March 8th, 2014

rotting doll.

News: ICV2's Interview with Carl Horn, Dark Horse Manga Editor

If you're a manga fan like me, you've probably noticed that the industry has been something of a roller coaster ride over the past ten years. Japanese comics skyrocketed in popularity in the early 2000s, the market became over-saturated, and companies began shutting down left and right. Throw in the decline and death of Borders stores in 2011, and even more publishers went bust, including Tokyopop, one of the major wheels in the initial race to the top. But manga is still around, and ICV2 recently interviewed Carl Horn from Dark Horse about his perspective on the industry and his predictions for its future viability.

The segment that most interested me was a response about comics that are highly praised but poor sellers. Horn said,

"We have a series we’ve been running for a long time called The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, which has gotten some critical acclaim but sold very poorly. This to me illustrates one of the difficulties with selling manga. Gantz and Evangelion have anime spin-offs and Gantz has a live action spin-off. That’s true of many manga that are on the U.S. market. Mobile Suit Gundam has been successful for Vertical, for example, and Gundam is one of the most famous anime series of all time.

But if you have a manga like Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, for which there is no anime no tie-in of any sort, I believe it’s more difficult. That’s when you’re getting into the realm of pure manga. I don’t necessarily mean “pure” in a creative sense, but it illustrates the difficulty of selling just manga rather than manga that is part of some larger program."

Makes sense, right? Sailor Moon, Naruto, Bleach - these are some of manga's top sellers, and they've all got anime programs. It makes a difference.

Anyway, check out the interviews - they're quite interesting and provide a lot of insight on today's comic market:

Part One:
Part Two:

Peeking into the in:
2013: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
2012: Vacation: Weddingpalooza
2011: The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson #4) by Rick Riordan
2010: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith
2009: Fashionista Piranha Review Policy