This Week in Manga 7/18-7/24/09

I know this is late, but SDCC threw everything off schedule.  Everything will back by this week.  I hope.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Otakon ran this weekend.  Did you notice?  There were no announcements from manga publishers, and really not a lot of announcements in general.  Whoever planned for this years Otakon really blew it.  Placing it between the biggest industry cons was a serious mistake.  Attendance was barely changed from last years numbers.  Even with this economy, AX showed a reasonable rise, and SDCC sold out at least two months sooner than last year.  So it’s not that people aren’t going to the cons, they just need more time in between to replenish cash reserves.  Otakon, stay in August.

Girls and Fandom

Robot 6 Blog

The bloggers over at Good Comics for Kids (including me) had their say regarding the backlash by fanboys against Twilight in particular and girls in fandom in general over at the Robot 6 blog.  I’m not going to comment on the discussion (as I already had my say), but I noticed some things in the comments about other women who felt this discrimination in local comic book shops, and I just have to say it really surprises me.  I never experienced any kind of disdain growing up at the shops I went to or at any con.  I guess that’s why this whole backlash was a shock to me, that such attitudes could still persist in the 21st century.  It’s really sad, and just proves the joke: “What’s the difference between men and wine?  Wine matures.”

Kate Dancey has her last word on the Twilight/Girls and Fandom discussion at her blog.  She rounds up a lot of the comments and gives some great commentary.  She gets right to the heart of the matter, that genres directed squarely at girls/women get no respect because they are for girls/women.  This is totally 19th century thinking!  Can we please move on?  Genres for guys are not inherently better just because they are written for guys.  If anything they can be less interesting and generic that anything in a women romance.  Get over your “macho-manliness” and try something that doesn’t have raging muscles, panty shots or impossibly big breasts.

Woman Make Comics T-shirts

In the wake of all the women bashing, this idea came up on Twitter and became a reality just before SDCC.  The design was created by Deb Aoki of the about.manga blog and can be purchased here.  Proceeds go to worth causes Friends of Lulu, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and the Cartoon Art Museum.  It was great watching the creative process of the shirt design over on twitter with lots of people giving input and throwing sketches up on twitterpic.  So, go buy one!

What’s Cooking?

Found via @precur on Twitter: Robot 6 asks if cooking manga can make it in the US and includes a quote from Deb Aoki:

“If the epitome of this type of manga can’t make a beachhead in America, that is worrisome.”

Why?  Because Americans aren’t interested in Japanese food, it means the whole genre is a failure?  No, it’s just means Americans aren’t interested in sushi or ramen.  Also the abrasiveness of the characters can be a real turn off.  I certainly was for me.  That doesn’t mean another title can’t still capture American interests.  I’m interested in how the Sake volume will sell.  I think that might spark more interest than raw fish.

Online Previews

CMX – Oh, My Brother! v1
CMX – Ballad of A Shinigami v1

Weekly Shonen Jump Manga previewed in English

Shueisha, the publisher of Weekly Shonen Jump in Japan, has posted previews online of two new manga in english.  These two series, Kagijin and Anedoki, join Dragon Ball (exclusively in color) and One PieceOne Piece and Dragonball are starting from the beginning, so this is another good place to read manga, including fresh titles from straight from Japan.  You will need Windows to download and install their player.  More on these when I get a chance to read them.  But it’s totally cool that the Japanese publishers are jumping into the online arena and giving manga fans a chance to taste their wares.

Shonen Sunday Goes Live

As promised, the Shonen Sunday site went live on Wed. 7/22.  It premiered new titles Arata: The Legend, Hyde and Closer, Maoh: Juvenile Remix, and KekkaishiArata is done by Yuu Watase and is hopefully better than Absolute Boyfriend was.  I’m hopeful since it’s more fantasy than modern day, and her fantasy is so much better (IMO).  Hyde and Closer looks interesting too.  How can you not be interested in a teddy bear smoking a cigar?  Kekkaishi is a title that Viz has been publishing for a while.  It’s gotten a lot of good reviews around the mangasphere, but hasn’t seem to find an audience outside it.  Maybe making the chapter available for free with help it.  I know I’m gonna check it out now.

More Titles Join Children of the Sea at SigIkki

Finally, Viz has fulfilled it’s promise of more titles at it’s Signature site.  Now joining Children of the Sea, you can read Bokurano Ours, Dororhedoro, Saturn Apartments, and I’ll Give It My All…Tomorrow.  There are still four more titles to come, which the website promises they will be online after SDCC, 7/30/09.  Of course, the two I’m most interested in reading, Kingyo Used Books and Afterschool Charisma will be in the later batches.  It’s just great to see Viz taking this chance with so many new titles, and the readers will decide with of these will get print editions.  I think this is a great concept that doesn’t leave the publisher in the lurch with a title they thought would sell, but doesn’t.  The audience will tell them if it will.

Borders creates teen section for graphic novel & YA novels

According to ICv2, Borders is creating an instore-like boutique for teens featuring YA novels and graphic novels inside their Superstores called Borders Ink.  Converting over the sections originally created for CD and DVDs, this section will put all these teen books in one convenient place.  I think this is a terrific idea, as searching our local Barnes and Noble is a pain for my nearly teenage daughter.  But I also hope they don’t limit them to just the romance/fantasy YA titles.  There are a lot of great sci-fi and mystery titles that would fit a YA section as well.  It would be nice to be able to just go to this section to find then instead of searching through the whole sci-fi/fantasy section just to find those few.  Yes, there are some teenage girls out there who are into Twilight, and would like things like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or other sci-fi titles.  If youre going to do a boutique, do it for everyone.

San Diego Comic Con – Days 1 & 2

I didn’t get to most of the manga panels at SDCC.  There’s just so much to do and so little time.  But fortunately, there were plenty of other people covering the events.  Brigid at the Manga Blog has a good roundup of the Viz and Yen panels as well as license announcements from Thursday and Friday.  With all that I’ve been hearing about Bakuman, I’m definitely glad I’ve got my sub for Shonen Jump set until 2011.  Two of the Yen Press titles are no surprise.  Blacker than Black and Romeo x Juliet have anime adapations available, so it was a forgone conclusion that the manga would be licensed, and most likely it would be Yen, since that seems part of their strategy.  Over at Anime Vice, Gia covers the Best & Worst Manga of 2008-09 Panel that she also moderated. I can’t say I have any disagreements with any of the titles in any of the categories. I can’t say I’ve read a lot of them either, but of the ones I have read, I’m in total agreement with their placement.

Vertical for the Win!

The Eisners were awarded Friday night, and the winner of the Best US Edition of International Material (Japan) was Dororo, published by Vertical.  Of all the the titles nominated, I thought this was the best choice, not just for the story, but because it is also the most accessible.  It’s short and has a story that can be picked up and enjoyed quickly.  It’s too short in my opinion, but still a great story.  So Congradulations to Vertical!

I just want to add that I think Amy Reeder Haley was robbed by not winning anything for her work on Madame Xanadu.  The arc she drew was fantastic and deserved the recognition.  I got the first few issues because I was interested in her work, and it kept me going through the entire run.

Manga to Anime

Nana, Honey & Clover and Inuyasha Now Playing on, iTunes

In keeping with their online strategy, Viz has put up episodes of shojo anime Nana and Honey & Clover, and shonen Inuyasha.  While Inuyasha has already been shown on American TV and the episodes are available on DVD, you can now watch the first 13 episodes streaming for free at hulu.  On iTunes, which allows you to download the episodes, the first episode is free until 8/31.  Nana (episodes 1-11) and Honey & Clover (episodes 1-12) are brand new, and have the same deal available.  I liked the Nana series better than the Honey and Clover.  Being a musical series, hearing the songs was really cool, and they got great singers and songs to do the music for the series.  Definitely check out Nana if you like musical titles or jpop/jrock.

NYT Best Seller List

Fruits Basket and Naruto switch places, finally giving Tokyopop the #1 spot they’ve been hoping for.  The newest Fullmetal Alchemist #19 jumps onto the list at #5 (I really need to catch up on this series again) and Inuyasha #38 leaps in at #9.  Dark Hunters is holding on, falling two places from #5 to #7.  More people should check this book out.  It’s not full of angst and melodrama like other vampire titles, and the vamps aren’t your typical vamps.  I loved it, and so should you!

What I’ve Been Reading:

  • Shonen Jump Volume 7 Issue 7
  • Shonen Jump Volume 7 Issue 8
  • 07-Ghost Volume 1

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