Comics Sales Reveal Tales Of Their Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Newsarama have posted a wonderful dissection of Comichron’s report of comics sales figures for May 2013, and highlighted how comics sales in issues are up a whole 22% on a decade ago, and double the dollar value for the same period, way out-stripping the rate of inflation!

Recession? What recession?

While altogether heartening to note, it is interesting to see the figures suggest that comics sales have already peaked, down 1% in issue quantity on a year ago, and 5% on five years ago. But then, these are purely physical comics sales, not factoring in the digital market that has been surging ahead in leaps and bounds.

It would be interesting to see how these figures break down further, especially in regard to the trade paperback/graphic novels. How many of these are coming through the local comic stores, ordinary bookstores or chains and then internet sources like Amazon.

Still, it’s all basically good news, which leads me to wonder what we will call this age of comics? As a reader, I rather feel spoilt for choice, and was perusing that we had entered a second Golden Age, reinforced with the relaunch of many public domain original Golden Age. Still, the name leaves a little something to be desired.

Maybe the Digital Age? Then again, the period that I am thinking of encompasses the entire decade, and the digital market had barely begun.

How about the Event Age? Still, now that we have the large events, it is doubtful that they will fall from fashion. Also that would us back into the Bronze Age of Comics, as one could consider the dawn of the Event Age to be 1985 and the Crisis On Infinite Earths.

My recommendation from this week’s shipping has to be Jason Aaron’s Thor, God of Thunder #9 as we approach the culmination of the Thunder God’s three-faced battle with Gorr the God Slayer.

If you have not been following this title, Thor the Avenger has inevitably teams up with a younger self, and a failed All-Father Thor from a distant future against a being that gains his power from the myriad pantheons of gods he has destroyed, and his work is not yet done.

Through the standard tools of battle and scant moments of introspection, Aaron has presented an illuminating journey into Thor’s psyche, studying how the Asgardian views his place in the universe. Far from the distant godly figure we all know and love, we can now empathise with a character that has rarely revealed his more emotional side. With magnificent, seemingly painted art by Esad Ribic and colored by Ive Scorcina, this entire series is reminiscent of glorious retelling of myths and legends that we all received in our Christmas stockings.

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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