The Market for the Comic Book and its cousin, the Graphic Novel, reached $680 million last year in the U.S. and Canada, up 20% since 2005.
The typical price of a comic today is $3.99. In the 1959s, it was 10¢ (90¢ after adjusting for inflation).
Forty-four years ago, Marvel and DC jointly secured patent No.72243225 for the term "SUPER HERO." According to their patent filing, the phrase was first used commercially on March 4, 1966.
More than 130,000 copies of Action Comics #1 (introducing Superman to the world) were sold in 1938, with a cover price of 10¢.
...Up to 100 are thought to exist today.
...In March, a first edition was auctioned for $1.5 million, the highest price ever paid for a comic book.
More than 1.5 billion ARCHIE comic books have been sold worldwide. Archie has been a junior at Riverdale High for the past 69 years. This September, the series will introduce its first openly gay character, Kevin Keller, under the caption: "MEET THE HOT NEW GUY!"
SPIDER-MAN and X-MEN cocreator STAN LEE has made appearances in 12 of his comics' film adaptations. Superhero flicks with cameos by Lee rake in an average of $225 million in the U.S., MORE THAN THE AVERAGES FOR GEORGE CLOONEY, BRAD PITT, AND DENZEL WASHINGTON FILMS COMBINED.
The average age of a comic-book reader today is between 25 and 28.
In the 1950s, the average age was 12.
SCHOOL AND LIBRARY PURCHASES ACCOUNT FOR ABOUT 10% OF TOTAL COMIC-BOOK SALES. MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY has the world's largest catalogued collection of comic-books, with more than 200,000 issues published since the 1840s. The library has copies of about 60% f all U.S comics printed over the past 75 years.
A version of this article appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.