ComiPress translates a long Chinese brief on The Future of China’s Comics Market in France. As if that topic weren’t interesting enough on its own, the article gives many facts and figures on the French BD industry:
Ever since comic books first appeared in France back in the thirties, the market for them has never dried up, especially in the last ten years. This is clear just from looking at the number of titles now available. In 2000, there were 1,137 titles published; 227 of these were Japanese, 558 titles were from the main comic book companies, 236 were independent comics, and 116 were Chinese comics. In 2007, of the 3,313 new titles, 1,428 were from Asia, 1,018 were from the big companies, 613 were independents, and 253 were Chinese. Evidently, Asian comics, and more specifically Japanese manga, have the fastest- expanding market, currently making up over 40% of France’s comic book market.
The article also lists the bestselling comics of 2007:
1. The last two parts of Van Hamme’s “XIII”, One part drawn by Giraud, and the other drawn by Vance (550,000 copies)
2. Van Hamme and Francq’s “Largo Winch” (455,000 copies)
3. Tome and Janry’s “Le petit Spirou” (415,000 copies)
4. “Astérix et ses amis” by various writers (400,000 copies)
5. Midam’s “Kid Paddle” (380,000 copies)
6. Verron’s “Boule et Bill”(350,000 copies)
7. “Le Chat” by Geluck (320,000 copies)
8. Arleston and Tarquin’s “Lanfeust des étoiles” (300,000 copies)
9. Sente and Rosinski’s “Thorgal” (250,000 copies)
10. Bilal’s “Quatre?” (240,000 copies)
Although Chinese comics have made some inroads into the Gallic market, the report concludes that they will have uphill struggles, as they do not conform to prevalent styles:
France’s comic book market can be roughly divided into three categories: European style comics, Japanese manga and American comics. The work of Chinese artists is different from all three of these, or in some cases contains elements of all three. So at first glance, a comic book vendor would be hard-pressed to categorise or find a place for them. Even though Chinese comic production is abundant (remember, every year there are 4,000 comics released), enthusiastic readership and marketing of these books are somewhat lacking.
[Above, Les Contes du Boudoir Hanté by Yishan Li, published by Casterman.]