The comic book industry has seen a resurgence in recent years, but the success isn't as simple as it seems. To understand how comics have evolved and reached new levels of success, it's important to look at the factors that have contributed to this phenomenon. Dimensioning the comic book market has become a complicated process. After comics disappeared from newsstands in the early 1980s, almost all periodic comics were sold through a network of independently owned retail comic book stores.
This inventory cannot be returned, so the number of copies ordered and sent to comic book stores is counted as sales, even if they are not sold to retail customers. In the 1980s, several independent publishers began to publish a wide range of styles and formats, from color superhero comics to black-and-white stories about Latin American magical realism in magazine format. These comics reflected the youth counterculture and drug culture of the time. Today, 90% of all comics are still sold in independent retail stores, and kiosks and digital services such as Amazon Kindle represent only one digit.
The first issue of a full-length comic book series is usually the rarest and most attractive to collectors. Over the years, Diamond has achieved a virtual monopoly on comic book distribution since the mid-90s. With comics like Maus being banned in different school districts, this is likely to lead readers to seek them out even more. The current revival owes much of its success to an entirely different genre: films based on comic books.
As sectors of the American entertainment industry close in crisis, new comics continue to be published and printed weekly, bringing new stories to readers even in isolation in their homes. Nearly twenty years later, the event is still going on, as is the comic book industry it helped save. Although articles attribute the recent success of superhero comics to their film adaptation, neither of them attributes too substantial growth to popular books. And dozens of artists and writers auction off books and works of art to benefit others; DC artist Jim Lee draws a list of superheroes every day for two months and sells it by the thousands on eBay to benefit comic book stores.