An ICv2 Release.  The composition of the comics and graphic novel audience is changing rapidly, even as the total pie has been getting bigger.  What facts can we discern about this influx of customers from the sales data and other sources, and what does that they tell us about the future? 

The comics and graphic novel market has been growing rapidly, up 22% to $870 million last year from $715 million only two years earlier in 2011 (see "Comics and Graphic Novel Market Reaches $870 Million"), and in a unique way:  print sales have been growing even as digital is taking an increasing share of the market. 

The growth appears to be driven by a confluence of several long-forming trends.  The growth of digital, although slowing, does not appear to have hurt print sales and may even have helped them (see "Why Digital Comics Are Different"), a phenomenon that’s unique among all media. 

Manga grew rapidly, crested, dropped just as rapidly, but is now coming back, with often little overlap with purchasers of other types of graphic novels.

Media influence on sales, which had its last peak around 2006 when anime dominated Cartoon Network’s programming, is at unprecedented levels, with film, television, and video games providing a rich panoply of a wide variety of properties available as comics and graphic novels. 

Conventions and festivals are also growing, with increasing numbers of civilians that don’t normally see comics making up a big part of the growth (see "Why Is the Con Scene Exploding?"). 

As the market has grown, its composition is changing.  Kids graphic novels (some, like My Little Pony, with significant adult audiences) now comprise a significant part of that market, with growing numbers of titles and massive print runs on some titles.  The female audience is growing, and is even starting to be a noticeable percentage of superhero sales, although other genres remain more popular with females overall.  And titles other than Big Two superhero titles are bringing (or keeping) males that wouldn’t otherwise be buying comics into the market.

What can we learn about the size and composition of these new segments from the data on sales, and what can other data tell us about the underlying trends?  We’ll present our findings on these and related questions in the ICv2 White Paper at the ICv2 Conference next week.  Attendees at the Conference can receive a copy of the presentation on request.

The ICv2 Conference:  The New Comics Customer will take place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, October 8th.

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