Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

February 24, 2014

Go, Read: Brian Hibbs' Walk Through The Bookscan Numbers

Here. This is required reading by anyone with a vague interest in the general sweep and flow of comics through the bookstore market. I am constantly and consistently told that for the top publishers these numbers are almost always excellent, and that for the smaller publishers that they should be taken with a grain of salt because they are more likely to fall into the blindspots of the information-gathering process. But you definitely get a picture of things, if only at 1978 Philco quality as opposed to what you might get a 50-inch HD bought on Christmas, 2013.

The things that jumped out at me on a first pass were the yearly confirmation of bookstore comics-making stars like Lincoln Peirce and Raina Telgemeier (and Sonic The Hedgehog), the continued decline although not in rapid or accelerating fashion of translated manga, the beyond solid hit-status of March, and the performance year-to-year of certain perennials. I'm also relieved that the combative nature of past reports and their comparison math battles seem to be a thing of the past. I've not been right on every emerging comics industry issue, but I still feel pretty confident that all the paying markets for comics are in their own way desirable and necessary. I'll never trust market-segment-triumphantalists, by genre or by distribution system.

Anyway, you should avail yourselves if you have 10 minutes and this kind of thing interests you in any way, shape or form. It's a valuable service.
posted 1:45 am PST | Permalink

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