Over at Publishers’ Weekly, Deb Aoki has made a strong argument that the US manga industry is entering a new phase of growth. She attributes this success to a variety of factors, from simultaneous publication of Japanese titles in America to a greater range of offerings with LBGTQ appeal. Equally important is the industry’s willingness to take risks on quirky series through digital-first publishing initiatives — a smart way to gauge reader interest in older titles or niche genres — and Kadakowa’s aggressive North American expansion through its investment in Yen Press.
For a little perspective on the industry’s recent history, Cecilia D’Anastasio’s article “Manga Pirates Are Having Trouble Going Legit” offers additional insight. D’Anastasio notes that the American manga industry’s value peaked at $200 million in 2007, just as scanlation sites like OneManga and Manga Helpers were beginning draw millions of visitors every month. By 2012, the cumulative impact of such pirate operations had exacted a toll on American publishers; the total number of titles released in that year was a paltry 695, down almost 50% from 2011. Though the industry has rebounded since then, these figures are a powerful reminder of how much the industry has changed, and how important it is for the industry to continue developing new, innovative business models that make favorite titles easily and legally accessible to readers.
MANGA, ANIME, AND JAPANESE POP CULTURAL NEWS
Casey Lee Mitchem and Rebecca Silverman recently chatted with Hirohiko Araki about his long-running series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and his brand-new book Manga in Theory and Practice, which explains how Araki creates characters, writes dialogue, and develops plotlines. As befits the creator of the glamorous Joestar clan, Araki also offered a few anti-aging tips. [Anime News Network]
At TCAF 2017, Brigid Alverson sat down with Gengoroh Tagame to discuss his latest project, the teen-friendly title My Brother’s Husband. [B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog]
Also of interest: Ollie Barder interviews Akira Himekawa, the female manga artists behind such Legend of Zelda adaptations as Ocarina of Time. [Forbes]
Mark your calendars: Min Kahng’s musical adaptation of The Four Immigrants Manga will run from July 12th – August 6th in Palo Alto. [TheatreWorks Silicon Valley]
Could a live-action Cowboy Bebop television show be good? Serdar Yegulalp weighs the pros and cons. [Ganriki]
Paul Gravett’s Mangasia: The Definitive Guide to Pan-Asian Comic Art will arrive in stores this November. The book takes a broad look at Asian comics, tracing “the evolution of manga from its roots in late nineteenth-century Japan through the many and varied forms of comics, cartoons, and animation created throughout Asia” in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. [Thames & Hudson]
A newly announced TSA policy may impact your ability to travel with comics. As part of a pilot program that began this spring, TSA agents may ask travelers to remove books and other print materials from carry-on bags and place them in separate bins for scanning purposes. That sounds innocuous — until you remember how many times comic and manga fans have been hassled at border crossings about what they’re reading. [Bleeding Cool]
The latest Hard NOC Life podcast argues that an animated Wonder Woman television show might be “the intersectional, feminist, and diverse series we’ve all been waiting for.” [Nerds of Color]
After FirstSecond announced that it will be publishing the phenomenally popular webcomic Check, Please!, creator Ngozi Ukazu sat down with Entertainment Weekly‘s Nivea Serrao to talk hockey, comics, and making the leap from screen to print. [EW.com]