Wednesday, July 15, 2015
HIGHLIGHT: Manga Publishing Industry Roundtable SDCC2015
Manga Publishing Industry Roundtable
July 10, 2015, Friday, 5:00PM-6:00PM
Manga publishing in North America has definitely seen its shares of highs and low, from the manga boom in the early 2000s to the crash ten years later, caused by a perfect storm of the U.S. recession, Borders bookstores closures, and the growth of online piracy. So how are things now? Get a taste of what's hot, what's not, and what's next for manga in North America and Japan, from top publishing pros including Leyla Aker (senior VP, publishing, VIZ Media), Kurt Hassler (VP, publishing director, Yen Press), Ben Applegate (associate director, publishing services, Penguin Random House), and Erik Ko (chief of operations, Udon Entertainment). Moderated by Deb Aoki (Publishers Weekly, Manga Comics Manga).
I entered this panel to get information on what’s hot and what’s not in the manga industry, so I know what direction to take on my own story. Most of it was recommendations for manga to read, what manga is popular or new, both of which I already knew. But some information was new to me, like Josei or women’s manga isn’t well known and therefore doesn’t sell very well, but that might as well be common sense. Another genre that’s tough to sell is “Slice of Life” and “sports” manga because why read something based upon what you deal with already in your own life. Some manga recommendations included Princess Jellyfish, Planetes, and a Silent Voice. What’s new to the manga industry, however, is light novels or manga versions of classics like The Scarlet Letter. The light novels tend to sell more if there was a manga of it already published. The most popular genre that sell is dark fantasy, although fantasy or anything to escape life, in general, is popular. While I did get information on what I wanted to know, I learned about new releases and although the panel itself only had about 20 attendees people were pretty enthusiastic. It was a job well done on the panelist’s side. They didn’t take anything too seriously and kept talking, they knew what they were supposed to do and stuck to what they know. The bad part is that they did get to any Q&A.