Manga Nets Majority Earnings Over U.S. Graphic Novel Sales in New Report
Over the years, the creation of the internet has allowed fans in North America to dive into the stories within the medium of manga, whether it be hard-hitting Shonen series such as Demon Slayer and My Hero Academia, or gruesome and gritty stories such as Berserk and the works of Junji Ito. Now, it seems as though the medium of manga has taken some big strides for the past year, making up a large majority of the graphic novel market as it speeds past Marvel, DC, and other US comic book companies.
According to the outlet, NPD BookScan, manga made up a whopping 76.1% of overall graphic novel sales in the Adult Fiction category within the United States. This doesn't mean that things are boding poorly for North American comic book sales necessarily, as overall sales for the periodicals had gone up 65% from 2020 to 2021. However, as the site notes, sales had actually gone up 100% from 2019 to 2020, thanks in part to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns.
The executive director of Business Development for NPD Bookscan, Kristen McLean, added some thoughts with regards to potential issues facing publishers and other members of the print industry when it comes to "supply chain problems":
"Publishers and other industry members will also still need to contend with supply chain problems in 2022, as shortages of paper, packaging materials, and printing capacity are likely to persist throughout the year. Those factors, as well as what could be the easing of pandemic restrictions, may lead to more changes in consumer behavior this year, McLean said. For one thing, she believes customer traffic will increase in brick-and-mortar stores, and that retailers, through changes in store layouts and marketing, are well-positioned to take advantage of the higher traffic to drive sales increases. In addition, growing consumer concern about climate change and sustainability could lead customers to limit their online buying, since direct sales involve lots of packaging. And while online book sales have jumped since the pandemic began, McLean believes the online channel's market share of book sales could decline in 2022 as consumers return to stores."
On top of this metric for manga vs. comic books, manga also saw an increase of 171% from 2020 to 2021. Specifically, manga rose from 15 million units sold in 2020 to 24.4 million units sold in 2021.