Manga and webtoon publishers dominate the comic book industry

Nowadays, manga gives comics a run. The medium has been popular for decades, of course, but its recent rise outside Japan proves that manga is for everyone. In recent years, manga publishers have easily outsold Western comic books, and a stunning chart shows just how well manga is doing.

As you can see below, the Europe Comics team posted a chart showing the estimated revenue of the top ten graphic novel publishers between 2020 and 2021. There, fans could see how big publishers of manga and South Korean webtoons have become.

To begin with, Shueisha took first place, while Kodansha took second and Kadokawa took third. Shogakukan took fourth place ahead of Kakao and Naver, two of the largest webtoon publishers on the market. Marvel Comics and DC Comics placed seventh and eighth respectively, before Media Participations and Panini Comics reached the top ten.

Sure, there are some Western-facing publishers missing from this list, but that’s thanks to the global reach of this data. The information comes from Fumettologica in Italy, so relevant publishers in Europe were considered among global brands. However, we know that Viz Media is absolutely crushing in sales these days.

First, the publisher saw many of its current titles and backlog titles go out of stock during the pandemic shutdown as manga rose in popularity. Today, Viz Media’s licenses almost dominate graphic novel sales in the United States, according to BookScan. In fact, the January 2023 list consisted entirely of manga, including Chainsaw Man and Spy x Family. And again, there were no Western comics to be found.

Clearly, manga is selling very well for itself, and South Korean webtoons are also on the rise. Companies like Naver and Kakao have seen their largest series attract millions of readers. From live-action adaptations to anime orders, webtoons are forming to restructure the graphic novel business once again, and it seems we have manga to thank for disrupting the cycle.

What do you think of this latest sales data? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below or give me a call on Twitter @Megan Peters CB.

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