The North American comic book market is experiencing a surge in sales of youth and mid-grade graphic novels by authors such as Raina Telgemeier, Dav Pilkey, Jeff Kinney and Jerry Craft. These authors have seen their books dominate the best-seller lists and sell millions of copies of both fiction and non-fiction novels. The second largest comic book publisher in North America, DC Comics, recently responded to the closure of its main distributor, Diamond, by ending their 25-year business relationship. The mainstream audience has embraced comic book culture with open arms, as evidenced by the public mea culpa from renowned director Martin Scorsese.
Graphic novels can now be found in many bookstores, including Barnes and Noble, while individual issues are mostly sold in comic book stores. Tseang attributes the growing popularity of graphic novels to the pandemic, as well as to the rise of comic book writers and artists from around the world. Comic book culture is now an all-encompassing amalgam of passionate fans from all walks of life. The stigma that once surrounded comic books has been replaced by a newfound appreciation for the art form.
This has led to a resurgence in the comic book collector market, capitalizing on the success of recent films. The success of these films can be attributed to the talented actors who portrayed beloved comic book characters. A prime example is Dav Pilkey's Dog Man books for young readers. Comics are now accessible all over the world and their success is a global phenomenon, leading to events such as Comic-Con in San Diego and FanDome in DC.
Over the middle of the previous decade, comics have seen more sales than ever before in a span of 20 years. PW arrived on the New York publishing scene a few years before Richard Outcault's Yellow Kid, the first successful comic strip in an American newspaper, arrived in 1898. Schatz may be right in his assertion that compiled formats have dominated comic book sales in recent years. Nearly twenty years later, events such as Comic-Con are still going strong, helping to save the comic book industry.