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Comics Are Dead, Long Live Manga!

Comics (specifically DC and Marvel) have been have had those types of storylines since they were first introduced. The X-Men were an allegory for racism when they were introduced in the 1960s, for example.. So the industry didn't tank because of activists. They aren't really doing anything to help but they aren't the reason it's where it is now.
X-Men as an allegory for racism is so dumb. Why would you not be scared or wary of creatures who could destroy cities or even the world? If such creatures existed in the real world, you’d want them to be under some control.
 

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
Comics (specifically DC and Marvel) have been have had those types of storylines since they were first introduced. The X-Men were an allegory for racism when they were introduced in the 1960s, for example.. So the industry didn't tank because of activists. They aren't really doing anything to help but they aren't the reason it's where it is now.
The X-Men are an allegory for social ostracism, including but not exclusive to racism. That's something everyone can identify with. Superheroes were an expression of commonly shared values hence why they were universally loved despite the political commentary. Golden and silver age comics appealed to universal values without degrading into partisan rhetoric.

Take a look at my commentary about what's wrong with Captain America, they've completely ruined the character and what he stands for. The political commentary in today's superhero comics does not appeal to commonly shared values. Modern comics engage in divisive partisan story-telling. Instead of being the cultural unificator of a diverse melting-pot society, comics are emphasizing tribalism and segregationist thinking. Sure, art can be an expression of social criticism, but it is also something that can bring people together. What we get instead are comics writers holding large portions of their audience in disdain.
 
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sol_bad

Member
Captain America has wanted to stop being Captain America in the past, and it had nothing to do with not believing in the American dream but because of bloody Sharon Carter. If you have ever read his 60's books you'll know how much of a drag reading his books can be, constantly crying over Sharon and Bucky, it gets real old real quick. At one point he leaves New York to go on a happy little motorbike tour around the countryside. Every super hero has their ups and downs and writing a "commentary" about a single panel doesn't do anyone any favours, it's very easy to put 2 different panels together to align with a belief or agenda.

Hell, a couple of pages later Steve says he still fights for that dream.


United States of Captain America is a 5 issue mini series and it's probably him doubting himself and he goes on a journey meeting people he has inspired and hence reaffirming that what he is doing is right.
 

Daciral

Neo Member
As a long time manga reader I'm sure comics are far from dead. It's just a completely different niche. I feel like people reading comics rarely reach for manga and other asian media.
 

OmegaSupreme

advanced basic bitch
I wonder if American comics are even profitable at this point? I wonder if it's just legacy media with big losses being propped up by their parent companies?
 

manfestival

Member
Captain America has wanted to stop being Captain America in the past, and it had nothing to do with not believing in the American dream but because of bloody Sharon Carter. If you have ever read his 60's books you'll know how much of a drag reading his books can be, constantly crying over Sharon and Bucky, it gets real old real quick. At one point he leaves New York to go on a happy little motorbike tour around the countryside. Every super hero has their ups and downs and writing a "commentary" about a single panel doesn't do anyone any favours, it's very easy to put 2 different panels together to align with a belief or agenda.

Hell, a couple of pages later Steve says he still fights for that dream.


United States of Captain America is a 5 issue mini series and it's probably him doubting himself and he goes on a journey meeting people he has inspired and hence reaffirming that what he is doing is right.
This cracks me up. Captain America is literally an idol/symbol of nationalism. Writers who self insert politics and do this garbage where it is they themselves talking, not the character ..... are trash.
 

kunonabi

Member
I wonder if American comics are even profitable at this point? I wonder if it's just legacy media with big losses being propped up by their parent companies?

Considering how everything almost came to a complete halt during the pandemic probably not.
 

sol_bad

Member
This cracks me up. Captain America is literally an idol/symbol of nationalism. Writers who self insert politics and do this garbage where it is they themselves talking, not the character ..... are trash.

How is that scene even self insertion? Cap doesn't see himself as an idol or symbol of nationalism.
 

manfestival

Member
How is that scene even self insertion? Cap doesn't see himself as an idol or symbol of nationalism.
The entire narration(not just that page) comes across more like the author than it would seem like Cap. Captain America is a symbol of nationalism.... I mean just look at his name.
 

sol_bad

Member
The entire narration(not just that page) comes across more like the author than it would seem like Cap. Captain America is a symbol of nationalism.... I mean just look at his name.

It's a reflection on America in current times and Cap books have always done that, well not always but depending on the story they will draw from reality.
 

sol_bad

Member
It's quite obviously not a reflection that resonates with many comic readers.

You have no proof of that, the collected edition market is growing every year for American comics.
It's just not growing as fast as manga because it's not as cheap. Manga is extremely cheap for teenagers compared to American comics.

Demon Slayer.
$12.90 for 192 pages.

Dr Stone.
$12.90 for 200 pages

Spider-Man
$28.90 for 136 pages.

Black Panther
$29 for 136 pages.
 

Joyful

Member
to be fair manga is usually black and white wheras comics are printed in color, which could explain the price difference somewhat
 

Shouta

Member
The X-Men are an allegory for social ostracism, including but not exclusive to racism. That's something everyone can identify with. Superheroes were an expression of commonly shared values hence why they were universally loved despite the political commentary. Golden and silver age comics appealed to universal values without degrading into partisan rhetoric.

Take a look at my commentary about what's wrong with Captain America, they've completely ruined the character and what he stands for. The political commentary in today's superhero comics does not appeal to commonly shared values. Modern comics engage in divisive partisan story-telling. Instead of being the cultural unificator of a diverse melting-pot society, comics are emphasizing tribalism and segregationist thinking. Sure, art can be an expression of social criticism, but it is also something that can bring people together. What we get instead are comics writers holding large portions of their audience in disdain.

Stan Lee specifically said it was a metaphor for the civil rights movement when he was coming up with the idea. He's been consistent on that over the years too. It certainly can be viewed in the wide lens as social ostracization but the series was definitely made with race in mind initially. Since it's been around from the beginning, pointing to social issues as the downfall of modern comics is definitely not true. If anything, it's the approach to addressing those issues that's gotten worse but ultimately, it's second string to the litany of business problems that's plagued the industry and caused interest to wane steadily.
 
Back in the days, I used to be a big comic collector. I had a pretty eclectic collection ranging from Maus, over Transmetropolitan, to Watchmen, Crisis on Infinite Earths, JLA, Lobo and Preacher just to name a few. At the time I also read lots of BD and manga, mostly stuff like Dragon Ball, L'Incal, Metabarons, Leonard, Kid Paddle etc...

Nowadays I still continue to read BD and manga when time allows, but I've completely given up on comics. Except for maybe the Thanos Wins run from 2016, there's really not much that comics have to offer anymore. Most of their output is comprised of identity rebranding, constant reboots and derivative interpretations of the same old tired superhero tropes. I feel like the American comics industry is creatively bankrupt as evidenced by the rapidly dwindling sales numbers. I mean look at this:



When new stuff comes out, it is unbearable design by committee trash that specifically caters to the flimsy tastes of a social media audience that doesn't even buy comic books. Like Emilia Clarke's upcoming "MOM: Mother of Madness". A comic book about a menstruating soccer mom who can swing around using her armpit hair:





I'm not offended that it exists, but who the f*ck reads that stuff? Do you really think a 40 something mom, that is busy juggling her career and family life, is gonna pick up a comic book in order to read about heroic menstrual cramps and unshaven armpits? How far removed from real life do you have to be in order to promote that crap?

In the meantime you have the rich and colorful output of the manga industry that is not afraid to take risks and is offering you some really crazy stories with an appealing core message that doesn't pit different identities against each other. You get shonen cooking battle mangas (Shokugeki), post-apocalyptic survival inventors (Dr. Stone), trope subversions (One Punch Man), OP protags (Mob Psycho & Demon Misfit), really good classic battle anime (Demon Slayer), far out stuff (That Time when I Got Reincarnated as a Slime), flamboyantly gay gucci fashion battle anime (JoJo), crazy high stakes gambling (Kaiji) and the list goes on and one and on...

Manga is even doing the superhero genre better than comics. If anything, My Hero Academia should have been published by American comics creators. It is the perfect juxtaposition of the moral message conveyed by modern comics and manga. Manga are vastly superior in that regard, they still convey the message of working hard, loving and protecting your next ones and striving to be decent people even if we're all flawed human beings. Despite the crazy settings and stories, mangas still promote meritocratic values and the basic message of personal responsibility.

American comics is all about instant gratification, emotional validation and everything being served to you on a silver platter. American comic heroes don't work hard for their powers, they don't train, they are overly self-absorbed, everything revolved around them and their problems. They are not selfless, but more preoccupied with their own identity, gender, sexuality, looks and clothes. Modern superheroes are shallow vehicles that merely serve to tick different boxes, rather than compelling flawed characters that strive for something. They have no aim, no ambition, no goal, they just... are. That's it!

The stories we tell today shape the people of the future. In that regard American comics have completely lost the plot!

First of all,

Star Trek Applause GIF


Very very very few threads that have a long written OP are ever fully thought out and well articulated in their statement and/or argument.

So thank you for the lovely read, I actually enjoyed the thought process very much.

Second of all, you're right.

But this change in American comics are a reflection on society itself, this self indulgent and vanity centric world that has consumed the nation and have impacted the culture and life they live in.

America has lost the plot because it no longer promotes family values, but very individual and selfish values more often than not.

Do I think it's right? No.

But when the same people that make the comics are now influenced and guided there own personal worldview, and fragmented audiences lead to a "diversification" of possible sources of revenue - its easy to see in hindsight how this was going to end up.

I often times wonder if the death of comics started with the success of comic book movies.

I feel like it did, unfortunately.
 

Labolas

Member
Yeah, manga and anime are far easier to consume than comics are. Personally, I consume way more manga and anime than I do (american) comics. Their stories are far more unique and original than something that comes out of Marvel and DC. Plus, a lot of the writers and artists at the big 2 rather be activists first than being writers and artists. I think that comics were already in downward slump, but many of the current heads, writers, and artists do bear some responsibility for being middling and mediocre. I still love Venom, Batman, Wolverine, and Blade, but I'm only reading one book that's ongoing (or was) and Ronin (TMNT).
Comics (specifically DC and Marvel) have been have had those types of storylines since they were first introduced. The X-Men were an allegory for racism when they were introduced in the 1960s, for example.. So the industry didn't tank because of activists. They aren't really doing anything to help but they aren't the reason it's where it is now.
Eh, X-Men weren't created because of racism, they were created because Stan Lee was 'too lazy' to come up with how they get their powers. The parallels to racism happen later on. Stan Lee said so himself.
 

sol_bad

Member
I'd love to know what the last actual comic was that the negative Nancy's in here have actually read. And not just what the latest article was that you read about on an anti woke website, Youtube channel or Twitter post.
 

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
I'd love to know what the last actual comic was that the negative Nancy's in here have actually read. And not just what the latest article was that you read about on an anti woke website, Youtube channel or Twitter post.

I read the complete 12 issue run of Mister Miracle:



I know it's a shocker, but it was a great comic. Also, stop it with the transparent gatekeeping and the fallacious appeals to fandom cred, you don't need to be a blind consumer wh*re to have an opinion on entertainment products.

You have no proof of that, the collected edition market is growing every year for American comics.

Oh sure sure, that must be the reason why DC had to lay off a majority of their staff:

Among those said to be losing their positions are editor-in-chief Bob Harris, senior VP of publishing strategy and support services Hank Kanalz, VP of marketing and creative services Jonah Weiland, VP global publishing initiatives and digital strategy Bobbie Chase, senior story editor Brian Cunningham, and executive editor Mark Doyle, who oversaw the rollout of the Black Label graphic novels. Jim Lee remains the CCO.

Roughly one third of DC’s editorial ranks are being laid off, according to sources.

Or why my favorite label was shut down:

DC will shut down three major imprints in January 2020, including Vertigo, Zoom, and Ink amidst a reorganization. They will be replaced by a new branding scheme that sorts comics into age groups for younger and older readers called DC Kids, DC, and DC Black Label.

All the Marvel lay-offs:

Multiple staff members were laid off from Marvel Comics yesterday as part of what's reportedly a cost-cutting measure at the company. According to multiple sources, the layoffs do not reflect the performance of the individuals in question.

Or why DC had to cut down to less than 40 titles:

Yikes! DC Comics is again cutting its line as it has become known that as of March only 34 single titles will be published. [...] Obviously, talent is going to get cut as well, and they are laying off seven employees as of today. I'm sure more fat-trimming will be coming. They probably just don't want a blood bath all at once. We are going to see this get whittled down.

Yeah man, comics are doing great!
 

sol_bad

Member
I read the complete 12 issue run of Mister Miracle:



I know it's a shocker, but it was a great comic. Also, stop it with the transparent gatekeeping and the fallacious appeals to fandom cred, you don't need to be a blind consumer wh*re to have an opinion on entertainment products.



Oh sure sure, that must be the reason why DC had to lay off a majority of their staff:



Or why my favorite label was shut down:



All the Marvel lay-offs:



Or why DC had to cut down to less than 40 titles:



Yeah man, comics are doing great!

So the last comic you read was only from 2017 and it was by Tom King and you liked it. How surprising. I was expecting a list of titles that you finished and hated but you mention 1 comic and like it. So it does seem like all your hatred for the industry comes from lame anti-woke articles, Youtube channels and Twitter accounts. Because if you liked Tom Kings Miracle Man there is a hell of a lot of other good comics out there.

Your favorite label was barely making any books.
By 2018 it had 6 mini series running which were American Carnage, The American Way, Astro City, Deathbed, Imaginary Friends and Motherlands.
By 2019 it had 2 mini series running which were Hex Wives and High Level.
When Vertigo was shuttered, 4 titles transferred over to DC Black Label. Those titles were Books of Magic, The Dreaming, House of Whispers and Lucifer.
Chances are that the majority of the talent was going to Image comics to write their original stories, more than likely because they had a greater sense of freedom over there. In the article you posted, Karen Berger (the woman who started Vertigo) even Tweeted "corporate thinking and creative risk taking don't mix". You know what happened just a year earlier in June 2018? Warner/DC were swallowed by a huge corporate entity called AT&T who had no idea how to run a comic company.

The DC layoffs were a trickle down affect from the top. The link to the below article is in the article you linked to.
You can also attribute this trickle down affect to the drop in titles released for a while, the takeover caused a lot of chaos in the DC offices.
But don't worry, here is the solicitation list for September 2021, You'll see that there is a healthy number of 67 titles releasing and it's been like that for months now. August solicitations had 70 comics.

And you aren't really going back 10 years in the past to try and prove a point about Marvel laying people off are you? The article you linked even mentions Ike Perlmutter, it's public knowledge that Kevin Feige didn't want to work with him because he is a stingy arse. Those lay offs at Marvel having nothing to do with Marvel performing poorly and everything to do with a tight arse.
 

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
So the last comic you read was only from 2017 and it was by Tom King and you liked it. How surprising. I was expecting a list of titles that you finished and hated but you mention 1 comic and like it. So it does seem like all your hatred for the industry comes from lame anti-woke articles, Youtube channels and Twitter accounts. Because if you liked Tom Kings Miracle Man there is a hell of a lot of other good comics out there.

The hell are you talking about? I never said I hated comics, I want them to do better that is why I criticize them. Loving something also means applying criticism where it belongs, it does not mean blindly consuming everything you come across. I gave you one example of a comic book run that I finished and that I liked, but that's still not good enough for you. From there you just assume that I haven't read anything else, which is complete horsecrap.

I don't care if you buy a single or a thousand comic books a month, that doesn't make you a better fan nor does it automatically validate your arguments. Yet here you are, desperately trying to establish your comic expert cred, because you eagerly gobble up every foul scrap that's being thrown at you. Let me tell you that I'm neither impressed nor do I feel any need whatsoever to validate myself towards you.

Contrary to you, you'll never see me brag about the number of games I own, my book and comic collection, my board-games, my gaming rig or whatever metric people like you tend to abide by in order to establish your silly pecking order. I don't give a sh*t about how many shelves you've filled with junk and plastic paraphernalia. I'm not here to indulge you and if I feel the need to share my opinion about something I've read or played, I will do so on my own volition. If your baseless assumptions about me make you feel better about yourself, you're more than welcome to indulge in your little fantasy world.

Your favorite label was barely making any books.

That label made some of the best comics I've ever read, including Sandman, Doom Patrol, Preacher and Transmetropolitan. It's a shame the DC let that label circle down the drain like that. Vertigo set a precedent for adult oriented comic books with greater creative freedom, not shying away from the weird, the ugly and the nasty. For many comic readers Vertigo meant something. You don't just throw away a label like that so you can kindly f*ck off.

The DC layoffs were a trickle down affect from the top.

Sure, call it what you want, "trickle down affect" or "corporate shenanigans". Try telling that a comic shop owner who recently had to close shop because comics are doing "so well". Just to give you an idea about how many copies the best-selling comics sold throughout the different eras:



This is no "trickle down affect", this is an implosion of the comic book industry that is very reminiscent of the 70s, but on a industry-wide scale:

The DC Implosion is the popular label for the sudden cancellation of more than 24 ongoing and planned series by the American comics publisher DC Comics in 1978.

What I see is poor story-telling, tokenism, gender- and identity-swapped rehashing of the same ideas, heroes that are not relatable, constant emotional validation, lazy characterization, obsession with sexuality, political partisanship, vilification of your own readership, endless proselyting, unnuanced representations of complex societal issues, black-and-white thinking, out-of-touch editorializing, f*cked up opportunistic moral messaging, hollow buzzword writing, navel-gazing, constant reboots and endless stagnation.

This is the face of the comic book industry today:




Is it any frikkin' wonder that comic book readers are leaving these bumholes behind for greener pastures, be it BD or Manga?

Back then, when Wizard was still a thing, comic book artists used to be f*cking rockstars! Nowadays they are salty b*tches on twitter.
 
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sol_bad

Member
The hell are you talking about? I never said I hated comics, I want them to do better that is why I criticize them. Loving something also means applying criticism where it belongs, it does not mean blindly consuming everything you come across. I gave you one example of a comic book run that I finished and that I liked, but that's still not good enough for you. From there you just assume that I haven't read anything else, which is complete horsecrap.

I don't care if you buy a single or a thousand comic books a month, that doesn't make you a better fan nor does it automatically validate your arguments. Yet here you are, desperately trying to establish your comic expert cred, because you eagerly gobble up every foul scrap that's being thrown at you. Let me tell you that I'm neither impressed nor do I feel any need whatsoever to validate myself towards you.

Contrary to you, you'll never see me brag about the number of games I own, my book and comic collection, my board-games, my gaming rig or whatever metric people like you tend to abide by in order to establish your silly pecking order. I don't give a sh*t about how many shelves you've filled with junk and plastic paraphernalia. I'm not here to indulge you and if I feel the need to share my opinion about something I've read or played, I will do so on my own volition. If your baseless assumptions about me make you feel better about yourself, you're more than welcome to indulge in your little fantasy world.



That label made some of the best comics I've ever read, including Sandman, Doom Patrol, Preacher and Transmetropolitan. It's a shame the DC let that label circle down the drain like that. Vertigo set a precedent for adult oriented comic books with greater creative freedom, not shying away from the weird, the ugly and the nasty. For many comic readers Vertigo meant something. You don't just throw away a label like that so you can kindly f*ck off.



Sure, call it what you want, "trickle down affect" or "corporate shenanigans". Try telling that a comic shop owner who recently had to close shop because comics are doing "so well". Just to give you an idea about how many copies the best-selling comics sold throughout the different eras:



This is no "trickle down affect", this is an implosion of the comic book industry that is very reminiscent of the 70s, but on a industry-wide scale:



What I see is poor story-telling, tokenism, gender- and identity-swapped rehashing of the same ideas, heroes that are not relatable, constant emotional validation, lazy characterization, obsession with sexuality, political partisanship, vilification of your own readership, endless proselyting, unnuanced representations of complex societal issues, black-and-white thinking, out-of-touch editorializing, f*cked up opportunistic moral messaging, hollow buzzword writing, navel-gazing, constant reboots and endless stagnation.

This is the face of the comic book industry today:




Is it any frikkin' wonder that comic book readers are leaving these bumholes behind for greener pastures, be it BD or Manga?

Back then, when Wizard was still a thing, comic book artists used to be f*cking rockstars! Nowadays they are salty b*tches on twitter.

You do realise that I have agreed that single issue sales are slumping right? I've been saying that it's the collected edition market that is growing. Yes, comic stores are closing because no as many people buy singles, people are heading to book stores to buy trades. The industry is changing.

It's why I said you can't compare comic and manga sales. They are different markets. Manga doesn't have a direct market like comics do,

And again, you haven't actually read enough or any comics in the last 4 years to validate "what you see" within the comic industry. It's just all propaganda YouTube channels that you get your supposed info from.

*EDIT*
You lambasted a comic based on a single page that you obviously saw from some article somewhere and it was clear that you hadn't even tried reading it.
Look at your "commentary" and what Cap thinks in the comic.

"Yes a dream isn't real, but it is also an ideal that we should strive for. We might never reach it, but that is not reason enough to abandon it.""


Your thoughts and the comic align.
 
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sol_bad

Member
All this talk about manga sales destroying American comics, well, we might finally have a slight idea on the split in sales between manga and comics.

"Update: According to ICv2, the North American manga market was just under US$250 million in 2020. The overall North American comic market reached a new high of US$1.28 billion in 2020."

So the other 1 billion dollars goes towards American comics?

*EDIT*


And look at that massive slump from 2007. I guess using ops logic manga had absolutely shit stories between 2007 and 2012.
 
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strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
"Update: According to ICv2, the North American manga market was just under US$250 million in 2020. The overall North American comic market reached a new high of US$1.28 billion in 2020."
So the other 1 billion dollars goes towards American comics?

You're so desperate to defend your position and deny everything that's wrong with comics that you're misinterpreting the data.



First of all, the graphic novel market is 835 million, but that includes manga and comic anthologies. So you cannot compare the whole market, that includes manga and comics, with manga alone. Secondly, the comic book market was $285mio. while manga was almost equal to that $250mio. in 2020. Manga has become as big as comics in the frikkin' U.S. and is set to outpace the comic market in the near future.

Since then, the manga market has seen a huge growth:

ICv2 reported in April that NPD Bookscan's report for the first quarter of 2021 showed a 29% increase in overall print book sales the United States, the highest volume of print book sales in a first quarter since NPD Bookscan began tracking book sales in 2004. In particular, the report showed a large growth in the category of graphic novels (up 4 million from first quarter 2020), with manga accounting for 80% of growth in that category. [...] The Vice President Publishing Sales at Viz Media, Kevin Hamric, previously stated in an interview with ICv2 that Viz Media saw a 70% growth in the U.S. market for 2020, in line with a 43% increase in overall manga sales in the United States in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

In comparison comic sales were slumping, selling over 20% less than the year before:

"The comic periodical market was ahead for the year before the pandemic struck, and the result of production cutbacks was that 30% fewer new comic books were released by the major publishers in 2020," Miller said. "The fact that new comics sales were down by only 20% suggests that retailers did well with what they were able to get."

The only market that grew were crowdfunded comics, you know those indie comics that are not published by DC or Marvel:

The "Other" channel in our channel breakdown includes the Newsstand (periodical sales through specialty retail and mass merchant chains) and crowdfunding (Kickstarter, etc.) channels. Kickstarter was a contributor to growth, with comic funding up 60% in 2020.

Furthermore you're looking at the "estimated market share", which is a lot of wish-wash. The hard numbers are the dollar and unit sales, which have been largely stagnating for comics books since 2009:



And that's not even considering that the average price for comic books went from almost 3 bucks in 1997 to 4 dollars in 2018. The only thing that has a positive upwards trend are paperbacks:



Meaning that people are not buying new comics anymore, but prefer to buy collection of older comics.

*EDIT*


And look at that massive slump from 2007. I guess using ops logic manga had absolutely shit stories between 2007 and 2012.

Manga is a foreign product, as explained by your article the slump is due to the frikkin' financial crisis which also hit comics and publishers simply importing less manga:

The big declines came in the wake of the global financial crisis; the bankruptcy of the Borders bookstore chain, which had been a big supporter of the category; a decline in anime on television, as cable channel gatekeepers pivoted toward content in which they had an ownership stake.

Also, look at that market growth since 2018, that's insane!

How in the ever loving f*ck can you look at these trends and come to the conclusion that comics are doing well compared to manga?
 
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sol_bad

Member
You're so desperate to defend your position and deny everything that's wrong with comics that you're misinterpreting the data.



First of all, the graphic novel market is 835 million, but that includes manga and comic anthologies. So you cannot compare the whole market, that includes manga and comics, with manga alone. Secondly, the comic book market was $285mio. while manga was almost equal to that $250mio. in 2020. Manga has become as big as comics in the frikkin' U.S. and is set to outpace the comic market in the near future.

Since then, the manga market has seen a huge growth:



In comparison comic sales were slumping, selling over 20% less than the year before:



The only market that grew were crowdfunded comics, you know those indie comics that are not published by DC or Marvel:



Furthermore you're looking at the "estimated market share", which is a lot of wish-wash. The hard numbers are the dollar and unit sales, which have been largely stagnating for comics books since 2009:



And that's not even considering that the average price for comic books went from almost 3 bucks in 1997 to 4 dollars in 2018. The only thing that has a positive upwards trend are paperbacks:



Meaning that people are not buying new comics anymore, but prefer to buy collection of older comics.



Manga is a foreign product, as explained by your article the slump is due to the frikkin' financial crisis which also hit comics and publishers simply importing less manga:



Also, look at that market growth since 2018, that's insane!

How in the ever loving f*ck can you look at these trends and come to the conclusion that comics are doing well compared to manga?

The 1 billion that I mentioned was for American comics and TPBs combined. But OK, lets remove the 160 million for digital sales, that's still about 870 million for American comics compared to 250 million for manga. Even just comparing manga TPBs to comic TPBs, the American comic industry is still 585 million compared to 250 million.

You're the one comparing manga (essentialy TPBs) to single issue comics.
I'm the one saying that you shouldn't be comparing those 2 markets.
So since you are the one comparing manga TPB's to singles comics, damn straight I'm combing singles and TPB's together for America comics. And you are further proving my own point, the comic TPB/HC section of the industry is growing.

And please don't mention Kickstarter comics, they won't even be a drop in the bucket compared to even Boom or Dynamite.
 

oagboghi2

Member
The 1 billion that I mentioned was for American comics and TPBs combined. But OK, lets remove the 160 million for digital sales, that's still about 870 million for American comics compared to 250 million for manga. Even just comparing manga TPBs to comic TPBs, the American comic industry is still 585 million compared to 250 million.

You're the one comparing manga (essentialy TPBs) to single issue comics.
I'm the one saying that you shouldn't be comparing those 2 markets.
So since you are the one comparing manga TPB's to singles comics, damn straight I'm combing singles and TPB's together for America comics. And you are further proving my own point, the comic TPB/HC section of the industry is growing.

And please don't mention Kickstarter comics, they won't even be a drop in the bucket compared to even Boom or Dynamite.
Except that you should be comparing those two markets. That’s the only way a comparison makes sense.

your argument is essentially “well, if you count everything together, that is bigger than manga alone”. Yeah, no fucking shit
 
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sol_bad

Member
Except that you should be comparing those two markets. That’s the only way a comparison makes sense.

your argument is essentually “well, if you count everything together, that is bigger than manga alone”. Yeah, no fucking shit

A fair comparison is comparing manga to only comic TPBs and HC/s, the collected edition market.
The manga market doesn't have a "direct market" type of distribution method where they sell chapters directly through a comic shop. Your only option with manga is to buy tankobons and they are primarily sold at very easily accessible book stores. Single issue comics on the other hand are only sold primarily at comic shops, at least that's how it is here in Australia and that's how I understand it works in America.

If you compare tankobons to single comic issues, you are comparing a distribution method of about 10,000 bookstores (manga) to about 2,000 comic shops (comics). There are 5 times more book stores to comic shops, so the fact that manga sells more than single issue comics is a "yeah, no fucking shit" situation.
 

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
You're the one comparing manga (essentialy TPBs) to single issue comics.
I'm the one saying that you shouldn't be comparing those 2 markets.

Look at the topic title!

Of course trade paperbacks are selling well, because people still want to read comics. They just can't stand the new stuff, so they stick to the old stuff. Single issue comics is where the new stuff comes out, and nobody is buying that which is the whole frikkin' point of this thread!

Also you're just going to ignore
  • the highly stagnant dollar and unit sales since 2009
  • comics selling 30% less
  • manga growing by 47% and driving 80% of the total market growth

Alrighty then.
 

oagboghi2

Member
A fair comparison is comparing manga to only comic TPBs and HC/s, the collected edition market.
The manga market doesn't have a "direct market" type of distribution method where they sell chapters directly through a comic shop. Your only option with manga is to buy tankobons and they are primarily sold at very easily accessible book stores. Single issue comics on the other hand are only sold primarily at comic shops, at least that's how it is here in Australia and that's how I understand it works in America.

If you compare tankobons to single comic issues, you are comparing a distribution method of about 10,000 bookstores (manga) to about 2,000 comic shops (comics). There are 5 times more book stores to comic shops, so the fact that manga sells more than single issue comics is a "yeah, no fucking shit" situation.


the comparison is of the growth in the market of one another. One market is growing, then the other is shrinking. It’s really not that complicated.

Blaming all of that on distribution is laughable. Last I checked, no one forced comic publishers to the direct market.

If new comics were popular, than the direct market and comic book shops would be a huge advantage for western comics, as many people would buy new issues and essentially double dip when the trade comes out. That isn’t happening. Those sales are stagnant, while trades of older books do well. That strengthens the OP’s argument, not weaken it.
 
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sol_bad

Member

Look at the topic title!

Of course trade paperbacks are selling well, because people still want to read comics. They just can't stand the new stuff, so they stick to the old stuff. Single issue comics is where the new stuff comes out, and nobody is buying that which is the whole frikkin' point of this thread!

Also you're just going to ignore
  • the highly stagnant dollar and unit sales since 2009
  • comics selling 30% less
  • manga growing by 47% and driving 80% of the total market growth

Alrighty then.

the comparison is of the growth in the market of one another. One market is growing, then the other is shrinking. It’s really not that complicated.

Blaming all of that on distribution is laughable. Last I checked, no one forced comic publishers to the direct market.

If new comics were popular, than the direct market and comic book shops would be a huge advantage for western comics, as many people would buy new issues and essentially double dip when the trade comes out. That isn’t happening. Those sales are stagnant, while trades of older books do well. That strengthens the OP’s argument, not weaken it.

I'm not sure if you guys are just pretending to be dense or not. I've said and agreed multiple times that the direct market of comics is slowly diminishing, I haven't refuted that fact. I've also said that the collected edition market is growing, nor have I said anything negatively about manga. You both want to sit there on your high horses and compare manga to the direct market of comics because it aligns with your weird agenda, some strange hate for an industry that you don't even partake in.

Explain to me how it makes sense to compare manga to direct market comics. Manga is available to buy in 20,000 book stores and can be sold in the direct market of 2,000 comic stores in America. Comics are only sold in the direct market of 2,000 comic book stores. Just based on exposure to the general public it makes sense that manga will sell better than direct market comics. Use your brain, there are thousands or millions of people in America who don't even have comic shops near them.
As I've stated a hundred times as well, look at the pricing of both markets, earlier I compared a comic TPB to a manga tankobon, now look at the price difference with a direct market comic. A single issue costs $4 an issue, solicitations will say that they are generally 32 pages but there is only 22 pages of story content. So what would most teenagers prefer to do, spend $4 on 22 pages of story or spend $12 on 180+ pages of story?

There are two phrases in the comic industry/community, they are "made for the trade" and "trade waiting". Even though a comic can run for 50-100 issues, they are designed around 4-6 issue story arcs that fit into TPBs. They do this because they know a large portion of their audience are trade waiters, meaning they wait for TPBs to release rather than buy the single issues. I'm not sure where you are getting the idea that people are only buying collected editions of old comics.

*EDIT*
If you were actually involved in any comic communities you would learn that thee are hundreds (thousands?) of people who have collected comics for 30/40/50 years who now trade wait instead of buying single issues.

O oagboghi2 If comics were sold at book stores, it would no doubt cause the direct market comic stores to crash, burn and close even faster. Again, book stores much easier to access and if they sold single issue comics, there would be even less reason to go to a comic store. Just like TPBs and HCs, single issue comics would be cheaper at a book store, causing the death of comic shops even faster.
 
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IDKFA

Member
I was thinking of getting into Manga, but the prices for physical copies are insane.

I liked the look of Chainsaw Man, but couldn't find Vol 1 anywhere.

Checked eBay's and saw somebody was selling the first five volumes. The current bid at the time was £170!!!!

Is it really that rare?

Edit. Make that £175 with still over a day to go.

 
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sol_bad

Member
I was thinking of getting into Manga, but the prices for physical copies are insane.

I liked the look of Chainsaw Man, but couldn't find Vol 1 anywhere.

Checked eBay's and saw somebody was selling the first five volumes. The current bid at the time was £170!!!!

Is it really that rare?

Edit. Make that £175 with still over a day to go.


Chainsaw man is not rare, don't even think about spending that much money. Unless you have the funds for it of course.
The problem at the moment is that the printers can't keep up with the demand.
Just wait it out until it's in stock at a book shop / Amazon. Or alternatively for now read it digitally on the Shonen Jump app if you have a tablet.
 

IDKFA

Member
Chainsaw man is not rare, don't even think about spending that much money. Unless you have the funds for it of course.
The problem at the moment is that the printers can't keep up with the demand.
Just wait it out until it's in stock at a book shop / Amazon. Or alternatively for now read it digitally on the Shonen Jump app if you have a tablet.

I'd never pay that much for Manga, but your post explains Chainsaw Man (and other titles) are stupid prices on eBay.

Why would anybody spend that much if it's just a case with publishers struggling to keep up with demand? Must be out of their minds.

Anyway, after enjoying the anime of One Punch Man, I'd like to get into that manga, and I also heard Berserk is pretty good.

Also, can anyone recommend some samurai manga? Preferably one that is in print and easy to obtain
 

sol_bad

Member
Also, can anyone recommend some samurai manga? Preferably one that is in print and easy to obtain

Rourini ZKenshin is on the Shonen Jump app.
Also Dark Horse comics are printing deluxe hardcovers of Blade of the Immortal.
Dark Horse also do Lone Wolf and Cub in softcover omnibus books. I'm hoping they start doing deluxe hardcovers next year.
 

Werewolf Jones

Gold Member
Also, can anyone recommend some samurai manga? Preferably one that is in print and easy to obtain
Lone Wolf and Cub and Rurouni Kenshin are the only two I can think of immediately and Blade of the Immortal as sol_bad sol_bad mentioned.

I could give you a few more if you wanted scans like Shigurui or Snow Ridge, Sword Dance.
 

sol_bad

Member


Sure, "my" agenda...

I have no idea what I am even looking at?
Is that someone pointing out character traits for characters that appear in X-Men books?
These are just images without any context. How about showing whole pages or the involved panels where we learn about these characters?

Are these characters that are just in a couple of panels? Or is it like a horrible Ice Man situation where they change decades later randomly?
 
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IDKFA

Member
Rourini ZKenshin is on the Shonen Jump app.
Also Dark Horse comics are printing deluxe hardcovers of Blade of the Immortal.
Dark Horse also do Lone Wolf and Cub in softcover omnibus books. I'm hoping they start doing deluxe hardcovers next year.

Thanks for the tip! Just purchased Vol 1 of the deluxe edition of Blade of the Immortal!!

I'd be down for Lone Wolf and Cub deluxe as well. Huge fan of the classic LW&C films.

Lone Wolf and Cub and Rurouni Kenshin are the only two I can think of immediately and Blade of the Immortal as sol_bad sol_bad mentioned.

I could give you a few more if you wanted scans like Shigurui or Snow Ridge, Sword Dance.

Brother, please do drop the scans into the thread! It'll not only inspire me, but also Inspire others who are jumping onto the Manga train!
 

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
I have no idea what I am even looking at?
Don't play daft, you know exactly what that is namely yet another thing that is wrong with comics. A prolific Marvel comicbook writer substituting tokenism and demographic textbox-checking for decent characterization and character development. All these character descriptions read like twitter bios. This is not good story telling.

Take a long look at this and tell me again, who's the one with the agenda here?
 

JORMBO

Darkness no more
I was thinking of getting into Manga, but the prices for physical copies are insane.

I liked the look of Chainsaw Man, but couldn't find Vol 1 anywhere.

Checked eBay's and saw somebody was selling the first five volumes. The current bid at the time was £170!!!!

Is it really that rare?

Edit. Make that £175 with still over a day to go.

A lot of manga have been having trouble keeping in stock this past year. Printing got behind with COVID and demand/interest in manga also spiked with lockdowns. I wouldn't overpay for anything. I ordered Chainsaw Man 1-5 last week at Rightstufanime on sale for a little over $5 each. They are not in stock, but I will just be patient and wait for a restock rather then paying Ebay prices. There's a lot of other stuff to read while waiting. I am hoping things return to normal now. I have so many series where I am just missing a book or two so I have not started reading them. I've been able to fill in more gaps lately so thinks are starting to slowly improve.


On the thread topic directly - I started reading manga a few years ago when they started the Berserk Deluxe line. I like that the series always have the same author and typically follow the same characters and story. Awhile back I bought all the 90s Dark Horse Tomb Raider comic collections and every few chapters the author/artist changes. The art style is then different and the characters don't act the same. It's just really weird to read. Then looking at super hero stuff there are so many different story arcs and time lines I wouldn't know where to start.
 

sol_bad

Member
Don't play daft, you know exactly what that is namely yet another thing that is wrong with comics. A prolific Marvel comicbook writer substituting tokenism and demographic textbox-checking for decent characterization and character development. All these character descriptions read like twitter bios. This is not good story telling.

Take a long look at this and tell me again, who's the one with the agenda here?

Ummmmm
You're right, it's not good story writing. It's someone on Twitter writing things above comic images. I need to see the actual comics these characters are in and see what their actual character growth is like.
You know, read the actual story and not Twitter. Form my own opinion, not listen to Twitters opinion.
 

Bryank75

Banned
Creator of Bane in Batman, discussing how Comics have no variety, are poorly crafted, poorly conceived etc VS Manga that have an abundance of passion, craft and have managas about fishing, golfing etc. While everything in western comics is super-heros and superheros done badly.


About half way in.
 

Lupingosei

Banned
Creator of Bane in Batman, discussing how Comics have no variety, are poorly crafted, poorly conceived etc VS Manga that have an abundance of passion, craft and have managas about fishing, golfing etc. While everything in western comics is super-heros and superheros done badly.


About half way in.
He is not wrong there are mangas about superheroes or people just walking around enjoying the world. (actually one of my favorite mangas). You get everything in manga, but you will not get it in US comics. You will get variety in European comics and they still do quite well.
 

CGiRanger

Banned
Creator of Bane in Batman, discussing how Comics have no variety, are poorly crafted, poorly conceived etc VS Manga that have an abundance of passion, craft and have managas about fishing, golfing etc. While everything in western comics is super-heros and superheros done badly.


About half way in.
This article snagged some quotes from that: https://boundingintocomics.com/2021...nga-is-wiping-the-floor-with-american-comics/
Dixon then touted the artwork in manga, “It’s not hard to see. The artwork is attractive. It’s different. It’s engaging. It’s interesting. It’s varied. So there’s a lot of reasons to like manga.”

And not a whole lot of reasons to like what’s out now (in comics). Because what’s out now, for the Big Two, is, for the most part, poorly crafted. There’s a few exceptions, but for the most part, it’s poorly crafted, poorly conceived, there’s an obvious political agenda to everything, and there’s no variety.”
He continued, “And I’ve made reference on these videos to one of my favorite mangas is about fishing. It’s just about fishing. It’s not about vampires fishing on another planet or witches fishing or fishing after a zombie apocalypse. This is about guys fishing. Surf casting and whatever. Fishing from boats, fishing on the shore, fishing from the banks of rivers, and the stories are fascinating, and beautifully drawn, and beautifully realized.”

He then contrasted that with American comics, “But here, what do we get? We get superheroes and poorly done superheroes. There really isn’t anything else at the mainstream companies. It’s superheroes, superheroes, superheroes. And they are all avatars for the writers’ political agenda. And they’re kind of tiresome. They’re not particularly well drawn. They’re not particularly well-realized.”
 
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strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
He continued, “And I’ve made reference on these videos to one of my favorite mangas is about fishing. It’s just about fishing. It’s not about vampires fishing on another planet or witches fishing or fishing after a zombie apocalypse. This is about guys fishing. Surf casting and whatever. Fishing from boats, fishing on the shore, fishing from the banks of rivers, and the stories are fascinating, and beautifully drawn, and beautifully realized.” He then contrasted that with American comics, “But here, what do we get? We get superheroes and poorly done superheroes. There really isn’t anything else at the mainstream companies. It’s superheroes, superheroes, superheroes. And they are all avatars for the writers’ political agenda. And they’re kind of tiresome. They’re not particularly well drawn. They’re not particularly well-realized.”

Shocked Patrick Stewart GIF


Isn't that what I just said a few pages back?

Manga make even cooking look cool! Heck, I've just finished reading a Manga called Drops of God, which is entirely about wine tasting and it was such a gripping read, simply amazing.

Why yes, I did :messenger_sunglasses:

Creator of Bane in Batman, discussing how Comics have no variety, are poorly crafted, poorly conceived etc VS Manga that have an abundance of passion, craft and have managas about fishing, golfing etc. While everything in western comics is super-heros and superheros done badly.


Paging sol_bad sol_bad so he can gatekeep Chuck F*cking Dixon by telling us that comics are absolutely fine and that Dixon is just not reading enough comics.
 

sol_bad

Member
Paging sol_bad sol_bad so he can gatekeep Chuck F*cking Dixon by telling us that comics are absolutely fine and that Dixon is just not reading enough comics.

One thing I'll say is that he is doing the same thing that you did. The question was about why manga is "wiping the floor" in sales compared to American comics, both you and Mr. Dixon both said that variety is an issue with DC/Marvel. Then you both went on to talk about niche books about golf, fishing and wine drinking. The thing is, is that these niche books are not in the top sales, your wine drinking manga failed sales wise and was cancelled in America. The manga that is "wiping the floor" are all Shonen books which aren't much different to American comics. High on action, low on characterisation and story.
So both your and Mr. Dixon's examples aren't explaining anything.

Considering Mr. Dixon has been in the industry for 40 years or so, he should clearly know and understand that direct market comics and manga are two extremely different industries.
He is also very hypocritical when he says there shouldn't be politics in comics when he did a graphic novel adaptation of Clinton Cash and had it published through Regnery Publishing, a politically conservative publisher. So he is fine with politics in comics, it just has to be his type of politics. The fact that this book was published through the book market should make him realise even further what very different industries manga and direct market comics are. But he chooses to skip over these details he would know about in both industries.

It does seem like he doesn't read any western comics anymore considering he doesn't mention anything from Image, Aftershock, Boom or Boom Box. He doesn't even mention anything about Antarctic Press who he did Airboy through and will be doing Alias through.

I still need to read some of his books though, hoping to get the Road to No Man's Land and No Man's Land omnibu.
 
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