What is it worth? According to Milton Griepp of www.icv2.com, a website that follows the comics and pop culture industry, graphic novels sales have exploded from $43 million in 2001 to $330 million in 2006. That figure doesn't include merchandising or movie ticket sales.The conclusions here surprise me, but only slightly. Have you all had better luck in bookstores or libraries? There are times I've had great luck finding trades in libraries, and times I've had no luck at all, and ditto for bookstores; most of the time, I've found best results near big cities.
... So, you ask: if graphic novels are such a big deal then why aren't the big boxes doing more? Because they really don't understand it. It is amazing to see so little space devoted to a global phenomenon. You would think that a product which has experience 40% annual growth since the beginning of the decade should get some one's attention. Maybe when JK Rowling allows Harry Potter to be done as a graphic novel you will see a reaction. Until then libraries will reap the benefits as the primary source of exposure for graphic novels.
Regardless, it's nice to see "the graphic novel craze" getting some press.