This ICv2 post – and the thinking behind it – fascinates me. In short, it’s a post that posits the idea that, with Borders gone, there’s a swath of manga fans roaming the metaphorical streets looking for a source to feed their manga needs and wondering if the direct market can end up taking that position if it tries hard enough:
We took a look at the number of manga titles in the top 50 graphic novels in comic stores in January and February over the past ten years, and found an upward trend in 2012 for the first time in seven years. The move, while modest and at this point just a one year trend in an imperfect measure, is a positive sign that may point to an opportunity created by events in 2011.
Unless I’m entirely misremembering, manga has historically underperformed in the direct market in part because of the availability in mainstream outlets. I’m not sure whether willing manga to join the American comic industry as a niche market is necessarily the right thing to do, but having the additional revenue stream definitely seems like a plus for the DM, and a way to more easily cross-pollinate the two comic audiences, so I find myself uncertainly, somewhat awkwardly hoping that the DM can take as much advantage of this situation as possible. Thoughts?