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

September 7, 2007

Your Infrequent Manga News Round-Up

* the big Naruto Nation push looks like a hit so far, if the first USA Today rankings are any indication. For those of you not following that aspect of the comic market, Viz is producing more trades than usual in the uber-popular ninja serial in order, one supposes 1) to sell lots of units, 2) to throw a spotlight on the character, and 3) to catch up to Japanese publication. It's also been suggested another reason is that Viz can now push quickly past a slightly less popular stretch of books in the saga without sacrificing momentum by having that be a full year's worth of new books. Any concern I've heard expressed hasn't come from an immediate effect on sales -- everyone thinks they'll sell a ton -- but maybe a lingering hangover from fans asked to consume so much of the serial in a short time. Still, it should be a big sales Fall for the character's publisher and those who are able to capitalize on the books' popularity.

* has another executive interview up, this time with Tokyopop Publisher Mike Kiley.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

It's refreshing to read someone say rationally without shrieking at anyone that the manga market, while vigorous and healthy as all hell, isn't growing as rapidly as in recent years, and that digital content will totally out-strip paper at some point, even if you don't agree with the positions or see them as needing qualification. Other things that popped out at me was an admission that there might be a big licensed title drought forthcoming, which is an old observation I haven't heard re-examined in a while, and a distinction between style and aesthetic.
posted 3:14 am PST | Permalink

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