It’s no secret to me what the key to manga’s success in the mainstream bookstore market… I can sum it up in one word – SYNERGY.
I’ve argued for a while now, that aside from all of the other appeals of manga, it’d all be for not if the material didn’t have such a close relationship to other media. Pokemon and countless animes and other media have had manga counterparts virtually identical in terms of content and style, all readily accessible and easily identifiable in mass media outlets. That’s what’s driving people to the market, or at least initially sparking it’s growth.
Don’t believe me?
Have a look at the US industry.
They’ve had countless big screen movie adaptations of their comics in recent years, you don’t see any revolution going on in the US comic book market. Sure, there’s slow measured growth, but nothing like manga. That’s because, I think, the mainstream offerings (bookchains etc) is not focused, or in synergy with the other media. At all. It’s a mess. Different styles, formats, and interpretations of the same characters or concepts all crowd each other out. There’s no easy first step for newcomers.
For the most part.
Now, as reported on Newsarama this AM, there’s a growing trend - comic movies that actually drive mainstream sales of the print material. Sin City last year, and now V for Vendetta, two recent “comic book” movies, true to the source material, and have a focused print offering for the public to find, which coincidently, are seeing real sales growth.
Look, it’s not rocket science, and I’m sure the publishers were aware of it, but hopefully they can build on these real world examples and come correct in the future. This medium has so much more to offer to a wider audience than what it’s currently delivering. I’d really love to see this new trend grow and make a real change.
And I still need to see V for Vendetta!!