From Naruto to Chainsaw Man and Demon Slayer, Viz Media has all the manga you could want to read. The publisher is one of the go-to places for manga in the United States and for good reason. Viz Media has been bringing manga to fans for decades now, and it seems 2020 marked a major year of growth for the brand despite the ongoing pandemic.
The news comes straight from Kevin Hamric, the vice president of publishing sale at Viz Media. The executive spoke with ICv2 about the brand's success in the last year in light of COVID-19. Many industries were hurt by the pandemic in significant ways, but Hamric says Viz Media saw sales rise in 2020.
"VIZ Media saw a 70% increase in the U.S. market," Hamric shared. "Comic store channel is doing very well. We did not alter our publication schedule at all during the crisis and still have not. Except for that hiccup for those number of weeks when Diamond was shut down, the Direct Market still found ways to get the books, either going directly to Simon & Schuster, or to Ingram, or to anybody where they could get the books."
As you can see, Viz Media is doing very well despite the pandemic with a 70% rise in sales. The company hasn't been forced to alter its publication schedule too much, but there are some issues the company had because of its success. Aside from a few manga hiatuses in early 2020 because of COVID-19, it has been difficult to restock manga volumes due to printing delays.
"Unfortunately, we've got a lot of stockouts. It's the whole COVID issue with social distancing inside plants, and the number of jobs that printers and binderies are getting from all of publishing, not just us. It's been taxing the whole supply chain," Hamric admitted.
However, the executive does hope the issue will be resolved before 2021 runs up. In fact, this yea promises to bring even more goodies to Viz Media if all goes well. Hamric said this fall could be the biggest "that VIZ has had, possibly ever." And if that is the case, then you can count us in!
What do you make of this new data? Which manga series did you fall for in the last year...? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.