Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Collectors of HCM City are hunting for comic series published in Việt Nam 20-30 years ago.
In 1992, Kim Đồng Publishing House, the leading publisher of children’s books in Việt Nam, released Japanese manga Doraemon by Fujiko F. Fujio, which was considered the first comic series published in the country.
The series quickly became a hit phenomenon among Vietnamese children in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Trần Bảo Ngọc, 36, of Biên Hòa City in Đồng Nai Province, said that she was in primary school when Doraemon was released.
“I was jealous of my friend who could buy the book,” she said. “When I was secondary student, I could save my small amount of money to rent or buy books. I was very happy.”
Ngọc said when she was a child, there was no internet, so manga books were special. “I am now grown up and can earn money. I want to find those old manga series that remind me of my childhood.”
Bùi Tuyền, a comic book collector who moved to HCM City from Hà Nội, said many people could pay millions of đồng to buy rare and popular comic series.
Dũng sĩ Hesman (Hero Hesman), a Vietnamese science-fiction comic series created by artist Nguyễn Hùng Lân from 1992 to 1996, is selling for VNĐ8-10 million (US$343-429), while Doraemon published in 1992 costs VNĐ5-6 million ($214-257).
Tuyền, who began collecting comic books five years ago, said: “The hunt pushed the price of old comic books two to three times higher than last year.”
Hot manga series like Dragon Ball in 1995, Sailor Moon in 1992, and Chibi Maruko-chan in 1992 are priced from VNĐ1-3 million ($43-129) per series, while last year they cost from VNĐ600,000-700,000 ($25.7-30).
She said that social media has made it easier to find old comic books.
Thái Long, an owner of Khải Vinh Book Store on Trần Nhân Tôn Street in District 5, said: “Two years ago, people came to old book shops on Trần Huy Liệu Street in District 10 or Trần Nhân Tôn Street to buy old comic books. But now, the trade mostly occurs on social networks.”
Dozens of websites and Facebook pages are used to sell or exchange old manga.
Dozens of new feeds on these pages every day introduce comic series from countries like China, Japan, South Korea, and Belgium.
A series sells for VNĐ100,000 ($4.3) to more than VNĐ1 million ($43) according to its fame, the number of volumes, and the published year of the series.
“The market for old comic books is in chaos. Many books are sold at prices that are too high. Before buying books, people should research Facebook pages and websites to choose the right ones,” Tuyền said. — VNS