying such things. When I started back into comics in 2013, could barely find comic shops online except the big few and the ones already established, now every damn speculator has a shop, you can spit on the internet and hit a comic shop to pre-order books.

Also again, take the stats from comichron with a grain of salt. It’s all estimates, not actual data for the most part. We’ll never know true print run numbers until the publishers release such info.

So speculation is keeping this industry afloat in my opinion and that’s overall… BAD! When speculators are swapping around books to sell… that’s not organic demand and a true representation of the wants from consumers in my opinion.

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Overall sales are higher than any year going back to 2000, outside of the pandemic.

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You guys have to account graphic novels into this. They are pretty big business. And they are preceded by floppies.

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Speculation in any industry keeps it afloat. Think about that statement for a moment.

I challenge you to think of an industry that doesn’t…

So that’s true if the estimates are close but again, think of the people buying and pushing the print runs up? Venom has already acknowledged in owning I think 1k+ of SWHR #1 when it came out… how many other speculators bought a box full? I’m sure they’re not the only one. That’s my issue, the stats are representing actual demand and interest from the consumer market. The speculator market is pushing these numbers more than likely.

Austin is a pretty big city and we got 1 shop now that carries back issues beyond 6 months… ONE! My other shop has cut their ordering drastically as have the other shops the last time I visited. One would think if the actual consumer interest is growing based these estimates, a large city like Austin would have more comics available but it seems like it’s shrinking. I know that’s a small sample based on location and such but honestly, just compare the number of online only shops now and speculators opening their own PR and Diamond accounts, etc.

The publishing numbers are skewed and should be smaller if we took out the amount of people loading up on books in hopes to sell at inflated prices.

Graphic novels are #1 compared to floppies… more people read graphic novels than floppies.

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Ive been hearing this crap for close to 30 years. The industry is doing fine. Floppies arent going anywhere anytime soon. I dont know why this topic comes up every couple of years.

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That why I said you have to figure that in. And floppies are a big part of that. Having the hobby be collectible isnt a detriment, its an asset.


I’m not saying floppies are going away… not once did I ever state that. I just don’t think the numbers add up in actual consumer interest. These are going the way of ball cards and that’s a bad thing I think. I walked away from sports cards because of the same trend.

With increasing prices and such, it’s going to get very niche over time and if publishers keep playing games like they are and putting out sub par products, I can see a bunch of people walking away.

I can say locally I havent seen it at all.

And I see teenagers every week in the shop.

Well, I’ve seen teens in JC Penney every time I go, doesn’t mean they’re going to save that dying department store from going out of business. :wink:

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LOL fair. These doom and gloom threads that pop up drive me nuts. The industry is doing fine.

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