Monday, August 03, 2009

Manga Is Mobile In Japan

Heidi MacDonald over at THE BEAT links to a great article in the NY Times that points the way for comic and book publishers here in the United States (okay, the West).

And gee, look at that - women are driving the turn to mobile comics:

But perhaps the most crucial driver behind the cellphone comic boom is its attractiveness to women. You can tell just by looking at the best-selling titles on mobile comic sites — all involve romance. “It’s a bit hard commenting publicly on this, but the most popular comics on the mobile are adult-oriented ones for women,” including love stories with sexually explicit content, Mr. Nakabayashi said. Translation: Women who do not want to be seen reading these titles in public places like the train helped create the market for manga on the cellphone, which accords them privacy in ways that magazines and books do not.

But of course, it's those silly publishers that are holding things up by only placing reprint material up for mobile phone consumption. No, I get it... they are moving slowly and surely to transition to a digital first environment.

But you don't want to move too slowly either.

Here in the west we have a lot of catching up to do in terms of digital comics and books. The more I read though, the more excited I get about the possibilities. The fact you can now read Kindle files on an IPhone is a great tool to get more books into the hands of people.

Comics and books aren't just for collectors. They aren't just for wrapping in plastic and storing away with the hope that they will increase in value. Their value is in the entertainment they provide and the ideas they impart.

Comics should be good.
Comics should be cheap.
Comics should be everywhere.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

There is an english language mobile comics distributor called Rok Comics. I've put some comics up on their service. It's restricted to twelve panels per episode. I imagine the Japanese equivalent delivers more content per instalment.