The 50ᵉ Angoulême Comic Festival opens its doors this Thursday, January 26. A 9ᵉ art that is on the rise, with an abundance of offers and exponential sales. Despite the numbers, however, the bubble could be deflated. Illustration in Limoges.
Festival of Lights 2022 in Lyon
Le monde sans fin, the best-selling book in France in 2022, at more than 700,000 copies, is actually a cartoon! And last year it was the same, it was an Asterix.
Comics have never done so well, between a sale in 3 and one in 4 in bookstoresfor 85 million copies and 890 million euros in revenue, in 2021. The offer has exploded and now really appeals to 7 to 77-year-olds.
This is confirmed by Sébastien Lavy, general bookseller in Limoges“between the emergence of graphic novels, popular science works, philosophies or other … more and more adaptations of novels too, yes, comics are clearly on the rise! it’s been boosted by the culture pass.”
And what works even more is manga, comic books of Japanese origin. 52% sales, 168% growth, in the latter half of 2022 alone. “Before, we worked on a few titles that came from anime that people had been able to watch. Today, we’re on a much more abundant offering that has something for everyone.”, explains Jean-Pierre Frontela, bookseller specializing in Manga in Limoges. Abundance, judge: 18 to 25,000 titles offered!
But behind the big sales of classic comics and manga, are comics generally doing so well? Answer from Thierry Felip, comics bookseller in Limoges: “the tree that hides the forest would rather be the bestsellers that hide certain authors, those who sell in small quantities… It is not because there is a Jancovici, a Blain, who sells “Un monde without end” for 700,000 copies, that all the books are sold at this level, it is not possible.”
On average, all genres combined, sales increased 5% each year. But the first estimates for 2023 tend towards stagnation, or worse, against a bursting of the bubble!