Manga, Graphic Novels and Comic Books, always a good seller in bookstores, although like so many things its changing. “The Digital Age” has changed the world around us, with technology surrounding us almost everywhere we go. Now comics, and manga are just a click away for those interested. With this almost instant access to these books, everything comes with a price, pirating is at an all time high, and some comic book stores suffer as many prefer to buy online rather than the in store alternative. Are printed copies a thing of the past? I think not. For every series, there will always be a a massive fan and collector wanting to buy the solid copy for a bookshelf. So for now, I don’t think there’s too much of a worry for hard copies, they’ll be around as long as people are willing to buy them
The rise of the Ipad and other Tablets in the late 2000’s started a new age of comic book reading. Digital format was available for many of comics and manga we know and love and soon individual apps (Marvel, DC,) were available to download as a platform for reading your comics. The online reading of comics have exploded making about 25 million in 2011 and 90 million in 2013. This industry is growing exponentially, especially when there is so many options for reading.
Pirated material, however, has began to make a small impact on the industry. For example, The Walking dead is one of the most popular comic book series that is pirated online, yet they sill make much more than they lose. Also the availability to access translated manga is also a problem, because of this easily availability to the translated manga, the market has almost busted in the US compared to the also declining Japan market (Market worth about 6 billion or 406¥). Like stated above being able to easily download and read these comics and manga might have hurt the industry slightly, there are still many who buy the product, via bookstores, or online apps.
Manga can still be found in most book stores (Such as Indigo) and usually has a small section of the stores set aside to find your reading desires. Whereas over in Japan there are stores solely based on selling Manga. The popularity in the North American stores is no where near the Japanese market. In these Manga stores there can be floors and floors of different types of Manga – including some works of individuals starting out in the Manga industry. It’s interesting to think that Japan offers a little more help and room for starting out in writing Manga and producing your own titles, its not quite that easy in North America.
Even with the sales of Manga declining, it is still being purchased by many on the daily. Whether it be online or in store, there are plenty of ways that people can read and enjoy their favorite titles. Comics, are just the same, with the digital age around us now people can enjoy their favorite stories almost anywhere, and if people don’t think that’s great, I honestly don’t know what is. So here’s to the digital age, bring us closer to Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels than we ever have been.