As part of our review of 2023 sales, ICv2 interviewed comic retailers, including some of the largest chains in the country, to help us understand the drivers behind the trends.  Those trends were negative in 2023, with periodical comic sales down 5.8%, graphic novels down 11.9%, and overall new comics and graphic novel sales down 8.0% in comic stores (see "Sales Down 8%").

As always, those over-all numbers reflect considerable variation store to store.  Here are a few call-out numbers from some of the retailers we interviewed.

Graham Crackers Comics (12 stores in Illinois, Wisconsin, and California)

  • Foot traffic down
  • Less people reading/collecting
  • Less people speculating/investing
  • Overall sales down 7.5%
  • DC new comics down 12%
  • Marvel comics up 1%
  • Back issues down 3%

Coliseum of Comics (11 stores in Florida)

  • New comics down 12%
  • New comics now under 20% of chain-wide sales
  • If remove variants, leaving only "A" covers, Marvels down 27% in a single year,
  • Marvel dollars down 13%
  • Back issues stable

B-Bop Comics (2 stores in Kansas City metro area)

  • Total sales down 15.5%
  • Graphic novel sales down 20.3%
  • New comics down 10%
  • Back issues down 25%
  • Vs. 2019, sales up 11%

Comics Conspiracy (Sunnyvale, California)

  • Down 11% for 2023
  • Up 40% from pre-Covid numbers
  • Single issues still over 50% of sales

For our full, in-depth analysis of the comic store sales trends and the reasons for them, see "In-Depth: Comic Publishers Killing Momentum").