August 31, 2005

Yotsuba and blogging

How awesome is Yotsuba&? Awesome enough to beat NANA on the Japan Top 10 list according to Animania. And for once, it's not totally a shounen world, as surprising titles like Rozen Maiden (#5) and Honey and Clover (#6) sit around in places normally reserved for ninjas and supernatural spirit fighters.

Love Manga is the first to point out Rivkah's new Culture Clash column. Watch out. I would not be exaggerating in the least to suggest that she will do more to transform comics in the next 5 years than what took Eisner, McCloud, and Tezuka decades.

But where do all the crazy people come from? David @ PreCur has found an absolute gem here. "Manga are not comics," says Pat O'Neill. Gosh. Better send out the memo to all the Japanese bookstores that label them as "KOMIKKU" then. And maybe he's got a point: manga isn't the salvation for comics in America. OEL IS! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Residents of Portland, OR can check out Range Murata's art exhibit at Compound Gallery, starting September 1st. And not a moment to soon for the release of his Robot anthology.

August 30, 2005

Pop or otherwise.

Today on Love Manga:
- ICv2's Bookscan List. This week's surprise is Hana-Kimi Vol. 7 dropping in at #4. Must be getting good. Same old same old for the other titles, although Sin City is back in there too.
- ALC Publishing is looking for contributors to their Yuri Monogatari anthology. C'mon, I know some of you folks out there like the girl-on-girl action too.
- If you have more free time than I do, stop by the Anime/Manga Analysis Project and help suggest some favorite titles for nitpicking and theorizing.

Although still not totally officially announced, Viz's new and recent licenses with release dates have been corroborated by showing up on the Right Stuf website (so says AoD).

They may not publish manga specifically, but many fans of Japanese culture (pop or otherwise) know of Stonebridge Press, who have been bought by Yohan, Inc. of Japan. Yohan is the leading distributor of foreign-language publications in Asia, so an international deal of this sort is sure to expand Stonebridge's channels.

DrMaster gets into the originals game with Journal of the Vampire: Claws of Darkness. The graphic novella series (64 pages per issue at $5.95) will be produced by DGN Productions, a studio based out of Fremont, CA and comprised mainly of veterans from comics and video gaming. (They're not naming names, though.)

The multimedia buildup continues with an Afro Samurai video game due out from Namco.

Hey, you know that Satoshi Kon guy? The director behind anime masterworks like Perfect Blue and Millennum Actress? Now you can read some of his earliest manga thanks to Kotonoha, who have released Kaikisen which dates from 1990. See how genius is made.

And welcome home Shawn!

August 29, 2005

Dramatic

Pardon me a moment of fannish indulgence as I say AAAHHHHHH HONEY AND CLOVER LIVE-ACTION MOVIE YAY. Sho Sakurai of J-pop boy band ARASHI will play the lead role of Yuuta Takemoto in this adaptation of the hit shoujo manga (and currently running anime).

Must be a slow news day at Mainichi's English-speaking department. Here's another look at Boys' Love, and not nearly as informative as the article they ran on it last time.

In more other BL news, DramaQueen announces a couple more titles, Challengers and Lies & Kisses.

Opinions don't come much more reputable than Johanna, who's highly interested in Go!Comi's upcoming titles.

August 28, 2005

Hear Say

How much would you pay for a fairly decent doodle by CLAMP? Does a couple of million yen sound okay to you? But before you go off about the rabidness of fandom, the money does go to charity -- Japan's branch of the Make A Wish Foundation, in this case.

Some interesting rumors from AoD. Amazon has some dates for 2006 releases, including Absolute Boyfriend, Baby and Me (both currently serialized in Shôjo Beat), recent licenses Claymore, Black Cat and D. Gray Man, and three that I wasn't aware had been announced yet: Read or Die*, Aishiteruze Baby and Golgo 13.

I will repeat, as AoD has mentioned, that this is UNCONFIRMED right now but for Amazon to have the info means there's a good chance of it being true.

*Not to be confused with Read or Dream, which shares some of the same characters but has a different story and setting.

August 27, 2005

State of the Comics

Some commentary on manga in general lately. Tom Spurgeon of the mighty Comics Reporter wants to see what happens next, while Mark at Focused Totality thinks the flag-wavers need to quit bellyaching and just support good comics. Chris at 212 dissects the market as it stands right now.

And David of Love Manga reports on interesting goings-on at the AoD Forums, including new yaoi licenses for DMP and some flip management for Dark Horse's Super Manga Blast anthology.

August 25, 2005

Fushigi Mystery Box

For the obsessive fan in us all: Genshiken figures! "Fans can collect them all to create a fun-filled diorama of the Genshiken meeting room, but they may have to engage in a little trading to come up with a complete set since the figures come mystery boxed, which, of course, is the only way a true otaku would have it."

I don't know if I want to start calling it OEL Anime, because that's just going to start a whole 'nother catfight about stuff like Teen Titans, and the "Asian-inspired" but highly accomplished Avatar: the Last Airbender, so just go watch Seven Seas' No Man's Land Flash animation and see what you think.

Some seriously good selections in the August Previews Review. Oh man, the complete Barefoot Gen at last.

Dorian has a fine collection of links to gay manga for actual gays.

August 24, 2005

The Hard Sell

HAY KIDS FREE COMICS Get 'em at TangognaT's manga giveaway.

Love Manga picks up some opinion pieces floating around today. At CBG's International Geographic is the issue of kids who read manga at the store and don't pay -- and how you can get them to buy it. Johanna responds. Then there's Jake Forbes's Manga Fan Service musing on how the tightening competition and licensing speed in the industry is, perhaps, diminishing the influence of fandom buzz. (But not eliminating, certainly not.)

MangaBlog picks up a well-researched article on shoujo at AlterNet, with particular emphasis on Viz's Shòjo Beat initiative.

Well, it didn't take long for Sony's cellphone manga news to engender a cliched headline.

Rest of the manga industry: pwned?

Because Tivome says it's a good idea ...
Hey, if she jumped into my arms, I wouldn't stop her.
Morning Musume singer Reina Tanaka (L) and ex-Musume Rika Ishikawa (R) hanging out with Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, the titular character of Baron: the Cat Returns.


They did it, guys.

Animania's got the Top 10 for July and every single title on there has been licensed in the US.

By the same company.

1. One Piece - Viz
2. Hunter x Hunter - Viz
3. Fullmetal Alchemist - Viz
4. Death Note - Viz
5. Detective Conan / Case Closed - Viz
6. D. Gray-man - Viz
7. Prince of Tennis - Viz
8. Konjiki no Gash!! / Zatch Bell! - Viz
9. Ouran High School Host Club - Viz
10. Eyeshield 21 - Viz

August 22, 2005

Call me beep me!

This was important enough to fill up 10 pages of Google News search results: Sony expands mobile phone manga selection to 300 titles. According to the article, they've signed deals with 10 popular manga-ka, and "viewers pay 315 yen to download five manga titles a month by an artist of their choice."

All I really need to blog I learned on Love Manga:
- Animania's Weekly Top 10 has a pretty good balance with Negima, NANA and Tsubasa on top. Surprisingly, Hachimitsu to Clover (Honey and Clover) cracks the list for the first time (at least in the time I've been following it) at #5, bolstered by the success of the very well-done anime.
- a logo change for OEL publisher Seven Seas, who now have their iconic ship at full sail and moving with the waves.
- Flipped looks at two recently-released OEL manga, Bizenghast and Off*Beat, and anticipates Dramacon with its promising preview.
- And The Great Curve sits down with Becky Cloonan to discuss her upcoming projects. Hey, I'm definitely up for Jason and the Argonauts having a huge battle with Mad Max and some dinosaurs.

According to MangaBlog's layout renovation, I fail at blogging.
Day 1: Don’t launch until you have a theme
One of the fastest ways to chase first-time readers away is to have the same bland layout as every other amateur blog on the planet.
Oops. I've been on default ever since I started.

... Eh, I just picked it 'cause it worked. I'd actually wanted to put up like a little mascot character in the background for months, but I kept forgetting to do it, and I have no idea what a good mascot for the site would look like.

And Manganews.net just gets cooler. Their interesting link for today: a Nodame Cantabile image CD, featuring Brahms' 1st Symphony in C minor conducted by Shinichi Chiaki. Now if they could get Megumi Noda to record a Beethoven piano sonata, I'd be set.

August 21, 2005

The trouble with manga

Students, meet Professor Monkey Punch. Apart from Kyoto Seika University, more Japanese universities are adopting the manga artform into academia. (I, for one, would not mind in the least studying how to draw with Leiji Matsumoto. Sure beats those production-line How To Draw Manga books.)

David @ Love Manga points to a handy manga primer on Comics Should Be Good, essentially outlining 5 of the top sellers on the Bookscan list. For more entertainment, though, read some of the gems left by manga non-fans in the comments section:
I might be more inclined to check one out, though, if I didn't have to look at manga art.

Really, that's the trouble with manga.

It's manga.


Been getting a lot of interesting tidbits from Manganews.net lately. This one is about Samurai 7, a futuristic adaptation of Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai which will begin serialization in Magazine GREAT. I'm gonna guess that it's based on Gonzo's anime of the same name.

August 20, 2005

"... and Kishimoto did it better."

ANN has posted up some early manga panel reports from Otakon, including Go!Comi and Tokyopop. The only new news is another OEL title, Bettina Kuroski's My Cat Loki (you may remember her from RSOM 2). TP also continues to place emphasis on originals in general and reminds us that there are many ways to be a successful artist, none of which involve copying Naruto.

Love Manga reports some personnel changes at Dark Horse and their strategies on manga, with some good commentary too on how publishers are continuing to figure out what part(s) of the market to cater to.

New Tohan manga rankings off Manganews.net. Same stuff as Animania, more or less, except with some positions switched around.

August 19, 2005

Another picture post, because this really deserves it

CLAMPtastic


Moto Hagio contributes some fanart (gosh, calling it fanart makes it sound so ... pedestrian) an illustration from Clover in Vol. 11 of CLAMP No Kiseki. Which is kind of like having God come down and give you a pat on the back. (Please excuse the scanning blurs; I didn't want to tear my copy apart.)

This week's ANN Answerman column includes a nice little strategy for manga beginners who are daunted by the selection in bookstores. Although the question comes from someone with an anime background, it's advice that works for all readers. However, I'd add iComics and Comics Worth Reading as a couple of other review sites that offer manga opinions from outside the anime circle of influence. And then the methodology:
If you don’t have a lot of money to throw around, limit yourself to one purchase a week and if nothing comes out one week, try buying the first volume of a new series. If you’re not sure where a series is going, give it a max of four volumes to hook you. If you find that the story is going nowhere, stop buying it.
Sounds about right. I'd fudge on whether four volumes is being too lenient on a series for it to get good, but personal mileage may vary.

August 18, 2005

Aces high

Does the world really need a Fruits Basket card game? Well, at least they're also configured for use as regular playing cards. Maybe merchandisers wanting to capitalize on a popular manga or anime series should make regular playing cards, instead of having to reinvent the rules every single time. I hear it works great in Japan.

From Manganews.net: Could it be? Starting this September there will be a re-serialization of the shoujo classic SWAN.

August 17, 2005

This week's cute girl post

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Aoi Miyazaki and Mika Nakashima in a clip from the upcoming NANA movie.

It's the usual Animania Top 10 List. NANA wins, and out of the 6 licensed titles, 5 are held by Viz (as Love Manga notes).

Meanwhile, new studio Go!Comi releases another preview, this time for Crossroad.

Dorian offers a retailer's take on manga solicits from the August Previews mag.

Yuricon's April event in Tokyo was important enough to be profiled by Japan's fledgling Yuri-Hime magazine. Publishing arm ALC also announces the premiere of their original illustrated yuri novel Shoujoai ni Bouken at Otakon in Baltimore.

AoD is trying to get the word out on The Times of Botchan, a unique manga that recounts the end of the Meiji period through the eyes of ... a novelist.

KEFI has just put up several chapters of Densha Otoko for download at their site. The quintessential fanboy meets a cute girl on the train, tries to figure out how to approach her, and there is a lot of, uh, chatting on the Internet. In comic form. Somehow, this sells like crazy in Japan.

August 15, 2005

International Relations

Love Manga corrects the direct market Top 50 Manga list because Diamond likes to play shady math.

Off of Manganews.net: Apparently, some of Japan still hates South Korea, as evidenced by the intentionally controversional manga titled Hating Things South Korean. But it's in the WaiWai section of Mainichi, so I don't expect it to have much artistic import.

August 13, 2005

Anyone got $1200 lying around?

An interesting one from Manganews.net: eBook Japan is now selling the Osamu Tezuka Complete 382 Volume Set. Filesize: 6.5 GB. Price: 119,805 yen.

And an early report on this week's Japan Top 10 courtesy of Tohan:
1. Naruto Vol. 29
2. Bleach Vol. 18
3. Gintama Vol. 8
4. Karekano Vol. 21
5. Konjiki no Gash!! / Zatch Bell!! Vol. 22
6. Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 11
7. Ichigo 100% Vol. 17
8. Lovely Complex Vol. 11
9. Onmyoji Vol. 12
10. Steel Ball Run Vol. 5

August 12, 2005

Behind the concrete gatepost

Asahi Shimbun recounts the remarkable story behind Barefoot Gen, Keiji Nakazawa's autobiographical masterpiece about the aftermath of the Hiroshima bomb. Nakazawa offers some commentary of his own as well.

ICE Kunion announces four new series, including The Antique Gift Shop (the cover alone looks quite promising) and Chiwoo, which will release in November; meanwhile, One Thousand and One Nights (based on the original) and Cynical Orange will come out in December.

August 11, 2005

The link that keeps on giving

Apparently responding to The Rivkah Post is now the trendy thing to do, as evidenced by Gump's confessional and Chris' stabby comeback ("The other perspective on that post is that Tokyopop is abusing the creativity and zest for a bunch of young creators with some truly fucking terrible contracts that are going to disillusion as many kids wanting to create comics as writing and drawing third-tier Marvel characters ever will..."). Actually, Abhay's response in the comments section is even sharper:
not to be the Grinch, but if i spent long hours sitting at a desk, not getting enough exercise, worrying about wrist injuries or eye strain or back pain(all taken care of by that awesome comics health care package), nevermind the toll on sleep and relationships, trying to hit deadlines, drawing and drawing and endless drawing, dealing with editors and creditors and chasing paychecks and who knows what else, and for YEARS, and on my "vacation" if you want to call it that(where you get to see what happens to older artists a couple tables down, and... ouch), if someone whose FIRST comic hasn't even come out wandered over, after a long day of dealing with freakshow Wizard Con fans and the scraping grinding awful nosebleed noise of those things, and asked me about my PASSION, then complained my response wasn't enthusiastic enough...

...well, i'd think that was just super.


So here's what really happened to Raijin:
after they refunded the money of everyone that suscribed to the magazine, they had to send everything back to japan to be resold in cheap markets, the last day of work in the raijin warehouse, everyone raided the warehouse and took whatever they could like complete collections of "the master editions" of hokuto no ken, boxes and boxes of loose manga and whatever they could got in their hands, they were fired already so they took advantage on that.

Shueisha lost a lot of money and they simply closed both companies in japan and USA, so the "Hiatus" was more like an "shameful out of business" and they are not returning anymore....
Courtesy of Manganews.net.

Comic Book Bin has a solicit for new Harlequin manga Girl in a Million, with a preview image.

IGN covers more OEL and they like Bizenghast too. Although Marty would probably scoff at being called "fantasy."

August 10, 2005

Southamerimanga?!

Yes, even Toronto's weekly alt-mag eye notices that girls are reading comics.

IGN tries some OEL manga ... and likes it! Sokora Refugees is unexpectedly entertaining, while MBQ is deemed "one of the best manga I've ever read," with no snide remarks or asides about the use of the word "manga." That's what I like to see.

So if Felipe Smith went to high school in Buenos Aires, does that still make his stuff "Amerimanga," or is that "Southamerimanga"? :p

Go!Comi offers a preview of Her Majesty's Dog, which is kind of like ... how do I say ... a much crazier and present-day Inu-Yasha.

Love Manga has the details on the 2nd IMAF (International Anime and Manga Festival).

Lyle @ Croc Caucus continues his SD Comic-con musings, this time focusing on the prevalence of yaoi and shounen-ai at the con.

And David of PreCur picks his five desert island manga. And Amecomi, too.

August 9, 2005

Wishful fandom thinking

This one came up late last night after I posted. In the ongoing Misshitsu (Honey Room) obscenity case, the Tokyo High Court has officially reduced the punishment for Shobunkan president Motonori Kishi to 1.5 million yen and no prison sentence. Kishi and Shobunkan still plan to appeal the case at the Supreme Court.

I know SOMEONE is going to enjoy hearing about this: from ANN (and originally reported at Moon Phase), a Keroro Gunso / Sgt. Frog movie is planned for next summer.

Also reported at ANN, Tokyopop announces their acquisition of Shohei Manabe's gangland thriller Smuggler. Between this and Blame!, it looks like Tokyopop is now going after action titles with a harsher, darker attitude. (Of course, Arm of Kannon / Birth and Battle Royale fit that bill already, but these are .... a couple more.)

Among Love Manga's catch-up there's a link to Go!Comi's approach to translating sound effects. It is incredibly tricky business, and reading GC's blog entry provides great insight into the kind of decisions manga translators and editors have to make in adapting work into English.

Also, watch out for a little blip on the radar who, with sheer creative drive and willpower, will be the next Scott McCloud. Transforming comics.

Cloistered away in Love Manga's comments section is also an enlightening essay from former Marvel editor C.B. Cebulski. Perhaps the manga-superhero chasm is not as deep as we think, and much of it is caused by fans only seeing what they want to see.
Most Japanese creators are superhero fans and WANT to work on Marvel characters. They contact me and ask to draw Wolverine or Blade or Spider-Man. The appeal of working at Marvel to them is the chance to finally draw the superheroes they know and love. Yes, the typical manga fan here hates Marvel, but most creators in Japan love the Marvel and DC heroes. Masakazu Katsura is a Batman nut. Masashi Kishimoto loves Hellboy. Yasuhiro Nightow would kill to do Venom. CLAMP adores Blade. But if and when we hire these creators to do work on the characters they chose, the fans will always revolt, not realizing that this is what their favorite manga creators want. That they’re trying to combine their love of their own manga artform with the U.S. characters they are fans of. So you see where we find ourselves in a bind?
I still wonder whatever happened to the supposed CLAMP/Marvel project, or if that was just Cebulski making an off-the-cuff remark (like the time I mentioned Marmalade Boy being owned by the publisher that's with Viz now and somehow it got conflated into a rumor about Viz grabbing the rights to the series), or even just wishful fandom thinking.

August 8, 2005

Even celebrities read 'em!

Are people more attracted to websites and links if there are cute girl pictures involved?

komikku beeeeeeam.


Former Morning Musume idol singer Mari Yaguchi with her manga shelf of intimidation.

Heeeeere's Animania with this week's Top 10 in Japan. 5/10 licensed in the US (#1 Naruto, #2 Bleach, #4 Karekano, #6 Konjiki no Gash!! / Zatch Bell!!, #7 Fullmetal Alchemist). It also points out that Vol. 21 of Karekano is the last one, so all of you who are currently collecting the US version, you can set your budget for the rest of the series.

AoD points out Viz's revamped Shôjo Beat webpage with a very interesting Media Kit containing basic info on marketing strategy. I think we need go no further than the governing principle pointed out on page 11:

Japanese = Cool


A bit blunt, perhaps, but it says it all.

Other fun facts off the SB Media Kit:
Estimated Audience: 100,000
Core Audience: Females 13+
Estimated Media Age: 17
Estimated Female/Male: 75%/25%

The Hindustan Times also reports on the power of Japanese Coolness by pointing out their rise as a world fashion leader.

Understanding yuri may come a little bit clearer thanks to this informative primer on yuri from AfterEllen.com.

DramaQueen publishing announces another license, yaoi manga Mandayuu and Me, scheduled for release in early 2006.

Kotonoha stirs the pot once again with a couple of new Comic Cue one-shots. Children Can't Choose Their Parents is a disturbing funny short comedy about a man whose girlfriend is a chicken ... while Boiling Head is a nutty send-up of all those overblown pseudointellectual SF stories.

August 5, 2005

F for Fruits Basket

I just accidentally lost my entire post by rashly clicking on a link, so today you get the short version.

ICv2's Bookscan summary for the week. The lead-in actually complains about Fruits Basket doing so well. FMA Vol. 1 overtakes Revenge of the Sith as the top graphic novel of 2005.

Tokyopop adds several new titles to their website, although most of them have been announced previously. A handful of OELs I hadn't heard of yet, though.

August 4, 2005

Sometimes I wouldn't mind being the creator of the next Naruto ... well, the part where I earn millions, anyway.

Animania blogs more about Comiket 68, giving a handy schedule and con guide for anyone who might actually be in Japan. The schedule of doujinshi sales is interesting just to see the fandom landscape.

Nicely condensed by Love Manga is a three-part interview with ICE Kunion Studios, who hope to make their mark with manwha. (Wow, that's more alliteration than I should be allowed.)

And then there's some sort of Precocious Curmudgeon Rampage as Newsarama forumites ask each other: "Would you buy manga if the art didn't suck?" In the comments section, John Jakala suggests you could run the manga edition of Fanboy Rampage! (Otaku Rampage?) But watching superhero fans make asses of themselves over manga isn't nearly as fun as watching actual manga fans make asses of themselves. Sometimes I like to read hilarious ideas from kids who want to enter Tokyopop's Rising Stars contest.
"look if the great tp don't it others do this story is the next dragonball/naruto


creator of naruto gets 50 pages i can't"

Such creative vision! I swear, I am not making this up.

August 3, 2005

How do you like your fandom?

Love Manga has the latest on the eigoMANGA/Viz incident. Big thumbs-up to David for keeping us fully posted on things. Adam Arnold adds industry insight in the comments section:
Oh, I believe [eigoMANGA's] blog site. I know from past experience that the only thing VIZ is doing is farming out work to a third-party so they can stay on top of their multiplying workload. This ISN’T and shouldn’t have been press release worthy and VIZ’s press really took issue. They probably knew, but the idea of outsourcing doesn’t make for positive PR for the company doing the outsourcing.

As I said on AnimeonDVD’s message board, outsourcing isn’t new. It’s where most of your freelancers come in. The problem is, most major companies are reducing their rates or going to flat rates to reduce costs.


Johanna also takes a well-informed dig at the whole mess. "Personally, I'm never surprised to see these kinds of bobbles involving them, since I had problems a while back with them spamming and managing mailing lists in an amateurish fashion." Yep, I remember the mailing list fiasco too. In fact, that was the event that put eigoMANGA on the map. Hm.

Meanwhile, there's also the ongoing dialogue about how the Big Two might get into the manga market. Queenie makes a fresh point about how much of manga's appeal comes from the multimedia nature of the fandom. I confess, I got into manga through anime, or at least, entered the anime and manga worlds concurrently. (I started reading Oh My Goddess! around the same time I first signed up for an anime club.) Then there's also the part where I dabble in figurine-collecting, but that's something I usually don't talk about unless someone seriously wants to know.

Actually, thinking back on it, it was some early OEL that got me interested in full-out manga and anime. Anyone remember Anime Artists Headquarters (AAHQ)? It was a webcomic site with lots of "online manga," produced by English-speaking creators with varying degrees of proficiency. (My favorite was Controversial Jack.) Although now defunct, AAHQ boasts some illustrious alumni like Bryan Lee O'Malley (Scott Pilgrim, Lost at Sea) and Josh Lesnick (webcomics Wendy and Girly). There's probably tons of other comickers today who passed through AAHQ at some point ...

Not only did Fruits Basket place in USA Today's 150 bestselling books list, but so did Tsubasa (105th).

Of course, it takes a comic-book movie to get the press wires buzzing. Reuters has the basics on Samuel L. Jackson signing for a live-action version of Takashi Okazaki's Afro Samurai, while Zap2it and The Malaysia Star have a few more details.

IGN loves Yotsuba&!, and so do I.

August 2, 2005

How to Sell Manga: Capes and Spandex

Manganews may have gotten to the Top 10 list first, but Animania has the cover images. Ohhhh Hot Gimmick Vol. 11 has a Subaru/Akane cover! That one's a KEEPER.

Love Manga is first to blog on the Viz/eigoMANGA team-up, and I must regrettably follow up with the announcement that the news is false. From ActiveAnime: "It seems that someone is playing a prank with eigoMANGA since the information that we posted also appears on their website." Um.

However, LM does have the very true news that DMP has licensed Gorgeous Carat Galaxy, another yaoi title.

LM also points to* a two-part piece on how the Big Two superhero publishers might capitalize on manga. I don't know whether to trust a writer who opens with "I don't read manga." However I do raise an eyebrow at the idea (mentioned in jest, of course) of Fruits Basket underwear. Do you think we should tell 'em about the body pillows?

*btw, read the comments section. The bit with the Tokyopop Origin Story is awesome.

Hidden within Bookslut's play-by-play Comic-con report are some very good points about manga. Firstly: Girls these days are devouring manga; it's the boys' market that isn't growing at all. But do girls read anything other than manga? Is their manga readership leading to other comics? No one seems to have an answer. Near the end there's also a write-up of the "Lost in Translation" panel, which sums up some interesting points.
Most of the translators on the panel seem to prefer the methods used by companies like Viz, where "base translators" render the
Japanese into English, and English language writers revise it to good writing standards. Some disdain is reserved for an unnamed company (at least one person in the audience is pretty sure the name begins with "T") that has begun hiring people who will do both the base translation and the English rewrite; the panel's view is that the two are very separate skills, and it's unlikely that you're going to find someone equally skilled at both.
And then there's a wonderful anecdote about the life of a translator: he had started on a project translating children's graphic novels, but when that project was killed, he got moved to the publisher's adult line. "Frankly, I don't like to do porno, but the money was too good and there weren't that many words."

August 1, 2005

Number of Shôjo Beat issues until they caved and threw in a How To Draw section: 2.

Holy snaps! Manganews.net is the first to get to Japan's Top 10 manga for the past week:

1. Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 11
2. Lovely Complex Vol. 11
3. Hot Gimmick Vol. 11 (haha, three 11's in a row)
4. Emblem of Roto Vol. 1
5. Parfait Tic Vol. 15
6. Nagasarete Airantou Vol. 6
7. Crayon Shin-chan Vol. 42
8. Ookiku Furikabutte Vol. 4
9. Eve no Nemuri: Yasha Next Generation Vol. 4
10. Team Medical Dragon Vol. 9

and then they jump on the bandwagon and proceed to open the OEL can of worms. This particular thread is very much pro-Japan, as it samples a part of the community that's more fixated on the perceived inherent coolness of Japanese culture, rather than comics as a whole.

Love Manga stops by Newsarama's interviews with Ben Dunn (zomg you guys have to see this) and Fred Perry, whose work with Antarctic Press makes them the old-school of old-school when it comes to OEL. My personal favorite Antarctic title? How NOT to Draw Manga. :D

Will David ever write a column that doesn't interest me? Not bloody likely, and this week's Flipped covers sports manga. Gotta love the other David's reaction to it too. As for me, I'm reminded of what I wrote in my own review of Eyeshield 21 ... "Think about the 60,000 spectators at a typical American football game and ask yourself: how many of them are interested in comics, much less manga? Then think about the 20,000 attendees at a high-profile anime con and ask yourself: how many of them are interested in professional sports, much less football?"

... Y'know, when this year's NFL season starts, I'd like to start a fantasy football team just so I can call them the Deimon Devil Bats. Ya-HA!

And ... the next annual 24-hour Comics Day has been moved to October 7, 2006. Just as a side note and public service to all those willing masochists.