§ ICv2 finds out more about Viz’s original manga initiative:
Are you looking for manga-style properties?
If by “manga” you mean what is generally considered manga in the United States (fantasy and romance aimed at teenagers), then no. If by “manga” you mean what is meant by manga in Japan (a broad range of comics that emphasize serial storytelling, cliffhangers, reader feedback, a supportive editorial process, and a rich creator voice), then yes we are.
§ Benjamin Ong Pang Kean interviews just about every manga company on earth about the Kodansha bombshell
“The manga market is certainly evolving and sometimes volatile. With Kodansha entering the marketplace and TokyoPop restructuring, it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen. Everyone’s aware that there’s too much product competing for shelf space, and there’s definitely been a market “correction” going on, with retailers and customers being more selective about what they choose to buy. Publishers will have to be more selective as well about what they publish. The approach of throwing everything against the wall and seeing what sticks clearly doesn’t work anymore. I think what we’re seeing is a market starting to mature.
So, I decide to go to a bookstore. Here’s a spot where consumers have a serious disconnect between their reality and real reality. They think – the bookstores will have books. Or they will order books for me! The reality is that bookstores only want to shelve books that will sell. So they will almost never order a book/author they don’t know, that has a niche audience, a small chance of selling, or a book that they don’t know anyone wants. Whether they have a lot of manga shelf space or not, real estate is always at a premium. Naruto sells, Bleach sells. These titles, for many reasons (some of which I touched upon last week) sell multiple copies. Strawberry Panic Light Novel (and I don’t want to beat on Seven Seas paticularly, I’m just choosing that because it is a niche publication by being both Yuri and a Light Novel,) might, maybe, possibly, sell a copy. If you are a bookstore – which are you going to place an order for?