May 31, 2005

I wonder what would happen if Scott Pilgrim made out with another guy?

If there's one guy who knows his way with OEL manga it's Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley. Oh snap, Vol. 2 is just a week away!
"I wanted to apply a certain 'shonen manga' mindset to a more down-to-earth story," the cartoonist explained. "I mean, instead of crazy aliens or ninjas punching monsters, it's just this guy dealing with his new girlfriend's past. The whole idea is presenting a normal relationship story in this manga format, in that it's a series, the books are of a certain size, the cover design is pretty colorful and in-your-face, and he fights dudes."


What would we ever do without Flipped? This week's topic of choice is yaoi, focusing on Passion. (And for the record, I like bubble tea. Most days.)

But it doesn't stop there with guys totally doing it! Love Manga has the cover image from DramaQueen's latest offering, Arashigaoka.
Arashigaoka is a one volume manga that tells the story of Reona a college student who is working hard at the Narishiro family’s Tokyo castle. Ruling over this castle is the young master, Narishiro-sama. Amidst chores and strict obedience, who would have thought that Narishiro-sama’s discipline of Reona would lead to a fairytale romance?!
Comes with side stories too!

If you want to worship at the very feet of Hayao Miyazaki, the man himself will be attending the New York premiere of Howl's Moving Castle on June 6. And he's a rather reclusive sort, so take this opportunity if you can. It may never come again.

May 30, 2005

Memorial

Animania has the Top 10 rankings in Japan for the past week and all of April. Much like the US market on occasion, the weekly list has Fruits Basket on top. On the monthly list, the usual big-name suspects rule the roost: Naruto, Death Note (why hasn't anyone licensed this yet?! I'm putting my money on Viz), One Piece, Detective Conan / Case Closed and Prince of Tennis.

Does a web-based manga reeeeally need a theme song? Seven Seas thinks so. Too bad it's for one of their titles that I think is too generic and gimmicky for its own good (and a cheap copy of Genshiken besides).

And I missed this by several days, but the Onna! con in New Jersey will be holding a "Project Manga" contest in which aspiring OEL manga-ka can pitch their ideas to Paige Braddock (who herself is quite a major name in comics).

May 27, 2005

Buy and large

I'm not sure why CMX is targeting their Spring 2005 80-page sampler towards "mature readers." I've seen the first volumes of Madara and Monster Collection at the store, and if I had any maturity about me, I'd probably pick up something from Viz's Editor's Choice line instead

At Love Manga there's a link to a cute little article by Carl Horn. I know he can write way better than that, so I'm assuming he had to dumb this down for the magazine. But out of that overly simplified article comes a tangent in the world of advertising where marketers trying to reach out to women could take a few tips from how shoujo sells.

Gump @ Keromaru muses on shoujo as well, namely MARS and Fruits Basket, but also brings up Hikaru No Go because that one's just damn cool.

May 26, 2005

Clap and slap!

At first I thought it was just last week's headline. But make no mistake, Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 1 was the top-selling graphic novel on BookScan for the fourth straight week. The rest of the list:

2. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
3. Fruits Basket Vol. 9
4. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 14
5. Tsubasa Vol. 5
6. Descendants of Darkness Vol. 5
7. Sokora Refugees Vol. 1 (rather surprising to me since I didn't see THAT much of a marketing push for it)
8. Naruto Vol. 6
9. Fruits Basket Vol. 8
10. Shaman King Vol. 6

Is Del Rey's timing good, or what? First they come out with Nodame Cantabile right when it gets nominated for the Tezuka Prize, now it's Sugar Sugar Rune coming out in September hot on the heels of the anime release this summer in Japan. With Moyoco Anno behind it, this could be the series that reawakens the magical girl genre (which seems to have gone into hiding since Cardcaptor Sakura). Or not. But I bet it'll be cute.

Animania notes the upcoming Cromartie High School live-action movie. I can definitely see that style of humor working in live-action. (But how will they do Mechazawa?)

YACB has a well-thought-out review of some recently released (well, not so recently for Peach Fuzz) OEL manga. It's a pretty accurate picture of the field: right now, everything is in such an embryonic state that all these young English-speaking, manga-influenced creators have PLENTY of room to improve and develop. And it'll be interesting to see this branch of comics artistry grow as we're really getting in on the ground floor.

May 25, 2005

Incoming message from the big floating head!

It's Tokyopop's turn in the spotlight, as Love Manga reports on a slew of new TP titles. I have to wonder how Samurai Champloo will fare without the hip-hop soundtrack that made the anime such a hit. Webpages have also gone up for some upcoming OEL titles, including A Midnight Opera, Mark of the Succubus, Off*Beat (which looks quite promising despite the cheesy punctuation) and Psy-Comm.

ActiveAnime has a transcript of the interview with yaoi manga-ka Kazuma Kodaka, which took place during her signing in New York. Definitely worth the read for a creator's insights on yaoi and Boy's Love.

And if you're wondering if yuri might suit your tastes, head over to Lililicious where they feature plenty of girl-on-girl manga available for direct download.

Japan will soon get to enjoy the further adventures of Syaoran and Sakura through a Tsubasa video game for Nintendo DS. It's a RPG card-battling game, though, so it's unlikely that it'll make it to the much more action-oriented US game market ...

May 23, 2005

Now available at an Internet near you!

Some late-breaking news. Online previews are available for DrMaster/ComicsOne titles (in PDF format) and CPM titles (in Flash).

Range Murata, the mastermind behind the Robot anthology, will be at Anime Expo in Anaheim, CA during the Independence Day weekend. Naturally, DMP will be sponsoring his appearance and helping to promote the US release of his book.

Also, don't forget that AX will be running a 24-hour manga library during the duration of the con.

Numbers game

Let's hope that any publicity is good publicity, because the newly opened MangaLife.com website is totally getting reamed,
as Love Manga reports.

The most notable thing about Animania's Top 10 in Japan list this week is how many of these titles are equally popular in the States. The one-two-three punch of Negima!, Fruits Basket and Tsubasa is like a rundown of the BookScan list.

Speaking of which, Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 1 is tops on BookScan for the third straight week. Yes, this series really IS that popular. The remainder of the list:

2. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
3. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 14
4. Tsubasa Vol. 5
5. Shaman King Vol. 6
6. Fruits Basket Vol. 8
7. Sin City Vol. 1
8. Naruto Vol. 6
9. Ceres Celestial Legend Vol. 11
10. R. Crumb Handbook

In Germany, it's a different story though, as Tokyopop's Warcraft: Dragon Hunt places at #1. Ah, some folks do love their fantasy-manga-based-on-a-video-game ...

How do you make a small fortune in comics? Start with a big fortune. But not if you're among Japan's most popular manga-ka. Animaxis has the scoop on tax returns for the last fiscal year in Japan, which reports:
According to the electronic edition of the May 16 Mainichi Shimbun, excluding actors, singers, politicians, authors, and athletes, Rumiko Takahashi [Inu-Yasha, Ranma 1/2] (#2; 142.7 million yen in taxes), Gosho Aoyama [Detective Conan/Case Closed] (#5; 138.3 million yen), and Masashi Kishimoto [Naruto] (#9; 112.7 million yen) all fell in within the top ten tax-payers.

Doing a little quick-and-dirty math, this means Takahashi made US$ 3.64 million last year, Aoyama made US$ 3.53 million, and Kishimoto scored US$ 2.88 million.

May 19, 2005

Holding pattern

There's the economics. ICv2 reports that manga has reached a sales plateau in the US. Most publishers are either trimming down or keeping their release rates right where they are. There's also a list of the Top 10 manga properties, and while the usual titles sit up top (Fruits Basket, Rurouni Kenshin, Tsubasa), I'm pleasantly surprised that Imadoki! managed to sneak its way in there at #9.

Love Manga is the place to be for finding out about new stuff. From Tokyopop comes a handful of new releases, including the Pita-Ten Official Fan Book and He Is My Master (which sounds exactly like what you think it's about). Meanwhile, Viz has Bobobo-bobo-bobobo (I'm sure I missed a couple of bo's somewhere in there) and the Fullmetal Alchemist artbook.

(P.S. I'm really glad to see the term "OEL manga" being used! It doesn't sound nearly as clunky or stupid as any other term I've heard yet, and it uses fewer letters.)

Animania has a list of new manga anthologies coming out in Japan this month ... some of it is already stuff mentioned previously, but you just can't pass up something like Golf Athlete Comic.

Seven Seas is serving up the 2nd chapters of each of its four main titles for PSP download. For all you folks who feel more at home reading a screen than reading paper.

May 18, 2005

Trouble

The times, they are a-changin'. In Japan, lawmakers are hoping to tighten the laws on anime- and manga-based child pornography. As the Japan Times reports:
In Japan, making, distributing, selling and displaying child pornography are banned by the 1999 Law for Punishing Acts related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and for Protecting Children.

However, animated material is not covered by the law.

...

Hisashi Sonoda, a professor of criminal and information law at Konan University in Kobe, said pornographic child animation is different from material that contains real images of children.

"Using real children in pornography is an abuse, and those children suffer an additional ordeal as those materials are distributed," Sonoda said. "Comic books and animation computer games involve no real children as victims."

But Mitsue Kondo, representative of the Campaign to Stop the Abuse of Asian Children and to Safeguard Their Rights, argued that juveniles who watch animated pornography -- just like nonanimated pornography -- may develop distorted views about girls or women.

"Such a situation makes our society more dangerous to girls," she said. "We've got to think about it before talking about freedom of expression."


On a more pleasant note, Love Manga reports that the NYC autograph session with Kizuna manga-ka Kazuma Kodaka was a resounding success.

And on the other side of the same-sex coin, Yuri Revolution was held in Tokyo on April 17th, featuring plenty of illustrious names in the yuri field and even Matt Thorn himself. (Although, why did it take so long for the press release to come out?)

Animania reports this week's Top 10 in Japan, and it's an interesting one-two punch as the down-to-earth music school drama Nodame Cantabile rubs shoulders with the fantastical One Piece. Further down the list, the latest Eyeshield 21 is still selling well at #8.

And as always, Dorian has some sharp comments about the latest manga solicits from a retailer's perspective.

May 17, 2005

Strong enough for a man, pH balanced for ... another man

Believe it or not, there IS manga that DC can publish properly ... but it has to be by Jill Thompson, and it's Dead Boy Detectives, another sidestep into the Sandman universe. I've always felt kinda iffy about Jill's grasp of manga fundamentals, but she's absolutely solid about the stylistic elements that make manga fun.

Meanwhile, Seven Seas' renovated site is up and running with three web-based titles: Ted Naifeh's Unearthly, Captain Nemo (written by the creator of Blade for Barter) and Aoi House.

Kadokawa Shoten is just crazy enough to try publishing a 500 volume encyclopedia cataloging the works of Shotaro Ishinomori, creator of Cyborg 009 and a whole lot of other popular action series.

Not quite stylin' enough for "Manga Head" hair gel? How about keeping clean with Boys' Love Body Wash, courtesy of those creative but oh-so-slightly-insane folks at Akadot/DMP.

May 16, 2005

Blogshield 21!

As the hometown representative I felt it would be wise (as Chris has brought it up) to mention that San Diego Comic-con is coming! And I should probably remember to register.

From ACen comes news of several new Dark Horse licenses. As always with DH, it's quality titles and quality creators (Yoshitaka Amano up the wazoo), and folks are buzzing about the Crying Freeman licensed nabbed from Viz. (Ah, longing for Viz's old artcomix glory days ... )

New discussion at Manganews.net! "More and more, 'sexually explicit' titles appear in magazines aimed for younger girls and teenagers. How do you feel about the direction shoujo manga has been going? " This totally reminds me about an essay that was picked apart on the 'sphere a while back ...

So I heard there was this new site, called Manga Life, which everyone says is kinda blah because they don't cover anything that the blogosphere and fandom-at-large doesn't already cover, and the reviews are lame, but they got an interview with Australimanga OEL manga creator Queenie Chan, which is definitely worth a look, if only because she seriously is one of the best young artists doing the manga/everything-else fusion thing today. She deserves to be in Flight, that's how good she is. Actually, she can do better than Flight.

Gerry's paean to Philippine comics reminds us that there's more to comics in Asia than just Japan, Korea and China, and damn, some of it is GOOD.

Johanna is on a manga reviewing rampage! Watch out!

May 14, 2005

GO! Girl ~Koi No Victory~

Lots of blog action today!

Love Manga has the scoop on Go! Comi, the new manga imprint under Go! Media Entertainment. The newly licensed titles include Cantarella, Her Majesty's Dog, Crossroad and Tenshi Ja Nai!! (I'm No Angel!), which are all currently running in Japan. Summaries are included too. They all look like fairly conventional fare, but there's something about each one that seems promising. What really strikes me as odd, however, is that I've never heard of any of these, not even through Manganews.net, and they post scanlations of tons of stuff. But I do like finding hidden gems.

Chris @ 212 has meaty, in-depth reviews of new manga releases including Fullmetal Alchemist, MÄR, Kekkaishi, and Genshiken. (Wow, Viz really is getting a lot of attention these days ... )

Adam muses on the nature of the humor in Dr. Slump, and how there's a disconnect between what's appropriate reading for Japanese boys and American boys.

Pseudome forums has caught news that Tokyopop is holding a portfolio review at their offices in Los Angeles. Aspiring comickers in the SoCal area ought to mark June 7th, 2pm-8pm on their calendars, as their next chance won't come until Anime Expo (July 4th weekend).

By now I'm guessing everyone's had a good laugh at Garnier's "Manga Head" hair gel, a.k.a. the thing that makes Jason look like Yugi in that one Foxtrot story arc. Rivkah theorizes on what truly constitutes "manga hair":
Anybody notice that the hair in new manga coming from Japan lately has had a substantial diminish in size and outrageous-icity? Yet the majority of reading and watching material in the American market is from outdated manga and anime that has since lived it's due? It's like we're constantly 5-10 years behind.

IMHO, I think the whole "big hair" thing in manga and anime is a direct influence of the 80's in America migrating over to Japan in the 90's, and that the whole style has once again migrated back to the Western world. This is of course, simply a hypothesis, but if true, I shudder to think of it's potential effects on current styles.

But then it occurs to me: manga hair size is a reflection of the Japanese economy.
Mid to Late 80's -- Japanese economy is booming. Even American companies are trying to emulate them in hopes of replicating that success. Dragonball comes out. We learn that when you power up, your hair becomes blond and HUGE.

Early 90's -- Recession causes the POP of the Japanese economic bubble. CLAMP's earliest titles are released. Tokyo Babylon turns out to be a fashion showcase for Subaru Sumeragi and his ridiculous hats, but underneath it all lies a reasonable head of hair.

Late 90's to Turn of the century -- Economy recovers slightly but starts to tail off again. "Magical monster" anime and their manga counterparts take over the world. Huge hair looks like it's back momentarily, but everyone gets restyled when Digimon 02 hits.

Early 00's -- Another recovery after the Asian crisis of 1999. New paradigms in shounen include Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist. Revised principles of character design tell us: It's not the size that matters, it's how you spike it!


Wow, everything makes sense now.

May 13, 2005

Where are they going?

So what's next for Jake Tarbox? Chris @ 212 has an idea, but we're not allowed to know yet.

As for other former editors, Jake Forbes (ex-Tokyopop) is getting on board with Go! Media, a new manga publisher. Full details will be revealed at the Anime Central con this weekend. 'In addition to the news about the new company and titles, more details will be revealed on You Higuri and Audrey Taylor’s first collaberative manga, “The Almost Legendary Shannon”.' I wish I knew what to think of this, but I don't know any of these people ('cept for Jake).

Love Manga also has the GN sales chart for April. The usual suspects are at the top, but there's also a decent showing by the OEL fantasy-comedy Van Von Hunter (#76 overall, #14 among all manga). Oddly enough, Dark Horse didn't even crack the chart this time.

Ted Naifeh (of Courtney Crumrin fame) is at it again! Check out Seven Seas' online preview of Unearthly. They're remodeling over the weekend, though, so the site might be a bit iffy in the meantime.

Winners of the Kodansha Manga Awards have been announced. Of these, only Sugar Sugar Rune has been licensed (by Del Rey, who also licensed Tezuka Award nominee Nodame Cantabile).

I don't know how qualified US comickers are to do How-To manga books, but names like Lea Hernandez and Colleen Doran are certainly more reputable than Christopher Hart.

Cognitive Dissonance also links to an excerpt of Lea Hernandez' essay for TCJ's shoujo issue. Hot stuff. People ought to be PROUD of being able to draw like a girl.

May 11, 2005

But still no unedited re-release!

As everyone else already noted, Jake Tarbox has resigned as editor of CMX. I don't have any comment to make, as that about says it all.

A couple of hot links from Love Manga:

Broken Frontier checks out Hunter x Hunter and I''s from Viz's Shounen Jump Advanced line. Though I probably would have gone with Eyeshield 21. ;)

Publishers Weekly brings up the Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture catalogue, an in-print version of the art exhibit featuring Takashi Murakami and other "superflat" artists. At $60 a pop, you'd have to be serious about manga and other Japanese pop art to get this one.

More opportunities for UK comickers! The London MCM Expo is having a manga art contest. "All winners will receive their choice of either the Manga-Shojo or Manga-Shonen 24 colour professional Letraset Tria Marker collections, worth over £70 each."

Pro-level markers for free? Now THAT's a prize.

May 10, 2005

Full Frontal Alchemy

Was it any surprise that Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 1 was the top-selling graphic novel last week? How about the fact that it was also #13 for ALL paperbacks sold in bookstores? ICv2 also has the stats for other graphic novels:

2. Tsubasa Vol. 5
3. Star Wars Episode III
4. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 14
5. Fruits Basket Vol. 8
6. Naruto Vol. 6
7. Sin City Vol. 1
8. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 13
9. DNAngel Vol. 9
10. Sin City Vol. 2 (I'm assuming.)

Wow. Naoki Urasawa has just won a second Tezuka Cultural Prize, this time for Pluto (the previous one was for Monster). But was it just the fact that it's based on an Astro Boy story arc help to nab the prize ... ?

From the mildly-artsy mildly-geeky magazine Paste comes yet another one of those shoujo manga confessionals. It's a bit smarter than what you usually see in the press, though.

And Viz Media picks up the children's franchise Deko Boko Friends, which shows a promising branch out into other markets.

May 9, 2005

For girls, by girls

Animania has the Top 10 for the past week in Japan. Among the licensed titles include shounen standbys like One Piece Vol. 37 and Eyeshield 21 Vol. 13 ... also take note of Pluto Vol. 2, Naoki Urasawa's latest and a remake of a Tezuka story. So it's GOT to be good. (And yes, it's available through Mangascreener.)

Manganews.net throw a big meaty bone to the dogs with their second Forum Discussion, How do you feel about manga censorship and flipping?" I don't see how it can be much of a discussion if everyone has the same opinion, guys ...

Here's a seriously interesting article on how Japan's shifting economy has opened new career opportunities for women, especially in manga. Much has been said already about comics for female readers, but it's also remarkable how much manga is produced by female artists. Here's the clincher: Unlike many other fields, women enjoy ''completely equal opportunity'' in manga.

Did the release of Basilisk get delayed? Who knows! We'll see if anything turns up.

Del Rey is getting plenty of free press for their two new titles, geek-comedy-done-right Genshiken and music-school drama Nodame Cantabile, with Flipped offering a thoughtful analysis and Keromaru being more concise.

Love Manga would like to remind you that Bambi and Her Pink Gun is awesome.

On Completely Futile it's all about the Hideo Azuma Fairytale Collection, which seems like a pretty cool book although I'll probably never get my hands on it.

May 7, 2005

This blog is too bloggy for you to understand what I'm blogging about.

Linked from Love Manga is a rather hilarious diatribe on Boo hoo hoo, I'm Asian therefore America hates me Why Anime And Manga Will Never Be Mainstream.

The first two paragraphs after the introduction basically say, "Manga is TOO JAPANESE for America, so they'll never accept it." How the hell is something "too Japanese"? What, does it exceed the allowable ninja quotient or something? Did the sakura petal count go over the limit? Oh, wait, I see now --

The only way that "manga" can be popular in the USA is if we adopt it and make it our own. Which means that Americans make Manga. Zoleta makes a valid point that current OEL manga is "very poor" and trying "too hard in emulating the Japanese." But 99% of anything is crap anyway, and I'll bet this conveniently ignores works by U.S. comic publishers that don't license manga, because there's no possible way that places like Oni Press *coughScottPilgrimcough* or AiT/Planet Lar *coughDemocough* or Viper Comics *coughDaisyKuttercough* could EVER put out manga-influenced works that successfully steer clear of manga cliché. So let's just pretend those kinds of comics don't exist, because they'd, like ... undermine the argument or something. It's just so much easier to take pot shots at Megatokyo and Princess Ai Have Way More Merchandise Than My Fanbase Actually Deserves because they're such blatant manga-copycats.

And then there's some bitter ranting about how America is ZOMG TOTALLY RACIST and they hate Asians and have historically tried to drive them out. This is mostly true, yes, but if you look specifically at the manga/anime fandom, and the younger generation in general, this is fast becoming an obsolete mindset. Okay, if you go to deepest darkest Texas or something, you'll probably still get funny looks for having black hair and black eyes, but Texas is ALSO the other manga/anime capital of the U.S. besides the East and West Coasts. One of the biggest cons of the year (A-Kon) is held in Texas, and further up north there's also ACen in Illinois, so if you're trying to tell me that Middle America is still hostile towards Asian pop culture, well, quit pretending that the entire Mountain and Central time zones are occupied by cowboys and country singers. If this were the folk-music fandom we were talking about, I would have a different outlook (they've got Yo-Yo Ma now, but it's not like he plays banjolin or anything), but the fact is, lil' Billy Joe is prob'ly leanin' 'neath Maw's ol' apple tree, reading the latest volume of Rurouni Kenshin. Admit it.

Sure, one could try to accept this new youth movement that enjoys East Asian entertainment, but I guess it's easier to hide in that smug, self-imposed Asian-American bubble and act as if the suits in Hollywood and their crappy sitcoms and movies are somehow representative of the entire culture. Or act as if we still live in the 1950's. Or insist that Japanese comics are too goddamn inscrutable for the Western mind to comprehend. It gives people something to be angry about.

Oh, and there are some choice lines in this too:

"It is too Japanese, and not American enough for most people to accept it. After all, how many Americans eat rice? I eat rice all the time because I a Filipino." What is with the whole Eating Rice = Asian-ness thing? What do you think Mexicans put in their burritos? Are Risotto and Paella secretly descended from East Asian dishes? Why the hell am I even quibbling over culinary matters? Yeah, so maybe the Japanese school year starts in April and people take hot baths together and female pop singers can't have boyfriends or they get fired. So what? The West has ALWAYS been fascinated with foreign cultures. It happened with Central Europe being totally into Turkey back in the late 18th century. Then again at the turn of the 20th when Britain was totally digging Japan. Now we're at the stage where America thinks Japan is totally awesome, and trying to wish it away by saying "Japan's too Japanese" is just crazy talk.

"For a country that prides itself for being so open, we still have a long way to go." Actually, this is something I do agree with. On a very large scale. But really, just wait for the crusty old people to die off and soon Joe Fanboy Who's Been Following Naruto Since Middle School will be the CEO of a major entertainment or publishing company. Heck, Tokyopop is already run by folks of that sort. The fandom has experienced a serious boom in the last few years, but just wait until those schoolkids either grow out of it or turn their hobbies into careers. We'll see what becomes completely mainstream then.

And my favorite: "Just like I can't see Shojo manga get very popular because most of America don't care for teenage angst." Ah, so that's why no one is really into TV shows like Dawson's Creek and The O.C.. Americans don't like teenage angst. Riiiiight.

There's also a pile of Viz covers (scroll down for the images! Wataru Yoshizumi has stolen my heart again, that bitch) and a link to the slightly toned-down Shôjo Beat website.

ANN has a list of nominees for the Tezuka Cultural Award, which is kinda like manga's Eisners except they're actually respectable, and the only licensed title on the list is Nodame Cantabile. Is it really that good? I may have to check it out now.

May 5, 2005

Closing Time

On the AoD forums (registration required for this thread) they're talking about the shutdown of a major yaoi fansite. The reason, according to Manganews.net: "an alleged underage websurfer gained access to the site, and the parent of the websurfer contacted the webmistress and asked her to close the site." Kind of a sad way to go ...

Also on the website front, Jagged*Team notes that Raijin Comics' site has just been taken over by a net-squatter, so it looks like they're really closing up shop for good.

Jagged*Team also reports a solicitation for a manga-fication of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Well, this could turn out to be really dumb or really cool. We'll see.

Studio Tavicat, one of the pioneers of OEL manga, has a HOTT exclusive preview of Shutterbox Vol. 3 (due out August 9).

Shawn @ Worlds Within Worlds finds an insightful article (via TCR) about manwha history and how it relates to the recent death of manwha artist Go U-yeong.

So USA Today (not that anyone should be taking that as serious journalism, mind you) did a feature on comics in the classroom ... now, articles like these come up every few weeks, but there's always one thing that bugs me. They almost always point out how teachers use comics as a stepping-stone to "proper" reading. Why do they treat comics like some kind of training wheels for prose? Why can't comics be an end in themselves?

May 4, 2005

Well, you know what? Comics don't like girls either.

Today's headslap moment:
Dirk Deppey, managing editor of The Comics Journal, wrote a fine solicitation for their upcoming shoujo manga issue. The text:
'Girls don’t like comics.' It was one of the hoariest clichés of the last 15 years in the American comics industry, but in the last three years, Japanese manga has exposed it for the lie it always was. Shoujo manga -- women’s comics -- have become the engine driving the Asian comics invasion, and have amassed a large and enthusiastic female following. The Comics Journal #269 is devoted to exploring and explaining the phenomenon.

And Previews magazine's rendition thereof:
"This issue is devoted to exploring and explaining the “Girls don’t like comics” phenomenon."

The Old Boys' Club of comics strikes again.

(But wow, check out the cover!)

Do you like the boys making out with other boys? Kizuna creator Kazuma Kodaka will be doing a book signing at Kinokuniya in NYC.

And this was reported a while back by several sources, but yeah, Del Rey got Pastel.

Don't forget that Free Comic Book Day comes up this weekend, and Viz and Tokyopop will have free sneak-peeky type books as always.

Does City of Heroes really need manga- and anime-inspired characters? I don't know, I've never played it.

May 3, 2005

Tezuka Case Files

So, I hear that some book about some dude is coming out pretty soon.

We've got Tezuka on the mind today, as Lyle brings up the awesomeness of Phoenix and IGN declares Adolf to be Required Reading. (I found it very moving myself.)

David's latest column at Flipped has ten reasons why Kindaichi Case Files rocks, and he also stumbled upon an article (subscription required, but you can read the first paragraph or so) where the Japanese Economic Foundation talks with Stu Levy of Tokyopop. That's definitely something when the US manga business even makes Japan sit up and take notice.

May 2, 2005

A Numbers Game

Love Manga reports a changing of the guard at Tokyopop. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Stuart "D.J. Milky" Levy steps down, and co-founder Mike Kiley takes his place.

As The Beat notes, Kiley started out as enterprising anime fan at the University of California, Irvine, back in the mid/late 90's -- in fact there's probably still a defunct webpage for the UC Irvine anime store lying around somewhere. (And I believe Levy was also a fellow schoolmate of Kiley's, but don't quote me on that.) In fact, a lot of key players in the California fandom came out of the UC system and their network of anime/manga clubs: Jerry Chu of Bandai, convention impresario Mike Tatsugawa, and lots of others who work with California-based businesses Tokyopop, Geneon, Bandai, DMP, Viz, and there are probably some smaller ones I've forgotten. It's like some crazy fanboy/fangirl family.

Speaking of Bandai, Jerry Chu has some vague words about the company's manga initiative -- which boils down to having various Japanese manga-ka create new works based on existing anime. Kind of the opposite way of how things are normally done, but we'll see what they have planned come August.

ICv2 reports that Fruits Basket rules the Bookscan charts again this week. Rounding out the list:

2. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
3. Naruto Vol. 6
4. Sin City Vol. 1
5. Rurouni Kenshin Vol. 13
6. DNAngel Vol. 7
7. Bleach Vol. 6
8. Sin City Vol. 2
9. Tsubasa Vol. 5
10. Inuyasha Vol. 21

Just bubbling under was Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 1, which has plenty of momentum at No. 11.

And then there's Animania's Top 10 chart for this week's tankoubon sales in Japan. Not so many licensed titles, but One Piece is on top and Tenjho Tenge took a quick dive.

AoD reports that Tokyopop's latest licenses, Kingdom Hearts, Lights Out and Spiral, will be out on 11 October, 2005.

May 1, 2005

Lucifer?

Sequential Tart finds the King of Hell manwha to be very underrated. (To be honest, I never bothered to try it myself, the title alone turned me off ... )

And Aku-Tenshi has released a new Harry Potter doujinshi scanlation of the boy's-love type, although it won't be available for direct download just yet. In the meantime, you check out the other Potter doujinshi they've released so far.