Top 5 Digital Publishing Trends for Manga from AX, SDCC 2013

Top 5 Digital Publishing Trends for Manga from AX, SDCC 2013

Recently posted on Publishers Weekly: My round-up of new trends in digital publishing for manga from San Diego Comic-Con and Anime Expo.

So what’s new in the world of manga digital publishing? Well, here’s a quick preview:

  • Weekly Shonen Jump goes day/date in five new English-speaking countries: United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, South Africa, and New Zealand. I spoke with Shueisha’s shonen jump honcho Hisashi Sasaki and VIZ Media’s digital marketing guy Erik Eberhardt about their plans to get new readers on board with their weekly manga mag in these new countries. They also discussed some of the reasons why it’s not so simple to flick a switch and make it available to everyone on every digital platform worldwide.
  • Attack on Titan Volume 5

    Attack on Titan Volume 5 | © Hajime Isayama / KODANSHA

    Kodansha Comics ditches their iPad app in favor of ePub formats (Kindle, Nook, Apple iBookstore). This was an interesting one — while Shueisha/VIZ Media mentioned geographical / licensing limitations in making their titles available worldwide, Kodansha is basically offering their digital titles in English to all countries (for the most part. Kodansha reps mentioned some possible exceptions, but as of yet, I haven’t heard of specific titles blocked from any countries). ¬†While Vinland Saga, Attack on Titan and Fairy Tail will be released digitally on the same day as print, the one title you won’t see offered digitally from Kodansha? Sailor Moon. Sorry, they wouldn’t explain why.

  • Doraemon and new Tezuka manga to be published digitally. Digital Manga Publishing announced that they got the rights to publish manga by Osamu Tezuka on their eManga platform and other digital/ePub formats. No additional details on titles and releases, but this is welcome news for fans who have suffered through Tezuka Productions’ past misguided (and expensive) efforts at digital publishing. Also, the upcoming release of Doraemon!
  • Manga 2.5 makes a play for motion manga. I first encountered Manga 2.5 at Anime Expo — and while it’s something they were very jazzed about, I could tell right off the top that this newcomer has a lot of challenges to overcome in the North American market. I delve into my misgivings in my article, and will probably review the experience later in coming days.
  • Udon and Seven Seas Entertainment join ComiXology. Again, this points to a trend where manga publishers are figuring out that building and maintaining proprietary apps for iOS and Android is an expensive and time-consuming pursuit. While ComiXology has most of the major US publishers on board their platform, one of their major gaps, content-wise has been manga. Udon adding their original and Japanese-licensed titles (including Captain Commando and Street Fighter comics) and Seven Seas doing the same with a handful of their original and Japanese/Korean licensed titles (including Hollow Fields and Dance in the Vampire Bund)

Check out the rest of the article, and see what’s headed your way soon for your digital comics reading pleasure in the months and weeks to come.

One Comment

  1. There’s a pretty simple reason to why Sailor Moon won’t be released digitally, actually. Apparently Naoko Takeuchi hasn’t given her permission.

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