This Week in Manga 10/3-10/9/09

One Piece in BIG Bites?

Found via Twitter.  @swanjun found these entries for One Piece at Simon and Schuster.  At 600 pgs each, and combining three volumes a piece, they sure do sound like VizBIG editions, even if the solicitations don’t actually say so.  With the speed up of One Piece coming in January, this is the perfect time for Viz to put out BIG editions of the series.  Catching up is a lot easier with the BIG editions than trying to hunt down individual volumes, especially for a series that has been going since 2003.  One Piece premiered with Shonen Jump.  However, a look at the Previews solicitations makes these appear to be bundles rather than BIG editions.  Previews calls them “GN sets” and advertise “get three volumes for the price of two.”  Either way, it’s a good deal.  The first two scheduled for Dec and Jan releases, with 7-9 scheduled for March 2010, and 10-12 for May 2010.

Kodansha goes live! Finally!!

We’ve all been speculating about it, and the official announcement from Tokyopop that Kodansha wasn’t renewing any of their licenses only heightened speculation, that Kodansha was going to open a US office to publish it’s manga.  Publisher’s Weekly got that scoop this week with an announcement and interview Yoshio Irie, who will head the US Publishing division from Japan.  Their first two titles, Ghost in the Shell and Akira are scheduled to come out next week, so I guess it’s a good time to come out.  Though there isn’t much concrete said about Kodansha’s plans, what we do know, is there will be a Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex manga to come from them, they may do original comics (but I won’t hold my breath on those), and may dabble in the digital market.  Will this hurt Del Rey?  Doubtful.  Their relationship with Random House and Del Rey Manga is too close to risk it right now.  I’m hoping for more Kindaichi Case Files.  First, finishing the first series, and then bring us the New Kindaiche Case Files!

To Disclose or To Not Disclose

The FTC came down with a ruling this week, and published their guidelines, specifically for bloggers, that they must disclose any compensation for any reviews they give of products.  This caused quite a flurry in the mangasphere, with what looked like lines being drawn between those who support disclosing everything and those who feel it’s wrong to be segregated from the rest of the media.  Personally, I don’t care where a reviewer got a book, and discloser is a personal decision.  Some feel it’s a moral obligation.  I feel that giving a fair and honest review, no matter the source is my moral obligation.  So, the FTC’s statement of:

“If there’s an expectation that you’re going to write a positive review,” said Cleland, “then there should be a disclosure.”

doesn’t really apply since I have no expectation of giving a positive review, and the publishers shouldn’t be expecting one either, otherwise they will be constantly disappointed.  We can all hope for one, but there are no guarantees asked for or given.  On this blog, I rarely get review copies.  I can count the number of review copies I’ve received on 1 hand, and 4 of those were digital.  But those are disclosed more for their abnormality than for any obligation.  I’m of the mind that the FTC rules should be for all media or none at all.  Their conditions for print over blogs are questionable at best.

Would You Help Finance a Manga Series?

Over at Okazu Blog, Erica Friedman posts an interesting thought experiment: Would you pay upfront (subscribe or preorder) a series if you were guaranteed that they whole series would come out?  She has a couple of page count/price points as well as conditions for the experiment.   There were some interesting comments made and really gave some insight about the workings of the consumer mind.  For me, I wouldn’t have a problem doing this.  I already pre-order my books, and being able to pre-order an entire series without worrying about it later would make things so much easier.  Especially for titles got go on for years (can you say Saint Seiya?)  While paying for that up front might not be feasible, maybe a yearly subscription to specific titles might.  There was a site dabbling in this a year or so ago.  They used to advertise on Anime Pulse, but I couldn’t find them on a google search, so maybe it isn’t such a good idea.

Submit to Viz!

After putting the project on hold recently, Viz has started asking for submissions of original manga pitches again.  The page on their site doesn’t explain much, so Deb Aoki of About Manga spoke with Eric Searleman about it and what creators can expect.  Viz is being vague at the moment, basically saying anything goes, and don’t send us completed works.  This makes sense since at SDCC 2008, Viz said their original titles would be made in the traditional Japanese sense, with a editor working closely with the creator.

Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover

There’s no pleasing some fans.  Kate Dacey points out a controversy that has started over Yen Press’ proposed new cover for the light novel Spice and Wolf.  The fans at first clamored for this title and now that they are getting it, but not with the original cover, they are threatening to boycott it.  Why the fan reaction isn’t too hard to believe, if you’ve been in fandom for any amount of time, the reaction does seem rather overboard.  While I’ve dropped a series because of changes within the story (names changes in Case Closed), I’ve never threatened a boycott over a cover.  And you know what?  The original cover isn’t all that great.  It screams of anime and could chase away any potential casual readers.  While the new cover wouldn’t get me to buy the book, neither would the old one.  Fans should be more concerned with the story that the wrapping it comes in.  And if that wrapping does get someone who wouldn’t otherwise check it out, they should be glad of another convert.

NYT Manga Best Sellers List

The Vampires are doin’ it for themselves!  In this week’s list, Chibi Vampire vol 14 jumps from #4 to #1, followed closely behind by Vampire Kisses vol 3 which jumps from #9 to #2!  Naruto vol 46 debuts at #3 and last week’s #1, Fullmetal Alchemist #20 falls back to #4.  Other former #1’s Naruto vol 45 and Bleach vol 28 land at #5 & #6 respectively.  Yotsuba!& vol 6 holds on desperately as if falls from #3 to #8.  Del Rey returns to the list with Shugo Chara vol 7 coming in at #7, and Negima?! Neo Magister Negi Magi vol3 debuting at #9.  Vampire Knight vol 7 hold on at #10, falling from #6.  It’s a nice coup for Tokyopop as it not only kicks from the top two spots, but also keeps a Naruto from debuting at #1!  The mix is evening this week. with Viz only having 5/10 slots.

Shojo Beat Replacement

Found via Twitter from @kuriousity. The loss of Shojo Beat really got to some fans, so much so that they’ve banded together to create it’s replacement.  Called Shojo Berry, this is a proposed print magazine that will seemingly include translated manga and articles on J-culture.  There are been some doubts bantered about it already, I do agree that if Viz couldn’t make it viable, I don’t see these guys doing it either.  Now, if they did this as an online magazine, it might be more feasible.  I’m gonna keep an eye on it, since it sounds like an interesting project, but I’m not holding my breath.  You can check out their Facebook page for more enthusiastic reactions.

Next Tokyopop Insider

Tokyopop has announced it’s next Insider.  It’s scheduled for Thurday, October 29 at 4:30 pm PST.  Right when I get off work.  Oh well, I’ve resigned myself to not being able to catch these.  If it’s not a time conflict, it’s a personal one. That’s okay, there are lots of people that give good reports.  The creator of Domo, Goda, with be interviewed, so if you’re a big fan of Domo, don’t miss it!

Shonen Sunday Additions

Viz has been busy quietly adding titles to their Shonen Sunday website.  When I went to it this last week, I spotted the addition of Mermaid Saga, and it seems that Ranma 1/2 has joined the site as well.  Both are Rumiko Takahashi titles.  I think this is fantastic as I’ve wanted to read these titles.  I just don’t know if I’ll be able to find the time.  *sigh*  I can either read online or print.  I just don’t have the time for both, with all the great titles that Viz keeps putting up.  Some speculation though.  Can this possibly mean a new edition of Mermaid Saga, or that maybe we’ll see more Takahashi titles like Rumic Theater or, dare I hope, Urusei Yatsura?

Manga For Your Ears

Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews

Anime 3000

This Week at Manga Village

What I’m Reading

  • Yu-Gi-Oh R (unfinished)

Shonen Sunday

  • Arata ch 3-4
  • Hyde and Closer ch 3

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