Comic books had a good year in 2013, and actual paper comic books have been selling better than digital downloads. And indeed, there’s still something very cool about going through comic book stores and pursuing our favorite titles. So we were surprised to read that Marvel may now be pulling some of their titles from bookstores.
We lost a lot of major book chains with the recession, and according to the Hollywood Reporter, Marvel will no longer have their comics at Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. At the same time, DC and Dark Horse comics are both still available at both chains. (Marvel book collections and graphic novels, however, are still available at the chains via the distributor Hachette.)
Marvel said in a statement that “the overwhelming majority of print readers get their monthly comics from direct market locations, i.e. brick and mortar comic shops. There’s no denying that the direct market is a much stronger business model for monthly single issues than newsstand distribution. New single issues haven’t been available in the overall newsstand market for nearly two years now and in book stores for at least three months without notice. We’re currently working with Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million on a stronger, more mutual beneficial distribution model.”
So again, print comics are still selling well, that market hasn’t been overtaken by digital, and comic book stores are apparently still going strong. At the same time, we’re hoping things can work out with Marvel comics and what’s left of bookstores across the country. (It would be especially nice to see comics help keep bookstores in business.)