It's no secret that the comic book industry has seen a significant drop in sales and popularity in recent years. While manga series have been selling more than many comics, it begs the question: what is the problem that comics face compared to manga?The answer may lie in the fact that Diamond Comics Distributors, Inc. has achieved a virtual monopoly on comic book distribution since the mid-90s. Investing in comics as a financial strategy requires knowledge, skill, experience and a lot of luck.
Unfortunately, some comic book store owners have made emotional decisions that have hurt their business, such as kicking out customers with different political opinions. This lack of foot traffic has caused many stores to close due to lack of income. The Diamond shutdown caused a virtual shutdown of the comic book market and caused cash flow problems for the distributor, delaying payments to publishers. The economic recession created by the pandemic has made it difficult for people to open comic book stores, as people have to wear masks and practice social distancing. At a private industry conference, data was shared that indicated that a massive shift in the comic book publishing industry had reached a point of inflection.
Demon Slayer sold more than the entire comic book industry, further proving that manga outsells comics. As political tension increased in North America and Western Europe, many comic book readers grew tired of being told what to think and how to think. For the many expert administrators who own and operate these comic book stores, their experience and backlog catalogs are second to none and can never be replaced. After 25 years of business together, DC Comics, the second largest comic book publisher in North America, parted ways with Diamond due to its main distributor's closure. Today, 90% of all comics are still sold in independent retail stores, while kiosks and digital services such as Amazon Kindle represent only one digit. For the first time anyone can remember, superheroes are being surpassed in their native environment (American comics and graphic novels) by other types of content, especially children's plates and Japanese (or Japanese-inspired) manga.
Nearly twenty years later, the event is still going on, as is the comic book industry it helped to save. Despite all the superhero movies out there, the comic book companies themselves aren't even worth a billion.