Manga publisher to give up to ¥2 mil. to debuting mangaka

The cover of an issue of Shukan Shonen Sunday weekly manga magazine

Shogakukan Inc. will offer manga artists who debut in its weekly magazines up to ¥2 million per series as a part of a financial package to support struggling new mangaka amid the rising cost of living.

Those who release their debut manga in Shukan Shonen Sunday or Shukan Big Comic Spirits will be able to receive the package. The financial support, which is separate from the prize money given to the most notable new mangaka, is expected to attract attention and bring in new talent.

Having a serialized manga in a printed weekly magazine is said to be very demanding compared to an online magazine, especially for new mangaka as it is difficult to take time off.

To produce about 20 pages a week, a mangaka needs to hire about three assistants and rent a work space.

“Many new mangaka cannot support themselves solely on the income that their manga brings in,” said Kazunori Oshima, editor-in-chief of Shukan Shonen Sunday.

Takanobu Ishida, editor-in-chief of Shukan Big Comic Spirits, said the company plans to make it easier for new mangaka to debut by offering them financial support to create a more comfortable work environment. Ishida said mangaka are “the treasures of a manga magazine.”

More than 10 mangaka will debut in the two weekly magazines a year, so at least ¥20 million is expected to be given away next year. A serialized work created by a mangaka who was supported by the financial package is set to start next spring at the earliest.