Thursday, July 14, 2005

Circulation numbers

No one had any idea of the enormous number of comic books. The industry had not given out any figures, nor had a magazine or newspaper published any. When I made public the result of my own estimates and computations, namely that there were (then) some sixty million comic books a month, my statement was met with absolute incredulity. Some people thought that was a misprint, and that sixty million must be a yearly figure. But shortly afterwards authoritative magazines and newspapers (such as Business Week) repeated my figure as an authentic one.

Nor was I believed at first when I stated that children spend an inordinate amount of time with comic books, many of them two or three hours a day. I asked those working with groups of children, "How can you get the 'total picture' of a child when you leave out entirely what occupies him two or three hours a day?" Again and again it happened that when they made inquiries they told me of finding out to their surprise how many comic books children read, how bad these books are and what an enormous amount of time children spend with them.