topThe world of mangaka often produce fascinating stories. Some of them simply an interesting read, while others outright impossible. Some of these stories are true, while others are rumors that found their way into internet bulletin boards and became "real."

Gossips or not, these stories are nonetheless fun to read. Below is a translation of an article detailing some of these fascinating stories:

All the hot gossip here! - Secrets of the comic book artists exposed!

You are a comic book fan; you passionately love comics and see them as food for your soul. And just as you love comic books, you love their creators; you love them as much as your own parents and marvel at how they could have the energy and imagination to continue time after time to create such magic. The image of them in your mind is dazzling and heroic. At some point, however, the thought may have occurred to you 'comic book creators are real people too; beneath the veneer of fame, their lives share the same realities as ours.' Sometimes such an idea can come as a shock to you! It is these stories behind the storytellers that we will call 'gossip' here. So what is the gossip on their lives? Do you dare join us in digging up their secrets?

From this point it's going to get unflattering for some comic creators.

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topOricon, a company that originally ranked music sales (think Japanese Billboard), but nowadays ranks almost everything related to Japanese entertainment, has released the 2008 annual sales data on various types of media, including 2008 manga rankings.

Below is the 2008 Top 50 Ranking manga tankoubons and their sales data, and the Top 10 Series ranking as compiled by Oricon:

Top 10 Series of 2008
Rank Title (Volume #) Circulation
1 One Piece 5,956,540
2 Naruto 4,261,054
3 20th Century Boys 3,710,054
4 Kateikyo Hitman Reborn! 3,371,618
5 Bleach 3,161,825
6 Nana 3,122,146
7 Soul Eater 3,076,351
8 Nodame Cantabile 2,799,299
9 Rookies 2,765,163
10 Gintama 2,390,196

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topFrom the Chinese Anime and Comics portal Southcn comes an article analyzing France's comics market, the article goes on to look at China's own market for comics, and compares it to its European counterparts.

A Summary of France's Comic Book Market

Abstract: France's comic book market is one of the most important comic book markets in the world, with 4,313 different comic book titles (including reprints) and around 77 magazines dealing specifically with comic books published in 2007. Last year also saw comic book sales of over 40 million there, totalling around 400 million Euros. Of 2007's 3,313 new works published in France, 253 were Chinese comic books. If China were to try to expand their portion of France's comic book market they would meet with a few cultural barriers; crucially because the work of Chinese artists differs greatly from the three mainstream comic books styles of Europe, Japan, and the US, and it is hard for many vendors to categorise them. Although all readers approve of the high-quality artwork and originality of Chinese comics, many feel that the storylines are inferior to their Japanese or European counterparts.

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topFew manga have broken the coveted "100 Million" sales mark, an honor reserved only for the most popular and influential works. Below is a translation of an article from ACGTalk comes an article looking at various "100 Million" manga and their influence in the world:

Articles like this can be found all over the Internet; this is what I thought at first, and was excited with the idea that this year any comic could sell over a hundred million copies, but it turned out after getting a translator to have a look around on Japanese websites, I felt I had blown things out of proportion a bit, so here I have opted to write a more accurate account of these awards.

Japan, as everyone knows, is the world's biggest producer and exporter of comics. If you add together the overall annual tax and the sales volume of each big-name comic book magazine and all the separate volumes, the figures could only be described as "astronomical". As a result, comics in Japan have become more than a mere cultural phenomenon, constituting now a whole industry with financial goals. Some of the comics in this industry have become highly successful best-selling works that have sold over 100 million copies. In view of this, we pulled together some information from the Japanese Wikipedia about Japan's twelve best-selling manga.

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topFluid Friction Comics is a Hong Kong-based comic company that releases titles in English and Chinese internationally across the world.

Fluid Friction is perhaps one of the first companies in the world to have formed "a true East meets West team with local Chinese and Western artists and writers working seamlessly side by side to produce truly unique products." Below is an interview with Spencer Douglass, Fluid Friction's business development manager, who talks about Fluid Friction, its view of the comics market, as well as plans for the future:

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Spencer Douglass and I am the business development manager at Fluid Friction Comics. My job entails overseeing the production and timelines for the comics, setting up distribution across the world, organizing all the marketing, working with retailers to promote directly to their customers, handling PR, setting up and running our exhibits at various comic-cons and bringing in partners to work with us on things like possible films, games, TV series, merchandise, mobile content, etc.

So I suppose you could say I am essentially a "comic salesman." :-)

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topComic Market, or Comiket, is the world's largest comic convention. Currently Comiket is held twice a year, first in mid-August then late December, at the Tokyo Big Sight. Comiket 72 took place from August 17th - 19th. According to Mantan Web, over 170,000 fans attended Comiket 72 on day 1, 40,000 more than during Comiket 71 last December. The next Comiket, C74, will take place from August 15th to 17th.

Comiket is a place where doujin artists and groups gather and sell their works. While many groups hardly make any profit, Comiket is the place where they would try and make a name for themselves. Many of today's popular artists and groups began their career at Comiket. From Saimon Fumi to Rumoki Takahashi, or the mega-popular CLAMP, they all attended Comiket in the early days of their career. Some doujin groups, like Type-Moon, became so popular and made enough money to go professional.

Comiket began in 1975, and gradually grew into the world's biggest comic convention. In the last few years, each day of the convention saw an overall attendance of over 100,000, and C66 saw a total attendance of 510,000.

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topJapanese fansite Takahiro no Kenkyuukan recently published a report that inspects the readership data released by Ichijinsha of their magazine for potential advertisers.

The graphs show the ratio of gender and the age group of readers, as well as the difference of readers for each magazine. The data is interesting because such data isn't usually published. After some inspection, some facts were found that were both expected and unexpected.

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topOriginally known as Mixx, the well-known Tokypop is a company that licenses, publishes and distributes translated Japanese anime and manga as well as Korean mahn-wa and global manga. Stuart Levy, who still maintains position as owner to this day, originally founded the company in 1997. Tokyopop has since released hundreds of manga graphic novels in both English and German, including global manga and 'cine-manga' (manga styled graphic novels using images from animated shows).

A co-publishing agreement with HarperCollins Publishers in 2006 handed over the distribution rights for a portion of Tokyopop's inventory. Along with this came permission for Tokyopop to begin creation of global mangas based on HarperCollins Publishers' books. It was the largest corporate news heard from the manga-publishing giant until June 2008, when Tokyopop announced a restructuring of the company.

On June 3rd, 2008, Tokyopop representatives issued a press release stating that Tokyopop would be split into two separate companies. While one side will continues its lead focus on the publishing aspect of the company, the other, titled Tokyopop Media, will deal with the company's recent endeavours with its digital releases and comics-to-film division.

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topKara no Kyoukai (Kara no Kyoukai) is a long adventure novel authored by Kinoko Nasu, the scenario writer for Type-Moon, which became famous through its games Tsukihime and Fate/stay night. In 2008, Type-Moon announced that the novel would be adapted into a 7-part featured film.

Below is the final part of a review of the novel from the website Libra: Constellation of Aleksey, translated by Sarah Neufeld:

A Review of Kara no Kyoukai Part II

Kasai Kiyoshi's basis for boosting a new author this far is, in the end, nothing more than "numbers". No matter how you reason it out, insomuch as Nasu Kinoko has "sold" far better than Kasai Kiyoshi's works, he ranks above Kasai Kiyoshi, and "Kara no Kyoukai" outranks "The Philosopher's Sealed Room". In the end, this sort of bald-faced "push" is possible simply because Kasai has been captured by what I must call "the worship of numbers".

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topKara no Kyoukai (Kara no Kyoukai) is a long adventure novel authored by Kinoko Nasu, the scenario writer for Type-Moon, which became famous through its games Tsukihime and Fate/stay night. In 2008, Type-Moon announced that the novel would be adapted into a 7-part featured film.

Below is the second part of a review of the novel from the website Libra: Constellation of Aleksey, translated by Sarah Neufeld:

A Review of Kara no Kyoukai Part I

Now then, I think I've given ample proof of the "ruinously bad writing, and the shallowness of the author's powers of reasoning which shows itself in that writing" of "Kara no Kyoukai" via concrete criticisms. This novel was most certainly written in a style and with reasoning that doesn't bear reading.

However, at the very beginning of his long "commentary," which spans both volumes, Kasai Kiyoshi writes:

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