Manga Maniac

Is ComiPress dead? No. ComiPress is simply taking an extended break. When will this break be over? We do not know, but when we feel it is time to come back, we will. Until them, it has been fun!

So, seeing as how this will be our last post for a long while to come, below is a pretty long rambling by the ComiPress staff, about the site's history and various other things. For those who do not like to read long ramblings, just skip to the end.

ComiPress was originally created as a sub-site for Manga Jouhou April 17th of 2006. Manga Jouhou began seriously reporting manga news around the beginning of 2005. In the early 2000s, the online anime news was well-established, with heavy-weight news sites like AnimeNewsNetwork, AnimeNewsService, and many smaller sites and blogs.

The online manga scene was a completely different place. Aside from the occasional manga news found on ANN and ANS, there were no big sites dedicated exclusively manga news. There were some good places for manga fans though, AoD's manga forum was a great gathering place, review sites like MangaBits were interesting, and there were some blog-like sites such as Little Harlock's Newslog and Natsume Goushin Ryu Dojo. Later, Love Manga and Irresponsible Pictures became two of the first successful manga blogs to hit the manga blogosphere, they should not be forgotten (and it's a shame they never got featured in Backstage, although both came veeeery close to). Anyone still remember Animania Japan? Or a time when Brigid's MangaBlog was just a side blog for Manga4Kids?? A forum post by Isaac Alexander in the early 2000s describes perfectly what it felt like at the time (the post was made several years earlier than some of the references used here):

Dedicated Manga News Sites

Does anyone know of any websites on the web that is in english devoted to manga news? About the closest I could find were anime news sites.



Although Manga Jouhou was a major scanlation hub at the time, we'd like to consider it one of the first "big" English site to dedicate itself to manga news. The times at Manga Jouhou were great, and one of the many "great" moments we've had was when we reported the X hiatus situation before ANN did, which resulted in the following post by ANN's dormcat:

I asked the question to Ageha Ohkawa in person on behalf of ANNers, yet the interview article, finished exactly four weeks ago, is not yet posted (scheduled to be posted tomorrow)....

Seeing ANN got beaten by a major scanlation hub is really disappointing.

That, along with many other things, helped give us the will-power to continue working. In mid-2006, due to a difference in opinion on the future of Manga Jouhou, ComiPress split off and became its own site, with the goal still being "working toward a site that would be the ANN of manga." Of course, that probably never really happened. Had we stayed with Manga Jouhou, that may have been possible, but that's all in the past, and there's no point in thinking about "what if's."

As for ComiPress... we don't really know how big we were able to become, but it was always nice to hear people comment on how big and complicated our site seemed (when it was just a couple guys doing most of the work). ComiPress was originally powered by WordPress, when we launched as an independent site, we switched over to Drupal due to its flexibility and power.

We've worked on many exciting and fun projects and features, such as the collaboration feature on copyright issues, or the Backstage project (and we even got to interview FUNimation's Gen Fukunaga!), or Manga Zombie. The huge discussion on Death Note was more than amusing (over 6,000 comments). This post by Irresponsible Pictures' Patachu on MoƩ Anthropomorphism will always put a smile on our face:

I imagine that AnimeNation-tan would try to sneak a peek at ANN-tan's panties anyway, and then try to come up with some convoluted justification for his inappropriate behavior.

AoD-tan always has a lot to say but most of it is technical info and regurgitated press releases and everyone cuddles up to her because she gives really softball reviews.

ANS-tan keeps picking on ANN-tan for some reason, but nobody really admits to liking ANS-tan anyway because she has no permalinks and the site design is extremely minimal.

MangaNews-tan is often regarded as absent due to infrequent updates, but is sometimes seen with a vibrator because she can't stop thinking about yaoi scanlations for some reason.

Everyone is secretly in love with ComiPress-tan because she actually has the ability to translate Japanese articles, but the constant attempts to link to everything is stressing her out.

"Stressing out" is probably a pretty accurate description for the ComiPress team at the time, and we thought a three months break during the summer of 2008 would help re-energize us. How wrong we were. After tasting the sweet pleasure of "vacationing," the staff got stuck on permanent vacation mode, and, as you may have noticed, ComiPress's productivity dropped significantly.

So, instead of going through the process of a "slow-death," we figured it'd be best to just put the site on an "official hiatus." Manga news-reporting has taken up a huge chunk of our time for the last several years, and we've definitely learned a lot and met many interesting people. We hope we've somehow affected the scene through our work all, even if just a tiny bit. As one of our final "gift" to the online manga scene, we spent many hours this summer creating the Inside Scanlation project. Although the topic of the project is quite controversial, we believe the end result, whether people acknowledge or not, was a success.

So why? Why "cease operation" after spending all these time on this site? Perhaps the following statement by MangaCast's Ed Chavez in his Introduction to ComiPedia best describe our feelings:

...the work of a few people that just had to create lists. Something in our genetic makeup forced us to search the internet in search of data that most people will easily live happily without. For some reason, these contributors will go through the trouble of searching and translating information in other languages in hope of someday completing that potentially impossible task of collecting all data relevant to their passion.

That was written for ComiPedia, but can easily be extended to ComiPress (and Manga Jouhou from before that). A compulsive obsession, a need to create that "one-stop for manga," an encyclopedia of manga news, the need to create a comprehensive project based around our hobby that's better than anything out there. In a way, our goal has already been fulfilled, although we did not become "that" manga site, the online manga scene has undergone huge changes in the last several years. ANN, among other sites, regularly reports manga news, numerous blogs, big and small, dedicate themselves exclusively to manga.

It is now extremely easy to find not only Japanese manga news, but also manga news from other parts of the world. Although sometimes it's a little sad to think what we once provided as a unique service is now commonplace, I think we're also glad to have been part of this scene at one point in time (and hopefully influenced some of the sites out there now).

It has been a great pleasure to work with all the past ComiPress staff, I'd like to give special thanks to the following people:

- NeoSam: I haven't abandoned our projects yet! I promise! Just keep in touch through email...
- Neuroretardant: One of our best translators hands down, and helped a lot with the transition from Manga Jouhou to an independent site.
- T. Ohara: One of our most dedicated translators, how are you doing nowadays?

Think of this as some sort of hibernation, we don't know when we will be back, but if we do come back, rest assured we'll be back in full force. We will, however, continue to update and develop some of our side projects, including ComiPedia,, as well as the most recent Inside Scanlation. In the next few days, ComiPress will go through some and become more of an archive site. Comments will be closed in a few more days (all the old comments will still be available), so comment while you still can!

Last but not least, listen to this with us once more, which served to inspire us whenever we doubted ourselves (or got too lazy):