Manhwa Market

About the Comics Industry in Korea

by Kim NakHo

Market Size

There are many levels and categories of the Korean comics industry. The distribution channel of comics is separate from the book market at large. The market is subdivided again into categories of comics in general and ‘educational’ comics(comics offering practical knowledge, rather than stories). Aside from the seller’s market, another large portion is consumed by the rental market and more recently, internet comics are on the rise. As of 2001, 9,177 titles were printed (26.5% of all publications) for a total of 42 million prints (35.9% of all publications). The size of the production is app. 130 million Euro, and its sales number is app. 60 million Euro. Meanwhile, the industry is undertaking a restructuring plan in an effort to balance the rental market which is currently 3 times larger than the print market. The 14 million Euro sized online market is continuously growing. “Educational comic books” hold the largest stake in the large bookstore distribution networks.

Introduction of Non-domestic Comics

As of 2001, 44% of all titles and 62% of the total prints are of foreign origin.

Size of Publishers

In the past few years, there has been an increasing bipolarization in the size of comic book publishers.

[From: official guidebook for the exhibition ‘La dynamique de la bandee dessinnee coreene'(The Dynamics of Korean Comics), held at Angouleme International Comics Festival, 2003.1.]

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