Who’s Going Down?
ICv2 reports that manga sales will drop to below 1000 volumes for 2010. The drop in sales was seen more in bookstores than in the direct market, and they speculate that shojo fans getting older, distracted by other things (Twilight) and lack of hit shonen anime is hurting sales more than scanlations. Some of these elements make sense. I can see the drop in sales from bookstores being more, since ordering through the direct market through Previews can often net you a 30% discount on many titles. It’s my preferred way to buy. And fans, male or female, have priorities shifts as they get older, especially in the 20’s, where kids become adults and must establish themselves in the real world. I know that’s where I stopped collecting comics and watching anime. Work and starting a family became much more important. I wonder though how much the “Cartoon Network” effect really drove sales. I can see it driving the sales for first volumes, but like the anime that they are based on them, once a series hits a lather, rinse, repeat cycle, no amount of TV promotion will keep a series selling. Personally, I’m not concerned about the drop in available volumes. There was too much coming out in 2007, and most of it was mediocre. We’re just seeing the reaction to that as fans put their money with the good series. I am concerned about some of the mid-level publishers who have gone silent. They provide a good alternative to all the mega long, mega his titles. I hope they can weather this economic storm.
Don’t Hold Your Breath
C2E2, a new comics and entertaiment convention in Chicago was this last weekend. There weren’t any manga panels, but Brigid Alverson caught up with Dark Horse comics and asked about the CLAMP Mangaettes that were announced at SDCC 2007, and have yet to materialize. The word? They are “on hold”, while Dark Horse builds up their association with CLAMP through reprints of several of their older titles. So if you were hoping for some new CLAMP, you’ll have to go elsewhere. You won’t find it at Dark Horse any time soon.
Yen Plus Goes Paperless
Found via Twitter. Yen Press announced it first through its twitter feed. Yen Plus, their anthology magazine would be going digital. Details are still sketchy, but the gist of it is that the last print issue of the magazine will come out in July, and then go to a digital distribution. Current subscriptions to the print will be refunded, but there’s speculation that digital version will require a subscription, and not be free like the Viz Signature line from Ikki Comix. This is an understandable move by Yen Press. Manga magazines are more about promotion than making money, and going digital takes out a lot of the risk. But I’m with a lot of the commentors on the blog post. I prefer to read on paper than digital. Digital just isn’t portable enough yet. I can pick up a magazine and take it anywhere to read. A digital version will need a device to read it on, and could greatly limit the audience that can read it. We’ll just have to wait for more details.
More Scanlations on the iPhone/iPad
With the release of the iPad, software like Manga Rock is getting more and more attention. This software for the iPhone/iTouch (and by default, the iPad), let’s you not only read scanlations from Onemanga.com, it keeps track of what your reading, where you left off, and let’s you download it to read later. This isn’t the first app to appear on the Apps store as both Jason Thompson and Brigid Alverson have pointed out, and probably won’t be the last. Publishers (US and Japanese) have to come to terms about digital distribution and get their official work out at reasonable prices before these apps become too entrenched. One interesting thing I noticed about this Manga Rock app though. It doesn’t allow access to some of the bigger release titles. Commentors on the iTunes store have mentioned that there’s no Naruto or Bleach or Shaman King. That makes me wonder. Are these guys blocking licensed manga, or are the more popular manga reserved for the paid, “full version” of the app? Any one with an iPhone/iTouch/iPad wanna drop the $1.99 to find out?
NYT Best Seller List
I didn’t think it would last. Last week the list was dominated by One Piece. This week, nary a sign of the Straw Hat Pirates. Not one volume survived. Oh well. Let’s check in on Twilight. Still #1 on the Hardback Comics list? Yup. There’s at least one thing you can count on. Another? That Viz will hold the top five, starting with Rosario Vampire Season II vol 1 at #1 again. Naruto vol 47 retakes it’s #2 spot, and Gentleman’s Alliance Cross vol 11 moves up to #3, while Yu-Gi-Oh! R vol 4 falls back two to #4. New Viz Signature title Dogs vol 3 debuts at #5, while Black Butler vol 1 moves back up to #6. Inuyasha vol 47 debuts at #7, and Vampire Knight vol 9 returns at #8. The only other non-Viz title, Soul Eater vol 2 returns at #9, and Bleach vol 30 rounds things out at #10. Viz still dominates the list with 8/10 titles, but it’s not too surprising that it was a Yen Press title that helped keep them from taking the 9th again. Yen doesn’t have the behemoth catalog that Viz does, but it’s got some titles with sticking power.
Manga For Your Ears
Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews
This Week At Manga Village
What I’m Reading
- Legend of the Five Rings: The Crane Scroll 3
- Mushishi Vol 1