Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Female manga fans vent on press coverage, releases... 

Go to this page and scroll down until jennwen's post. Some highlights...

jennwenn starts things off:
Its starting to annoy me how every article on the manga industry makes it sound like "Oh my gosh! GIRLS read comic books! *gasp*" like we're some dumb, simple-minded, money-churning machines or endangered species.

At first, I thought it was great how they focused on a readership that was often ignored. But lately, the "attention" seems a little vapid. At least that article's tone was not that bad.

I'm sure I'm not the only girl who went into comic book stores before manga made inroads into the bookstores. I should just deal with the fact that a female comic-reading audience of the current size is new for the US. Not everyone is used to it, and I understand it makes sense to focus on new "trends" (but its NOT just a market trend!!!). If only the media and certain manga companies would stop being so darn condescending in their PR coverage and the choice of titles they release!

EDIT- And romance isn't the only thing girls care about or want to read about. Gah!!!!

sumiyax agrees:
What's amusing is that they are talking about it a lot, and doing nothing. Nothing. Advertising is still aimed at boys. "Shoujo" Amerimanga is written by boys. Translation adaptors are often boys. Boys 8-24 are still the hot target audience. Maybe that's part of what makes it feel so vapid.

Also, it seems like you'd have to have your head stuck under a rock at this point not to know that girls read manga, but people still act and talk like it's shocking. Isn't it time people got over the whole concept that girls like entertainment?

and Alexandria:
Well, I think it is easy to explain why people are so shocked that the female population has embraced manga. American comics are typically male oriented, since it is engrained in the american mindset that comics of any kind would appeal to males more than females, manga does have a cetain novelty to it for the mainstream press because females are embracing something that is traditionally thought of as for men. Also the fact that Manga can get a market that american comics cannot touch shows the fact that manga is legitimate and is here to stay because try as they might, american comics cannot appeal to women. Something that Manga has done in only 3 short years.

As people grow around it the fanbase will gradually grow.

jenn again:
Do US manga distributers REALLY know what girls want to read? I don't want to see magical girls again, or another shoujo romantic comedy, or girls who are supposedly "strong female role models!" but have very little character or true struggle.

I've seen it mentioned in several articles that the targeted female audience are 16 years olds and younger tweens. That's another reason the "shoujo" manga bothers me. I'm not 16 anymore. What is there for me?

Lastly.. Jake Forbes of TP comes into the fray to defend manga-ish US comics:
This may have been true in the past, but it's very quickly changing as more and more girls(and other non-Japanese) grow up reading manga. Of TOKYOPOP's 6 announced original manga projects, half are by women and there are many more projects written and/or drawn by women in the works. In the 3'rd Rising Stars collection (due out this week or next!) 7 of the 10 entries are by female creators (up from 3 in vol. 1 and 5 in vol. 2). And most of these creatore are very young (as young as 15, and their work is GORGEOUS!). Three of the best-selling American manga to date--Death: At Death's Door, Shutterbox and Blue Monday-- are by women. The manga market is still in its infancy. While the past 2 years have been huge for the category, the 10 years before that manga was a tiny niche of the shrinking comics market. It wasn't even until 1996 that a shoujo manga series was even published in America (and there wasn't any selection until 2000). Imagine what the artwork from creators male and female will be like in 10 years when these new artists have had a diverse selection of manga readily available from the moment they started reading. If the submissions we've been seeing at TOKYOPOP are any indication, the future of American-created manga will definately be golden...AND gender-balanced.

I find it pretty interesting that the third Rising Stars collection will have 7 out of 10 female creators! I think that'd beat out most contendors in Johanna's Chick Check segment. :)

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