I think you misunderstood me there, Pedro. I didn’t say manga gave bad stories, nor did I claim they were only for kids. I was merely pointing out that the claims that kids aren’t reading comics doesn’t hold true because they are, in fact, reading manga.
And my other point was simply about price: You could make the claim that manga are more popular because they are cheaper, as you get a book with about 200 pages for about 10 bucks. But with many manga, they’re pretty quickly read because they use a decompressed storytelling* - for example, I can get through a volume of GANTZ (a series I like a lot) in about the time it takes me to read to issues of an average Marvel comic, I’d guess, and certainly it takes me longer to read through an issue of Saga that costs about the same.
So, overall my point is simply that I don’t think price is the deciding factor in why kids don’t read American comics but do read manga.
(For the record, I love many anime and manga, and would never suggest they’re somehow lower quality than American or (gasp!) Belgian comics. But they do work differently in some ways.)
*decompression in American comic book was also something that was hotly debated for a while after Ellis nicked some decompressino techniques off of manga, and used them to great effect - but some people felt ripped off because “nothing was happening”. I never agreed with that.