Fully Booked

Fully Booked graphic novel section.

Returning to Manila after more than a decade, I've notice the significant growth of the Graphic Novel sections in bookstores. As with the U.S. this growth can be attributed to riding on the immense popularity of manga. A satellite market for American publishers, most manga in the Philippines are English language translations published by the likes of Viz or Tokyopop. What I find surprising is the strong presence of alternative comic books. The Fully Booked branch at the Rockwell Center had a graphic novel section composed of several shelves larger than the manga section. Much of that section was composed of Marvel and DC trade paperbacks. Even most Borders Books branches I've been to didn't have as large a collection of works from smaller publishers. Who in Manila reads these books? What's the extent of the overlap, if any, between the manga, alternative and superhero audience?