Comics Rx: Eoin Marron

Here’s Eoin Marron’s prescription for the comics industry:

“My prescription? Hmm, I’ve a couple of thoughts…

“- Mainstream publishers (Tokyopop, Viz Media) should continue to listen to what the fans want. This is very true in the case of TP. It’s quite apparent that these guys are going online now to see what’s popular and what’s best to license. Only recently did Viz Media license a load of new series, one of which is Detroit Metal City, a scanlated series that has proven to be extremely popular so far. Viz are quite dedicated to their fans, perhaps a little too much, while TP just keeps licensing crap no-one reads. They’re still relying on their biggest seller, Fruits Basket, while Viz are picking up on major titles in Japan that are already well-known in the West.

“- Indie and smaller publishers (Last Gasp, Fanfare, Vertical, D&Q) should continue to publish what they’re interested in tackling, its what they do best! While I thought Vertical were in safe hands with the plan to release 13 volumes of Black Jack, they’re apparently hoping to branch out into more Shonen-typical fare. Maybe they believe BJ won’t get enough widespread recognition amongst casual and younger manga readers…

“-Oh, another point; people should stop giving credit where credit is due. While perhaps this is a minor point, I was frustrated to find that the readers of UK Manga and Anime magazine Neo had voted Tokyopop best publisher of the year again! I call scalpel to that! The only great impact TP ever had, was creating a manga-boom in Britain and America again; that was a few years ago now. Since then, they’ve done nothing to help, revolutionise or improve the manga market. I’d go as far as saying they’ve even brought it down a few notches from what it could be right now (i.e. Waterstones/Highstreet bookseller stocks nothing but copious volumes of the same ol’ Tokyopop series).”

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