The marketplace

In this week’s Flipped, I try and work out the last of my fixation on the inaugural Great Graphic Novels for Teens list, at least until YALSA starts posting the this year’s nominees. I also kind of shrug over the whole Wal-Mart situation because… well… it’s Wal-Mart.

In these comments at MangaBlog, there’s some interesting discussion about the relative success of manga and other kinds of trade paperbacks both in chain bookstores and local comic shops. The back-and-forth made me think back on what graphic novel shelves looked like before manga started to gain ground — generally a couple of shelves stuffed between the end of the science fiction paperbacks and the beginning of the role-playing game guides.

Maybe non-manga graphic novels actually have it better in bookstores now? In my limited and completely anecdotal experience, they do seem to have more space in better locations, even if they don’t have quite as much as the digests enjoy.

6 Responses to The marketplace

  1. John Jakala says:

    The back-and-forth made me think back on what graphic novel shelves looked like before manga started to gain ground

    I was wondering the same thing. As far as I can remember, before manga really took off, any graphic novels you’d find at B&N were shelved in the science fiction section. I honestly can’t remember when “Graphic Novels” as its own section appeared in the big bookstore chains.

  2. davidpwelsh says:

    I can’t really remember either. Until the Barnes & Noble opened up in town recently, there hasn’t been a big chain store that I visited with any regularity, so I haven’t really been able to track the evolution. It does seem like something that sort of gradually reached critical mass, though.

  3. gynocrat says:

    I remember, since I made the comment. In the 80’s we always had a B. Dalton at the mall, and at every large K-Mart, in and around my area, there was a Walden Books right next to it, again…also in the 80’s. ^_- Yes, they had a ‘comics’ section, and yes-it was always by the sci-fi area. :/ But I recall clearly seeing the words, COMICS on the little shelf bars, which housed collections of what Eisner called ‘the graphic novel’.

  4. gynocrat says:

    *SMILEY* ^___^ Not trying to be snippy, smark, snarky, or RUDE.

  5. davidpwelsh says:

    Not to worry! I’m just glad your memory is sharper than mine. I always just thought of it as “that dark corner of the sci-fi section with the Sandman books.”

  6. Huff says:

    The neigborhood(s) I grew up in really didn’t have any bookstores that I can recall, so that left me with the Boston Public Librarys, and EVERY branch had the same two GNs (Maus and Dark Knight Returns), as well as a few other random assortments if you were lucky. When Barnes and Noble started getting big in the area I remember it having a small comic section next the the D&D stuff. If I can remember correctly it was at the beginning of 2002 that the bookspace for manga really started expanding, which sounds about right since Viz jumped on the smaller format and Shonen Jump at the end of that year.

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