Manga has come a long way in the US as anime became also quite more popular. However, comic books seemed to never have the chance at being dethroned—not that we want this to happen as we love comics—which meant the two mediums ultimately became rivals. On one hand, you have manga and the other comic books, both great forms of reading and both made by passionate creators from different walks of life. Recently though, we’ve noticed an interesting trend. More and more comic bookstores have begun selling manga and their comic catalogs seem to go on sale often. This made us wonder, Will Manga Ever Succeed Comic Books?
Why It Could Happen: Rising Sales
Popularity means a lot for the sales of any medium. You can have anime being incredibly popular but that doesn’t necessarily mean anime sales will increase. We scoured the internet and found several websites showing increasing manga sales from January 2019 to May—such as statista and Yahoo! Finance—saying that manga sales last year were up 16%! That might not seem like a lot to everyone but in less than a few months that growth is pretty impressive. We’re still too early in 2020 but we can bet the sales will only increase even more.
Why It Could Happen: Decline in Comic Book Sales
On the flip side, comic book sales—while not decreasing as noted by sites like Publisherweekly—have only gone up 2% for comics and 4% for graphic novels. Compare that to the manga growth and you can clearly see comics aren’t gaining as much fame as they once did before. Forbes even mentions that comic book readers are leaving their beloved heroes behind. This can be noticed in comic book sales and the appearance of buyers in comic book focused stores.
Why It Won’t Happen: Movies Rule
If you notice Avengers: End Game ended up beating all movies—not just superhero movies mind you—in terms of money made and that was a truly incredible feat. Obviously, fans will have known about the heroes from their colorful on page counterparts but it also led to new fans being made. We’ve been to numerous conventions where the comic book fandom still beats truly—like Comic-Con—and that shows us superhero movies will always reign and help comic books sell for those die-hard fans.
Why It May or May Not Happen: The Market for Both
We could spend the entire article crunching numbers and doing research on Will Manga Ever Succeed Comic Books but there’s a variable we can never predict, the market for both. As any fandom knows, trends exist for a reason. Sometimes a popular series doesn’t mean a boon for the source material a perfect example can be seen from George R. R. Martin—creator of Game of Thrones—who stated in an interview with Yahoo Finance that his fourth book—titled The Armageddon Rag—didn’t do well sales-wise and that was during the TV shows run. Basically, just because the show was popular didn’t mean that popularity helped his original creation. No matter what fans think sometimes some mediums have their good years and bad. All it takes is one bad year to hurt the industry and that can happen with either comic books or manga.
Comic books will never truly die out as long as there are passionate fans out there willing to invest in them. Manga might be rising in the US—as evidenced by the sale figures on numerous sites—but that doesn’t mean they can usurp a medium that has been around before many of us were even alive on this planet. However, this is our thought on the matter we’d love to now hear yours! Do you think manga will ever outsell comic books and possibly dethrone them entirely? Let us know via the comments below! For even more thought-provoking articles keep stuck to our amazing hive here at Honey’s Anime!