why we love manga
The other day a customer asked me what the best-selling comic right in America right now, and I told him it was probably either Fruits Basket or Naruto. “Right, right,” he said, “those probably sell well for manga, but what actually sells the best?” Either Fruits Basket or Naruto, I said. “Manga’s got a pretty limited audience,” he said, “so it’s impressive when one starts to sell. But what I really want to know is what sells the best.”
Well, he didn’t get it, and a lot of comic-shop regulars don’t get it, but the truth is that American comic books haven’t been the most popular comics in America in many years (newspaper comics long have been), and now they’re not even number two.
People know how to say “manga” now; some use the nasal “American” a and some use the broad “Japanese” a, but they rarely say “magna” the way they pretty much all used to, and I haven’t heard a rhymes-with-lasagna pronunciation in months. That’s a pretty sure sign of mainstream acceptance, that and the fact that they sell like hotcakes.
update: the arguments are not that very well put together and soon fall in the “comics x manga” cathegory. despite the nationality context / language [both narrative and… linguistic] / thematic choices manga ARE comics, goddammit. how many times will nerds have to hear this before they understand? it’s not Film, Music or Games, they’re Comics. only made in Japan. thank you.