The market for comics and graphic novels from companies like Marvel, DC, Image or Dark Horse in the United States and Canada has been growing steadily for a decade except for a downward blip in 2017. according to estimates by Comichron and ICv2. 2021 still proved to be a completely different story in terms of growth. As data shows, sales revenue with comic books and related media shot past $2 billion in the two North American countries.
In 2016, regular book channels like fairs, online retailers and book chains generated less than 40 percent of the total sales revenue, while their share rose to roughly 56 percent in 2021. This can, in part, be explained by the reduced mobility in the United States and Canada due to movement restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus and the resulting shift to e-commerce channels. Brick-and-mortar comic stores, the long-standing revenue champion, grew as well compared to 2016, though the increase in sales hasn't been as sharp.
"Publishers made more selling comics content than in any year in the history of the business, even when adjusted for inflation," John Jackson Miller, head of Comichron, said in the corresponding press release. "The biggest year in the modern era, 1993, saw sales of around $1.6 billion in 2021 dollars — and the pricier product mix puts 2021 ahead of what the colossal circulations of the early 1950s brought in, also adjusted for inflation."