Popular manga like Attack on Titan and Chainsaw Man have been sold out for months, and industry experts say the shortage is far from over.
Manga has become an even hotter commodity during the quarantine, and both retailers and publishers say it may still be a while before fans can easily find copies. stars of Attack on Titan or Chainsaw Man on store shelves.
Many products are in short supply during the quarantine, from toilet paper to game consoles, but manga shortages are likely to continue in North America even after the lockdown is lifted, as the industry has It may take longer to adapt to the post-lockdown spike in demand a report published by geek culture website ICv2. The website spoke with multiple manga retailers and publishers to find out why certain titles have been difficult to track down in recent months, and why re-additions to popular series seem to be on the rise. like it took so long. “Manga sales have only skyrocketed during the pandemic and it’s nearly impossible to find replacement books right now,” said Bob Schaffer of Dragon’s Lair Comics and Fantasy in San Antonio, Texas. “We’re still selling manga faster than we can give it back,” said Matt Lehman, owner of Comicopia in Boston. According to ICv2, printing and shipping issues could limit publishers’ ability to meet demand until at least the end of 2021.
“The consolidation over the past few years in the US printing industry has resulted in fewer factories and even fewer factories that can print manga,” said Kevin Hamric of VIZ Media. VIZ is one of the largest English-language manga publishers. “Combine this with the fact that printers have to work under COVID restrictions, as well as bookstores and the supply chain is starting to slow down. There are also other issues during this time, for example. such as lack of paper, lack of pallets, lack of cartons, lack of staff, shortage of truck drivers, and container, shipping, and port issues for books printed overseas.”
Physical copies of popular and currently in print manga, such as the first volume of Chainsaw Man or Jujutsu Kaisen, are now sold out on Amazon and used copies are being sold on eBay for double the price, even triple their suggested retail price. Hamric warned that the situation would not improve for some time, saying, “VIZ Media is working with all of our supply chain partners to get rid of this issue as quickly as possible… but it will take some time – probably early next year.”