What Would Make Manga More Appealing to Comics Fans? + 24 Manga for New Readers

What Would Make Manga More Appealing to Comics Fans? + 24 Manga for New Readers

After spending a weekend in Canada at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, one of the most manga-friendly comics shows in North America, I’m feeling pretty upbeat about the variety, quality and quantity of manga available in English (in print and in digital) nowadays.

But one TCAF panel that I attended (and moderated) got me thinking about a few things. The Future of Manga Publishing panel featured Yohei Sadoshima, manga editor, literary agent and founder of Cork Agency, a relatively new company that represents Japanese prose authors and manga artists like Moyoco Anno (Sakuran) and Chuya Koyama (Space Brothers).

Sakuran by Moyoco Anno

Sakuran © Moyoco Anno

One thing Mr. Sadoshima feels passionate about is getting the work of his creators seen by comics readers around the world. One way he is doing that is by making many titles by the authors he represents available via digital distribution on sites like Crunchyroll Manga and Manga Reborn, and eventually available from online bookstores, and for digital ebook devices like Amazon Kindle. This is great news for manga readers who already know these titles and are eager to read them via legitimate distribution channels (vs. pirate sites).

However, the artists and titles that Cork represent have one thing in common: they’re mostly comics geared for grown-up readers. As things stand today, many adult comics fans, much less book buyers are not generally inclined to seek out manga as their first choice for graphic novel entertainment. So what can be done to get these manga series and ones like them into these readers’ hands?

In fact, both Japanese and North American manga publishers are keen to get more comics readers into reading Japanese comics in English. But what makes it hard for new readers to get into manga? What would make it more accessible and appealing? I asked Twitter, here’s what people had to say. Also included in this tweet roundup are 24+ recommended manga that offer a great introduction to manga for even new readers. Let’s go!

Are you a comics reader who normally shies away from manga? If so, what makes it hard to give it a try? What would make it more appealing and accessible to you? Add your comments below!

2 Comments

  1. Who wants to target a rapidly-dwindling group of simpering lefties who will call everything misogynist? Manga ought to aim at the much-larger group of people who DON’T read comics!
    If I won the zillions on Euromillions lottery, and started up a new comic publishing company in Britain, you can bet I wouldn’t be aiming for the Liberal Democrat-voting, 2000AD reading minority – but the UKIP-voting, Sun-reading majority. It’s plain business sense!

  2. Oh yeah, and the non-shonen-battle stuff needs to stop being treated as “premium art house” entertainment. In Japan the latest Naruto and Thermae Romae are both around 650 yen. In the UK the latest Naruto is £6.99 and the latest Thermae Romae… a £23 lavish hardback! Who wants to spent £23 on one volume?

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