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News: Manga Action Makes Comeback
posted April 20, 2004

April 20 -- Given its recent bookstore success, longtime North American comics fans may see manga as an unstoppable sales juggernaut. The revival of a recently canceled title in Japan reminds that manga has long experienced its share of market volatility. Futabasha Publisher Limited re-launched Manga Action, the once mighty weekly that gave birth to successful serials like Lupin III. The new publication will appear as a bi-weekly focusing on topical issues, closer to the comics equivalent of a tabloid newspaper or a socially conscious television show than an anthology of escapist fantasy adventure or soap opera. Features like the first new issue's "Dakkan" will throw the spotlight on a social concern, in its case the abduction of Japanese children by North Koreans.

Approximately 300,000 copies of the re-launched title's first issue were distributed. At the time Manga Action suspended publication, its circulation had fallen below 100,000 copies, sales at one tenth of the magazine's 1970s sales peak.