Last week’s revelation that grown men didn’t read manga continues to reverberate. One commenter at Comics Worth Reading sees the light:

I guess I know how you feel now. During the whole Mary Jane / Heros for Hire debate, I thought to myself: get a sense of humor, ladies. Well, no more of that. Sorry, I’ve learned my lesson. I’ve always wondered; ‘why do you read comics? if they’re such mindles boys club crap, why read them?’ I get it. See, Dark Horse is the only place I can get my favorite titles, that’s it. Tokyopop, Viz, CMX, Del Rey, ect. would never publish great books like Berserk, Lady Snowblood, Kazuo Koike’s library, or Kurosagi’s CDS. And while I like Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Head, and Ranma1/2, I seek out bloody action filled manga, that’s just my taste, and I make no apologies {and I don’t think of myself as an ‘overaged fanboy’}. So, I apologize if I misjuged your comments about women and comics in your earlier posts; it won’t happen again.

More salient are the comments of former Vix editor Jason Thompson:

The fact of the U.S. manga market isn’t that shojo dominates the charts, it’s that stuff for younger readers dominates the charts. It’s simply hard to get the more adult manga into the big chain outlets. (Although who knows — Yamila Abraham said that Yaoi Press got books in Wal-Mart.) But from my experience with Viz, you simply can’t get as many orders for books that are aimed at a 16+ or 18+ demographic. This effects josei manga too, like Simon Jones and other people pointed out… I would love to see more josei, and I hope Aurora Publishing does some good stuff.

He also mentions the mysterious demise of Raijin Comics, the only manga start-up to really fall flat on its face:

You’ll never catch me mourning Raijin Comics — they were just too delusional and square-jawed and ’80s — but I *do* want the American manga market to be aimed at readers older than 14-year-olds (and adults who like reading stuff for 14-year-olds… heck, I do love the One Piece and the Shaman King and the Sugar Sugar Rune and the Peach Girl). Dark Horse manga has been publishing comics of all varieties for many years, and they’re one of the only manga publishers who focuses on seinen manga. On the other hand, we now have 5+ yaoi publishers, with taglines like “The Girls’ Only Sanctuary” and “Where Girls Gather and Boys Play.” Imagine how people would freak if Dark Horse’s logo was “Where Boys Go To Read Comics.” Which isn’t accurate, anyway — if you want to see *real* boys-club comics, go dig around in Previews and you’ll find zillions of balloon-breasted, wasp-waisted women in the ’90s style.

Chris Butcher has more.


  1. What baffles me is what junk manga is. I’ve been a book retailer for 12 years, and the one kind of book I absolutely, completely 100% do not get is manga. Seriously, what? When I see the stuff on PW’s bestseller lists, or in Ingram’s ADVANCE catalogs, I only scratch my head. I’ve never picked up one that even rose to the level of mediocrity.

  2. So, let me get this straight. After all the blather about Manga sales success, it boils down to books that basically sell to the same young audience that used to buy American comics on the newsstand? Ressurrecting the sizable female audience that used to buy comics pre-1970s is still an amazing accomplishment, of course.