Manga: the next great craze!

Manga Mania: Japanse comic craze has Americans talking -what’s the big draw?

Those words appeared on the front page of Red Eye (a free edition newspaper that the Chicago Tribune publishes), on February 15. I snatched up the newspaper, as I do every day before boarding the el’, and read it on the way to work. I figured that there would be some manner of news in this newspaper article. Rather it was filled with “olds”.

Correct me if I’m incorrect, but hasn’t the manga craze already swept the nation? Is it not on a down slope from it’s peak… or at least leveled out a bit? Red Eye makes it sound as if it’s the latest greatest craze, but manga being popular is barely worth mentioning these days. Everyone knows it’s popular. The paper itself quotes a man nammed Griepp as saying that “manga mania” has spread to the U.S. over the past 5 years. In other words, it admits that manga is nothing new. Red Eye should have wrote about a manga story, or simply about local manga artists… they do have a brief side bar mentioning some local artists, but why not a full page devoted to this rather than acting as though they’ve discovered sliced bread?

I’m not bashing Red Eye for writing an article on manga, but why put it on the cover page? This is clearly an under-disguised attempt to hit a target audience:

The diverse plots and attractive artwork make it appealing to 18 to 34-year-olds as well as teens and tweens.

Who rides the el’? Kids on their way to school. Young professionals on their way to work. Students on their way to university. Who reads Red Eye? Nearly everyone on the el’. Bingo! Instant success with Wednesday’s edition! I hate marketing ploys… especially when it involves the news. Then again, what is the news but one big marketing ploy?

I’ll keep reading Red Eye on my way to work. It’s free, sometimes they have information / rumors about the Smashing Pumpkins return to glory, and it’s an easy way to avoid eye contact with the people around you.

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