The business news and analysis site ICv2.com unveiled news at the conferences they sponsored at New York Comic-Con yesterday that the graphic novel format outsold the more traditional comic book format in "retail stores" in 2006. This is the first time this has ever happened, and likely represents an important historical moment. The reason it might not feel like a sea change is that the traditional comics format stopped being the format of choice for a large number of publishers years ago. Unless you were a comics fan really invested in superhero comics, your primary experience with comics may have come solely through the spine-bear format. It also goes almost without saying that market change has been driven by the rapid growth in manga, which has enjoyed its success through a trade format as opposed to a stapled one.