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Keynote, Day One: Austin Osueke on Manga in a Struggling Economy




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Captain Crotchspike



Joined: 23 Mar 2005
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 6:55 pm Reply with quote
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He closed out the keynote by offering a big-picture strategy, saying that the business plan for manga should focus on producing IPs that can be adapted easily into video games and films rather than simply putting books on shelves.

...oof. While that does make sense from a business perspective, the idea of authors being pushed into making stories that are "easily adaptable" to other media or US publishers only picking up titles that have such tie-in prospects is worrisome as hell. I'd imagine things won't necessarily be too severe and we'll still get smaller titles to go along with the multimedia IPs, but I can't help the momentary nervous reaction I have to reading things like that.
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topleka



Joined: 24 Sep 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 8:30 pm Reply with quote
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...using tried-and-true sites like Drunk Duck and Kingspot...

I think he's referring to keenspot, rather than Kingspot.

Thanks for the article.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:08 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, the whole video game/ film thing makes me nervous too. It's like they're thinking, "How else can we convince mainstream America that manga shouldn't be taken seriously? I know, let's turn them into video games!" Nothing personal against video games but it only reinforces the attitude that manga is only for kids/teens. I don't mind the film idea as much though.

What they need to do is what was mentioned in the first part of the article. And that is to expand the fanbase by making it more mainstream. They can do that by licensing manga that will appeal to other age groups such as adults. It's hard being one of the few grownups who read manga. Sad
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Hotaru99



Joined: 12 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:09 pm Reply with quote
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He closed out the keynote by offering a big-picture strategy, saying that the business plan for manga should focus on producing IPs that can be adapted easily into video games and films rather than simply putting books on shelves.


Would be nice if they started by trying to work with game companies to localize more of the Anime/Manga games that already exist in Japan out over here. I've played a few, like the Nintendo DS Claymore and Keroro/Sgt Frog games that I would buy day one if they were in english.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:23 pm Reply with quote
rinmackie wrote:
Yeah, the whole video game/ film thing makes me nervous too. It's like they're thinking, "How else can we convince mainstream America that manga shouldn't be taken seriously? I know, let's turn them into video games!" Nothing personal against video games but it only reinforces the attitude that manga is only for kids/teens. I don't mind the film idea as much though.


...except that lots of people in their 20s and 30s play video games too, and lots of video games are made specifically for older audiences.

The idea of mainstreaming anime via video games, though, ignores that that "gaming" is still something of a subculture (though not as much as anime/manga) and there's already a big overlap between the two.

Quote:
They can do that by licensing manga that will appeal to other age groups such as adults. It's hard being one of the few grownups who read manga. Sad


I hear you on the difficulties of being an adult who reads manga... but there's a lot for adults that's already licensed. Heck, seinen manga probably has an older history in America than any other demographic! Think of Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Ah! My Goddess... Viz has been doing their hardest to push Urasawa's work, and have received Eisner nominations for they're work. Now, what there's actually a dearth of is josei manga. All I can think of off the top of my head is Nana and Nodame Cantabile.
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rinmackie



Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:07 pm Reply with quote
Yes, I'm aware adults play video games. My own husband's a gamer but I meant that in the general mainstream there's still this idea that video games are for kids. That's why everyone gets upset whenever a M rated game becomes popular. As for manga, well, remember that incident not long ago where this adult male was denied the right to join a library manga club because it was for kids/teens only? That's what I'm talking about.

Also I have yet to encounter a mainstream publication that reviews manga or takes it seriously. They might review the occasional American graphic novel but manga, never. And whenever they do an article about manga it's like "wow, look a these crazy Japanese comics the kids are into. All robots and big-eyed, short skirt wearing, school girls fighting. Nothing for us grownups here." Of course, anime has the same problem.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:35 am Reply with quote
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Osueke opened the panel by discussing the consensus attitude among publishers currently in the field; according to Osueke, there's a shared notion among all manga publishers that the big-picture goal is to push past the niche market for manga and introduce the material to the market as a format rather than a genre, which is what manga is currently perceived as among the general buying public.
Firstly you want to fully understand just who and what your "big picture" core audience are. Next take indepth courses in Judao/Christian, and Islamic beliefs and values. Memorise the "Ten Commandments", then start writing and drawing material that isn't moe/lolicom, erogro, yuri, yaoi, or likely to get someone prosecuted for simply buying it, and stop pushing for export the ones that are. Always have happy-ever-after endings, or simply good endings that don't manage to piss a lot of people off. If you guys can reach that summit the world is your oyster, but expect underhanded corporations like Disney, Warner Bros, and the like, to sanction CIA style overt operations to torpedo all your efforts, until you become too powerfully popular, at which point they will want to become your best partner and sign a deal for exclusive rights. Good luck with your mission, and remember, if you fail we will deny ever knowing you, and your existance will be erased from our memory. Wink
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erilot



Joined: 26 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:44 pm Reply with quote
Seems like everybody is struggling these days, I have not bought much manga at all this year due to having to purchase a new car which eliminated my extra fun cash. Plus, I get annoyed at paying $9.99 and above for a manga that takes me 30 minutes or less to read. Last, I just loose track of stuff. A title I really enjoy is licensed, so nobody finishes scalating it, then years later it comes out and by then I am onto a new manga. I wish there was a place I could buy used manga since I am not picky about that, but there is no place to do this. MY biggest problem is that a title I really like gets put on hold and who knows when it will ever be released so I have an imcomplete set. If they went electronic, saying using the Kindle from Amazon, I would buy a Kindle or similar device for sure. Less paper, easy to use, and saves me space at home. I don't think there is any easy fix for the manga industry just like how the anime is also hurting. At least now I know why my Borders has not gotten any new manga since like X-mas and their manga is almost all gone.
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megaflyman



Joined: 08 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:34 pm Reply with quote
It sounds like they are going to push for more digital distribution for manga. That worries me because there's nothing like sitting the manga in your hands as you read it. Reading online is not the same.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 2:06 am Reply with quote
Problem is to the general (western) public, that are even aware of it, manga is a genre of the comic format. So how can one make a format of a format, when at the end of the day one is still looking at a hand drawn black and white picture with speech bubbles similar to a comic?
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Zin5ki



Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 6:31 am Reply with quote
Mohawk52 wrote:
Firstly you want to fully understand just who and what your "big picture" core audience are.

I suppose this goes to show some retention of the niche factor is to be desired. That said, there probably are things they could publish that already fit the bill for mainstream appeal, if ever they need some funds. Surely not everything out there would be objected to by the audiences you have in mind.
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anime101biz



Joined: 05 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 5:55 pm Reply with quote
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A discussion of Diamond then began; the company's recent decision to cancel any title that didn't do at least $2500 in sales has apparently had a heavy impact on all manga publishers, especially more independent studios like eigoManga.


Correction: Its $2500 in wholesale sales, not retail sales. Retail sales would be in the $5000-$6000 range.

Not only is this killing the independent publishers, but its also killing the independent manga booksellers. We used to stock the cool, the funky, the fringe as a means of differentiating ourselves from our big box brethren and our customers loved it. Now we're struggling to stay alive because we can no longer get the product we need to stay in business.
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Mohawk52



Joined: 16 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:37 am Reply with quote
anime101biz wrote:
Quote:

A discussion of Diamond then began; the company's recent decision to cancel any title that didn't do at least $2500 in sales has apparently had a heavy impact on all manga publishers, especially more independent studios like eigoManga.


Correction: Its $2500 in wholesale sales, not retail sales. Retail sales would be in the $5000-$6000 range.

Not only is this killing the independent publishers, but its also killing the independent manga booksellers. We used to stock the cool, the funky, the fringe as a means of differentiating ourselves from our big box brethren and our customers loved it. Now we're struggling to stay alive because we can no longer get the product we need to stay in business.
Then why not do-it-yourselves? Wink
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