This Week in Manga 12/26/09-01/01/2010

Honey Hunt goes on Hiatus

Honey Hunt, one of the last manga to be added to Shojo Beat before Viz canceled it, is going on hiatus in Japan.  Mangaka Aihara has decided to take a break from Honey Hunt and is debuting a new manga in the same magazine.  This is both good and bad for fans of Honey Hunt.  It’s good, because it will make catching up with the manga easier.  The 6th volume just came out in Japan, and the 4th volume won’t come out in the US until March.  Viz apparently is keeping the long time between release days which means it may be another year before we get to the 6th volume.  But it’s bad since there no indication as how long the hiatus will be.  It could be a long stretch before Aihara picks it up again, and then a while after that before another volume comes out.  Ask Hunter x Hunter and D.N. Angel fans about that.

Hyperbole Taken to the Extreme

Now, I know that piracy is bad, and buying comic and manga is the right thing to do.  I also know that using a hyperbole to make a point can be effective, but this post really goes too far.  It’s about a new scanner from Plus Tek.  The Optibook 3600 that the company is marketing to comic collections.  The writer of the article breaks down the sales copy to insinuate that the only reason to own this is to illegally scan every comic and manga you can get your hands on and put them online.  Um…I’m sorry, but not every person that wants to scan in comics is a pirate any more than every person that ripped a cd was one.  The arguments the writer puts up are reminiscent of the ones movie companies made when the VCR was invented.  And we all saw how that destroyed Hollywood.  Lets be realistic here.  Digital comic scanners will have much faster ways of scanning their books than carefully doing it one page at a time.  This writer deserves the RIAA/MPAA award for assuming all consumers of a product are just looking for a way to sell or give it way, because WE are all pirates at heart.

Catch Up on Some Good Reads

Brigid Alverson of the Manga Blog does a great job of rounding up the best news and reviews from the mangasphere.  I know this post would be half of what it is without her terrific coverage.  She did a round up all the interesting posts, discussions, round tables and interviews from this last year.  Read articles on translation, OEL manga, about manga creators, and even a detailed history of manga.  Check it out, you might have missed something interesting!

2009 In Review

And once again, Brigid shows what a writing machine she can be!  This time it’s a review of the last year in manga for Comic Book Resources.  Looking back over the year, Brigid hits all the major events that affected the mangasphere.  Organized by publisher, you’ll find all the big stories that affected each, as well as stories that affected the sphere in general such as the Hadley case and manga being pulled from library shelves for being obscene.  Is there a trend here…?

But Will It Sell?

Alex Hoffman, blogger and fellow reviewer at Comics Village has written a post questioning Viz’s online strategy in light of the economy.  He poses the same question that people have been asking ever since publishers started showing up on the web. Why would people buy a copy of a book they can read online?  It’s a good question, but one that publishers have been looking at for a while.  Circumstantial evidence from Tokyopop, who has put full volumes online before, is that sales of those titles go up when they are available, not down.  Reading a book and owning a book are two different things.  It’s like borrowing a book from the library and then going out and buying it.  If  you enjoy something enough, you want to own it.  And I think manga is a peculiar beast.  It has a greater re-readability than a novel, since they general read faster.  And of course a book is easier to carry than a computer.  I don’t think there’s an e-reader available that can really do manga justice yet.  Yet, there are also books you just want to read and move on from.  Manga online helps sort the wheat from the chaff.  Also notice which titles Viz is putting online.  They’re titles that either don’t traditionally sell well and titles that probably will no matter what.  Through the SigIkki site they can build up an audience for the more mature and experimental titles that will want to buy the print.  I hope this experiment works for Viz.  They put out some great titles that I want to keep getting.  And if it does, may be some more publishers will jump on the bandwagon.

NYT Best Seller List

On the last posted list of the year, there are no new changes in titles, just ghost returning from the past.  Naruto vol 46 holds stubbornly onto to #1.  Vampire Knight vol 8 moves to #2, kicking Bleach vol 29 to the curb and down to #6.  This allows both Maximum Rides to move up, vol 2 to #3 and vol 1 to #4.  Continuing to ride their coattails is Death Note: L Change the World now at #5.  Soul Eater vol 1 moves up another one to #7, and returning to the list is Vampire Knight vol 7, coming in at #8.  Fullmetal Alchemist vol 21 fell 3 spots to #9, and returning at #10 is Naruto vol 45.  Kicked from the list completely were Yotsuba&! vol 7 and D.N. Angel vol 13.  Can we thank kids with gift cards for the return of a previous Naruto and Vampire Knight volume?  Probably.  Viz is back to dominating the list with 7/10, but Yen Press is really showing some stamina with their Maximum Ride adaptations, and laughing all the way to the bank at all the people that dissed the title.

Manga For Your Ears

Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews

Spiraken Manga Review

This Week at Manga Village

What I’m Reading

  • Otomen vol 4
  • Black God vol 2
  • Shonen Jump February 2010
  • Hero Tales vol 1
  • Voices of Love

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