On February 19, the MS in Publishing Program started its series of spring events, a lineup of networking sessions and guest lectures about the industry.

The event featured Paul Levitz (former executive, publisher, president of D.C. Comics; winner of the Inkpot Award in 2002, adjunct to the Publishing MS Program, and special editor to Pace’s The Journal of Comics and Culture volumes 3 – 5) and Milton Griepp (CEO and founder of Capitol City Distribution and ICv2), discussing the state of the comics market in North America. Griepp presented research showing that even during the disruption caused by COVID-19, there has been an increase in readership for manga (e.g., My Hero Academia), juvenile graphic novels (e.g., Smile), and independent titles (e.g., The Adventure Zone). At the same time, superheroes comics have decreased in sales. There are several reasons for this, Griepp said. The increased use of Amazon as a retail option and the popularity of streaming during quarantine has created a boom among young readers. Retail chains or bookstores have been showing steady sales thanks to their sites and curbside pickup. The event concluded with Griepp and Prof. Levitz answering questions from the audience.