Monday, November 17, 2003

Dave of Intermittent, posted a few days ago about Shonen Jump, getting responses from Dirk and John. I had been meaning to reply myself, but now Dave has a new post up clarifying his thoughts.

I am mostly in agreement with this. I think the Big 2 will have a rough time in the future unless they can really figure out how to cope with the changing market, and most of the art comics probably won't do amazingly better in the future than they are doing right now.

However, I think the people most helped will be the amorpheous "third group". These guys (and gals) always get left out of discussions but are slowly gaining a foothold in the market. These are the stuff that cover various genres and might appeal to a mass audience. They were nearly shut out in the past, but I think are in a very good position right now.

Oni Press is probably the best example. Titles like Courtney Crumrin and Blue Monday have been doing well in bookstores. They have a lot of other titles that I think could do well in bookstores, and they've said they have plans to release new titles out there.

Elfquest is being released in digest form by DC (the Pinis decided they needed more time for creating instead of publishing), but I think it'll probably do well no matter who puts it out.

The most striking example to me of the change in the marketplace is Vogelein. It is a title that has done pretty well in the DM for being self-published, but now Waldenbooks has picked it up. Irwin said that the initial order from WB was larger than all sales to date in the DM. There is no possible way that a self-published B&W GN about a clockwork fairy would have gotten picked up by a national chain a couple of years ago.

While the big companies are still scrambling around trying to figure out how to tap into the new market, a lot of the smaller people are already starting to do it. I've always been more of a fan of these kinds of works then strict superhero and artistic endeavors, so I'll be happy if they benefit from the manga explosion...

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