I read manga. A lot of it, actually. I recently started buying it again because I was looking at so much free online manga. The group of publishers who organized to stop free distribution of manga have it right. I'm hooked - now it's time to start charging me for content. (Before the web, I collected manga. I have boxes in the garage. Maybe I should sell...)
I hope they'll start paying creators better in the same move.
Manga creators and fans may get an interesting break from the publishers' stranglehold, though. In After Scanlations: Manga Publishers Look to Offer Legal Digital Access, Kai-Ming Cha tells about several publishers' (Yen, Viz) and distributors' (Crunchyroll) plans to offer paid access online.
This is where the publishers have it wrong, I think. Yen's "Yen Plus" will only offer Yen titles. Viz will offer the much more appealing (to me) catalog of Viz titles.
Would you pay a fee to a music label for access online to its signed artists' work?
That's why I think the iTunes model (I've been going on about this for awhile) - which I'm encouraged to read Crunchyroll (currently distributing eons of anime content for low to no fees) is building a manga reader. They're not publishers, so they just license the content they think will work and for which they can get the rights.
Best of luck to 'em.
By the way, since computer screens are landscape, and manga pages mostly portrait, will the reader be capable of rendering the page legibly in the space available?
- Steve Shea
- A 40-ish publisher (editor, project manager, etc.), husband, and father of an even number of offspring, I grew up, or failed to, reading fantasy and sci-fi. I still enjoy reading, and now am trying to write. My favorite books include YA fantasy, manga, biography, and advice to authors. I'm also a former history major/grad student/high school teacher and assessment writer. Now I work for a school supplement publisher, specializing in high-low chapter books. I spend a lot of my time controlling reading levels. At night, I cut loose and use long words. W00t!