Huge news for comic fans as comic sales reached a 20-year high in 2012, not seen since the comic boom in the 1990’s. Print sales in North America are estimated to be at $715 million for the year (not including library or international sales), which is not too shabby, considering most normal members of our society seem to think The Avengers are simply movie characters.
Also, realize I said print sales, not digital. In fact, I have no clue how many are buying digital but you have to figure that is a crap load, too. So this also shows that print is probably not going anywhere baby!
This is a relief to me as I am an old school fan boy who loves nothing more than the smell of old newsprint, the scenery of boxes and boxes of back issues, and the company of a store owner whose life is lamer than mine (death to digital, you will not kill my childhood!).
With these number equal to 1993’s and 1994’s comic book sales, we have to ask: are we having a similar boom? If so, can we also look forward to a similar crash? Here we have the similarities:
In the 1990’s
Spider-Man got entangled in a mega dragged-out, super weird and confusing story of clones affectionately known as The Clone Saga (duh). Now in 2013, Doctor Octopus somehow has jumped into Spider-Man’s brain and lives there while he and Peter fight for control. Oh, and he almost laid down some pipeage with Mary Jane which was very sick and disturbing! Man, I hate that he almost did the forbidden dance wiht MJ! It’s so weird (and and you know it’ll be mega dragged-out and super confusing).
In the 1990’s…
The industry pimped mega huge publicity stunts that the media jumped on, but after a short two year gap, the ramifications of each event would suddenly return to status quo (e.g. Death of Superman, Batman gets a boo-boo to his back at the hands of Bane).
Are we experiencing Deja Vu? Today, the industry pimps mega huge publicity stunts that the media jumps on, but after a short two year gap, the ramifications of each event would suddenly return to status quo (Human Torch Dies, Captain America Dies, Uncanny X-Men has its final issue). I admit to falling happily for all of these stunts, but still… pull it together publishers.
In the 1990’s…
The industry pushed big number one reboot events like the local neighborhood dealer (X-Force, innumerable Spidey titles, and every possible iteration of X-Men). Today, the industry still shovels big number one reboot events (New 52, Marvel Now!) I know, these stunts have worked so far and the New 52 may have saved the industry, but how long till folks get sick of it?
In the 1990’s…
Variant covers. Super awesome, shiny, chromium covers and crazy cool, must have 3-d editions. Today, waaaaay too many variant covers are still published (c’mon, state birds, holy crap no). Plus, they just charged eight bucks for the Spidey kinda-dies issue.
At least Peter Parker knows my pain…
One thing that is definitely different about today’s comics is that absolutely nobody thinks they are going to get rich off of them (except the super old comics, those are like gold). In the 1990’s, we were all buying comics with the super secret plan to sell them and live like P. Diddy. Unfortunately, when everyone is buying comics, nothing at all is rare or worth anything. Damn you supply and demand!
Before finishing this very incredible and super spectacular article, I should note that with the rate of inflation, sales from 1993 and 1994 would be at $1.1 billion. But inflation, insmlashion. Who cares, let’s still get excited! The comic industry is cooler than ever, and we are somewhat cool too! That is, at least until the next crash happens, and then people will be saying, “Comics? Only dorks read those! “