Calvin ReidComic books – and graphic novels, their book trade cousins – are no laughing matter. The characters between these covers are usually troubled souls, and the situations they confront range from disturbing to dire.

The scenario for the comic book business is anything but dire, however. According to a recently published report on the North American market, sales in 2015 topped $1 billion for the first time.

What makes comics sales pop? It’s a convergence of factors that have reshaped the marketplace in recent years, says Calvin ReidPublishers Weekly senior news editor and PW Comics World co-editor.

“We’ve seen the mainstreaming of comics publishing and comics reading,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. At the same time, “the market has expanded beyond the superhero genre. It’s also owing to the power of librarians. And at the end of the day, we’re seeing the evolution and the development of comics industry as part of the book trade.”

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