Twilight comics. Whether or not the manga community is ready to face it or not, they’re coming down from Yen Press. It’s not a terrible business venture. When Stephanie Meyers is selling 1 out of every 7 books sold in the USA, and Hachette, the parent company for Yen Press, owns the publishing rights to her books, it’s easy enough to see the Twilight cash cow getting milked into a comic book.
Some people don’t necessarily like Twilight, and that’s okay. I despise it. I think it’s terrible fan fiction. But, I am willing to accept the fact that even if it is drivel, it’s doing very well for its drivelly self. It’s selling well, and it’s bringing something to the table that I think is very interesting – a fanbase that is rabid for the content. Let’s face it. If you’re a Twilight fan, you love the stuff. ADORE it. You’ve probably read every scrap of writing Stephanie Meyer has put out, seen the movie, bought some stickers, a poster or something. You love it, and you’re probably excited for the upcoming movie.
Why is this important? Because we can transfer that very same fanship onto a work that is a bit different than your average book – it’s a comic book. It’s a graphic novel, a manga, or a manwha. Whatever you want to call it, pictures and speech bubbles will be the latest Twilight craze, and that gives manga producers an opportunity.
Yen Press has the biggest opportunity here – to plug their own shojo and other OEL works, including the fabulous Maximum Ride. It’s even my opinion that they should publish parts of it in Yen Plus – the magazine would SURELY get an increase in numbers, and it will build up tension and excitement for the trade paperback when it hits shelves.
Other manga publishers can hop into the craze as well. If you want to see an explosion of female manga fans, publishers and booksellers need to make a concerted effort to go out of their way and say, “Hey, if you love Twilight, and you liked the Twilight graphic novel, why don’t you try out ‘Pig Bride’ or ‘Kitchen Princess’ or ‘Solanin’?” Manga needs signs pointing to the Twilight book, and an endcap saying “If you liked the Twilight GN, we suggest…” Booksellers have nothing to lose, and much to gain.
If nothing else, Twilight is the next opportunity of manga – the community needs to embrace the opportunity, if not the fiction, and convince its Twilight-loving friends to give this funny backwards Japanese comic a try.