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Adult graphic novel sales figures reveal nearly 30% sales jump in 2020

Kinokuniya San Francisco
(Image credit: Kinokuniya)

16.2 million adult graphic novels were sold in print in 2020, according to a report from the publishing tracking service the NPD Group.

With those sales (led by My Hero Academia), the 'Adult Graphic Novels' portion of the North America book industry jumped 29.1% compared to 2019.

(Image credit: Kouhei Horikoshi (VIZ Media))

Here are the top 10 selling 'Adult Graphic Novels' of 2020:

  1. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy
  2. My Hero Academia Volume 1 by Kohei Horikoshi
  3. Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
  4. My Hero Academia Volume 2 by Kohei Horikoshi
  5. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba Volume 1 by Koyoharu Gotouge
  6. My Hero Academia Volume 24 by Kohei Horikoshi
  7. My Hero Academia Volume 3 by Kohei Horikoshi
  8. Stranger Planet by Nathan W. Pyle
  9. My Hero Academia Volume 23 by Kohei Horikoshi
  10.  Uzumaki by Junji Ito

Only three of those titles debuted in 2020 - My Hero Academia 23 and 24, and Stranger Planet.

Breaking down the 'Adult Graphic Novels' category further, manga was the subcategory with the highest year-to-year growth: 2020 saw a 43.7% increase over 2019, with means it drove 80% of the overall category's growth.

As a whole, North American print book sales increased 8.2% over the previous year, but the 'Adult Graphic Novels' category grew 3.5x faster than that even.

The strongest category overall in North America was 'Juvenile Fiction' (which would include Juvenile graphic novels). It accounted for one-third of all U.S. book market growth in 2020, selling 18 million more units than the previous years - an 11% increase. 

And while most comic sales figures and sell-out notices are for sales to retailers and not the readers themselves, these are sell-through numbers - with data provided by those stories to NPD Group.

Have a comic fan in your life? Check out our comic book gift guide.