Publisher's Weekly notes that overall, that the sales of print books rose 19.5% in the last week of January 2021, compared to the last week of January in 2020, according to bookstores that report into the NPD BookScan figures. And that marks three weeks in a row of sales being up 19% or more based on figures a year ago. In total, print unit sales were 21.3% higher in January 2021 than January 2020. But they also noted that adult graphic novels sold through bookstores or online booksellers also had a huge week, outperforming the rest of the market significantly, up 110% on their equivalent sales a year ago. That's more than double what they were selling last January.
It doesn't seem that there was any specific one graphic novel release fuelling this, no large franchise release, just a general tide of increased sales all round. Bleeding Cool noted recently that Friends Forever, the final chapter of Shannon Hale's graphic novels Best Friends, had just set a million print run as it aims for an older audience than previous volumes – which is basically what Rob Liefeld's Youngblood #1 sold thirty years ago. Not everyone will make the comparison between those two comics, but that's what Bleeding Cool is here for.
If you are looking for a new comic book boom right now, it's through the bookstore. And not just the kids and YA stuff either, adult fiction graphic novels in bookstores and online markets are now the beneficiary of the audience that Scholastic stoked in the school bookfair markets ten years ago – and still manages to work with, even in these shutdown and lockdown-challenged times.
Comics books, apparently it's not just for kids anymore. Who knew? Feel free to keep Bleeding Cool informed of graphic novels sales in your area.