The doujinshi fanzine industry is worth a lot of money


Fans arise!

I suppose it should go without saying for some more savvy otaku, but the fan-comic industry (aka doujinshi) is pretty big in Japan. That said, not everyone knows just how big it is. Until now. A representative from Comitia, a doujinshi festival, has stated that the take from self-published fanzines has been on the rise yearly, with recent estimates placing figures as high as 70 billion Yen (about $700 million) in gross take. 

That's a whole lot of money, and much of it comes from parody comics that, at least in theory, violate all manner of copyright law and in a different country would likely be cracked down on hard. From the perspective of a publisher, it's intriguing to see the fruits born of essentially turning a blind eye to these fanzines, despite the prevailing wisdom that copyrights need to be defended aggressively.

Of course, this isn't to say that fan creators are getting rich off the backs of IPs they don't really "own". Statistically, the vast majority of doujinshi circles don't break even after the costs of self-publishing, which makes making fanzines very much a pastime of passion rather than profit for most. Still, it's lovely to see a thriving fan scene wherever one goes.

[Via Yaraon, picture courtesy Tokyo Fashion]

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Josh Tolentino
Josh TolentinoManaging Editor   gamer profile

Josh is Japanator's Managing Editor, and contributes to Destructoid as well, as the network's premier apologist for both Harem Anime and Star Trek: Voyager For high school reasons, he's called "u... more + disclosures



Filed under... #Comiket #doujin #fan art #industry affairs #japan #News



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