The North American comic book industry grew 6% in 2016, with a $55 million increase from 2015 to reach $1.085 billion, according to a joint report by Comichron and ICv2. Graphic novels in bookstores were reportedly the sole driver of the growth, with comic book retailer sales, digital comics, and traditional newstands remaining largely the same.
"It's gratifying to see continued growth in the audience for graphic novels," said Milton Griepp of ICv2. "This represents growth in the broadest part of the market, where increased variety of content is being found by new audiences for comics, including kids and women."
Marvel's launch of its Star Wars title in 2015 made it hard for 2016 comic book retailers to beat according to ComicChron's John Jackson Miller.
"The fact that  pulled even, thanks in part to DC's Rebirth event, was remarkable-and the book channel's strength was even more so," said Miller.
Bookstores raked in $405 million in graphic novel sales in 2016, a 16% increase over 2015 - and follows two years of upward gains with 23% in 2015 and 16% in 2014.