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January 16, 2007 2006 Was Very Good For DM

imageThe comics business news and analysis site is declaring 2006 a very good year, now that the December 2006 numbers are in, with periodicals up 15% and graphic novels up 9%. As far as the December numbers, the site notes a double-dip for the Brad Meltzer take on the Justice League of America concept, and two Brian Bendis-written comics drawing on the strong Avengers property, all make the top five.

News Story
Top 300 Comic Books
Top 100 Graphic Novels

If I had to comment on's take on things, and I'd be ill-prepared to walk into Nerd Court and make a case with numbers and everything, I'd say just based on my general, kind of amateurish observations that the statement "constant reinvigoration of continuing series" seems kind of an overstatement. While big-company series might be reinvigorated creatively, it seems to me most of the growth came from additional, high-end "event" comics, comics that tie in to such events, and runs in regular series that mirror that kind of gotta-have-it/everything-will-change/big-time-creative-team formula. I don't see as much strength coming from, say, the regular X-Men books as opposed to the last couple of years, anyway.

I think this is important because it speaks to the potential sustainability of the growth and the breadth of its appeal.

It's also worth noting the relentless single-genre, limited-group-of-publishers nature of the periodicals list and the strong showing for that genre in the DM's book-buying habits, which depending on your level of cynicism makes the Direct Market feel more specialized than might be healthy or actually locks the DM into less effective strategies based on following the market leaders.

cover image from Justice League of America #4
posted 2:14 am PST | Permalink

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