Digital media has been cannibalizing the sale of physical media for years—books are on the decline, magazines and newspapers are dying, as the world flocks to digital. You’d think comic books, where day-and-date releases are a given, digital-first issues run wild, and all-you-can-read subscriptions are growing, would be the same. Turns out that’s not the case at all!
A new study by CNBC tracked the sales of physical and digital comic books over the last few years notes the surprising turn that, unlike other areas of publishing, comic book sales both physically and digitally are on the rise. On top of that, the growing popularity of digital books, especially in the years since the launch of Comixology (which just announced its own digital comics subscription plan), has done nothing to halt the sales of physical single issues—in fact, for the last five years sales of single issues rose consecutively every year.