It is necessary to know. Located in the Galerie de l’Étape, which faces the Place d’Erlon, a pedestrian shopping street in Reims with its crowded bar terraces and fast-food restaurants that never stop setting up, the Bédérama bookstore has preferred to take the alternate route. In this gallery which does not look like much, bathed in pale lighting and an endless row of vacant cells, this place of the 9th art which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel.
At the beginning of the summer, Valentin Fauvet, manager of the bookstore, set up this new space of more than 250 m2 and reinvested the floor where he is setting up a new space for manga figurines, comics and even part “food” with drinks, biscuits and sweet candies with confusing flavors, made in Japan: “The idea is really to get a bonus, you come and buy a volume of One Piece and you leave with a poster. »
This space, which must be officially inaugurated at the end of September, already reflects the manga madness that has taken over bookstore shelves. In France in 2022, one in seven books purchased was a manga (source: GFK Institute).
At Bédérama, the observation is striking: “One in two books that I sell is a manga. Since the confinements and the implementation of the Culture P, demand has surged. A priori, for 2023, we should be on similar figures,” says Valentin Fauvet proudly.
For the thirty-year-old, whose arms will soon be entirely covered with manga and comic book characters, the expansion of the bookstore is also a way of meeting growing demand from readers. “As we are the only specialized comics bookstore in Reims, we are obliged to have stock on the shelves. For the manga part, these are quick releases, with some having a volume every three months. »
All social topics covered
With nearly 7,500 references, also including graphic novels, children’s and/or adult novels, manga continue to do well in this “corridor” bookstore. With a low price (mangas sell for around 7 euros), driven by the sector’s locomotives such as “One Piece”, “Naruto”, “Attack on Titan”, Japanese comics also allow Valentin Fauvet to seduce an increasingly heterogeneous public while deconstructing certain preconceived ideas.
“Mangas are not just about fighting, blood and sy love stories, they cover all social issues, there are also very harsh subjects like , incest , the violence, we are no longer in the cliché of manga for adolescents. »
While waiting for the coveted “One Piece Night”, organized by Glénat editions which will take place on September 29 at Bédérama to celebrate the release of volume 105 of the saga, those who have always loved reading “but still prefer when there is images” says: “Comics seller, it’s not too bad”.