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Global and Arab Comics markets are Expected to Boom

As part of the 12th Sharjah International Book Fair Publishers Conference, Kuo-Yu Liang, President of Ku Worldwide – USA, moderated a session titled ‘The Growing Global Market for Manga and Webtoon’.

According to Kevin Hamric, Vice President of Publishing Sales at VIZ Media, one of the world’s largest manga distributors: “Anime and Manga consumption rose exponentially throughout the pandemic. It is also part of the generational change, and Manga is today read by every demographic across genres”.

More Arabic-language content in Manga has been produced in the past year than ever, said Dr. Essam Bukhary, CEO of Manga Arabia Productions, a subsidiary of Mohammed bin Salman Foundation (MiSK). “Manga is strongly connected to the Middle East and for the longest time, we’ve been consumers, but this is now changing. We are now producing original Arabic content, and have signed partnerships to enter the Chinese and Malaysian markets,” he said.

Daihei Shiohama, President and CEO of Media Do International, said: “Japanese publishers are now focusing on the international markets and looking for bridges to fill the market gap. Manga comprises 88 percent of the USD 5 billion digital book market in Japan. We are connected to more than 2,200 publishers and have been acquiring businesses focusing on digital content management and marketing. It’s a new form of content consumption and is set to grow”.

Yen Press’ Deputy Publisher and Editor-in-Chief JuYoun Lee said: “Scroller readership is gaining momentum, and IT companies are helping publishers tap into publishing-tech markets.” A new phenomenon is webtoons, in which content creators engage with a dedicated fanbase and sell tangible merchandise as collectibles. New revenue streams are being created and there’s always more to explore”.