ICv2 continued to find widespread optimism throughout the comics and graphic novel business despite a flat Spring season, according to a report in the recently released ICv2’s Internal Correspondence #85.  In the book channel, graphic novel sales remain strong, especially relative to other book categories, with graphic novels for young readers growing the fastest of all.

In comic stores, the mood remains positive because despite small declines in periodical sales, the flattening is at a very high level relative to a few years ago, and sales on graphic novels, including manga, are stronger than periodicals on a year over year basis.  Retailers are also finding two broad trends encouraging:  the broadening of comic shop demographics, and the continuing strength shown by second tier publishers.

Concerns from comic retailers revolve around their second largest supplier, DC Comics, which is about to undertake a potentially disruptive move to the west coast early next year, and where Bob Wayne, one of the biggest advocates and defenders of the comic store channel, is set to retire rather than relocate to California.  As Things from Another World’s Andrew McIntire put it, "I can’t see how his departure could be anything but a loss for the industry as a whole and DC in particular."

This issue also contains the new market size estimate for comics and graphic novels, which reached $870 million in the U.S. and Canada last year (see "Comics and Graphic Novel Market Hits $870 Million").

And here’s a list of ICv2’s bestseller charts of the top graphic novel properties across eight categories for Spring (January-April) 2014, which appeared in Internal Correspondence #85:

Top 10 Genre Graphic Novel Properties--Spring 2014
Top 10 Fiction & Reality Graphic Novel Properties--Spring 2014
Top 10 Superhero Graphic Novel Properties--Spring 2014
Top 5 Comic Strip Properties--Spring 2014
Top 10 Kids & Tweens Graphic Novel Properties--Spring 2014
Top 25 Manga Properties--Spring 2014
Top 10 Shojo Properties--Spring 2014
Top 10 Shonen Properties--Spring 2014

For info on how to get your copy of ICv2's Internal Correspondence #85, with the full market reports, Pick Hits of the best upcoming releases, and reviews, see "ICv2 Releases 'Internal Correspondence' #85."