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Manga publishing heavyweights get together for industry roundtable at SDCC '22

Popverse brings you live coverage from San Diego Comic Con's Manga Publishing Roundtable

Comic-Con International: San Diego 2019
Image credit: Comic-Con International: San Diego

The Popverse team has made it to San Diego Comic Con, and we're looking for the most exciting news and interesting stories of the weekend to share with fans of all interests. Today, we're bringing you live coverage from the Manga Publishing Industry Roundtable, which includes huge voices and decisionmakers form the biggest publishers in the business including VIZ Media, Penguin Random House, Humble Bundle, and more.

The official synopsis for the panel reads: Partly thanks to the growing popularity of anime, manga is one of the hottest-selling, fastest-growing segments of book sales in North America today. Demand continues to grow, but unprecedented supply chain shortages mean that popular titles are frequently out of stock. At the same time, there are now more ways to buy and read manga online or from apps than ever. What's next for manga? Hear what’s going from the perspective of top publishing pros, including Kevin Hamric (vice president – marketing sales, VIZ Media), Ben Applegate (director, publisher services, Penguin Random House), Ed Chavez (publisher, Denpa Books), Erik Ko (director, Udon Entertainment), Dallas Middaugh (business development, Humble Bundle), Michael Gombos (director, international publishing and licensing, Dark Horse Comics), Beth Kawasaki (executive director of content and marketing, Media-Do International), Lyla Seo (chief marketing officer, Manta), and Ivan Salazar (senior marketing director, Kodansha USA). Moderated by Deb Aoki ( Publishers Weekly, Mangasplaining).

So if that sounds good to you (and it should), keep an eye on this page for live moment-to-moment coverage of all of the interesting insight provided by these industry experts. Or—come back later to read all about it once its done!

To follow along with Popverse's coverage throughout San Diego Comic Con, check out our roundup of SDCC coverage.

Our live coverage of this event has finished.

The panelists are on stage.
Before the panel starts we received a manga sampler that consists of Phantom of the Idol, A Galaxy Next Door, Blackgruard, and Wandance.
We received another sampler with Blue Period, Don't toy with me, Miss Nagatoro, Fire Force, and Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku.
The likes of Viz, Dark Horse, and Penguin Random House are on the panel.
the first 5 people that go to the Manta booth will win a copy of the BL Semantic Error
The panel announces a new manga - Giga Town. It's the second title with Fumiyo Kouno.
The panel touches upon the explotion of Manga sales in North America
The trend is the return of physical sales and physical bookstores - like Barnes N' Nobles. Manga sections have grown in places like this. They left Amazon in the dust. Target and Walmart are selling Manga, which helps sales as well.
There are more physical book stores carrying manga than ever before. Even grocery stores are carrying them.
This is a global change not just North America
Manga has affected 70% of Dark Horse's sales even though that's not predominately their output.
Manga is getting popular because there is interesting stories that mainstream comics isn't touching right now.
Manga has become a mainstream category instead of a niche category.
Manga is helping booksales with more growth every year.
The panel is discussing the growth of web comic platforms like Webtoon and Tapas.
These platforms are easy to access. It's right there on your phone, which is why we're seeing such a growth with webcomics.
If you want people to read your stories outside of piroting then make it easier for readers to get your stories.
The panel is discussing the challenges of indie manga publishers.
Being a free agent allows for a diverse catalogue
An indie publisher can snatch up great books that the big publishers pass on
Udon is a boutique publisher.
Free agency can be hard because there is so much more content to license.
Now they are discussing challenges and opportunities for major publishers.
Printing is their biggest problem.
They are doing everything they can to get books in their hands as quickly as they can.
There are many outlets who want to bring in manga, which has been a challange because there are so many. They need to educate these outlets for how they sell manga.
With Diamond's change in the direct market, there is now an opportunity for companies to make direct relations with comic stores, but it's a huge feight.
The struggles for comic stores carrying manga is the shelf space. They need more room for Batman and Superman.
Now the panel is discussing the challenges and opportunties in the digital space
It cost a lot of money to translate manga, and if you are only doing it for digital you cut down what you would have had for print.
The panel discusses new content from Korea, China, US, and Europe
Dark Horse has been doing manga as Manwahs for 15 years now
Sex Education is getting a manga adaptation.
There was a push back with Korean manwah because it was not manga, but now Korean content is seen as good content as well.
Webcomics has surpassed Manwah and Manga content in Korea.
Queer content is growing.
The panel has wrapped. Thanks for joining us.
They gave away a few books.