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Issue 62 - November 2009

Monday 30 November 2009 by Ina Doublekova

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Diversity in book consumption in Europe: do we know where we are?

No, we do not know everything. But we know much more now than we knew last year and the year before.

After having analyzed the dynamics of translations over the last 20 years in the Diversity Report 2008, the team of Content and Consulting has now taken another approach by comparing bestsellers list across Europe and looking into the market careers of European fiction authors in the Diversity Report 2009. The result is a report that is multilayered, highly informative and full of surprises. One of them is that reading preferences - even in the bestsellers segment! - seem to be much more diverse across Europe than one would assume. The report even goes that far to suggest that there is much more readers’ curiosity and openness to new names than publishers and agents seem to imagine.

The report was presented at a meeting during Buch Messe Wien in November where a small group of experts had a lively discussion, gave critical feedback and suggestions for the future. One can still comment on the report here.

Thanks to Erste Stiftung’s support the large gap in data and analyzes of translations and books in Europe seems less scary now. Next step would be to have a larger group of policy makers and stakeholders joining in the debate.

A comics weekend in Sofia

Comics events are rare in the city of Sofia. International comics events are even rarer. (JPG)

In mid October the Red House for Culture and Debate in Sofia dedicated a whole weekend to mark the last phase of the international European Comics Studio project launched by Hi8us – Birmingham in 2008. The Red House hosted an exhibition of the works of the 11 Bulgarian participants and a separate exhibition of the Bulgarian Nakama club for manga and anime. There was half a day of workshops with trainers of Hi8us, presentations of various artists and a closing discussion on the future of comics in Bulgaria. Next Page had a presentation of its comiXculture program and Yana Genova moderated the closing debate. However, in the absence of publishers and periodicals (other than for kids) Bulgarian comics art lives mostly a digital online life. This is true for publishing of comics but also for discussing it. The online debate on the future of Bulgarian comics that took place in one of the most popular online communities was much livelier and heated than the “real” one in the Red House.

For a usefull further reading on Bulgarian comics see here