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Not only is the industry in the hands of a few giant players, there aren't great pure play ways to invest. Marvel and DC are relatively small parts of media giants Walt Disney and Time Warner, respectively. The comic book businesses themselves are little more than rounding errors for the business. They are, though, key parts of the companies' assets, which are leveraged into more lucrative movies.

The bottom line is that Disney and Time Warner are the only real ways for investors Hermes Birkin 40 Crocodile

hoping to buy into the industry are more limited. The market for comics is dominated by far by two key players: Marvel Comics and DC Comics. Marvel and DC controlled 40% and 27% of the unit sales at retail as of March 2013, says Diamond. After those two giants, the list drops off very quickly going to Image Comics at 8% and IDW Publishing at Hermes Clutch Black 6.3%.

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The late Bob Kane, creator of Batman, in 1965.(Photo: ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images)

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´╗┐How to profit from comic books' popularity

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MOVIES: 'Iron Man 3' smashes into record books

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in March 2013 vs. the same month last year, says Diamond Comic Distributors. And so far this year, the total number of comics sold is down just 3.5%, which is relatively stable for a medium dominated by the print product.

Meanwhile, Image Comics is a privately held company based in Berkeley, Calif. and IDW is a San Diego unit of privately held Zedge in Norway, says S Capital IQ.

Comics have a few built in advantages other media would appreciate. For one, given how visual the medium is, the printed product still has a fidelity advantage for many consumers over digital products. Also, the printed comic book remains a highly prized valuable that collectors can resell and store. Plus, blockbuster movies based on comic book heroes, such as the latest Iron Man, are great publicity.

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While sales of comic books may not be hitting all time records, they are enjoying a healthy increase lately. The total number of comics gained 20.3% Hermes Kelly Ostrich

to get a piece of Iron Man and Batman, but investors should remember that comic books sales will have little influence on the future of these stocks.

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Story HighlightsComic books are enjoying stable demand from readersThere are very few publicly traded companies in the comics businessBig comic book companies are usually part of media conglomerates

But while comic book consumers have thousands of titles to choose from, the options for investors Hermes Evelyne Tpm Colors

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