Books, Not Comics: Publishing Fields, Globalization, and Japanese Manga in the United States Article First Online: 14 April 2009 DOI:
Cite this article as: Brienza, C.E. Pub Res Q (2009) 25: 101. doi:10.1007/s12109-009-9114-2 Abstract:
The market for Japanese comics, called manga, in the United States grew rapidly at the beginning of the twenty first century at a rate unprecedented in the publishing industry. Sales grew a remarkable 350% from $60 million in 2002 to $210 million in 2007 and did not begin to decline until the beginning of the recent economic downturn beginning in late 2008. No published research is yet able to account for this phenomenon in a manner that is both socially-situated and medium-specific. In this paper, I provide such a sociological account of the rise of manga in the United States and its implications for the globalization of culture. Adapting Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical formulation of the cultural field, I argue that manga migrated from the comics field to the book field and that the ways in which industry practices, distribution networks, and target demographics differ between the two fields are directly responsible for the medium’s newfound visibility. Furthermore, I argue that, despite the now-common transparency of the Japanese origin of Japanese titles, the American publishing industry’s creation of manga as a category of books distinct from other comics is an ineluctable naturalizing process that ultimately erases from American consciousness the Japanese, the foreign, the other.
Keywords Manga Comics Graphic novels Globalization American publishing Field theory Japan References
Adorno T. The culture industry. London: Routledge; 2001.
Alverson B. NYAF: ICv2’s Marketing to Girls panel. Mangablog. 2007.
. Accessed 23 Dec 2007.
Ang I. Watching Dallas: soap opera and the melodramatic imagination. London: Routledge; 1985.
Bauerlein M, Sandra S. Why Johnny won’t read. Washington post. 2005.
. Accessed 25 Jan 2005.
Becker H. Art worlds. Berkeley: University of California Press; 1982.
Bourdieu P. The field of cultural production. London: Polity Press; 1993.
Brienza C. Paratexts in translation: reinterpreting ‘Manga’ for the United States. Int J Book. 2009;6(2):13–20.
Chavez Ed. Save our EDEN. Mangacast. 2007.
. Accessed 2 July 2007.
Grigsby M. Sailormoon manga (Comics) and anime (Cartoon) superheroine meets barbie: global entertainment commodity comes to the United States. J Pop Cult. 1997;32(1):59–80.
CrossRef Google Scholar
Hassler K. Interview: Kurt Hassler. By Deb Aoki. About.com: Manga. 2007.
ICv2.com. BookScan’s top 20 graphic novels for April. 2008.
. Accessed 30 Apr 2008.
Ito K. A history of manga in the context of Japanese culture and society. J Pop Cult. 2005;38(3):456–75.
CrossRef Google Scholar
Iwabuchi K. Recentering globalization: popular culture and Japanese transnationalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press; 2002.
Jenkins H. Textual poachers: television fans & participatory culture. London: Routledge; 1992.
Jenkins H. Convergence culture: where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press; 2006.
Kelts R. Japanamerica: how Japanese pop culture invaded the US. New York: Palgrave Macmillan; 2007.
Kinsella S. Adult manga: culture & power in contemporary Japanese society. New York: Curzon Press; 2000.
McGray D. Japan’s Gross National Cool. Foreign Policy. 2002; 44–54.
McLean T. Profile of Tokyopop founder Stu Levy: Manga man explores right-to-left brand cortex. Variety. 2007.
. Accessed 25 Oct 2007.
McLuhan M. The Gutenberg galaxy: the makings of typographic man. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press; 1962.
McLuhan M. Understanding media: the extensions of man. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; 1964.
Miller LL. Reluctant capitalists: bookselling and the culture of consumption. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press; 2007.
Misaka K. The first Japanese Manga magazine in the United States. Publ Res Q. 2004;19(4):23–30.
CrossRef Google Scholar
Morley D. The ‘Nationwide’ audience: structure and decoding. London: British Film Institute; 1980.
Mukerji C, Schudson M, editors. Rethinking popular culture: contemporary perspectives in cultural studies. Los Angeles: University of California Press; 1991.
Napier S. Anime from akira to howl’s moving castle: experiencing japanese animation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan; 2005.
Napier S. From impressionism to anime: Japan as fantasy in the mind of the west. New York: Palgrave Macmillan; 2007.
Palmieri M. Interview with Gutsoon!. By Isaac Alexander. Anime News Netw. 2003.
. Accessed 4 Feb 2003.
Radway JA. Reading the romance: women, patriarchy, and popular literature. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press; 1984.
Rhoades S. Comic books: how the industry works. New York: Peter Lang; 2008.
Rifas L. Globalizing comic books from below: how manga came to America. Int J Comic Art. 2004;6 (fall):138–71.
Schiller HI. Mass communications and American empire. New York: Augustus M. Kelley; 1969.
Schodt FL. Manga! manga! the world of Japanese comics. Tokyo: Kodansha International; 1983.
Schodt FL. Dreamland Japan: writings on modern manga. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press; 1996.
Schodt FL. The astro boy essays: osamu tezuka, mighty atom, and the manga/anime revolution. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge Press; 2007.
Sinnreich A. Configurable Culture: Mainstreaming the Remix, Remixing the Mainstream. PhD dissertation. University of Southern California. 2007.
Thompson J. How manga conquered America. Wired, November 2007: 223–233.
Thompson JB. Books in the digital age: the transformation of academic and higher education publishing in Britain and the United States. London: Polity Press; 2005.
Thorn M. n.d. Shôjo Manga Magazines. Matt-thorn.com.
. Accessed 12 Nov 2007.
Tobin J, editor. Pikachu’s global adventure: the rise and fall of Pokémon. Durham, NC: Duke University Press; 2004.
Weiner E. Why women read more than men. NPR org. 2007.
. Accessed 5 Sept 2007.
Wolk D. Reading comics: how graphic novels work and what they mean. New York: Da Capo Press; 2007.
Wong WS. Globalizing manga: from Japan to Hong Kong and beyond. Mechademia: Emerging Worlds Manga Anime. 2006;1:23–45.
Yoshihara M. Embracing the east: white women and American orientalism. New York: Oxford University Press; 2003.
Google Scholar Copyright information
© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009