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

January 2, 2015

50 Comics Positives For 2014: Raina Telgemeier And The Numbers


It took a while for comics to find metrics and tools with which to measure accomplishments outside of the Direct Market. Compounding those difficulties is that some of the measuring implements available are going to work differently according to publisher orientation; this is the underlying nervousness about taking Bookscan numbers as gospel.

One thing that's become crystal clear is how much these newer numbers, standards and lists have revealed and then repeatedly confirmed a comics superstar in our midst: Raina Telgemeier. There are maybe a half-dozen ways of getting at what Telgemeier has been doing, but you only need one. Check out the numbers from this WSJ article: 1.5 million copies of Smile in print; 1.4 million copies of Sisters.

Another way to make a comparison is that non-mainstream comics-making careers for the last 20 years have been marked by cartoonists being able to place one of their books above the 100K mark. She's done that 29 times with that pair of works.

So if you haven't been paying attention, start. Telgemeier should come up with every mention of successful worldwide comics makers now; she's earned it.
posted 2:20 am PST | Permalink

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