Manta Comics has announced the debut of a new romantic comedy webcomics series based on The Bromance Book Club, a bestselling romance prose novel series by Lyssa Kay Adams about a group of Nashville jocks, ‘alpha males’ and manly men who share a secret: they have a book club where they read and discuss romance novels. Why do they do this? Perhaps to figure out what women want, to get in touch with their softer side, to find love, mend their on-the-rocks relationships with their girlfriends or spouses, or to just share the simple pleasures of a happy ending where true love prevails.

Bromance Book Club on Manta

The webcomic version of The Bromance Book Club is illustrated by Manta Studios, RIDI’s in-house comics creation team that’s also responsible for their webtoon versions of fantasy romance series Disobey the Duke if You Dare and gender-bending romantic suspense series Finding Camellia. The  first chapters of The Bromance Book Club webtoon will debut on Manta on Sunday, September 3, with new chapters released every Sunday, exclusively on the Manta Comics app and on

The first five chapters will be available for anyone to read, but subsequent chapters will require sign-in and a subscription to Manta, which is currently $4.99/month for all-you-can-read webcomics. Manta’s flat-rate monthly subscription fee makes it different than similar comics platforms, that generally offer stories on a pay-per-chapter basis, or “wait until free,” an option that’s popular on webtoon platforms that unlocks new chapters if readers are willing to wait a few hours or days to read the next installment.

Unlike many series currently featured on Manta, most of which were originally published in Korean, the webcomic version of The Bromance Book Club will debut in English first, with versions in other languages possibly announced at a later date.

Set in Nashville, Tennessee, The Bromance Book Club kicks off when pro baseball player Gavin Scott discovers that his wife Thea “has always faked the big O.” Embarrassed and enraged by this revelation, the couple get into a big fight, and Thea asks for a divorce. Wanting to save his marriage but not really knowing how, Gavin discovers a secret book club that includes The Music City’s most affluent and manly men. Why is it secret? Because the book club is devoted to reading and discussing romance novels. With a little help from his newfound friends and maybe some tips taken from the pages of a steamy bodice-ripper paperback, will Gavin be able to win back his spouse’s heart before she decides to be his ‘ex-wife’ for good?

The Bromance Book ClubA bestseller when it debuted in 2019 under Penguin Random House’s Berkley imprint, The Bromance Book Club is the first novel in an ongoing series by Adams. The four other sequel stories have “bromance-themed” titles like Undercover Bromance, Crazy Stupid Bromance, Isn’t It Bromantic?, and the most recent release, A Very Merry Bromance, which first hit store shelves in November 2022.

The first novel in the Bromance Book Club series received warm reviews from readers and critics alike. Kirkus Reviews called it “a fun, sexy and heartfelt love story that’s equal parts romance and bromance.” It was also selected as the “No. 1 Best Romance of 2019” by Amazon Book Review and included in Bustle‘s ’21 Rom-Coms To Give You Warm And Fuzzy Feelings All Season Long’ list.

The concept of making it OK for manly men to read what’s generally considered to be a female-centric publishing genre has gotten popular enough that Adams has launched the Men Read Romance book club, a subscription service for “men who read romance, or those who want to start.”

The Bromance Book Club was also optioned for a live-action adaptation for Netflix in 2020, with Mark Ciardi (The Way Back) producing, and Bill Holderman and Erin Simms (Book Club) co-adapting the story for the small screen. However, as of press time, there’s no confirmed start date or casting announcements for this series.

Partly driven by changes in reading habits thanks to the pandemic, graphic novels were the leading growth category for book sales in 2021. But in 2022, the fastest growing category in book sales were romance novels. According to a 2022 report released by the NPD Group (that includes book sales reporting service Circana, formerly known as BookScan):

When it comes to print book sales in the U.S., romance is the leading growth category so far in 2022. For the year to date through August 6, 2022, romance sales volume reached nearly 19 million units. The romance market hasn’t reached those levels since 2014…. The romance category is also contributing to nearly two-thirds of the overall gains for adult fiction. In fact, 5 million more units sold this year, compared to last year, and unit sales grew 40% over 2021.

The overall strength of the romance genre in print book sales was also observed by trade publication Publishers Weekly. In a January 2023 overview, PW reported that:

Unit sales of fiction titles rose 8.5% over 2021, led by a 52.4% increase in sales of romance books, at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Five other fiction genres had increases in the year, including a 17.4% jump in sales of fantasy titles. 2021’s hottest adult fiction category, graphic novels, had a 4.6% increase.

Manta Comics Website

This overall trend of the popularity of romance stories in N. American publishing brings us back to webcomics/webtoons, where it’s generally agreed that romance stories of all kinds are the most-read series on apps/subscription services featuring vertical scrolling comics, like WEBTOON, Tapas, Tappytoon, Comikey, and Manta.

Manta is a mobile comics app / subscription service offered by RIDI, a leading S. Korean ebook distribution and publishing company. Since its debut in the English language market in November 2020, the Manta iOS and Android apps are currently up to 11 million downloads and offers comics content in both English and Spanish.

Manta describes its selection of stories as being “very strong in Romance and Fantasy storytelling, which is very popular with their readers,” which tends to “lean toward young females.”

Manta has also recently been dipping their toes into publishing by offering two of their series showcased on their app as ebooks and graphic novels, both through direct-to-consumer books such as fantasy romance Disobey the Duke If You Dare and as digital-first e-books, such as the first two volumes of contemporary boys’ love series Semantic Error, which are both available via Amazon.

Disobey the Duke If You Dare Graphic NovelUnder the Oak Tree, one of Manta’s most popular series about a shy girl who gets married to a fierce but loving warrior prince and discovers inner strength that she never knew she had, was recently picked up for both novel and graphic novel print publication by Inklore, Penguin Random House’s imprint for “pop comics.”

Also featured on Manta, gender-bending romance series Finding Camellia, was recently announced as an addition to Yen Press’ Ize Press line-up, with a possible 2024 release for the first volume.

As Manta described their ambitions, “We are dedicated to offering good stories from around the world for our fans on the platform.” They also added, ““We are aiming to maximize the potential and reach of good stories/IP by adapting proven stories into digital comics, which are very popular.”

The Lady Alchemist on MantaWhile graphic novel adaptations of N. American prose novels isn’t a new thing (Yen Press adapted James Patterson’s YA fantasy/sci-fi series Maximum Ride with Korean artist NaRae Lee in 2011), this is the latest example of Manta’s exploration of this sort of US/S. Korea creative collaboration (the first being their adaptation of The Lady Alchemist, “a steampunk retelling of Rumpelstilskin,” based on the novel by Samantha Vitale), possibly in hopes of introducing their app and perhaps romance webtoons in general, to new readers.

“At Manta, we are dedicated to bringing our readers compelling stories from around the world – whether they are created entirely by Manta Studios or based on existing books, novels, films, TV shows, video games or other formats,” said Moonseok Jeong, Head of Content and COO of Manta. “Lyssa Kay Adams’ The Bromance Book Club ia cherished IP that has resonated with countless fans, and we are excited for Bromance fans to be able to return to the world of her novel to experience the story in a vibrant new way on Manta.”

Visit to preview the series available now on Manta, or download their iOS or Android app to see more.