The good news is that you can invest in comics without needing to know the difference between Atom and Ant-Man. Superhero movies are certainly popular, but they are based on comics that used to cost a penny. Free Comic Book Day is now celebrated as a holiday that lasts a weekend in many stores around the world. Superheroes have been the dominant genre in American comics since the 1960s and are still the first thing many people think of when they think of 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.
Western comic artists and companies should focus on telling good stories that people can relate to, instead of pushing political agendas. The economic recession caused by the pandemic has made it difficult for people to open comic book stores, as they must adhere to safety protocols such as wearing masks and social distancing. The event is still going on nearly twenty years later, and so is the comic book industry it helped to save. The Diamond shutdown caused a virtual shutdown of the comic book market, resulting in cash flow problems for the distributor and delayed payments to publishers. Data shared at a private industry conference indicated that a massive shift in the comic book publishing industry had reached a point of inflection.
Despite being so accessible on the Internet, people still prefer to buy comics in-store to enjoy the experience. Diamond has achieved a virtual monopoly on comic book distribution since the mid-90s by buying smaller and rival distributors. Despite all the superhero movies out there, the comic book companies themselves aren't even worth a billion. Comic book readers are very fragmented, with different formats such as singles, TPB, OHC, Omnibuses, digital day and digital buffet, making it difficult to tabulate print runs of single books. According to Forbes, two companies drive the vast majority of the global market: DC and Marvel, which together account for 80% of all direct market comic book sales.