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What a funny article.

The entire thing is posed as a "well did it really?" type of article in which the original claim is debunked while at the same time the figures they present show the claim to be true but "only 82 million" instead of 100 million. And then it goes on to say how it's crazy how the manga industry in japan is doing so much better than comics and doesn't even present manga as a whole sales as a comparison point. The fact that the entire comic book industry in the west is outsold by a single series is such an embarrassment for American comic writers that i have no idea why ANN tries to defend them.

On the topic of comic books though, why has America failed so spectacularly at recapturing the audience it had in comparison to manga which has only kept forward momentum? With how big Marvel/Superhero movies were you would have thought that the comics industry itself would be booming as well, but that's simply not the case.


Because they havent been good in like 4 decades.
I cant believe you read ANN in 2023.


I found the article while searching the archives and decided to read it, not like I was perusing ANN or anything.


It may be a matter of approachability, that manga stories stand on their own rather than being intertwined with decades of history. Imagine if you were reading Kimetsu and somehow they end up in a One Piece crossover where they fight a villain from OG Dragon Ball in the middle of Hueco Mundo. That could be epic, but you'd require a lot of context to make sense of it. That's what's happening right now with superhero movies: people are getting tired of multiverses and their fifteen years(?) of movies building up to the newer entries. You'll see it if you google "multiverse fatigue," it'll show you a bunch of articles about it.

There are a lot of indepedent comics out there (or so I'm told) but no one ever talks about them, possibly because DC and Marvel have such a strong grasp on the medium that people think that's all there's to it and don't bother to get into it.
The model of the western comic industry is very unique and I don't think there's anything it can be compared to save for perhaps ancient tales that draw from several other myths like the Odyssey, except it's exponentially more complicated. I'm not sure how it manages to continue existing, honestly.


It's due to how the industry is run.

Manga is managed more like traditional book publishing, the mangaka creates a world and the publisher just publishes it.

But the comic book industry is managed more like a media property. The owner of the rights to something contracts people to work on it and write stories based on this property.

So with Manga you get one persons ideas creating one world whereas with comics you get numerous people working on one IP which then reboots itself periodically over and over again so that a lot of what was cannon now is not.

There is >>110575 as well but I think that is also caused by the way the industry is run. Because it's based around companies contracting writers to work on their existing IPs.
So what you end up with is a small number of long and convoluted IPs that have no clear entry point or end point or even purpose at all and that are all very similar to each other or mostly even in the same world. As opposed to manga where there is a myriad of individual stories made by individual people in their own separate worlds with their own genres and such and that have a set start, a concise narrative and an end.


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I feel like the webcomic boon of the 00s and maybe a little bit of the early 10s was the last great time to be a comic creator in the US. Creators really need a great degree of freedom, and it seems to me like that really isn't there these days. Too much corporate meddling and people taking offense to fiction or using it as a boring soapbox when the focus should be whether it's fun or interesting.
Honestly, the American comics industry deserves to die and I've been saying it for years. If it completely collapses someone else can try to rebuild it and maybe it can be good again.


For what it's worth, comic strips, serialized in magazines and newspapers and then later collected into books, have historically been much more respected and much more mainstream than Marvel/DC-style comic books. The former was something you pinned up at your cubicle at work, the latter was something you were expected to grow out of.


>Honestly, the American comics industry deserves to die and I've been saying it for years. If it completely collapses someone else can try to rebuild it
That implies it's a given that America will have a comic industry period, which it isn't. If Marvel and DC crash, what's much more likely is that we'll switch to just importing manga, in the same way most countries import American television.

>good again
That implies it was good at some point, which it wasn't, at least not outside of the old indie scene (which has since been overrun by wannabe mainstreams).


>which it wasn't
I still have a bunch of old comics I have fond memories of reading when I was younger like X-force, Batman, Punisher, Lobo, etc. I'm sure if I went back to them I'd enjoy them all the same because they were good back then.

>something you were expected to grow out of
In a way this is what happened to me since I grew out of comics into manga, but that was more a result of comics becoming trash than it was me losing my love for them.


Just because you liked them doesn't mean they were good. Even at their best, the sorts of comics you're referring to were the artistic equivalent of fast food. I'm not saying there isn't a place for that stuff, there definitely is, but it's not what we should be aspiring to; not what we should be holding up as examples of what comics "should" be.

Also, it's worth noting that American comics have been dying since (at least) the 90s, which I assume is the era you're referring to as "good". They're just more dead now.


For a while, childrens graphic novels were good. Bone is very good


Marvel can never crash. Disney can just lose money forever


This also results in an industry filled with fans of the IPs rather than creators with new ideas, and those people are writing towards themselves rather than the masses. It's an industry of fan-fiction that exists to service people already invested in it. The movies that got really popular were the ones that tossed all that out the window and made something easy to get into with mass appeal.


>using it as a boring soapbox
I remember seeing some of the newer comics posted on 4chan sometime near a decade ago, and man they were completely plastered with ideology over any semblance of 'fun'. I really don't get it, and it makes me wonder how modern stuff sells at all. I don't think there's anyone out there that likes being preached to.

In a sense I get the same corporate feeling from modern Hollywood writing which makes me hope that if the comic industry collapses and resets that Hollywood follows suite.


For what its worth, a lot of American media was always ideology driven, but it used to be more subtle about it. Now ironically a lot of it feels like Chinese media in how blatant it gets


I think most of the issues with this can be attributed to a decline in writer quality. Not sure where all of them have gone though...


What I think really killed the industry was a simple lack of variety. By the 90s, the majority of American comic books featured the same broad-strokes tone, subject matter, and style. Comics had become a genre, in the same way American animation did; and if you didn't like the genre you were out of luck. Once manga provided an alternative where people had actual choice in the type of media they consumed, it was all over.

What's with this "collapses and resets" line? I've seen it enough times that I get the impression it's one of those things one guy says and a bunch of other people quote.

If the industry crashes, it's not going to magically "reset" itself. What's much more likely to happen is that the domestic industry ceases to exist period, and we fully switch to importing manga. It's not like there's no precedence for this; traditional animation died in the US with The Princess and The Frog.


Because its happened with automobiles, video games and ecommerce.


>I don't think there's anyone out there that likes being preached to.
The choir does. Some people go to church every Sunday to be told to believe the things they already believe, others consume media that reinforces their ideology. It may have started as an attempt to freshen the stale air of comics, but nowadays its just pandering to their (perceived) audience.


>Some people go to church every Sunday to be told to believe the things they already believe
People like that are going to the church to socialize.


When those industries crashed, they left voids that could then be filled by talented people. But there is no void in this scenario; the comic itch is already being scratched by manga. If American comics crashed, it wouldn't mean the start of a fresh new era; it'd mean the start of a manga hegemony.


ain't that true... people imply crash means reset but it's really just creating another monopoly which will sour under zero competition


Manga competes with itself, and American comics already are pretty much 0 competition for them...


So by your logic all Americans will just give up on drawing pictures in an ordered series, decide the format should be exclusively produced by the Japanese, and never again attempt to express themselves in such a way?


No. American comics would still exist, obviously. But it'd be in the capacity that, say, German movies do. You're not going to get that worldwide market back because it's already saturated by the better established and more competitive manga industry.


What I wanna know is why anyone would buy a traditional comic book period anymore when we have webcomics.


The feeling of turning the page and the ability to read wherever will always trump the web-based experience.


Because they're very collectible.

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