Saturday, August 22, 2009

Getting to Know: SelfMadeHero and Manga Shakespeare Part 5

Please read Part 4 of the interview before reading Part 5

Manga in the United Kingdom

In Hayley’s opinion, manga has affected UK business, because it “was the biggest growth area in the book industry (certainly around 2005).” The growth was cause by “a number of new publishers and new imprints spring up over the last five years.” Not only has manga affected the business industry, but it has also “very much so” affected UK culture. “In schools in the UK, there are now after school manga clubs where kids discuss their favorite mangas.

Even though manga has influenced the United Kingdom in the business and cultural aspect of the area, “there has been a huge growth in the graphic novel genre as a whole in the UK.” From 2004 to 2005, there was a “ninety per cent increase in the volume” of sales in graphic novels, which was “an increase from approximately 290K to 577K.” Keep in mind that the word ‘graphic novel’ is a broader category, which “statistic subsumes” manga under this category. “Since then growth has declined although there remains a large fanbase here which is evidenced by the increase in people attending the two major Manga Expos in London.”

From the positive and negative aspects of the industry, does Hayley think there is a future for manga in the UK market? What would she like to see happen? “With more commissions going to UK manga artists, the more you’ll get to see a new manga style which brings with it its own influences and styles. For instance our Manga Shakespeares are not ‘pure’ Japanese manga, they are a mix of influences – this is what makes them unique.”


With the current success of the series, Hayley hopes that “with the same aim as before i.e. making our books more accessible to a younger generation. We will shortly be making our Manga Shakespeares available for download onto mobile phones.” She also hopes that “manga continues to flourish both in the UK and globally!” Her experience handling SelfMadeHero has been “excellent,” and she “would not prefer any other job.” Much luck and success to Hayley and SelfMadeHero!
© 2009 Linda Thai

Thank you ABRAMS Books for letting me use their cover images! Thank you Emma Hayley for the interview!
To learn more about SelfMadeHero, please check out SelfMadeHero and the Manga Shakespeare Learning.
Thank you for checking out Manga Shakespeare week!

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