Comic retailers were cautiously ecstatic about sales at the end of Summer 2012, after 12 consecutive months of growth for periodical comics, according to a recently released report in ICv2’s Internal Correspondence #80 (see "ICv2 Releases 'Internal Correspondence' #80").  The caution comes from having seen both high and low points across recent decades, but the "return to floppies," as Things from Another World’s Andrew McIntire described it, has reassured comic retailers that their core business has a future despite the growth of graphic novels and the more recent surge in sales of digital comics.

Retailers attribute the growth to "a happy convergence of a lot of things," as Jamie Graham of Graham Crackers Comics put it.  Those include strong editorial performance from the Big Two (New 52, Avengers Vs. X-Men, and Before Watchmen), the prominence of comic-based properties in movie theaters (Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, and Dark Knight Rises) and on TV (The Walking Dead), the strength of Image (Saga, more), and the relaunch of Valiant Comics.

New and lapsed customers are coming into comic stores, and that’s stimulating sales across the board.  And although there are risks, retailers note that the current surge in sales is based on readers rather than speculators, making it much more sustainable than the comic sales boom in the 1990s.

In the graphic novel space, hits such as Dark Horse’s Avatar and Vertigo’s Get Jiro were noted, both of which attract customers outside the core audience.

Here are ICv2's top graphic novel properties across eight categories for:

Top 10 Genre Graphic Novel Properties--Summer 2012
Top 10 Fiction & Reality Graphic Novel Properties--Summer 2012
Top 10 Superhero Graphic Novel Properties--Summer 2012
Top 5 Comic Strip Properties--Summer 2012
Top 10 Kids & Tweens Graphic Novel Properties--Summer 2012
Top 25 Manga Properties--Summer 2012
Top 10 Shojo Properties--Summer 2012
Top 10 Shonen Properties--Summer 2012

For info on how to get your copy of ICv2's Internal Correspondence #80 with the full market reports, Pick Hits of the best upcoming releases, and reviews, see "ICv2 Releases 'Internal Correspondence' #80."