Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary















Home > Letters to CR

Nat Gertler on Further Reasons Shops May Not Carry Manga
posted August 24, 2005
 

Nat Gertler
Via The Internet


In addition to the forces that Robert Boyd accurately points out with manga sales suffering in some shops, I have seen signs that some retailers who consider getting into manga simply choose not to -- and not due to racism, misogyny, and whatever other scurrilous reason that ill-informed and logic-impaired pundits may choose to invent. Yes, it is competition from other sources carrying manga, as Robert points out, but it's not just because these other sources are conveniently placed rather than destination stores, and thus draw the new customers. It's also because some of the chain stores that carry manga discount the books heavily. With the large number of manga volumes available, it takes both a lot of money and a lot of physical space to present a healthy manga selection. To then try to make money when competing with buy-3-get-1-free offers elsewhere seems an uphill battle. With perceived different audiences for the manga and the other material in stock at the store, the manga doesn't even make sense as a loss leader.

That's the sort of business considerations that businessfolk have to face. People seeking to make comics better may wish to educate themselves on such situations. Presenting ill-founded assumptions as fact and then telling those who correct them to "shut up" wouldn't seem to serve the goals of improving comics (or any other worthwhile goal, for that matter.)