Friday, July 10, 2009

Mind-Blowing New Media Business Models and Practices

Thanks to fiends, er...friends on Twitter I just had my own ONLINE business thesis confirmed by this wonderful 2007 article in WIRED:

Circulation of the country's weekly comic magazines, the essential entry point for any manga series, has fallen by about half over the last decade. Young people are turning their attention away from the printed page and toward the tiny screens on their mobile phones.

Fans and critics complain that manga — which emerged in the years after World War II as an edgy, uniquely Japanese art form — has become as homogenized and risk-averse as the limpest Hollywood blockbuster. Pervading the nation's $4.2 billion-a-year industry is a sense that its best days have passed.

Wired art director Carl DeTorres discusses the evolution of the manga cover for the November issue.
For more, visit

Which ought to make what's happening here at Comic Ichi — a manga market the size of several airplane hangars that will attract some 25,000 buyers — so heartening. The place is pulsing with possibility, full of inspired creators, ravenous fans, and wads of yen changing hands. It represents a dynamic force that could reverse the industry's decline.

There's just one hitch, one teensy roadblock on the manga industry's highway to rejuvenation: Nearly everybody here is breaking the law.


Andrew Bellware said...

Now I ain't no kind of IP lawyer, but I think the reason we don't have "anmoku no ryokai" in the US is because of fear from the major producers of losing their own copyrights if they allow flagrant violations. At least, that's what we keep being told. If someone makes Star Wars fan art/fiction/movies etc (which aren't protected by law by being "parodies") then if Lucas doesn't sue he runs into the risk of losing his copyright to the characters, etc.

I would certainly think that producers would be able to legally license to fan artists: "Pay us a dollar and you have these limited rights" etc. But they don't.

Which of course makes "open source" stories that much more interesting.

Cunningham said...

Mr. Lucas has an agreement posted on their Lucasfilm / website outlining the whole thing.

Comic Con has now shied away from con movies that use licensed characters because of the whole BATMAN: DEAD END incident where Warners saw that somebody made a better film than they were making at the time. ;P

But you still this stuff being "given away" on disc at Cons if you purchase X amount of goods from the bootleggers.

It's getting interesting fast.