Books. How manga ate Joel Dicker

But who wants the skin of general literature? At the beginning of April, the latest novel by Joël Dicker, The Alaska Sanders Affair has been downgraded by Demon Slayer , volume 21 of the manga, which took the lead in the ranking of best-selling books compiled by Edistat, based on actual sales from 1,200 bookstores. 25,215 copies sold for Koyoharu Gotouge’s comic book, against 24,668 copies for the Swiss writer’s thriller.

Veritable serial-killers of best-selling authors, manga this spring are sinking the knife into the wound of detective literature for the general public. Between April 4 and 10, depending on Edistat sales indices, three other manga still shot Joël Dicker, demoted to fourth place. On your mind, My Hero Academia – the next volume 32 by Kohei Horikoshi published by Ki-oon, followed by The Drama of Shibuya: Good and Evil – Jujutsu Kaisenvolume 14, by Gege Akutami, from the same publisher, and finally Kaiju No. 8, volume 4 by Naoya Matsumoto at Kaze editions.

Three manga at the top of sales? This is neither a surprise nor an accident, but the continuation of the phenomenal growth observed for several years, and which in 2021 took on the appearance of a triumph. In a thriving comic book market, seven manga made it into the top 10 bestsellers last year, behind bestselling leader, Asterix and the Griffin. Series that young readers crave: Naruto, One Piece, Demon Slayer, My Hero Academia.

Three-digit growth

According to the report drawn up by the firm GfK, comic book sales reached a record turnover in France in 2021, with nearly 900 million euros, for more than 85 million copies purchased. Almost double the 2019 results. Comics have thus become the second most purchased genre of book in France with 24% of the market by volume, just behind works of general literature (25%).

Driving this rise, manga, with three-digit growth of 107% in volume. At the end of 2021, it represented more than one in two comics purchased. All manga segments, whatever their editorial lines and targets, are developing, but Shônen intended for boys under 15 (action and adventure) largely dominates with 35 million copies sold in one year (+112%) . This is followed by Seinen for 15 to 24 year olds (action and psychology) at 9.6 million copies (+104%), Shôjo for girls aged 10 to 18 (romance) at 1.9 million copies ( +62%) and erotic mangas with more than 500,000 copies (+82%).

The manga still has room for improvement, beyond the young readership, analyzes Sandrine Vigroux, director of GfK market intelligence cultural goods: “With this success of the genre, the target buyers are diversifying and parents are starting to buy for their children “.