Lately, Publisher’s Weekly has had some really interesting articles on comics. One of them, about the ICv2 Confab report for 2007 (ICv2 is a pop culture trade website, that’s been running a graphic novel conference for the past couple of years), gives an overview of the comics/graphic novel industry for 2007. Apparently, graphic novel sales rose 12% between 2006 and 2007, and have increased fivefold since 2001. When I chased down the article on the ICv2 website, I found that graphic novels were worth about $375 million in 2007, periodical comics came to $330 million, and manga about $210 million. Each segment indicated rising sales and production. That’s a total of $915 million – around 2.5% of total US book sales (which is about $37.09 billion, according to the Book Industry Study Group).

In other Publisher’s Weekly comics news, they’re making a comic based on The Twilight Zone. And they’ve got a survey of graphic artists to watch for 2008. The ICv2 website also carries monthly lists of top 300 comics and top 100 graphic novels, in case anyone’s interested.

I have to ask, though, is there a graphic novel/comic book industry in Australia? I know there’s artists and illustrators out there – Shaun Tan and Eddie Campbell spring instantly to mind – and the AWM database has one, possibly two, dedicated comic book publishers that I can think of. And perhaps this is another arena where American imports just meet the needs of the market. Perhaps what comics industry we have represents the same 2.5% slice of our book industry, which in around 2004 had a net worth of $3.4 billion. But am I seeing the full picture? Does anyone know what’s out there for the average Australian Warren Ellis or Alan Moore? (Other than a strategic move to the US…)

The Australian Writer’s Marketplace is Australia and New Zealand’s only guide to the writing industry. While providing submission and contact details for the print media and publishing industry.

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