I just saw this on Johanna’s website who in turn got it from ICV2, and decided to elaborate more on my thoughts of it over here.. based on my own experiences as a manga consumer. This post is going to filled with some of my running ideas, as I elaborate on my comments over at Johanna’s website, which is running the Jiro Taniguchi MMF this week.
When manga consumers want “unworkable or selfishly cheap” ideas that Comic book stores can’t fulfill, then it is chalked up as a lost cause by both the comic book stores, and the manga consumers themselves. We would never see the glass cases, filled with limited or out of print goods, because:
- We’re not Japan.
- The people who purchased those out of print goods would hold onto it (in their own glass cases no less).
- It probably gets thrown into the trash.
- The value of a title gets assessed differently.
- English manga industry is not as established as the Japan.
In all aspects, manga is a printed paper good, so imagine how much newspapers are thrown out every year. What is the value of a manga? I sell back my manga at lower than retail prices to BookOff or when-they’ll-take-it-Strand. Many of the manga I sell are out of print works. I still see plenty of books gracing the shelves of Bookoff by the way. If there was were an available English copy… what value of that book is sold at?
There is the generous option of giving it to friends, or even donating it to the library, where most probably it would be sold at book sales of their own.
What type of limited goods are there? An autograph maybe? There are glass cases in Japanese bookstores like Mandarake, filled with out of print or rare products, all available for a price. But then there are also chances that these goods become garbage at homes. The life spans of paper goods are not going to be forever, and the value is in the information themselves.
Comic bookstores like Japanese bookstores, understand the marketing value of products. It is a very short life span. They rapidly take in and sell products. If it can help them sell a product, then they would keep a particular sign. If not then, what’s the use of keeping it? (There’s a product line of One Piece American produced action figures at Kinokuniya, I wonder how long is it going to be there before it gets sold or moves somewhere else in the store.) To amass a collection that is a shrine of sorts, is a consumers or museum’s own assessment on what to keep or preserve.