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Publisher to offer new manga artists up to $15,000

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TOKYO >> Shogakukan Inc. will offer new manga artists who debut their work in its weekly magazines up to 2 million yen (about $15,000) per series as part of a financial package to support struggling new mangaka (manga artists) amid the rising costs of living.

Those who release their first manga in Shukan Shonen Sunday or Shukan Big Comic Spirits would qualify for the special compensation. The payments are expected to draw new talent.

Producing serialized manga in a printed weekly magazine is labor intensive and requires a mangaka to hire about three assistants and rent a workspace. “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 that with the payments, the company aims to make it easier for new mangaka to launch their careers. He called mangaka “the treasures of a manga magazine.”

More than 10 mangaka debut each year in the two magazines. The first serialized work by a mangaka financed with the special payment is slated for, at earliest, next spring.

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