Recently, I ran into this video:
GLOBAL MANGA SHORTAGE While DC Comics Charges 6 BUCKS for a Batman Comic?! – YouTube
The video does not look too deeply into why this is happening and I wanted to present my thoughts on why this happened. There are a lot of issues here that I think that are not understood and making easy and quick assertions doesn’t give a true picture of what is going on.
What is going on is rather obvious. Comics in the US are in a death spiral. A quick google of the subject will provide anyone with endless articles and videos on the subject in the last year. Also, while the pandemic may have accelerated the process, somewhat, the death spiral was well along before the pandemic and the consequences came along. Even the largest selling comics books sell about 200,000 or so a month.
Contrast that with some Manga sales where even modest selling manga sell more than the top ten comic books combined and the top selling manga sells tens of millions of tankobon copies, a month, in Japan. As opposed to the American comics industry someone in Japan is doing something right. I want to use what I have learned to explore just what I think is going right in Japan and wrong in the US. I don’t pretend to have any insider’s special knowledge and this post will just be what I have observed about the two industries.