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Christian

It gave me a corollary

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We all know that people don't really read anymore, especially Americans. I'm sure a few of them might actually have the ability to read, they just choose not to.

 

Now, we know that comic books are a niche market. This pares society down ever farther. But, we know that a lot of people who buy comic books are actually reading comic books. That's good, I guess.

 

But, the comic book market is largely made up of people buying superhero comic books. People aren't going out of their way to read Vertigo comics, for example. Vertigo is owned by DC and part of the direct market and is mostly composed of stories involving Fantasy elements, and yet comic book readers still seem to love to stick with good guys in tights hitting people.

 

OK, so my conclusion is that all these people who are reading comic books are only reading superhero comics and (perhaps) sci-fi books. They don't touch other genres in any print form, even outside of comics.

 

What do you think? Are comic book readers mostly made up of people who won't read anything outside of one limited genre?

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I don't know. do you count manga as comics? cause I think there are more people buying manga in the States right now than there are superhero comic readers.

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I don't know. do you count manga as comics? cause I think there are more people buying manga in the States right now than there are superhero comic readers.

 

I wouldnt go so far as that but I would definitely agree that manga is quite the increasing hit around here....

 

Doesnt match up to the old superheroes draw, though.

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I wouldnt go so far as that but I would definitely agree that manga is quite the increasing hit around here....

 

If I recall correctly, in terms of sales figures, books like Shonen Jump outsell even the very best-selling 'Western' comics by a significant amount.

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Last I read on Shoenen Jump, it was shipping 250,000 odd copies a week bbbbbuutttt there was some question on actual sell-through as I believe shops had full returnability on whatever they didn't sell.

 

Easons, a large bookshop chain here in Ireland, are pushing Tokyopop books hard - the first thing you see as you approach the Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror section is a display of TP books under an impressive poster yoke. US trades, meanwhile, are relegated to the back of that particular area and kept confined to sole spinner rack.

 

It's been a while since I've read any Manga now that I come to think of, must be a good six books at least behind on Blade Of The Immortal at this stage.

 

Getting back to the original question though - the available numbers do strongly suggest that the average comic shop goer is only really interested in superhero comics published by the big two, thankfully there's a growing market outside those venues, as publishers like Fantagraphics and others will cheerfully attest to.

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Perhaps among the 14-17 age bracket. But then that's human nature. There are always going to be people who'll only read what interestes them....Some people only read what's on Oprah's list, some read only political diatribes, some only religious books, some Brazilians read only Portugese books, etc. I don't think looking down on other people's reading habits somehow makes a person more literate.

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Manga is extremely popular in the states. You can go into just about any book store and they have like one massive section or two dedicated entirely to it. Hell even some comic shops have manga.

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I wouldnt go so far as that but I would definitely agree that manga is quite the increasing hit around here....

 

If I recall correctly, in terms of sales figures, books like Shonen Jump outsell even the very best-selling 'Western' comics by a significant amount.

 

Wow. Really? In the United States?

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At the risk of taking this discussion way off-topic - yes, definitely in the United States - and those sales figures are rising at a startling rate. Put it this way - let's be ultra-conservative, and say that the 250,000 per week figure mentioned by JMac just up-thread were an over-estimate to the tune of 100,000 copies, and the book actually only sells 150,000 copies per week. That's still well over twice the number of copies DC sold of All-Star Batman & Robin #1, which is one of the biggest-selling Western comics of the past couple of years.

 

Manga is doing huge business in the States at the moment, but because there's very limited crossover with the audience for Western comics, it's a market which is easy to overlook.

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Not to mention a steady increase in Manga-only book stores. There's one nearby where I bought a bunch of "Lone Wolf & Cub" books cheap and it's basically all Japanese manga and manga-movies and figures. It's becoming almost as "humangaous" here as it is in Asia.

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I don't read Manga. I'm not sure if it'll rot your brain just as quickly or more quickly than superhero comics....anyone here know?

 

"Perhaps among the 14-17 age bracket. "

How big a percentage of the comic book market do you figure this age bracket is though?

I've heard that mid-20s is the average age for comic book fans.

My point is, do you think that a majority of comic book readers outgrow comic books before they discover Fantagraphics?

Of course, it doesn't seem like a large portion of these teenage X-Men fans are going out and buying Gabriel Garcia-Marquez books after they feel they've outgrown power fantasies....

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probably in the same way J.C. likes his Silk Cut... doesn't mean pieces of you won't rot, if you consume them...;)

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I'm being mean!

 

I like some superhero comics, yes.

Some superhero comics are certainly very intelligent.

In moderation. Always moderation. They go down as chaser for a Chester Brown story.

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Course not, works wonders for my self-esteem though.

 

I should qualify this by saying that at least 70% of the books I've read would fall into a single genre (Fantasy) and I read a shit load of superhero comics too!

 

As for manga, it's just a format though it does tend to have some quirks that are...um...a little odd (one I learned of recently - male characters crying blood because they've just popped an erection so hard that there's not enough room in their cock for the onrush of the red stuff).

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That's just one story-telling trope of a particular kind of tale - bit like saying you won't read US comics because Wondergirl can't seem to keep her tits under control...which, come to think of it....!

 

Some good Manga -

 

Sanctuary : Two men, one a criminal and one a politician, work together to change the face of Japan.

 

Uzumaki : A seaside town is haunted by spirals. Bad things happen. Very bad things.

 

Blade Of The Immortal : An immortal warrior helps a young girl in her quest for revenge against a new school of swordsmen.

 

Domu : A young girl and an old man battle for the lives and souls of the residents in their apartment block. Done by the guy who did Akira.

 

Dragonball-Z : SHIT BLOWS UP - KABLOMO!

 

Possibly joking about that last one. Possibly.

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Also, Akira (epic, visionary dystopian sci-fi with great lashings of nuclear paranoia) and Lone Wolf & Cub (samurai aceness).

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Uzumaki : A seaside town is haunted by spirals.  Bad things happen.  Very bad things.

 

 

 

Uzumaki was the shit. 2 volumes of weird, 1 volume of complete chaos.

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also, Nausicaa. I think you'd dig the political ideas behind the story, Christian. it has to be one of my favourite scifi/fantasy epics.

 

other than that, yes, Uzumaki is the business. body horror to the extreme! I'd also recommend Tomie, Gyo and Flesh Colored Horror, all by the same author Junji Ito.

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also, Nausicaa. I think you'd dig the political ideas behind the story, Christian. it has to be one of my favourite scifi/fantasy epics.

 

other than that, yes, Uzumaki is the business. body horror to the extreme! I'd also recommend Tomie, Gyo and Flesh Colored Horror, all by the same author Junji Ito.

 

 

I didn't care for Tomie. Gyo was weird enough, if I remember it right, but Uzumaki was, as you say, the business.

 

The above mentioned Akira is also a favorite of mine (I reread it, from beginning to end, last Sunday while I was home alone with no TV, Internet, or Phone.)

 

Priest is another good one. It's from Korea, i think.

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