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Light Reading: How Much Do Comic Books Weigh?

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It is debatable whether the content of comic books should be considered “light reading,” but it is evident that comic books are physically light.  But how much do comic books weigh?  To answer that question, Nothing But Comics took a sample of comics from different publishers to a U.S. Post Office and weighed them.  Examining the weight of the various comic books provided some interesting insights about the comics, and allowed us to determine the average weight of a comic book.

We selected and weighed five comic books from each of the nine publishers in our survey, using the same postage scale to measure each comic.  Because the standard number of comic book pages varies among publishers, we took note of the number of physical pages in each comic book, including the front and back covers.  (Publishers print on both the front and back of a physical page, and therefore count each page as two pages; for example, a comic book advertised as containing 32 pages has 16 physical pages.) Of the nine publishers in our survey, five have a standard number of 16 comics pages, and four have a standard number of 18 comics pages.

Below is an alphabetical list – by publisher – of the comic books that we weighed , along with the number of pages in each comic and the comic’s weight in ounces.

Avatar Press

*Crossed Plus One Hundred #2 (18 pages) – 2.7 ounces
*Ignition City #1 (18 pages) – 2.6 ounces
*Ignition City #2 (18 pages) – 2.7 ounces
*Ignition City #3 (18 pages) – 2.6 ounces
*God is Dead #30 (18 pages) – 2.7 ounces

Avatar Press publishes the heaviest comics in our survey.  The average weight of its comics are 2.7 ounces.  Although the publisher has a standard page count of 18 pages, the average weight of its comics exceeds the average comic book weight of other publishers that also print 18 page comics.  This suggests that Avatar Press uses heavier paper or other materials in its comics than other publishers.

Boom! Studios

*Day Men #6 (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces
*Suicide Risk #21 (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces
*The Woods #9 (16 pages) – 2.3 ounces
*The Woods #10 (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces
*The Woods #11 (16 pages) – 2.3 ounces

The comics published by Boom! Studios contain 16 pages and have an average weight of 2.2 ounces.

 

Dark Horse Comics

*Abe Sapien #21 (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces
*B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #127 (16 pages) – 2.3 ounces
*B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth #128 (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces
*Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #7 (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces
*Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #4 (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces

Dark Horse Comics publishes comic books containing 16 pages, and its comics have an average weight of 2.2 ounces.

 

DC Comics

*Coffin Hill #16 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*Constantine #23 (18 pages) – 1.8 ounces
*Fables #148 (18 pages) – 1.8 ounces
*Gotham Academy #5 (18 pages) – 1.8 ounces
*The New 52 Futures End #45 (18 pages) – 1.8 ounces

DC Comics publishes the lightest comics in our survey.  The average weight of a DC comic book is 1.8 ounces, even though the publisher’s comics contain 18 pages, suggesting that the publisher uses lighter materials in its comic books than other publishers.

 

Dynamite Entertainment

*Battlestar Galactica (Vol. 2) #11 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*King: Flash Gordon #2 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*King: Jungle Jim #1 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*King: Mandrake the Magician #1 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*Solar: Man of the Atom #5 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces

Dynamite Entertainment’s comics contain 18 pages, and have an average weight of 1.9 ounces.

 

IDW Publishing

*G.I. Joe (Vol. 4) #1 (16 pages) – 2.5 ounces
*Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #2 (16 pages) – 2.5 ounces
*Shadow Show #3 (16 pages) – 2.5 ounces
*Shadow Show #4 (16 pages) – 2.5 ounces
*Star Trek/Planet of the Apes: The Primate Directive #1 (16 pages) – 2.5 ounces

The average weight of an IDW comic book is 2.5 ounces, making IDW’s comics the second heaviest in our survey.  IDW’s comics contain fewer pages (16 pages) than those of Avatar Press (18 pages), making IDW’s comics the heaviest of the 16 page comic books in our survey.

 

Image Comics

*East of West #18 (16 pages) – 2.3 ounces
*Rumble #2 (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces
*Saga #24 (16 pages) – 2.3 ounces
*Shutter #10 (16 pages) – 2.3 ounces
*Velvet #8 (16 pages) – 2.3 ounces

The comic books published by Image Comics have 16 pages and an average weight of 2.3 ounces; this weight is slightly above the overall average weight of the comic books in our survey.

 

Marvel Comics

*Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #11 (16 pages) – 1.8 ounces
*Spider-Gwen #1 (16 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*Spider-Gwen #2 (16 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*Spider-Woman #5 (16 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*Superior Iron Man #1 (16 pages) – 1.8 ounces

Marvel Comics has 16 pages in its comics books, which have an average weight of 1.9 ounces.  Marvel’s comics are slightly heavier than the comics published by Marvel’s primary competitor, DC Comics, even though Marvel has fewer pages in its comics.

 

Valiant Entertainment

*Bloodshot #0 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*Harbinger #21 (18 pages) – 1.8 ounces
*Harbinger #22 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*Ivar, Timewalker #3 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
*Shadowman #8 (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces

Valiant Entertainment’s comics contain 18 pages, and weigh, on average, 1.9 ounces.

To summarize, below is a ranking of publishers by their comics’ average weight, from heaviest to lightest:

  1. Avatar Press (18 pages) – 2.7 ounces
  2. IDW Publishing (16 pages) – 2.5 ounces
  3. Image Comics (16 pages) – 2.3 ounces
  4. Boom! Studios (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces
  5. Dark Horse Comics (16 pages) – 2.2 ounces
  6. Dynamite Entertainment (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
  7. Marvel Comics (16 pages) – 1.9 ounces
  8. Valiant Entertainment (18 pages) – 1.9 ounces
  9. DC Comics (18 pages) – 1.8 ounces

It is interesting to note that three of the four publishers of 18 page comics (DC, Dynamite, and Valiant) have an average weight that is less than two ounces, while four of the five publishers of 16 page comics (Boom! Studios, Dark Horse, IDW, and Image) have an average weight that exceeds two ounces.  This suggests that the former are using lighter materials in their comics.

Overall, the average weight of all the comic books in our survey was 2.2 ounces.

Although comic books are light objects, the small differences in weight between the comics of various publishers suggest some differences in the materials used to produce them.  Of course, comic books are judged by their content, not their physical weight, and it is the reader who ultimately decides how much weight (that is, value) to give a comic book.