The comicbook industry is worth the most it ever has been at over $1.09 Billion dollars. But how much of this money goes to actual superheroes?
This is something that is legitimately structured as a question. I don't like to think of myself as a comic expert, but numbers don't really lie. You might be thinking
"But oh! Comic books are doing great!"
And overall comic books are doing well as an industry. However, superhero bomic books are failing. The source of this graph is here at Forbes. This chart breaks apart each of the apart each share of the market. Not by company but by genre. If you'd like to see the sales of individual comicbooks, I'd advise you head on over to Comichron. The site features both sales digitally and to individual comicshops.
To further restate it, these are the market shares of each comic, accompanied by the YOY rates which symbolize growth.
- Juvenile Fiction: 41% (25.9%)
- Manga: 28% (20.1%)
- Superheroes: 10% (-9.6%)
- Juvenile Non Fiction: 3% (24.4%)
- Young Adult Fiction: 3% (39.3%)
- Fantasy: 3% (18.9%)
- Sci-Fi: 2% (-16%)
- General: 2% (32.9%)
- Other: 8% (6%)
Notable here is that not only has manga completely blown past western comics as a whole, Manga continues to grow at a YOY change of 20.1%. And slowly, comicbooks fade with a YOY change of -9.6% as of 2019.
Other interest facts
- The Author of one piece currently holds the Guinness book World Record for the most comicbooks ever sold written by any singular author. Though due to the changing hands Western comics go through, this more so serves to display the strength of manga than the weakness of comics.
- Comics have slowed down so much that ONE PIECE (462 million) is RAPIDLY catching up to BATMAN (483 million) in concerns to sales. In a few years, one piece will outsell batman entirely if both keep at their current rates. Superman remains still far out of reach at 600 million. This a very conservative estimate as some people think that one piece will beat Batman this year. One Piece has already beaten out X-Men
It doesn't seem like it.
Movie sales do not seem to help comic sales in this case. If anyone at all can find a case of this as of late, then I would like to see it.
Comichron February 2018. The Month the hit movie Black Panther came out.
- February 2018: The Release of the Black Panther movie didn't seem to draw in much in the realm of sales for the comic, unable to even make it to top 20. With placements of 70, 105, 110, 111. Respectively. A Black Panther Graphic Novel seems to fair "okay" for an overall lackluster, month, placing at 14. Still not looking great for a box office.
- March 2018: The month after saw a decrease in sales for Black Panther. So nothing of note.
I would argue not. This more so just shows that Western Superhero Comics are fading, rather than the superheroes themselves.
One Article in particular I'd like to address is the article indicating that DC is to close down. But the consensus people seem to mistake this for the entire company being given up. Personally, I think it would be more likely that we would see Batman and Superman would have their writing outsourced to another company. With AT&T (The company that owns DC) being over 166 Billion Dollars in debt. This is also combined by the fac does indeed lag behind marvel as of late. Despite the fact that DC appears to sell more individual issues and have top of the shelf sales.
Ultimately, Marvel and DC superheroes seem like they are here to stay in large part due to cinematic success. Toys and T-Shirts still are going to make astronomical amounts of money. And they have disney to back them with their sales. However, the mediums in which they are born seem as though they have been left in the dust to shrivel up and die.
What is the point of this thread?
The point of this thread is to find out the reason for why Superhero comics seem to be declining and to compile data to either defeat or support this trend. I'm willing to expand this thread when I have time if people just feed me good data and sources.
Also, do not hesitate to call me out if I get anything wrong. So far these are pages I include as good, citeable sources for how superhero comics
So, what do you think? Why is this the way it is?