With manga collections topping bookstore graphic novel sales (see 'Manga Continue To Dominate Bookstore Sales') in the U.S., it is interesting to note that this phenomenon is hardly confined to the U.S. Sales of manga blossomed in Europe in the early 1990s, when titles such as Dragon Ball topped the charts in Spain and Italy. While sales of manga on the continent have suffered at times from an over-abundance of titles, manga titles are still doing well -- something that should give pause to those who think the current manga boom in U.S. bookstores is a flash-in-the-pan fad.
Here are two examples of manga's continuing popularity in Europe. In France the manga series Hikaru no Go -- which is based on the Japanese board game 'Go' -- has not only led to an increased interest in the game itself, the manga series is selling more than 10,000 copies per volume, not bad for a comic about a game that most westerners have never even heard about. Meanwhile in Germany, Carlsen Verlag's version of Shonen Jump, the monthly manga anthology magazine, Banzai sells 130,000 copies per issue -- a very strong performance given the size of the German market.