Boudoir-Hante02 C1Rep(2)
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.]


  1. Wow… you mean there have been about 500 Chinese graphic novels published in France? Have any been translated into English (Hong Kong, Singapore markets)?

    And by Chinese… is that Mainland or Formosa? I’ve read a few various philosophy texts adapted by Tsai Chih Chung, and the occasional Asiapac history titles, but those are Taiwanese, and rather cartoony.

  2. Every year Gilles Ratier publishes an interesting article about the french industry:
    In 2007 there were 1,371 comics from Asia: 1,152 from Japan (1,110 in 2006), 130 from Corea (259 in 2006), 74 from China and Hong Kong (41 in 2006), and 15 from Malaisia, Singapore, Taïwan, Thailandia and India (8 in 2006).
    The best seller was Naruto: 7 tp in 2007, 220.000 copies every tp.
    The numbers refer to print runs.
    Sorry for my english…

  3. In 2000 were published 1,563 books: 1,137 new graphic novels, 285 republished gn, 103 sketch books and 38 essays.

    1,160 books were french and 403 books were foreign: 227 from Japan (200 in 1999), 116 from USA (130 in 1999), 27 from Italy, 11 from Spain, 9 from Argentina, 6 from UK, 5 from Germany, 2 from Netherlands, 2 from Australia, 1 from Serbia, Portugal, Israele, Sweden, Iran, Denmark, Croazia.