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

February 18, 2013

John Jackson Miller Estimates 2012 Sales At $700M-Plus

You should read writer and veteran number-cruncher John Jackson Miller's article on piecing together a 2012 estimate at his site rather than have me just repeat/republish the bulk of his findings here with a thank-you link. So please, please go do that. Basically, these are numbers Miller's compiled from combining the recent analysis of Bookscan graphic novel numbers discussed down-blog and his own Direct Market insights, with a couple of things left unreported that he notes. It's an estimate, but I think it's a pretty good one at noting the heaving shape of the year-just-past. And those are, overall, good numbers, as good as they have been in a cumulative sense l would guess since the post-Image boom in the mid-1990s and the whole enterprise started to careen to one side as the Distributor Wars started.

My first thought about this is that the shape of the market seems healthy enough to have an impact on advocacy on behalf of creators being paid as well as possible. All I mean by that is that I don't think it's automatic to assume that "times are tough" and avoid potential criticism on that basis alone. Time are always tough for certain segments and certain markets, but if the overall levels are positive we may need to go a bit further in figuring out just what that means. If times are too tough for certain models, that may be on the model. And that goes both ways: a market that potentially favors ways of making comics that maybe don't allow the high-profit margins that may have given folks huge paydays at one time needs to be taken into consideration as well when we talk about these issues.

My second thought is to be happy for the retailers that have done well with comics, particularly the DM stalwarts. I love comic book shops, and I think it would be an advantage for the art form and the medium to have a devoted retail channel in the years ahead.
posted 5:40 pm PST | Permalink

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