I was reading by accident that manga sales now are like 4 times american comic sales.

Manga reached record sales numbers in 2020, earning an estimated $5.6 billion in Japan alone, according to Megan Peters. Meanwhile, that same year American comics earned $1.28 billion in North America, according to a joint survey by ICv2 and Comichron.

Japanese manga dominating American comics

I also saw manga sale figures for 1995 in Japan compared to the oldest I could find of american comics (2012 if I recall correctly) and the difference was even larger. What about the golden era of american comics (which I believe it was in the 60's or before ) .

Did manga sales always outperform comic sales?

Further info:

Japan-manga-unit-sales 1990-2017

1960 (american) Comic book sales

  • 2
    Did those figures take into account the fact that most manga (e.g. Shonen Jump) are published weekly, whereas most comics are published monthly? If not, then that would explain the higher sales figures: if a manga sells 10,000 copies a week, and a comic book sells 10,000 copies a month, then the manga is going to get four times as many sales just from getting published four times as often.
    – F1Krazy
    Sep 28 at 17:30
  • The figures only take into account the USA where magazines like Shounen Jump do not even get published. Manga made up 76% of that market in 2021 according to NPD BookScan.
    – Ocean
    Oct 4 at 12:22
  • I found this about copies sold in the 60's comichron.com/yearlycomicssales/postaldata/1960.html
    – Pablo
    Oct 4 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


Manga as an industry only started around the 1970s. There were manga published before that, but not more than a few each year.

Comics on the other hand started out way earlier, so there necessarily was a time when comics sold more than manga. They also used to come with the stigma of being for children and manga didn't.

Then again the USA has over twice the population of Japan and it wasn't common for Japanese media to leave Japan, while the USA has always been eager to export their entertainment.

According to NPD BookScan (article to be found here) in the USA alone Manga made up 76% of the graphic novel market in 2021, which is actually a very heavy damnation for comics.

  • Once again, I don't think you're taking into account the fact that most manga are published weekly whereas most comics are published monthly.
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 4 at 12:21
  • Manga outsell comics 7:3 in the USA where they are only published as books and not as magazines.
    – Ocean
    Oct 4 at 12:26
  • Not sure what you say is accurate, I found 100 mangas were created in the 60's en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Manga_debuts_by_year
    – Pablo
    Oct 4 at 13:53
  • @Pablo A hundred Manga for an entire decade is a negligible amount. These days you get about ten thousand new manga per year, but during the 60s there only were a few manga released each year. It wasn't really an industry at that point.
    – Ocean
    Oct 5 at 22:32

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