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Research, Research, Research: the Market

A column article by: Ace Masters

Welcome back. I hope you are up for the ride as we are about to get into what will most likely be your most intensive section of Research: The Market.

In the last column I left you with this Burning Question:
"Do you know who the largest comic book publisher in the world is?
Are you sure? The answer may surprise you."

This question, and its answer, leads us directly into the Market concept. Before we get to that, I have to update the Market section of the list of things to research.

As it stands currently, the Market list of things to research appeared in the original column like this:

3. The Market
     A. The Comic Book Industry as a Whole
     B. The Indie Comic Book Industry
     C. The True Indie Comic Book Industry
     D. Distribution
     E. Sales
          1. Marvel and DC
          2. Big Indies
     3. Everyone Else

After looking this over and giving it more thought, this needs to be modified to better reflect the Market as a whole. The new and updated Market section looks like this:

3. The Market
     A. Newsstand
     B. The Direct Market
          1. Marvel and DC
          2. The Indie Comic Book Industry
          3. The True Indie Comic Book Industry
          4. Small Press Comics
     C. Distribution
          1. Diamond Comics Distributors
          2. Other Print Distributors
          3. Online Comic Distributors (Print Comics, Not Web Comics)
     E. Sales
          1. Marvel and DC
          2. Big Indies
          3. Everyone Else

The only part of this section that remains the same is E. Sales; everything else is slightly different. Breaking the Comic Book Industry into Newsstand and The Direct Market better reflects the industry, and so does adding Small Press Comics.

Expect a number of columns on this subject, as I will break down each aspect of the market as well as I can. I plan to start with an overview of the Market in general in the next column.

Now it is time to answer the Burning Question:

Do you know who the largest comic book publisher in the world is?

Marvel? Nope.

DC? Nope.

The answer is Archie Comics. Marvel and DC have the largest market shares in the Direct Market (comic book stores), where Archie has a small presence. But once you add in Newsstands, book stores, grocery stores, and places like Wal-Mart - where you can find Archie Digest books, but not, or rarely, Marvel or DC Comics - then Archie has a larger market share and potentially higher sales.

For now I will leave you with this Burning Question:

What is the Market?

Later,

Ace


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