Manga Con without manga
Last time I went to a Salón del Manga de Jerez (Manga Convention in Jerez) was about 10 years ago, due to my absence all over these years, and even though I have made the most of this Salón edition, I have missed many things, that I consider basic in a place like this.
I get that the Salón Manga de Jerez is now called Salón Manga, Comic Con and Gamer Con, but I think that if we translate to percentages for the presence at the Salón, respectively it would be: 5%-5%-40%… and a 50% of merchandising.
Not only they got rid of Japanese Culture stands and workshops (the closest thing to it now are workshops for children, like learning about other cultures would be just for children nowadays), but they have also forgotten the essence of the Salón: comics and mangas.
Now, instead of what, you can see everywhere T-shirts, key-rings and all kind of accessories. It is like you went to a Motor Show and you only find stands with car key-rings. Ridiculous, right? Well, that’s exactly what happens today and that in some way I report on here, because those that make money with merchandising mustn’t forget that they do thanks to mangas and comics, that before thinking on making money with derivated products of the work itself they have been created, written and illustrated to show the world an idea, a story and a universe, and that’s what always has attracted the public that usually comes to this kind of events.
them (comics/mangas and their fans), all those mugs, Pokémon-shaped caps or T-shirts full of leitmotivs wouldn’t exist, and I think that no one should forget it, starting by the merchants that bring their stands to the Cons and shouldn’t accept this sort of ‘evolution’ manga is having, although I rather see it like a regression, a destructive period in this field. Because when everybody will be fed up with figurines, posters and trading cards, they will look to the oher side and stop going to Cons, while when someone is fed up with a specific manga, they don’t quit everything, they simply look for a new story or author to be captivated anew. That’s the spirit of the Salón del Manga, which must be kept no matter what and not letting oneself buy off in this period of excesive consumerism.
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