The big news in the manga blogosphere today is EW’s announcement about the upcoming Twilight graphic novel from Yen Press. Adapted by Korean artist Young Kim with Stephanie Meyer “reviewing every panel,” the character designs so far resemble manhwa versions of the film actors without the over-the-top movie-star perfection. Though comments on the EW article online are mixed, this announcement is undoubtedly a cause for many fans of the book to rejoice over yet another means by which to experience the source material.
For manga/manhwa fans… maybe not so much. Buzz in the Twitterverse was heavy on despair. My take on it is pretty simple, though, and overwhelmingly positive. This is likely to be a huge moneymaker for Yen Press (provided, as one reviewer mentioned, teens actually buy the books instead of just reading them in the aisle at Barnes & Noble) and that can only be a good thing.
After all, despite the popularity of series like Naruto and Bleach, manga is still a niche market. Something like this has the potential to reach a huge and powerful demographic, introducing countless teenage girls (and their moms) to comics while also putting their money straight into the pockets of a manga publisher. From my perspective, this is 100% win! Will those same girls take the opportunity to check out other manhwa or manga titles? Maybe, maybe not. But Yen Press will still have their money, giving Yen a whole lot to spend on licenses for stuff the rest of us might dearly love to read. Where is the downside, I ask you?
Okay, there is one. We’ll all have to review it. :) Still, that seems a small price to pay for making a manga publisher rich (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself). Having never read Twilight, I admit I cringed at dialogue from the book quoted in the EW article like, “His dazzling face was friendly; open, a slight smile on his flawless lips. But his eyes were cautious.” On the positive side, since the GN artist can simply show us Edward’s dazzling face and flawless lips, we should not have to hear so much about them. Right?
So, friends, what do you think?