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Quote of the Week: "In the United States, the majority undertakes to supply a multitude of ready-made opinions for the use of individuals, who are thus relieved from the necessity of forming opinions of their own." - Alexis de Tocqueville, French writer (1805-1859)

Just a matter of time I suppose

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Havok
PostPosted: 2012-02-07 09:02pm 

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I'm curious, are the proponents of Manga, Japan or US, not aware of the propensity of the American public to dive head first into fads and then jump out just as fast? It seems to me that Manga is a fad just like anything else that has captivated American youth. It will survive and carry on, but it's numbers and sales will dwindle in time.
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Stark
PostPosted: 2012-02-07 10:03pm 

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that is one hilarious post

why are you so sad these days hav :(
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Havok
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 02:27am 

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Stark wrote:
that is one hilarious post

why are you so sad these days hav :(

I'm not talking about Manga in Japan, I'm talking about Japanese Manga here.

Look dude, Americans go through fads like underwear. They do it with music, clothes, cars, styles, books, comics, movies. It's just the way it is. Thinking that Manga is always going to be this huge massive juggernaut (if it is) is the same kind of thinking that had people investing in Dot Coms in the 90's and buying houses they couldn't afford in the 2000's, and kids buying up every Pog they could find and getting 15 different versions of comic book covers in the 90's.

Like I said, I know it's not going away, but the apparent fervor surrounding it is going to wane and I want to know if the people that are all OMG!!! MANGA IS THE BEST EVER!!! realize that?
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Shroom Man 777
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 02:50am 

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We'd have to examine why they want or like mangas first to figure that out.
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Stark
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 03:06am 

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Nobody has any 'apparent fervor' in this thread. Its just raw numbers; the comics market is small and shrinking, and the manga market is huge and stable. America's consumption is arguably irrelevant, and talking about 'fads' to defend comicbooks is like grasping the last straw on the camel's back.

When I looked at the disparity in sales, I was blown the fuck away. Remember when Superman sold 800,000 copies a year, back in the 60s? Some manga sell that in a few months, in Japan alone.

Someone's got fervour; and it isn't the public for comic books. 8) This isn't about some kind of foreign invasion attacking true blue American freedom comics, and it isn't anything you don't already know. Its just ten manga titles combined can sell thirty five million copies in one market.

How relevant this is to you personally doesn't change the way the market has looked for 20 years.
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Havok
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 03:47am 

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Oh I'm not defending comic books. You know that I think that most of them are garbage. And the fervor that I am talking about isn't in this thread, it's just what I see around.

The fact that Superman USED to sell great, like most comics did at one time, just adds to what I think about Manga in America: It will sell now, but eventually, the American Manga buying public isn't going to buy Manga as much anymore. They will either grow out of it or it will be replaced by something else. Just doing a casual search shows articles talking about Manga sales dropping by 15-20% yearly in the States, and the articles were from 2007-2009, so my line of thinking seems to be supported.
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Stark
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 04:06am 

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It's worse than the western decline really; because all print media is getting fucked up the ass by piracy, but manga is probably the biggest victim especially in the west. Apparently Borders exploding hurts it in America, because they sold nearly a third of the manga in the country.

But seriously, that you are conscious of product life cycles is just a lol, because western comics have been on the downslope of that cycle for decades. Formats don't die (not even radio plays, lol) but the manga industry shows that whatever plagues comicbooks, its probably their own fault... just like all the problems with manga. Shrinking markets, limited appeal, poor response to the digital thing.

Both industries should probably learn from the huge money they make in other media, and use their properties and creators in a better way than 'publish reams of toilet paper for the converted few and then make blockbuster movies for real people'. :D
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Shroom Man 777
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 04:22am 

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Maybe while comics always has Batmang Batmang Batmang and Supermang Supermang Supermang for like the last century and so you end up with Infinite Civil Crisis of the Ten Earths with Infrared Lanterns battling Ultraviolet Parademons and the Gunfight at Darkseid Corral, manga's style is different and like you don't see, or seldom see, like a set of manga characters of two monolithic manga companies in Japanland being rehashed forever and ever till death do us part amen.

I know that's a gross oversimplification and the American comicbook world is rich and diverse, but still a huge portion of it is dominated by the same kind of characters and the same kind of stories... forever, and nobody's gotten over it.

I don't really get that kind of impression from mangas, on the other hand. Because "mango" like "animu" isn't really a particular genre, but is a way more hueger thing on its own. Whereas cartoons and comics encompass only certain categories, or are seen to occupy only these territories for cartoons and comics, such isn't really the case for mangoes and animus. It's like... trying to make a category by simply stating "movies" or "television".

I know comics can also cover a wide category of categories, but in Japanoland their funny pages seem to do that way more often than their gaijin counterparts. Like there was this mango that was more or less a documentary on how executions were done in the Tokugawa era where there was a chapter dedicated to explaining the intricacies and financial minutiae involved in decapitating people. Apparently mangoes and animus like this are normal in Japan, not woah grimdark edgy surprising or anything exceptional.

Maybe not being dominated by two companies and not stuck on the same characters forever has benefited mangos and animus, or led them to develop differently which is why their "behavior" today is also different.

I don't know. Those are just mein impressions. There's no way in hell I'd read most of the craps anyway. Except Gunfight at Darkseid Corral because I just love the Batman With No Name Triology and Ennio Morricone soundtracks are the best.
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Formless
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 04:30am 

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Stark
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 04:33am 

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Western publishers are adopting digital sales slowly, but much faster than the Japanese. Publishers in general are hostile to digital sales, but I understand the way things are published in Japan makes it even more difficult.

Still, in 2010 manga sales in America were like $120M out of a $650M business. If only Iron Man didn't make that in the cinema in like two weeks? :V I don't think nerds have a very good perspective on what's happening in this situation, to be honest.
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Shroom Man 777
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 04:35am 

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Shroom Man 777 wrote:
I know comics can also cover a wide category of categories, but in Japanoland their funny pages seem to do that way more often than their gaijin counterparts. Like there was this mango that was more or less a documentary on how executions were done in the Tokugawa era where there was a chapter dedicated to explaining the intricacies and financial minutiae involved in decapitating people. Apparently mangoes and animus like this are normal in Japan, not woah grimdark edgy surprising or anything exceptional.


And like this was done in the 1970s, before animus and mangas got their traditional moderno-contemporaristic aesthetic look that we are now familiar with. There are like volumes dedicated to this decapitator wherein he chops the heads off whores, he chops the heads off tax evaders, he chops the heads off bandits, he chops the heads off priests, he chops the heads off nuns, he chops the heads off nymphomaniacs, he chops the heads off pyromaniacs, he chops the heads off children, and all sorts of things. It boggled my mind and amazed me, on just how many stories could you make involving chopping people's heads off with swords, but apparently that's how they rolled back in the day.

I wonder what it would've been like if the American comic scene with Marvel and DC in the 70s also didn't bat an eyelid or think that things like these were exceptional, and just regarded them as normal. If comic books about say, the exploits of a bunch of electric chair operators or gas chamber ventilators or firing squad shooters or lethal injection technicians and how they electrocuted or nerve gassed or shot to death or lethal injected people, places and events, and how dramatic stories were centered on these feats and achievements and the people whose lives were affected and/or ended by these things, were common place in America and read all the time by folks who just regarded it as normal.

Cause mango and animu can cover everything from boys harvesting pokemans and mining minerals, to like the aforementioned executioners and the story of their lives. If americommunoids or whatever were more like this, there wouldn't be any "fad" of mango or animu, since how can a normal everyday occurrence be a "fad"?

Last edited by Shroom Man 777 on 2012-02-08 04:39am, edited 1 time in total.
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Stark
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 04:38am 

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Imagine an industry that is run by people who grew up being fans and then became creators and who realise sales are trending down. What do they do?

PS, the answer isn't 'open new markets' or 'increase accesibility'. Its more like 'read a lot of comic nerd forums'.

But formats don't die, and the more DC and Marvel fuck up, the more smaller companies can live in the cracks (even if most of them don't last very long). The world will always have speech bubbles; lets just hope they have something more interesting written in them than 'INESCAPABLE OMEGA BEAMS, SUPERMAN!!!!!!!'
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Shroom Man 777
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 04:42am 

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Would you say the reason why a lot of folks went for mangos and animus is because the stuff in mangos and animus is totally not like the stuff you see in Civil Crisis Infinite War of the Two Planet Hulkamanias in the Secret Mad Macho Corps of the Ultimate Warriors that are being rehashed forever?
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Stark
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 04:49am 

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They probably hadn't worked out how easy it was to download them for free yet. :V They got a big kick from being new and having so much content, but apparently what was translated wasn't always very good and initial uptake is almost never sustainable in that situation.
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Shroom Man 777
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 04:52am 

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But could you say that folks liked the mangos and animus because of how different they are, and that the American comics scene is mostly tired and stale? Not talking about the marketing, but the content. Like most of the stuff from the big comic publishers don't really interest me, but there seems to be an abundance of weird or disturbing or otherwise unusual and unconventional stuff from Japanese media that could fascinate.
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Vendetta
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 12:26pm 

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Shroom Man 777 wrote:
But could you say that folks liked the mangos and animus because of how different they are, and that the American comics scene is mostly tired and stale? Not talking about the marketing, but the content. Like most of the stuff from the big comic publishers don't really interest me, but there seems to be an abundance of weird or disturbing or otherwise unusual and unconventional stuff from Japanese media that could fascinate.


I don't think it's the content, it's the publication model.

Manga in Japan is published first in magazines like Weekly Shonen Jump that contain 10-12 stories for 250 yen ($3.20) as opposed to one story for $2.00, and is more widely distributed (like US comics used to be), so it's much easier to pick up casual trade because of the value proposition and ubiquity and easier to keep them because of the range of stories on offer.

It's nothing to do with the stories, Japanese superheroes just dress as pirates these days rather than in spandex, it's all to do with the publication and distribution.
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open_sketchbook
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 01:10pm 

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Joined: 2008-11-03 06:43pm
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Just a quick aside, the main reason that I don't read mainstream American comic books (the DCs and Marvels) is because they are garbage. They are enslaved to decades of continuity and run by the most rabid fans, and their plots are so incestuous that you have to read at least ten books a month to understand any kind of narrative. When DC launched the new 52, I read a bunch of them because, hey, if they are rebooting, it might be worth checking it out. Unfortunately, the new 52 was less a reboot and more a slight hiccup before diving straight back into the nonsensical crossover bullshit.

If I want to read a Batman comic, I don't care about Superman and I don't want him showing up. I don't want to have some complex story about the four Robins, two Batgirls, a villain from the 60s the artist has a hard-on for, and I definitely don't want it sidetracked for three months while Batman goes off to fight some alien invasion I didn't know about because I wasn't reading Green Lantern. I want fucking Batman stories. They cannot effectively deliver this to me in the glossy comics, and the trade paperbacks are just reprinting it in slightly more palatable form that still isn't usually worth it.

Manga, on the other hand, doesn't have this problem. Manga hasn't got crossovers, it hasn't got thirty writers and sixty artists spread across fifty titles in a shared universe, and most anything worth reading has an endpoint in mind, preventing the build-up of impossible continuity. Even the series that DO run forever are relatively contained to a single narrative, so if I was inclined to read about ninjas or pirates I could just keep buying one volume every few months and get the full picture. When American comics follow this model, I read those, too; I read the fuck out of a ton of indie titles, limited run comics, and webcomics. It is solely the mainstream American superhero comic that remains in this impenetrable bubble of bullshit, infinite continuity and poor narrative management.
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VF5SS
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 01:28pm 

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I think the real truth is that comics mutated into this kind of continuity heavy mess (not that they couldn't be like before 1990, but it was harder to check old comics physically even for publishers) is mainly to keep a lot of iconic characters in circulation to preserve their place in pop culture. However, with the success of several major movies, spinoffs, cartoons, etc the need for having comics just to keep the brand alive is rather outdated.

I know the medium is different from film and animation and I greatly appreciate when it is done well, but maybe it should be the realm of new titles since the old guard is pretty well established at this point. Or at least cut them back into more manageable mini-series. Comics can be for developing characters and ideas for an adaptation.

Oddly enough, most anime and live action shows in Japan are adaptations of manga and novels.
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Shroom Man 777
PostPosted: 2012-02-08 02:14pm 

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o_s, that was what I was touching on. Except I didn't want to word it that way since it might hurt people's feelings. Gunfight at Darkseid Corral. A Few Good Batmangs. How 2 Kill A Robinbird: The Hushening. Finalfinite Crisis Cores 7: Advent Prattalax. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Lantern Corps Oa-Ops Center: Full Spectrum Warrior: Ultraviolet Force Recon versus the 101st Infraredborne Gentlemen Ghost Recon Written by Bartholomew von Bladenholme Jr. Man. Screw mangoes and animoids, this shit just got real is awesome.
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jollyreaper
PostPosted: 2012-02-11 09:45pm 

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Joined: 2010-06-28 10:19pm
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Stark wrote:
Imagine an industry that is run by people who grew up being fans and then became creators and who realise sales are trending down. What do they do?

PS, the answer isn't 'open new markets' or 'increase accesibility'. Its more like 'read a lot of comic nerd forums'.

But formats don't die, and the more DC and Marvel fuck up, the more smaller companies can live in the cracks (even if most of them don't last very long). The world will always have speech bubbles; lets just hope they have something more interesting written in them than 'INESCAPABLE OMEGA BEAMS, SUPERMAN!!!!!!!'


I think the problem is the super-fan. In any genre, you cater to the people who spend the most money. If it's people like comic book guy or the usual otaku, that means you're going to be pushing more and more towards fetish that alienates the general public. It slowly becomes inaccessible. And to suggest that you try to branch out beyond the superfan who is buying the comics and the merchandizing is to suggest disaster, even as the dollar pool is shrinking. I know I've become increasingly dissatisfied with the new anime coming out even as I continue to find the old stuff enjoyable. There hasn't been anything like Cowboy Bebop since Cowboy Bebop.

I'm really curious about how conventional porn media is doing. While porn consumption is higher than ever, the actual dollars raised has to be plummeting. Who would buy Hustler anymore with all the sites out there? Who buys movies at the adult store? The people who are becoming instant millionaires in the industry are doing it online. And I wonder how that's the case when piracy is so rampant and so easy. Maybe people find giving over a credit card easier than a torrent site?

Whatever it is they're doing there, I think the lesson would be transferable to non-porn media. I don't think the interest has gone away but it's going to be difficult to successfully cash in on that interest. Why should someone pay for something they could get for free? Give them a personal connection, make them feel that money is valued and will directly contribute to getting more issues/episodes?
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jollyreaper
PostPosted: 2012-02-11 09:56pm 

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VF5SS wrote:
I think the real truth is that comics mutated into this kind of continuity heavy mess (not that they couldn't be like before 1990, but it was harder to check old comics physically even for publishers) is mainly to keep a lot of iconic characters in circulation to preserve their place in pop culture. However, with the success of several major movies, spinoffs, cartoons, etc the need for having comics just to keep the brand alive is rather outdated.


I think it would be a good rule to say that the whole shebang gets rebooted each time a new writer comes onboard. He gets control and can tell the tales he wants. I agree with the above rant about the crossover and continuity bullshit becomes impenetrable.

I've actually seen some Elseworlds stuff that manages to be interesting because the stories are short, self-contained, and not worried about a reset button. There's a freedom there you won't find in the main comics because they are a franchise that must be protected.

I think it would be great to say hey, Batman for the next two years is going to be written by this guy. It's his vision. He wants to do a noir Batman, it's going to be 40's and 50's and be self-contained. Characters can die, screw continuity. Now the next guy coming in is going to do an old Batman who's in the 70's, he's lost a step, he knows that he's going to have to hang up the cowl. He's got some ideas. The next guy comes in and the storyline is trying to make the television-era Batman relevant and interesting. It's comic-colored and bizarre but he's got ideas that will keep it interesting. It's not quite Austin Powers genre parody but it is going for laughs. Writers are free to borrow ideas from other continuities, discard what they don't like, etc. There's a reset button each time someone new takes the helm BUT, within a given writer's run, internal continuity is his own business. Batman can kill the Joker. He can deal with the consequences. The writer can reject the idea of a Robin sidekick as being a bit too much of the pederasty and keep Batman solo.

But I do have to agree with the commenters above who like the idea of a beginning, middle, and end to the indie titles and Japanese books. You know that the story has the potential of being told, told well, and not getting jerked around with endless extensions that are just trying to milk your wallet. It feels far more honest.
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