Otaku USA Magazine
Manga Publishers Reveal What Keeps Them Up at Night

One of the many panels at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con was the Manga Industry Publishing Roundtable, moderated by Deb Aoki, and The Comics Beat did a story on highlights from the panelists.

One of the topics was about what’s fueling manga growth.

“Instead of having everything driven by cable anime cartoon networks, it’s being driven largely by streamers. People not only can watch anime on Netflix. They can watch it on Hulu. They can watch it on Disney+. You can watch it on any number of smaller lateral channels,” said Leyla Aker of Square Enix Manga. This is different from when anime on TV (like Adult Swim) would spearhead many manga sales.

Meanwhile, Michael Gombos of Dark Horse Comics thinks growth is helped by the competitive nature of publishers going after the same licenses and readers.

Ben Applegate of Penguin Random House commented, “What’s interesting to me is that it feels more diverse now than it did in the 2000s… I don’t hear people as much arguing about what manga is or isn’t. It just doesn’t seem like this generation of readers cares that much about manga produced in Japan for a Japanese audience. Now there’s a bunch of Japanese authors making comics specifically for French audiences.”

Asked what keeps them up at night, members of the panel pointed to the uncertain economy. Ben Applegate pointed out that there are supply issues as well stemming from Russia’s war on Ukraine.

While there are still many unknowns, panelists also said where they predict manga to go in the next five years. Kevin Hamric of VIZ Media thinks there are still pop culture opportunities that can lead to growth. Applegate predicts more manga reaching people around the world.

“Hopefully the economy doesn’t sour or if it does, that’s where things get really dicey,” remarked Ed Chavez of Denpa Books.

Source and Photo Credit: The Comics Beat


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.