If it feels like geeking out over graphic novels has become a bit more mainstream lately — that's because it has. In fact, comic books are more popular now than they've been for over 20 years. Perhaps caused by the barrage of blockbusters based on comic books, we've all gone a bit Seth Cohen lately. So many of us are buying comic books that retailers have had to seriously step up their supplies; the last time comic books were this in demand from bookshops was all the way back in 1997.
The most popular graphic novels in June, which each sold a quarter of a million copies to retailers, were Marvel's Civil War II #1 and DC's Batman #1 — which backs up the idea that the surge of popularity is thanks to badass superhero film franchises getting people excited. It's also worth noting that comic books are more obtainable than ever, now that digital platforms like ComiXology are making comic books more affordable, and allowing readers to get hands on more accessible formats. No doubt, this is boosting the excitement over comic books even further.
These figures aren't totally conclusive, though: they track the number of comic books bought by retailers in June, rather than by readers. So we don't know for sure that comic books are actually selling in the massive quantities that these numbers imply — but it seems likely. After all, if the retailers are pouring so much money into filling their shops with comic books, the demand must be pretty high! So, if you've been a closeted comic-book lover forever, your time to shout your love of the genre is now — and if you've never read a comic book in your life, you better get started straight away! Here's a beginners guide for comic books written by women — enjoy!