This Week in Manga: 8/8-8/14/09

It’s another slow week for news in general, though there were some cool announcements and interesting discussions.  There’s still some SDCC fallout too.  That should start petering out though as NYAF starts to loom ahead.

Video Recap of Ikki Panel at SDCC

Over at the Ikki Blog, Viz has put together a nearly 4 minute recap of the Ikki panel at SDCC.  It’s no the same as being there, but it’ll give you an idea of what went on.  A full recording of the panel would have been much cooler though.

Would You Pay for Web Content?

@Yuricon and @Mangacast/@Vertical_Ed had and interesting conversation about paying for content online which started with @Yuricon posting a link to an article about it.    It starts on Aug 8, 2009 at about 11am.  This is a topic that has been coming up more and more as more newspapers close down.  We’ve been used to getting news cheap/free for so long, that the question of “is it possible to create a site that people would pay for the content?” is very relevant.  Pay sites have failed for the most part so far, with the Wall Street Journal being on of the few successes.  But, as was pointed on in the original article, businesses often pay for that subscription, not an individual.  It’s a targeted base, and that may be the only way to get it to work.  Keep general news free, and then have people subscribe to get more detailed content and editorial views.  The conversation between gets bogged down near the end, as they debate more about the format, but it’s a moot point as far as I’m concerned.  A “blog” is just a content management system.  Anything can be put on a on CMS.  Format is irrelevant compared to the content it’s serving.

That’s Entertainment!

David Welsh answers a question posed to Comic Reporter Contributors; “Name Five Comic Properties Should Be Adapted into Broadway Musicals” and proceeds to do so, for manga.  I love musicals myself.  I listened to them instead of the radio while growing up and managed to miss most of the Disco era (hallelujah!).  And anything can be a musical, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  The Chaser’s War on Everything even had a segment called “If Life Were a Musical” where the guys would suddenly burst out into song at a store or in the airport.  So why not manga?  Of course, the Japanese have beat us to this, with several popular manga getting stage musicals.  Bleach, Inuyasha, Sailor Moon, Fuuma no Kojiro and even Saint Seiya! (I so want that!) have had musicals made of them.  Could we really top that?

New Title Coverage

Deb Aoki of the About Manga blog posts extended coverage of the new titles from CMX and Tokyopop, with synopses of the titles and cover pictures, and even some quotes from both teams about the titles.  David Welsh takes the Tokyopop titles to the next step with a poll asking which of Tokyopop’s titles are readers most looking forward to.  Check out Deb’s article and then vote in David’s poll.  I agree with a lot of the commentors, that while it’s nice that Tokyopop has all these new titles, I would really prefer to see them finish a lot of the titles that have been left hanging.  Makes you wonder if they still have the licenses.

This Post Provided By…

Back in January, apparently there was some debate over whether or not reviewers should add the “Review copies provided by publisher” tag to their reviews.  @LostPhrack found the links and posted them on Twitter.  It started here and continued here.  When I first started reviewing, I thought it was proper to disclose if the manga was received from a publisher.  Most of my first reviews were my own titles, and getting review copies was a big deal.  It was like a validation of my reviews, that they were liked enough that a publisher would sent me more to review.  But the whole argument that “Since professional reviewers like Ebert doesn’t have to, so why should we?”, is just plain silly.  It’s a choice, not a requirement (for the moment), and to rail on about whether it should be included is right up there with the “sub vs dub” or “comic vs manga” arguments.  There’s no right answer and to get annoyed by its presence seems absurd.  As a reader, I didn’t really care one way or the other if it was there.  It won’t matter to a good reviewer who provided the book.  They’ll still give their honest opinion.

Tokyopop Completes OGM Titles Online

On Wednesday, Tokyopop announced that they are going to serialize several of their unfinished original manga titles online only.  In the official press release, the titles mentioned are Psy*Comm, Boys of Summer, Earthlight, Kat & Mouse, Pantheon High, Undertown, Gyakushu “and others”.  The releases start with Psy*Comm vol 3, and a new chapter will be posted every Wednesday.  The schedule is posted through January 2010.  I’m really glad Tokyopop finally decided to do this.  My youngest will be happy to see Kat & Mouse finished, and I’ve avoided getting Pantheon High since there didn’t seem any hope of seeing it finished.  Knowing it will be finished online does make the first two volumes more attractive.  I just wish My Cat Loki could have been included.

Online Previews

CMX – Deka Kyoshi

NYT Best Seller Manga

Wow!  The Vampires are taking over!  Vampire Knight v7 swoops in to take over the #1 spot from #4, with Rosario Vampire v8 right behind, kicking Naruto v45 and Fruits Basketv23 back to #3 and #4 respectively.  Tokyopop adds to the vampire madness with the debut of Bloody Kiss v1 at #10.  And keeping with the blood-sucking theme, Viz’s Black Bird v1 shoots in at #9.  Fullmetal Alchemist v19 gets beat down to #8 while newcomers D.Grayman v14 and Otomen v3 appear at #5 & #7 respectively, kicking the last of the Del Rey titles off, making this a Viz/Tokyopop list with a ratio of 70/30.  Viz rules the roost once again.  If you believe the NYT in the first place.

What I’ve Been Reading

  • Rin-ne ch. 13-16

One thought on “This Week in Manga: 8/8-8/14/09”

  1. After reading through some of the comments on both of the posts you linked to regarding the whole “disclaimer or not” debate on comp copies, I felt like I had to chime in. Since I’ve worked on the other side of the table as a public relations pro, I’ve always felt the need to fully disclose whether or not I got something for free. When I worked for a company that provided comped meals for restaurant reviewers, I always felt that reporters should disclose that. It makes a big difference to readers, especially since you want to know if a professional journalist is getting kick-backs – which is what comps essentially are. Besides, larger newspapers won’t even allow reporters to accept gifts and instead reimburse them for the cost of a meal. Lastly, there is an inherent difference in service between a comp and a obtaining something on your own. One you have to work for to obtain, the other comes to you easily.

    And, honestly, I don’t care if I look like an amateur – hopefully, my reviews speak for themselves. Since most of what I review is either something I bought myself or obtained from my local library, I feel compelled to let people know that I receive comp copies from some publishers so that they can judge for themselves whether or not that has colored my review. And, to make it easy for them to spot that difference, should it exist, I even tag those entries. As a PR pro, transparency and ethical behavior is really important to me, especially since, as an industry, we’re judged harshly when we don’t uphold these standards (see anything described as “spin”). Why shouldn’t online journalism – which is what blogging is or trying to be – be held to those same standards?

Leave a Reply