Quote of the day

“If you’d stepped aboard a Japanese subway train 15 years ago, you’d have witnessed passengers engrossed in hefty, telephone directory–thick manga comic books. Today, you are more likely to see commuters of all ages peering intently into their cellphone screens, reading the same tales of comic heroes, romance, and sleaze— only this time carried in mobile digital libraries that have made Japan a forerunner in the burgeoning e-book–for–phone industry.”

– From “Comics Drive Growing Japanese E-Book Market” by Michael Fitzpatrick in Publishers Weekly Comics Week.

“Sleaze”? Seriously?

One Response to Quote of the day

  1. ed says:

    Actually the PW piece is a little misleading. While eBookJapan has been doing well it has also been around doing their thing for at least 5 years now. It wasn’t until last year that they debuted their iPhone or Mac service. They dropped their eBookAsia project that they announced years ago. And even with their growth there is a lot behind their success (particularly in regard to licenses) that is a little underhanded.

    The rest of the ebook industry is relatively small but given their size any growth looks huge. And yes most of the manga sold on cell-phones tend to be ero-manga, Boys Love and Teen Love. I have been in a few meetings with publishers and software developers about this over the last few months, and their question is always, “how do we get good comics with visual narratives to sell on screens?” Right now comics that are either text heavy or just visuals (lacking depth in regard to layout or flow) have found their place. But try to read Vagabond on a cellphone and the experience will be jarring.

    So the industry is playing catch up over there. There are pubs arguing with each other about Kindles, Nooks, Sony readers… No one knows what to do about digital rights (some mangaka are opposed to it and in the end artists own rights) and royalties. But overall, there is one thing most seem to feel might be the solution–the iPad.

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