Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The BIG Question: How big IS the local komiks Industry?

We are coming out with a new title very soon under our very own SACRED MOUNTAIN PUBLICATIONS. The same questions always loom over every creator who has ever considered putting out a book from the deepest depths of their creative minds to the shelves for the people to read and enjoy Komiks. In the past, local publishers have no problems selling more than thirty to a hundred thousand copies every week through consignments, as newstands are so visible and scattered nationwide. However, distributing all the copies to potential buyers is now so limited that it usually takes a lot of time and effort before a good book gets to the reading public. During this time that there is a need to know the real state of the komiks industry, I would like to urge everyone who can read this to send us an email and tell us if you are among the existing local komiks readers of today. All you have to do is send us an email at smp_letters@yahoo.com and let us know if you still support the industry. Comments and opinions about the local komiks industry are also welcome. We'd appreciate if you can write your real name so that we can tally results correctly. You don't need to write your whole address but it is wise to do so, because I am going to send a little token to a lucky letter sender, just for writing to us. It is an original art pencilled on an 11x17 artboard of any character of your choice. Just don't forget to write the desired character you want me to draw if ever your letter gets picked. Please indicate "I AM A KOMIKS READER" in the subject of your email. Don't worry, this will be conducted under utmost confidentiality. Within a month I'll put here the number of responding letters for all to see, no names, just numbers.

Hope to hear from you guys soon. Please tell your friends as well.

-Gilbert Monsanto
Sacred Mountain Publications


Dominique said...

Hi, Gilbert: if it helps, here's the result of a fuzzy survey I did with our local newsstand lady here in Dumaguete. On a given month, she sells:

-4 copies of Otaku
-8 copies of DC Kids
-8 copies of DC Superheroes
-40 copies of W.I.T.C.H.

So immediately I thought the disparity must be because of Summit's promotion and distribution network. But I also asked the lady's opinion. The answer: "kasi andaming sumusunod sa istorya...."

monsanto said...

Thanks for the info. Your survey seemed to show that more girls are into buying comics nowadays. The titles there are only from Summit and Psicom. Mango Jam and the others do not have copies distributed there in dumaguete?

I can see several takes on your survey here:

1.) That girls can afford to buy WITCH or any comics in particular becuase the guys are spending their money more on video games and other stuff. Girls like to read more than boys I guess.

2.) Distribution is a big factor.

3.) I think Otaku is the only local title here. I guess you are right. We need to come up with better stories for readers to follow.

Dominique said...

Hi, Gilbert: I think (2) is the most important point. A peek into present magazine trends and past komiks history will bear that out. Nautilus, I believe, also had the same problems.

On the other hand, distribution isn't everything. Summit pulled the plug on Monster Allergy last year, a premature move considering that Disney is now showing the series.

Though WITCH is aimed at girls, I think the stories are quite accessible and have a wider appeal than the promotion would like us to think. I was a WITCH reader up until recently when I decided the story arcs were getting repetitive.

The success of WITCH has important lessons:

1) Build a solid fan base around a demographic.

2) Run real world activities to tie in with and promote the comic.

3) It doesn't hurt to be able to sell other products with your magazine. In that regard, girls seem to have a wider range than boys.

I took a look at NEO Comics, and my first reaction was to run away. Yes, we absolutely need better stories.

Hope this helps!

erik v. said...

back in grade school (1974) i used to follow a komiks novel by jim fernandez or carlo caparas (?) about filipinos before the coming of the spaniards. one installment depicted an attempted invasion by the chinese. can anyone remember this novel? does anyone have a few scans?

also another one by jim fernandez about the colonization by humans of the planet jupiter. any information? i learned from that novel that ceres is the largest moon of jupiter. when i said that in class teacher told me not to rely on komiks for information about planets. i knew it was factual. teacher doubted it. i was right. later she admitted she was wrong. thanks.

monsanto said...

Tama ka Erik. Sa pagkaalam ko kay Mr. Jim Fernandez ay napakatalinong tao, pinili lang niya ang komiks sa paghayag ng kanyang mga kwento.

May research din sa Komiks. Hindi sa lahat ng oras pero naniniwala ako na hindi ka makakapagkwento ng tama kung hindi mo alam ang pinagsasabi mo. Kailangan muna maniwala ang writer sa kanyang sinusulat bago niya ito maisusulat ng epektibo. Magagawa lamang nila ito sa pamamagitan ng sapat na pagsasaliksik o research.

Thanks for sharing. :)