Viz Media ends 2014 for their expected end of the year sale of their digital titles and some unexpected new Viz Select titles. The sale is their typical $2-off-to-bring-pricing-back-down-where-it-should-be promotion and lasts through January. You know what to do with that Christmas money, and even Amazon gift cards as they seem to have extended the promotion to their site. Read on for all the details.
It’s been going on for a while now. Amazon, the mega online book seller, and Hachette, the fifth largest publisher in the US, and parent company of Yen Press, got into a bit of a disagreement last May. The publisher had been in talks to renew contracts the book seller. A sticking point was that Hachette wanted to set their own e-Book prices, while Amazon wanted that power. When an impasse had been reached, Amazon did the only thing a mega book seller with 60% of the online market could do; they crippled sales of Hachette books on their site.
Amazon stopped taking pre-orders, increased shipping times, dropped discounts for all Hachette titles. This included Yen Press. The batter became bitter as both sides pointed fingers at the other being the problem. Authors jumped in as well, feeling the pressure as sales of their books dropped. They didn’t pressure their publisher to back down though, they put the pressure on Amazon for being the bully in all this. They even formed a group, Authors United, to help in the fight. Amazon tried some tactics to turn the authors against their publisher, but it really didn’t work.
Finally, as of last Thursday, Amazon and Hachette came to terms and signed a new agreement. In it, Hachette gets to set their own e-Book prices, though they get an incentive from Amazon to set them lower, and pay Amazon less when they do. A lot of people see this as a win for Hachette, but I have my doubts. If Amazon hadn’t taken a loss the quarter before, and had to show better earning for the holiday season, would they really have given in? I find the timing highly suspicious, but am glad it is over just the same.
Yen Press is probably just as relieved, though, they didn’t just take Amazon’s strong arming sitting down. They did a lot of promotion with Barnes and Noble, offering sales through the retailer’s website, and reminding people Amazon wasn’t the only place to order books. I know I linked to the Barnes and Noble site when I needed a Yen Press purchase link during this. Fans can also breathe a sigh of relief for now. Yen Press titles have returned for purchase in time for the holidays and for the all important pre-orders. Kindle users will also be able to start downloading their favorites again.
But can we really feel relieved? Amazon has shown its true nature. They don’t care who they hurt to get their way. Publishers, writers, and readers are all ripe to be thrown under the bus when Amazon goes scrambling for what it wants. Before they could position themselves as the “champion” of the consumer against the greedy publishers who want to keep e-Books from diminishing print sales, but their suit of armor is tarnished now. You can be sure they will do this again. Simon & Schuster just penned a similar with Amazon, no doubt not wanting to incur the retailer’s ire. If you’ve ever wondered where the saying “throwing one’s weight around” came from, here is a perfect case study. It’s also not too bad a case for the beginnings of a monopoly.
The big question we as readers and fans need to ask, are we willing to sacrifice price for availability? It seems that is just what Amazon is banking on us doing.
I wonder if Viz has a catalog of Tokyopop former releases and they just check off the books they want, or if they are going from a list from the staff, either way, they are adding even more to their Viz Select line, so they must like how the sales are doing.
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES SUBSTANTIAL NOVEMBER DIGITAL MANGA UPDATE AND
SPECIAL PRICING ON SEVERAL POPULAR SERIES
Catch Digital Launch Of 6 Hot New Manga Series And Updates To More Than 20 Ongoing Titles; Special November Pricing On 5 Fan-Favorite Series And Titles To Debut on ComiXology
Fans and readers can catch today’s launch of two new series debuts including creator Aya Shouoto’s paranormal shojo drama, KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS and the final volume of NEON GENESIS EVANGELION.
Other notable new digital series kicking off throughout the rest of the month include 3 titles from the VIZ Select imprint. Return to the world of CHIBI VAMPIRE with CHIBI VAMPIRE AIRMAIL on November 11th, savor the dark, demonic suspense of ZONE-00, which launches on November 18th, and former CLAMP artist/creator Tamayo Akiyama’s fantasy adventure series, MOURYOU KIDEN: LEGEND OF THE NYMPH, follows November 25th.
Fans are invited to take advantage of a limited time promotion running until November 30th offering up to 80% of on digital manga volumes from several acclaimed series from VIZ Manga and the VIZ Manga App. Check other partner sites for similar special pricing. Catch NARUTO Vols. 1-2 for only $1.99 each and Vols. 3-67 for only $4.99 each. Savor undead gothic manga drama with VAMPIRE KNIGHT Vols. 1-2 for only $1.99 each and Vols. 3-19 for only $4.99 each. ROSARIO + VAMPIRE SEASON I Vols. 1-2 are $1.99 each and Vols. 3-10 are available for $4.99 each; the series sequel, ROSARIO + VAMPIRE II, Vols. 1-2 are also offered for only $1.99 each and Vols. 3-13 for only $4.99 each. Also dive into the mafia comedy adventure NISEKOI with Vols. 1-2 for only $1.99 each and Vols. 3-9 for only $4.99.
VIZ Media is also pleased to announce a new addition on ComiXology from fellow publisher Kadokawa. Don’t miss exciting series including DEADMAN WONDERLAND and NEON GENESIS EVANGELION as well AI ORE, THE STORY OF SAIUNKOKU, and X that are accessible worldwide and/or wherever ComiXology is available. Also dive into more than a dozen additional manga titles also offered on ComiXology and published under the VIZ Select imprint such as CHIBI VAMPIRE, D.N. ANGEL, FATE/STAY NIGHT, FUTURE DIARY, LUCKY STAR, THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME, LAGOON ENGINE, SUKI and more!
Catch the rest of the November digital updates to more than 20 other VIZ Media continuing titles including the exciting series finales of PHANTOM THIEF JEANNE (Vol. 5), MILLION TEARS (Vol. 2) and SUKI (Vol. 3), as well as the latest additions to a variety of other popular series such as BLEACH (Vol. 62), BLUE EXORCIST (Vol. 12), FOOD WARS! (Vol. 4), JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE: PART 1 – PHANTOM BLOOD (Vol. 2), LUCKY STAR (Vol. 5), ONE-PUNCH MAN (Vol. 5), TRINITY BLOOD (Vol. 9) and scores more.
Readers can enjoy all of these new manga titles that are available on VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App for the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones and 7” tablets. The titles may also be purchased through the Nook, Kindle, Kobo, ComiXology, iBooks and GooglePlay stores. These dynamic digital platforms offer fans the opportunity to explore and enjoy a massive catalog of new and classic manga titles that spans more than 2,300 volumes across over 200 different series.
New November Digital Manga Series Debuts:
KISS OF THE ROSE PRINCESS, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens ·
DIGITAL MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) · Available Now!
Anise Yamamoto has been told that if she ever removes the rose choker given to her by her father, a terrible punishment will befall her. Unfortunately she loses that choker when a bat-like being falls from the sky and hits her. Anise is granted four cards representing four knights whom she can summon with a kiss. But now that she has these gorgeous men at her beck and call, what exactly is her quest?!
CHIBI VAMPIRE AIRMAIL · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens ·
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) · Available November 11th!
Return to the world of CHIBI VAMPIRE in this special collection of short stories!
ZONE-00, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens ·
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) · Available November 18th!
In a world where humans and demons coexist under a fragile peace, change is coming…A mysterious drug, known only as “Zone-00,” seems to be causing demons all over Tokyo to lose control and revert to their old, violent ways. Enter two young students who stand on opposite sides of an ageless conflict. One a demon, the other an exorcist, they must now join forces to uncover the secret of “Zone-00” before it’s too late! From the artist of Trinity Blood comes a dark, suspenseful tale in which two centuries-old enemies must fight together to save humanity!
MOURYOU KIDEN: LEGEND OF THE NYMPH, Vol. 1 · Rated ‘T’ for Teens ·
DIGITAL MSRP: $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) · Available November 25th!
In a land submerged in a thousand years of fog, demons and nymphs do battle. Until one day, the fated meeting of sworn enemies unravels an intricate love story, and hurls Ayaka, the daughter of the deity, Reiki, into a voyage of discovery, and maddening love. Originally a member of CLAMP, the world’s bestselling manga studio, Tamayo Akiyama delivers and unforgettable fantasy adventure!
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, Vol. 14 (SERIES FINALE!) · Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens · DIGITAL MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN) · Available November 25th!
Catch the grand finale to this groundbreaking sci-fi action series. The Third Impact has come. As the unbelievably massive form of Ayanami towers over the Earth, the Instrumentality Project enters its last stages. While the world shudders in terror as it is engulfed in a sea of LCL, Shinji’s consciousness merges with Lilith’s, and he searches his memories for a final understanding of himself and the fate of humanity. Digital edition also includes a special chapter not previously published! Print edition will be released in early 2015.
The free VIZ Manga App continues to be the top application for reading digital manga and features a massive library of the most popular series in the world. Through the innovative VIZ Manga digital platform registered users are able to use one account to view their purchased manga across more devices than ever. New series and volumes are added every Tuesday. Fans can also find these titles and more for the NOOK, Kindle Fire, and Kobo eReaders, as well as in the comiXology, iBooks and GooglePlay Stores.
All manga volumes are available for purchase and download in the U.S. and Canada within the VIZ Manga application starting from only $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) each and readers can also explore all titles with free Chapter 1 previews of every series. For more information, please visit VIZManga.com or www.VIZ.com/apps.
To learn more about VIZ Manga, please visit www.vizmanga.com.
Before Digital Manga Publishing scooped up the whole Tezuka catalog, Vertical, Inc. had been cherry picking from the library and pulled out several gems such as Black Jack, Princess Knight, and Dororo. Sadly, Vertical’s licenses for print rights of these books expired, and the books have since gone out of print. But, just this last Friday, the Vertical tumblr announced that the Comics imprint had gotten the e-Book rights to their entire catalog. This is really good news, as so many of these titles are not just classics, but great books that have something meaningful to say. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading all of them, but the majority that I have read have been exciting, disturbing and fun. And with the future of the Digital Manga Publishing Tezuka World kickstarter in doubt, it’s good news to hear we will not lose the Tezuka titles already printed for good.
The titles in the Vertical Comics catalog that are going to e-Book are:
- Apollo’s Song
- Black Jack
- Princess Knight
- Ode to Kirihito
- Book of Human Insects
- Message to Adolf
- The Twin Knights
The titles will be appearing on the usual platforms Kindle, iBooks, and Nook, and should start showing up in December. They will be starting with the OOP books Apollo’s Song and Black Jack, and books will be going up at a rate of 2-3 volumes every 2-3 weeks.
Tacked onto this announcement was also the word that their new series, My Neighbor Seki would be a simultaneous print and digital release. I keep hearing good things about Seki, so I’m really looking forward to its release in January 2015.
If you’ve been waiting to pick up any Takeshi Obata manga, now is the time to do it! Hikaru no Go is a title every manga fan should know and read, and Bakuman is a great inside look at many of the inner workings of the manga industry. All titles are on sale, with starting volumes at rock bottom prices! Or if you’re like me and couldn’t make it to New York Comic Con where Obata did a signing, you can still win some autographed books to stare at and treasure. Keep reading for more information.
VIZ MEDIA SPOTLIGHTS TAKESHI OBATA AND DETAILS NEW DIGITAL MANGA DEBUTS AND UPDATES FOR OCTOBER
Digital Premiere Of WORLD TRIGGER And Updates To More Than 20 Other Series; Celebrate Takeshi Obata’s New York Comic Con Appearance With A Sweepstakes And Special Digital Pricing
VIZ Media announces a substantial digital manga update to open the Fall 2014 reading season with a host of new titles and a special promotion celebrating the work of artist Takeshi Obata for his first-ever U.S. appearance at New York Comic Con 2014.
VIZ Media highlights several updates this month including the digital debut of the sci-fi action series, WORLD TRIGGER, with the first two volumes available on October 7th, as well as more than 20 other VIZ Media series.
Takeshi Obata is the seminal artist/creator of smash hit manga (graphic novel) series such as DEATH NOTE, BAKUMAN｡, HIKARU NO GO, RALΩGRAD and ALL YOU NEED IS KILL. He is scheduled to appear at several events during New York Comic Con 2014, taking place October 9th– 12th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Full details on the East Coast’s biggest pop culture convention are available at: www.newyorkcomiccon.com.
VIZ Media marks his appearance with a special Takeshi Obata Sweepstakes that runs from October 6th to 31st and offers fans two ways to enter. Visit the VIZ Media Booth #1944 during New York Comic Con and submit your email address to receive a FREE Takeshi Obata art poster and be automatically entered for a chance to win one of the fantastic prizes listed below. Or to submit your entry remotely and for more information including rules and regulations please visit www.vizmanga.com/obata.
Takeshi Obata Sweepstakes Prizes Include:
ALL YOU NEED IS KILL Omnibus Edition (Signed)
DEATH NOTE Black Edition, Vol. 1 (Signed)
DEATH NOTE Manga Poster (Signed)
BAKUMAN。Vol. 1 (Digital Edition)
HIKARU NO GO, Vol. 1 (Digital Edition)
RALΩGRAD, Vol. 1 (Digital Edition)
VIZ Media will also highlight Takeshi Obata with special digital pricing available for a limited time between October 6thth and 31st on all of his aforementioned series available from VIZ Manga. Also check VIZ Media’s partner sites for promotional pricing on Takeshi Obata digital manga titles during October.
New Digital Manga Series Debut:
WORLD TRIGGER Vols. 1-2· Rated ‘T’ for Teens·
DIGITAL MSRP: $6.99 (U.S. / CAN)· Available Now!
Destroy thy Neighbor! A gate to another dimension has burst open, and invincible monsters called Neighbors invade Earth. Osamu Mikumo may not be the best among the elite warriors who co-opt other-dimensional technology to fight back, but along with his Neighbor friend Yuma, he’ll do whatever it takes to defend life on Earth as we know it.
Additional notable October digital updates to several other popular continuing manga titles include the stunning series conclusion to the paranormal gothic drama, VAMPIRE KNIGHT (Vol. 19 available Oct. 7th), as well as the latest editions of MY LOVE STORY (Vol. 2), NARUTO (Vol. 67), DEADMAN WONDERLAND (Vol. 5), SUNNY (Vol. 4; MSRP: $14.99), TORIKO (Vol. 24) and an array of new updates to several titles from the VIZ Select imprint such as TRINITY BLOOD (Vol. 7), LUCKY STAR (Vol. 4), SUKI (Vol. 2), FUTURE DIARY (Vol. 7), TRINITY BLOOD (Vol. 8), LAGOON ENGINE (Vol. 4), and KYO KARA MAOH (Vol. 2).
Readers can enjoy these latest manga updates that are available on VIZManga.com and the VIZ MANGA App for the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod® touch, Android-powered smart phones and 7” tablets. The titles may also be purchased through the Nook, Kindle, Kobo, ComiXology, iBooks and GooglePlay stores. These dynamic digital platforms offer fans the opportunity to explore and enjoy a massive catalog of new and classic manga titles that spans more than 2,300 volumes across over 200 different series.
Don’t miss special digital pricing on the following Takeshi Obata manga titles October 6th – 31st:
ALL YOU NEED IS KILL Vols. 1-2· Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens·
Vols. 1-2 $4.99 ea (U.S. / CAN)
When the alien Mimics invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to be reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his fifth iteration, he gets a message from a mysterious ally – the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?
BAKUMAN。Vols. 1-20· Rated ‘T’ for Teens·
Vols. 1-2 $1.99 ea (U.S. / CAN); Vols. 3-20 $4.99ea (U.S. / CAN)
Average student Moritaka Mashiro enjoys drawing for fun. When his classmate and aspiring writer Akito Takagi discovers his talent, he begs Moritaka to team up with him as a manga-creating duo. But what exactly does it take to make it in the manga-publishing world?
DEATH NOTE Vols. 1-12· Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens·
Vols. 1-2 $1.99 ea (U.S. / CAN); Vols. 3-12 $4.99ea (U.S. / CAN)
Light Yagami is an ace student with great prospects – and he’s bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by a rogue Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal…or his life?
HIKARU NO GO Vols. 1-23· Rated ‘A’ for All Ages·
Vols. 1-2 $1.99 ea (U.S. / CAN); Vols. 3-23 $4.99ea (U.S. / CAN)
After stumbling across a haunted go board, Hikaru Shindo discovers that the spirit of a master player named Fujiwara-no-Sai has taken up residence in his consciousness. Sai awakens in Hikaru an untapped genius for the game, and soon the schoolboy is chasing his own dream–defeating the famed go prodigy Akira Toya!
RALΩGRAD Vols. 1-4· Rated ‘M’ for All Ages·
Vols. 1-2 $1.99 ea (U.S. / CAN); Vols. 3-4 $4.99ea (U.S. / CAN)
In the midst of a war, a child is born during a bloody battle at the cost of his mother’s life. From this baby comes forth a huge and powerful dragon born of Shadow. Within minutes the dragon lays waste to the landscape, but a quick-thinking knight locks the baby in a cage of darkness, where he grows to be a young man, knowing only the kindness of his young female tutor. Until the day the Shadows attack and he is set free…
The free VIZ Manga App continues to be the top application for reading digital manga and features a massive library of the most popular series in the world. Through the innovative VIZ Manga digital platform registered users are able to use one account to view their purchased manga across more devices than ever. New series and volumes are added every Tuesday. Fans can also find these titles and more for the NOOK, Kindle Fire, and Kobo ereaders, as well as in the comiXology, iBooks and GooglePlay Stores.
All manga volumes are available for purchase and download in the U.S. and Canada within the VIZ Manga application starting from $4.99 (U.S. / CAN) each and readers can also explore all titles with free Chapter 1 previews of every series. For more information, please visit VIZManga.com or www.VIZ.com/apps.
To learn more about VIZ Manga, please visit www.vizmanga.com.
Viz Media continues to push the boundaries of digital manga and simultaneous release with their new Jump Start initiative. WSJ readers will get essentially sneak peaks at new titles the same time as Japanese readers, titles that could potentially become regular titles in the English edition. Sports, Sci-Fi crime thriller and sports medicine manga will start the program. It will be interesting to see how well the more niche titles do.
VIZ MEDIA’S “JUMP START” INITIATIVE TO DELIVER ENGLISH DIGITAL PREMIERES OF BRAND NEW WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP MANGA SERIES ON THE SAME DAY OF JAPANESE DEBUT
Digital Publishing Campaign Eliminates Time And Distance Barriers To Offer International Fans The Opportunity To Sample Hot New Manga Titles; New Series JUDOS Launches Today!
San Francisco, CA, September 8, 2014 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), the largest publisher, distributor and licensor of manga and anime in North America, generates additional synergy between its English language WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP digital manga magazine and the original Japanese print counterpart with the launch of the new “Jump Start” initiative. WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is the world’s premiere manga brand and leading international weekly manga magazine.
Moving forward, VIZ Media will simultaneously premiere the first three chapters (one chapter per week) of every brand new, first-run manga series that appears in the Japanese Weekly Shonen Jump in its digital English language edition on the same day of that issue’s general print release in Japan.
The first “Jump Start” title to be featured is the high impact martial arts series – JUDOS – by Shinsuke Kondo, which launches TODAY in the latest issue of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP. Hana Yanagi is just fifteen and aims to be the best judo practitioner in his village – a remote hamlet that just happens to produce the world’s most powerful fighters. Get ready for hardcore over-the-top martial arts action!
VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is also set to feature the English language premiere of Ippei Goto’s new sci-fi crime thriller – HI-FI CLUSTER – beginning in the September 15th issue, and will offer Yuto Kubota’s sports medicine manga – SPORTING SALT – debuting the September 23rd issue. Future series premieres will be announced as news becomes available from Weekly Shonen Jump (Japan) publisher and VIZ Media parent company, Shueisha, Inc.
By delivering simultaneous English language access to future series on the same day of their Japanese general release, “Jump Start” seeks to build greater international awareness and support for a new vanguard of compelling titles and manga creators launching in the most widely read weekly manga publication in the world.
VIZ Media encourages WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP members/subscribers to submit their “Jump Start” feedback and thoughts on the new series and chapters by completing the survey that is contained at the end of each digital issue and also at: http://shonenjump.viz.com/website-survey.
“The ‘Jump Start’ initiative begins a new era in digital manga publishing that will give seasoned readers as well as those new to the genre seamless, same-day, simultaneous access like they’ve never enjoyed before to what’s hot and brand new in the world’s most popular manga magazine,” says Andy Nakatani, Editor-in-Chief of VIZ Media’s WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP. “‘Jump Start’ gives new titles an important opportunity to develop an international following. Our readers can play a more active role than ever to help VIZ Media and Shueisha discover what new series resonate on an international level and decide what might possibly be featured on a regular ongoing basis.”
WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is published digitally every week by VIZ Media and features the latest installments of some of the world’s most popular manga series released to English readers across North America on the same day as the magazine’s general print release in Japan.
VIZ Media offers North American fans single issues of WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP for only $0.99 each. Exclusive 1 Year Memberships are available for only $25.99 and include 48 weekly digital issues as well as special premiums such as Yu-Gi-Oh! Collectable Trading Cards, rare one-shot manga releases, digital-only promotions, and access to additional subscriber-only content including creator interviews and insightful promo videos.(*Note: Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are only available to annual subscribers in the US and Canada.) Current subscribers can also access their accounts via VIZManga.com, the VIZ Manga App, or with the Apple iPad Newsstand App.
WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP is also available to readers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa via the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP Newsstand App available for the Apple iPad®, iPhone and iPod touch or the WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP App on the Google Play Store for Android devices. International issues debut each Monday at 10:00am (PST) and monthly subscriptions are available with automatic monthly renewals. Additional information on international subscriptions is available at:http://shonenjump.viz.com/international-wsj-app.
For more information on WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and exclusive subscriber offers, please visit shonenjump.viz.com.
For more information on VIZ Media manga titles, please visit www.VIZ.com.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Headquartered in San Francisco, California, VIZ Media distributes, markets and licenses the best anime and manga titles direct from Japan. Owned by three of Japan’s largest manga and animation companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media has the most extensive library of anime and manga for English speaking audiences in North America, the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. With its popular digital manga anthology WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, BLEACH and INUYASHA, VIZ Media offers cutting-edge action, romance and family friendly properties for anime, manga, science fiction and fantasy fans of all ages. VIZ Media properties are available as graphic novels, DVDs, animated television series, feature films, downloadable and streaming video and a variety of consumer products. Learn more about VIZ Media, anime and manga at www.VIZ.com.
Viz Media has plenty of digital manga ending and beginning this month, even a few surprises for their VIZ Select imprint. They are seriously mining the Tokyopop catalog, and from their weekly top tens, it’s been doing alright for them. I might even check out their newest acquisition. Find out what it is and more after the break!
It was one year ago that I first spoke about Sparkler Magazine, mentioning it as one of the stories on my podcast. It was just one of the news stories, but I used the cover of the premiere issue as my featured image and got the attention of the editors, which got me a review copy, and the issue an in-depth look on my next podcast.
I really enjoyed that first issue. Back then, the issue was broken down into 6 features; two manga, Dire Hearts and Off Beat, two prose novels Gauntlet and Tokyo Demons Book 2, an audio, Awake, and a subscriber only feature. Dire Hearts was very intriguing. Gauntlet was heart-pounding. Awake set up a great sci-fi thriller. I enjoyed the magazine and digital format so much that I dropped my subscription to Yen Plus, and picked up Sparkler, even though Sparkler cost more. But I was getting more of what I wanted and enjoyed with it.
Twelve months of updates later, a lot has changed. Dire Hearts sadly has to go on hiatus due to health issue for its creator Christy Lijewski. Off Beat, then Gauntlet and Tokyo Demons Book 2 ended. Plenty of new titles have taken their place. Dead Endings, Dusk in Kalevia and Skyglass joined as regular prose titles. We started to see short stories as well with The Maiden and the Fish in prose, and Dinner Ditz, Before You Go and Rings of Saturn in Comics. With the start of Year 2, new titles Windrose and Gatesmith have joined as well. The have forums on the site where readers could not only talk about their favorite series’, but subscribers had access to the editors who would answer questions about writing and drawing, and they would post articles to help creators improve in areas they saw as weak in the submissions they got. Because they openly accepted submissions. Certain months were dedicated to a different form, comics, prose, and audio.
The key to this venture succeeding though, is dependent on its readers; getting subscribers. As the magazine moves into year 2, the editors have laid things out for us. They need 2,000 people subscribing at least $5 a month to keep the magazine going past this second year, so their running a membership drive. That’s really not a lot of money. What’s the comparison that always gets thrown out? The same as a cup of Starbucks coffee? It should be easy to skip on cup a month to give these women who are working to provide us with something few other publishers are; a magazine focused on the female gaze. They’ve done some great work so far, and really deserve the chance to keep doing more. Not so sure about that? There is a sampler issue available for download for free that features the first chapter of every series available so far.
And they are making it worth your subscribing while. They have dropped the full year price to $50 and thrown in a free eBook from their shop, and added a new tier, VIP that can download every chapter of every series anytime for a yearly price of $125. And like a kickstarter, for every subscriber goal met, new perks open up, such as raffles, dropping the paywall, adding more title slots and even a video game!
But even with all the perks, really, you should just subscribe for the content. It really is great and there is so much variety that just about anyone will find something they enjoy. And with support there can be even more.
At Sakura-Con last week, Viz Media announced the print and digital release of World Trigger, a digital Weekly Shonen Jump only title. It looks like a fun title, so I’m glad Viz is making it available finally to those of us who don’t subscribe to WSJ. More info available after the jump.
This week I look at several news stories that include some new licenses and digital news, regular departments the Weekly Wish List and the Top Ten, and then I look at the new manga app from Japanese publisher Kadokawa, ComicWalker.
Well, I have to say it’s about time Yen Press and Square Enix finally got on the digital bandwagon. Yen Press announced back in October at New York Comic Con that it would be announcing a digital strategy for the company, and nearly six months later, they finally have! I glad to see them moving away from proprietary apps and awful websites. Find out more after the jump.
This week I talk about my weekly wish list, what new at Vizmanga.com, the New York Times Best Seller List and for the main feature I have Alex Hoffman of Manga Widget as my guest, where we talk about the Vizmanga Platform and pricing, and the new Crunchyroll Manga roll out. This is a long episode!
- Weekly Wish List
- Vizmanga.com New Releases
- New York Times Best Seller List
- Manga Widget
- Crunchyroll Manga
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Music courtesy of Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech