An ICv2 Release.  Sales of comics and graphic novels grew 4% in 2022, according to a new estimate by ICv2’s Milton Griepp, ICv2 announced.  Total comics and graphic novel sales to consumers in the U.S. and Canada were around $2.16 billion, a 4% increase over sales in 2021, a record year that topped 2020 by over 60% (for 2021 report, see "Comics and Graphic Novels Grew 62%").

"As Covid waned and consumers resumed their pre-Covid activities, comics and graphic novel sales held up stronger and longer than expected," Griepp said of the trend.  "Large numbers of the new readers that started buying during lockdowns continued to do so in 2022, a sign that they enjoyed their new experiences."

The crest likely occurred in the first half of 2022, Griepp suggested.  "We were hearing from retailers that sales were slowing the second half, after a stronger beginning to the year," he said.

The growth was entirely in graphic novels; comic sales were flat and digital comics sales were down a bit, Griepp noted.  "It’s staggering that after growing 76% in 2021, graphic novels were able to continue the sales up-trend for another year," he said.  Kids titles were the lowest-performing graphic novel category, with only 2% growth, as kids returned to school (although sales through book fairs were up).  Manga, Author, and Superhero sales all grew about the same amount, 9-10%.

Sales in both the book channel and the comic store channel were up, with the book channel growing slightly faster.  "We were happy to see broad-based growth in both channels for physical products," Griepp said.  "While the book channel grew faster, the positive momentum in comic stores held up for another year."

The analysis for the comic store channel uses data based on sales tracked at point-of-sale by the ComicHub system at over 125 stores.  We have used that data to build a model of sales for the entire comic store channel using comparisons developed during periods in which ComicHub and Diamond reporting overlapped.

Book channel sales are largely based on Circana BookScan data.  Circana collects weekly point-of-sale data on print books from over 16,000 locations including e-tailers, chains, mass merchandisers, independent bookstores, and more.  Circana began incorporating ComicHub data into its reports in 2020, so we accounted for the ComicHub portion when estimating the size of the book channel.  Circana covers approximately 85% of the U.S. trade print book market.  Some publishers classify titles that are primarily text, or art books, as graphic novels; those titles are manually removed from the analysis.

As presented above and in the accompanying infographics, the analysis by ICv2 was divided up between periodical comics (what some call "floppies" or "pamphlets"), graphic novels, and digital download-to-own sales.  All print figures are calculated based on the full retail price of books sold into the market, and do not account for discounting or markup.  Digital sales do not include subscription-based "all you can read" services, which are an increasing share of the digital revenue derived from comics.

The "Other" channel in our channel breakdown includes crowdfunding (Kickstarter, etc.), and the minimal sales through the Newsstand channel (periodical sales through specialty retail and mass merchant chains).

Click Gallery below for the Comic Sales Report graphs for 2022!


ICv2 is the #1 industry source on the business of geek culture, including comics and graphic novels, hobby games, and the media world surrounding them, on its website, and in its magazine, Internal Correspondence.  For the people on the front lines of the geek culture business, staying ahead of the trends isn't something that can be left to chance-it's a basic necessity for being successful.  That's why ICv2, where trend-watching is a science, is the #1 source of news and information for the buyers, gatekeepers, and tastemakers.