Didn’t I just write about this last week? Oh, wait, that was for Anime Expo! SDCC usually doesn’t come this early, and it leaves fans and companies with barely any down time before they’re packing up for the next show. At least it’s only a 2 hour drive between LA and San Diego. With SDCC being the bigger of the two cons, Viz has more activities planned for SDCC, with more giveaways at their booth, more panels and some con exclusives that SDCC is becoming just as known for. Badger a friend who’s going to get you some.
When Viz Media announced the license of the new Ultraman manga, it was a big deal by itself. But this new announcement that they are bringing the creators of the manga to SDCC just levels the awesome up a notch. The new series, which will be available for purchase early at the con along with a collectible Ultraman figure, will have its own panel, and there will be plenty of opportunities to have that early release manga signed with several autograph sessions. It’s too late to try to get into SDCC now, but if you know someone going to the con, badger them incessantly to attend these events for you, and live vicariously through them!
Manga at San Diego Comics Con 2014
This week I check out This Week’s Manga, a couple of stories In the News, the Top Ten Department, and look at the license announcements from San Diego Comic Con.
This week I look at all the manga announcements (or lack there of) from San Diego Comic Con 2013.
Another San Diego Comic Con has come and gone, and it’s left us with a lot of announcements to sort through. Viz Media, Yen Press, Kodansha Comics and newcomer Jmanga all had panels filled with news and announcements. But who had exciting announcements and who were more ho-hum? Read on to find out more!
Viz Media started off their first panel by announcing that their digital manga would be available on android devices. That seemed like an exciting announcement until you go to the Google Play site and get the message that the app isn’t compatible with your device. It seems Viz has made their app for only phones and not tablets. This really disappointed me, since I prefer reading comics and manga on my tablet, but at least android users can finally download their Vizmanga.com manga. They really should have just said phones instead of “devices”. That was really misleading. I’ll be satisfied when they’re available for any device. The only other big announcements from Viz was from their Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha panel. Blue Exorcist, a current title will be joining the digital magazine as a monthly title as will a new series, Takama-Ga-Hara, which just started in WSJ. It’s about a boy with superhuman powers who wants to become a mangaka rather than a fighter like his brothers. It might be interesting.
Jmanga.com was the big winner for me with its announcements. They also announced their manga would be available on android devices, but they really mean “devices”; both phones and tablets will be supported, and will be available in October. I very excited about this! They also announced, and only got permission to do so minutes before the panel, that they would be releasing Kodansha titles previously released by Tokyopop and Del Rey. This is great news too! There were a lot of good titles that went OOP when Tokyopop lost the Kodansha licenses. On my personal wish list of titles to return are Kindaichi Case Files, which ended before its last volume as did Dragon Voice. And it’s a crime that Fruits Basket is no longer available. This title really needs to return digitally. On the Del Rey side, seeing Nodame Cantabile return would be awesome too. One other license that Jmanga announced was Mythical Detective Loki, by Sakura Kinoshita, the artist of tactics. I’ve been wanting this series ever since I first found out about it at least 7 years ago! I can’t wait for this to come out.
Yen Press has been a staple at SDCC since 2007. They don’t seem interested in making their manga available to everyone. Their position for not going on android is that they are “waiting for it to work right.” What does that even mean? Android seems to work just fine. Mainstream comics have no problem with it, Dark Horse has a great app, and Viz and Jmanga are moving to it. What of it doesn’t work? They did promote their Nook app, that only works on Nook devices (not the app for other devices or web), so it keeps it to a small audience and will never grow. Their license announcements weren’t too exciting either. Not really interested in any more James Patterson titles, and getting more YA supernatural titles will get just as tiresome.
Of their Japanese licenses, BTOOOM! sounds like .hack meets Survivor, and not too interesting. Another might be interesting if the mystery side is played up as much as the horror. Welcome to the Erotic Bookstore looks the most intriguing. It’s the memoirs of a woman working in a bookstore that opens up an erotic section. It sounds like it’ll be really fun. Another interesting statement was that they seem to be backtracking on their “no license rescues” stance. They say they are looking at some Tokyopop titles, even though they declared they wouldn’t after TP closed and fans asked them to.
Kodansha spent their panel talking mostly about their current line up, with little in new titles. They didn’t even bring any digital initiatives, and remain iOS only. There was a lot of talk of Sailor Moon, and Negima ending. Of their new titles, there were a few. Along with Negima‘s last volume will come a spin-off, Negiho, which puts Negi as a teacher of young girls. Yeah, still just as disturbing. Natsume Ono fans will be glad to get her collection of short stories, Danza. And I don’t know if this is a new announcement or not, but it’s new to me. Missions of Love is a shojo about a cellphone novelist who gets involved with the most popular boy in school.
Winners and losers for San Diego 2012? Jmanga takes it for me all the way. They had the most announcements that really excited me. Loser would be Kodansha with nothing that even piques my interest. Viz beats out Yen Press by at least making an effort to reach out to android fans. But con season isn’t over yet. With Otakon and NYCC still come, there are still chances for more and exciting announcements.
Udon will also publish a two-volume manga for Sengoku Basara.
Too Much Good Stuff!
Deb Aoki of Manga.About.com continues posting her coverage of panels from SDCC. This week she adds an entry for the Best and Worst Manga panel including comments from the panelists. There are more Best and Worst and a whole page dedicated to Most Anticipated. It’s interesting that Twilight made the Best list, but Maximum Ride got put in the Worst. Both make tons of money for Yen Press, so yah there. And the cat manga Chi’s Sweet Home and Cat Paradise both definitely deserve to be in the Best list. I don’t know what I would add to this list. I have hard time saying something is the Best or Worst. Except One Piece. That’s definitely a Best!
Also added to her coverage is a complete transcript of the Online Piracy Panel. It’s NINE PAGES. The front page to it give the topics covered in the discussion, but getting the full transcript is almost the same as being there! Definitely thank Deb for her hard work in getting this up for everyone to read. This is a very relevant topic right now as fans and publishers bash heads over the best way to get comics and manga online. It’s going to continue to be a bumpy road for a while.
Del Rey: Will They or Won’t They?
News of more cancellations of books has people once again questioning Del Rey’s commitment to publish manga. Brigid Alverson over at Robot 6 put the question to Associate Publisher Dallas Middaugh. Middaugh’s response sounds a lot like a non-denial denial. He defends Del Rey by say they are publishing the same number of pages a year, but at the same time pushes their OEL titles, which isn’t what most fans want to here. They are supposed to have a panel NYCC, so we’ll have to wait and see if they make any announcements then.
Pet Peeves #1: Publisher Web Sites
As a blogger, fan and parent, trying to get information on publisher websites can sometimes feel like pulling teeth, when there is anything to find in the first place. Apparently, I’m not the only one to feel this way. Brigid Alverson expresses her own displeasure over at Robot 6 in a wonderfully worded rant that hits all the problems I and from the comments others have with publishers. The big question is, will it do any good. We can hope, but I’m not holding my breath. I’d like to add one more problem I have, mainly with Marvel and relates to the search and links. When I finally do find the link for the comic I’m looking for, usually a new release on the front page, it should send me to a page with information and age rating on the issue and not A BLANK PAGE! For heavens sake, you’ve had months to get the page ready, or worse, if it’s a coding issue (which is probably more likely considering how convoluted that page is already), then you’ve got some major problems. FIX THEM! I want to read your comics, but if you can’t get me the information I need easily, then I don’t need to read your stuff!
Pet Peeves #2: Scanlations Sites ≠ Libraries
With the demise of OneManga, people are still whining about it being gone and trying to justify that reading manga there is the same as checking out a manga from the library. Librarian Robin Brenner has something to say about that. Four somethings actually, as she explains why libraries are not just relevent, but also why they are legal for reading manga for free, and Scanlations sites are not. Most of the commentors to the post are in answer to Deb’s request for a list of 10 manga every library should carry, but one (#21) argues:
The manga world is changing. We can keep up with it or fall behind trying to desperately keep the copyright alive.
While there is an argument for digital manga, it shouldn’t, and doesn’t have to be at the cost of copyright.
NYT Best Seller List
Wow! What a change in the list this week! Two OEL’s make it to the list this week, including one to take the top spot! Ravenpaw’s Path vol 3, an original story in the popular Warriors series takes the #1 spot. Never underestimate the power of cats! Rosario Vampire Season II vol 2 debuts at #2. Never underestimate the power of cute vampire girls either. Black Bird vol 5 debuts as well at #3 and the OEL series Return to Labyrinth vol 4 debuts at #4 and finishes the series as well. At #5 is Negima! Magister Negi Magi vol 27, hanging one through its second week, and Bakuman vol 1 charts at #6 on its first week. Naruto vol 48 finally makes its appearance at #7 while D.Gray-Man vol 18 debuts at #8. Fullmetal Alchemist vol 23 sadly falls back to #9 and the rare shojo title sans vampires makes its appearance with Skip Beat vol 23 coming in at #10. This is quite a turmultuous week with 7 debut titles. Tokyopop takes 2 of the top 5 spots with its debuts with Viz sandwiching 2 more debuts in between. Del Rey keeps a space on the spot, but Yen Press has been ousted completely. It’s nice to see some OEL chart though, especially an adaptation. I would like to see more adaptations, but for the older crowd. Cozy mysteries anyone?
NYT List: Second Opinion
Matt Blind’s chart for the top 10 sellers from Rocket Bomber looks very different from the NYT, but not so much so from last week:
1. Negima! 27
2. Naruto 48
3. Fullmetal Alchemist 23
4. Vampire Knight 10
5. Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle 27
6. Black Bird 5
7. Ouran High School Host Club 14
8. Maximum Ride 1
9. Rosario+Vampire Season II 2
10. Shugo Chara! 9
Only four titles changed hands on Matt’s list from last week; Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, Black Bird, Rosario+Vampire Season II and Shugo Chara! replaced Hellsing, Bleach, and second volumes of Maximum Ride and Naruto. But compared to the NYT list, only two of the debuting titles match up; Black Bird and Rosario+Vampire Season II. Check out his full post for all the specifics.
Broader Best Sellers
Matt is now taking requests for analysis on titles as he compiles his weekly lists. Follow him on Twitter at ProfessorBlind to make your request. This week he got a request for Viz’s Signature line, which he provided, and went ahead and did a few other popular genre: manhwa and global manga. Check them out to see what are the best sellers in these categories.
Manga For Your Ears
- Episode 26 – 33:53 – Lady Snowblood
- Episode 28 – 20:12 – Peepo Choo
- Episode 30 – 47:47 – Fall of OneManga/Legal Drug
Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews
This Week At Manga Village
What I’ve Been Reading
- Tena on S-String vol 3
- Mixed Vegetables vol 7
- Black Jack vol 8
- Gentleman’s Alliance Cross vol 11
- Alice the 101st
And the Con Goes On
It’s been two weeks since Comic-Con, but reports are still coming out with video and transcripts from the manga panels that were held that. While that might be bad (and stressful) for the writing and transcribing them, it a bonus for those us of who couldn’t go! Deb Aoki posts about the manga events on Friday and takes a closer look at the Yen Press announced titles. Comics Journal has video of the Manga for Grown-Up panel and Carlo Santos from Anime News Network talked with guest Moto Hagio. And yes, there will be more links coming. But if you couldn’t make it to the con, they will be worth it.
Stuck in SDCC’s Shadow
One week after SDCC was Otakon over on the East Coast, in Baltimore, MD. There wasn’t a huge manga presence there in either publishers or journalists. Ed Sizemore of the Manga Worth Reading blog not only held his own panel on Anime Journalism, but he also did writes up on Manhwa at the con for Manhwa Bookshelf, and days Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Audio from his panel can be found here, a transcript from Anime Diet here, and a report from Animemiz on it. Otakon also had a spin-off con: Baltiport. Comprised of Otakon attendees who were stuck in the Baltimore Airport, the 5 hour impromptu gathering also resulted in a license announcement. Bandai Entertainment will be releasing the Code Geass spin-off manga A Record of the Strange Tales of the Bakumatsu Era: Code Geass. You just never know when or where a new con will pop up.
Digital Manga Roundup
Yen Press’ move of their magazine Yen Plus to the digital world has really had people talking. Deb Aoki had a Q&A session JuYoun Lee, the Senior Editor about the changes in the magazine and some readers concerns. Brigid Alverson of Robot 6 then took on Kurt Hassler, the Editorial Director and pressed for more, specifically about whether any of the Japanese titles such as Black Butler would be returning…. OneManga did indeed do what they said they would, and pulled all manga from the site by Monday morning. Manga Fox is still going strong as of this writing… BL Manga Kindle readers can rejoice as Animate USA puts up another round of digital manga from Broccoli and CPM’s former catalog. I’ll have my own review of the new Yen Plus this week, but let me just preface it by saying thank you Yen Press for making your site readable on mobile devices. I will be more likely to keep up with your releases than the others you use flash.
NYT Best Seller List
So, what does the New York Times list have in store for us this week? Starting with the hardbacks, the sparkly-vampires are getting their butts beat by guys with sparkly rings as Twilight vol 1 remains at #9, well behind several Green Lantern books. Over on the manga list, there’s been quite a shake up! Del Rey finally decided to release some books and 3 of the 5 top spots are filled by them. Negima! Magister Negi Magi vol 27 debuts at #1. Right behind it is the CLAMP title Tsubasa: Resevoir Chronicle vol 27 debuting at #2. Naruto vol 48 at least keeps a top 5 spot by coming in at #3, followed by Fullmetal Alchemist vol 23 at #4. Shugo Chara! vol 9 takes up the #5 spot with Ouran High School Host Club vol 14 falling another three to #6. Vampire Knight vol 10 takes #7, staying ahead of Megatokyo vol 6 which is now at #8. Debuting at #9 is vol 2 of the Spice and Wolf manga, and the apocalypse is averted as Black Butler vol 2 returns at #10.
NYT Best Seller: Second Opinion
The manga rankings have gone up over at Rocket Bomber. Let’s see how the top ten stack up:
1. Naruto 48
2. Fullmetal Alchemist 23
3. Ouran High School Host Club 14
4. Vampire Knight 10
5. Maximum Ride 1
6. Hellsing 10
7. Negima! 27
8. Naruto 47
9. Maximum Ride 2
10. Bleach 31
Only 5 of the 1o titles between the two lists are consistent. Four of the Viz titles and 1 Del Rey. Once again, the NYT list features more of the newly released Del Rey titles than RB. If you remove the Del Rey titles then the NYT would match RB’s top four. RB does have Negima charting, but it’s the only Del Rey title to make it to the list. Maximum Ride and Hellsing continue to hold on in RB’s list, but not Black Butler or Spice and Wolf. They don’t show up until 22 and 48 respectively. If the RB list only gets its data from the three biggest sellers online and retail (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders), where is the NYT data coming from to skew their list so far toward new releases?
Manga For Your Ears
Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews
Spiraken Manga Review
This Week at Manga Village
- Maiden Rose vol 1
- The Tyrant Falls in Love vol 1
- Nabari no Ou vol 1-4
- One Piece vol 40-42
- Weekly Picks
What I’ve Been Reading
- Paradise Kiss vol 2
- One Piece vol 43-44
- Natsume’s Book of Friends vol 2
- Himeyuka and Rozione’s Story
- My Cat Loki vol 2
- Yen Plus vol 3 issue 1
- Shonen Jump September 2010
San Diego Comic Con Con’t
San Diego Comic Con wrap-up dominated the news this week. But this shouldn’t be too surprising considering the size and breath of the con. Friday night ended with the Eisners, where manga may have had great representation in nominations, but in the end, it was only Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life that was able to take away anything, and saw Naoki Urasawa shut out once again. A Drifting Life won for Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia as well as Best Reality-Based Work. While I’m happy for Tatsumi and Drawn And Quarterly for their win, I think Pluto deserved more recognition than it got, and the Eisners need to look beyond tradition comic publishers for good titles.
Saturday brought the Tokyopop and Viz Media: Shonen Jump panels, the only other two publishers to have panels at SDCC. Tokyopop’s panel was filled with lots of announcements, including a new title from Min-Woo Hyung, the creator of the Priest manhwa, called Ghostface. They will be making more of their titles available digitally, including through Zinio and Overdrive. They announced three new licenses, Sakura no Ichiban, Pavane for a Dead Girl and Mr. Clean: Fully Equipped as well as providing more information on other titles previously announced/discovered. It’s good to see Tokyopop getting back into the swing of things, and I have to say I’m interested in all the new Yuna Kagesaki material. I really enjoyed Chibi Vampire.
The Viz Media: Shonen Jump panel didn’t have any new licenses to announce, which quick frankly surprised me. I was sure there would be an announcement for Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan. Maybe they’re saving it for NYCC. Most of the panel seemed to be about SJ branding and tie-in products which is disappointing to me. I want SJ to be more than just a marketing tool for things OTHER than manga. There are supposedly changes coming to the magazine, but none of them sound all that great. I don’t need more information on anime tie-ins. New, better manga would be nice. The panel also covered already announced titles, and announced a new omnibus edition of Death Note. Hiroyuki Takei, creator of Shaman King and Ultimo, made a surprise appearance. No Stan Lee at the panel. I’m disappointed in the SJ panel, but that isn’t really any surprise. I have been excited by an SJ panel since the first one. The mag just isn’t exciting to read anymore. It’s probably because I’m not their core audience.
Another license announcement to come out of the con, though they had no panel was from Drawn & Quarterly. They announced two titles from Shigeru Mizuki, the creator of GeGeGe no Kitaro. Onward Toward Our Noble Deaths is a semi-autobiographical story of the final days of World War II, and NonNonBa is about a young boy being introduced to the world of Japanese folklore by an old neighbor woman. Considering one of their license choices took an Eisner as well as getting a lot of acclaim, these are probably titles to watch out for.
The only other panel of interest in manga fans was the Comics and Digital Piracy on Sunday. The panel included prominent manga bloggers Deb Aoki and Jake Forbes. They discussed the problems of piracy and how it affects both comics and manga as well as digital manga in general. The Q & A brought up many of the same arguments we’ve been hearing from scanlators. The panel is interesting if you haven’t been following all the piracy posts lately, which considering the SDCC audience, probably don’t, so it’s good to see these things being talked about in another open forum.
After the con is over and everyone has recovered, that’s when the individual reports start going up. Deb Aoki of Manga.About has reports from Preview Night, Thursday, specifics of the Viz Kids panel and a roundup of manga at SDCC (so far). Also at the con looking at kid’s books was Eva Volin for the Good Comics For Kids blog. Anime Diet had a man on the floor that live blogged the Best/Worst Manga, Yen Press and Tokyopop panels. Daniella of All About Manga writes up about her first two days, and Heidi MacDonald of The Beat has her own coverage of the Piracy panel. Keep watching for more about people find time to write and upload their thoughts and reactions.
While not strickly manga, but manga-related, is the Scott Pilgrim series. The Monday before SDCC, the final volume in the series was released, and at SDCC, there was heavy promotion for the movie. Now you can go to the movie, which will be released August13 with this contest being sponsored by Daniella of the All About Manga blog. Just tell her your favorite scene from the comic for a chance to win one of three t-shirts from the Mighty Fine t-shirt company. Run, don’t walk to the nearest computer and enter now! (Ad sponsored by Doctor Who SDCC 2010 con exclusive toy and Viz bag. Thank you Daniella! Again!)
Manga Movable Feast: Kissing Up to Paradise
Just as SDCC ended the Manga Movable Feast for July started up. Held this week at the Soliloqy in Blue blog run by Michelle Smith, this month’s title was Ai Yazawa’s Paradise Kiss. You’ll find the introduction to the series here, and an archive of all the links here. This seems to have been a slower Feast than some of the past ones, though it’s hard to tell if it’s because of the material (Paradise Kiss is out of print and not as easy to get a hold of) or because it’s coming on the heels of such a big event as SDCC. But there are still two days left, so keep watching for more entries and for the announcement of the next Feast.
NYT Best Seller List
The list for this week starts out as a truly dark day. Twilight: The Graphic Novel has been pushed not just from its top spot, but from the top 5 all the way down to #9 by mostly Green Lantern: Blackest Night tie-ins. What will Team Jacob and Team Edward do? Happier news awaits on the manga list as Fullmetal Alchemist, one of the best reads out there, debuts and takes the #1 spot with vol 23, pushing Naruto vol 48 back to #2. Ouran High School Host Club vol 14 subsequently falls back to #3 with pal Vampire Knight vol 10 at #4. Alice in the Country of Hearts vol 1 returns to the chart at #5 with the only survivor of CMX (which really doesn’t count as far as I’m concerned, since they were forced into the imprint and not really made for it) Megatokyo vol 6 at #6. The 8th volume of the VizBig edition of Vagabond debuts at #7 while Naruto vol 47 returns again to #8. The VizBig edition of Dragonball Z vol 8 debuts at #9 and Yu-Gi-Oh! R vol 5 ends the list at #10 and the series as well. This is an odd list indeed. The appearance of the VizBig editions are unusual in and of themselves, but to have two at the same time? That’s really weird! Some of the returning titles are odd too, though nothing is more odd that then complete disappearance of Black Butler, a staple to the list for so long. Can this be a sign of the apocalypse?
NTY Best Sellers: Second Opinion
Matt Blind over at Rocket Bomber has something different to say about this week’s top 10 list:
1. Naruto 48
2. Ouran High School Host Club 14
3. Fullmetal Alchemist 23
4. Vampire Knight 10
5. Hellsing 10
6. Maximum Ride 1
7. Naruto 47
8. Maximum Ride 2
9. Bleach 31
10. Alice in the Country of Hearts 1
Notable differences: Matt has no VizBigs on his list. Hellsing, Bleach and Maximum Ride continue to persist on his list while they are no where to be seen on the NYT list. There’s no Yu-Gi-Oh! R and Fullmetal Alchemist didn’t make it to #1 on Matt’s list. This week’s list is a little more consistent with titles, if not with places, with 6 in common. It really makes me wonder what is going on with the NYT numbers that Maximum Ride doesn’t show up, but a lot of Viz new releases do.
Manga For Your Ears
Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews
This Week at Manga Village
- A Drifting Life
- My Girlfriend’s A Geek vol 1
- The Clique
- Manga Sutra vol 4
- Taimashin: The Red Spirder Exorcist vol 2
- Weekly Picks
What I’ve Been Reading
- Swallowing the Earth
- Yokai Doctor vol 1
- Jack Frost vol 3
This is probably the first time in 12 years straight that we didn’t attend Comic Con. It had been a tradition with us. Every year we would find a way, even if it was just for a day, even just Sunday, to get down to the Con and see things. But not this year. It was a decision we made early, and we didn’t even register for the con. The costs in time and money vs the benefits turned out to be far too much. Last year over the 3 days we saw 6 panels, which is only about 1/2 of what we wanted to see and sat through at least 3 we didn’t just to make sure we got to see the ones we DID want to see. When a con becomes all work and almost no play is when it’s time to call it quits. This is my vacation time I’m taking to do things I enjoy. I already get enough stress at work. I don’t need it following me on my vacation. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss it.
As Comic Con approached, I did find I felt a small twang of regret of not being able to wander the exhibit hall and catch sight of some new item, or find some toy or book I’ve been looking for at a great discount. Yes, I know you can surf the internet and find some cool things at low prices, but it the joy of discovery and being able to get right there and then that makes a con so much fun. And the panels. There is such synergy that happens at them, that hearing about them or even seeing them later online just doesn’t compare to see the things live. But, what’s done is done, and I was stuck at work Thursday and Friday, and home on the weekend. Thank goodness for Twitter and live blogging.
Thursday, when I should have been writing or doing my Japanese course at smart.fm, I was instead watching the Twitter updates on Google (my work has Twitter blocked). I got to hear about the Tron: Legacy panel and ADR at the end the paintball challenge from the Burn Notice writers to the White Collar writers, and Bruce Campbell handing out money again this year. Friday was back to work, but as I started checking things out online, I wasn’t seeing anything to really get excited about.
In manga, there were some license announcement. Tokyopop and Yen Press had the most with 3 and 5 respectively. Viz had some announcements for their Vizkids line, but no one really covered it, and they sure aren’t excited about it. I was really expecting to hear that Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan would be licensed, since Viz announced the streaming of the anime, and that a prerequisite to be a licensed Shonen Jump title, right? I thought for sure all the signs pointed to it, but instead, all Viz announced was a new edition of Death Note, in black. Whoo. The Yen Press announcement about Yen Plus going online did sound cool, but then the thought of dueling online services who will all want me to subscribe to read chapters of their manga damped the excitement. I’m not as thrilled as a lot of people about The Bride’s Story, but then, I have not read Emma, so I’m not already a fan of Kaoru Mori. Tokyopop’s announcement of Sakura no Ichiban by Chibi Vampire/Karin mangaka Yuna Kagesaki was good news though. I enjoyed Chibi Vampire, and the cover of Sakura no Ichiban looks interesting. I’m not a big fan of alternative/gekiga manga, so the small press announcements didn’t excite me either. And Del Rey didn’t even bother with a panel, and laying off Ali Kokmen to boot doesn’t fill me with a lot of hope for them as a manga publisher. It was pretty much a low-key con this year.
On the TV side, there wasn’t much either. One of the reasons we had for going to SDCC is now gone; Stargate. The SG-1 and Atlantis teams always had great rapport and it was fun to watch them. From reports of the Universe panel, it was no fun at all. And it doesn’t sound like SGU will be improving anytime soon. Just more of its Battlestar Galactica cloning. Burn Notice it sounds like is only worth going to to see Bruce Campbell. Now granted that is reason enough, but when no one else from the show’s cast shows up? I guess either they don’t like each other or the fans. Or both. The panels that sounded like the most fun were Psych, Bones and Castle. We just started watching Psych, and now I really regret not staying around for their panel last year. That’s a cast to see live! They have a lot of fun on the set, and that usually translates to the panel. Bones and Castle have two veteran fandom stars, David Boreanaz and Nathan Fillion, both of whom know how to please the crowd. I was happy to hear on Bones, Booth would be returning to season 6 with a love interest, and not happy that Bones and Booth will eventually end up together; unless it was the last scene of the series finale. Then I would be fine with it. Though nothing of great interest came out about season 3 of Castle, I would have liked to have seen the panel. It sounds like it was just as much fun as Psych.
This year was the first time that all 5 Mythbusters appeared on stage at the same time at SDCC. While the clips reel is tantalizing, the reason to go these guys is for the Q & A session. They are just a blast to listen and talk to. Rifftrax did another live reading at their panel, but no new riffs were announced. It was fun nominating movies to be riffed by the team. This year it seems like you can try to get a line in a new riffing of Reefer Madness. I was disappointed that I couldn’t find anyone who really covered those panels. Youtube has a video of their live riffing, and the twitter feed for Mythbusters had pictures of their panel, but no one really reporting on them, which is sad. These guys really deserve more attention.
I might have reconsidered braving the crowds if I had none Danny Elfman was going to be there as a guest and have his own panel. I’ve been a fan of Elfman’s since his Oingo Boingo days, and it would have been cool to see him when he’s not performing. Shocktillyoudrop.com had a live blogging of that panel at least.
I read somewhere though all my clicking for SDCC that they could just change the name of Comic Con to Movie Con and no one would notice. And that is sadly true. Genre TV has always been a part of the con. Before Stargate, the panel to go to was the Babylon 5 panel for the blooper reel and the stories on set from JMS. Now, TV and movie trailer/hype have taken over the show. It’s all Dog and Pony and very little con. More companies are going to SDCC to try to get optioned for a Hollywood blockbuster than talk with fans or show off their latest wares. And while it’s cool that some of the businesses are finally getting into the spirit of the con, Syfy themed restaurants and Hooter girls dressing up as super heroes, the businesses that really matter, the hotels, still don’t see con-goers as an asset, but as someone they can drain for money. The city has been fighting with hotels to get more rooms at better rates, and it’s only with the threat of the city loosing millions of dollars that they started to give in. But when I hear one con-goers say that the hotel she is staying at is still charging her $30 at day to park her car, that tells me that the SD hotels don’t really want comic con anymore.
I know there’s no really good option for leaving San Diego. Anaheim provides some additional space, and has Disney pushing for that move, while the rest of Hollywood wants to see the con in Los Angeles while Las Vegas is probably the only place on the West Coast that could really handle the crowds, but no one wants to got there, and Vegas doesn’t need Comic Con. So what does this mean? That we probably won’t be going to SDCC anymore or until things improve. I hear Wondercon has promise…
The week started out with a bang, and just kept on going! Seven Seas started it off with license announcements on Twitter in anagram form with one clue. All three were guessed correctly by ANN and confirmed by Tuesday, the day of the last announcement. The three titles are ToraDora, Amnesia Labyrinth, and A Certain Scientific Railgun. Two of these titles have anime tie-ins, with ToraDora having already released its first disc earlier this month, and Funimation just announcing the license of A Certain Scientific Railgun at this past Anime Expo. Amnesia Labyrinth also has ties to a previously published work. Nagaru Tanigawa, who is the author of the Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi light novels, is also the author of this series. Most of these titles came from ASCII Media Works, which Seven Seas seems to be mining. I’m definitely interested in Amnesia Labyrinth, and not just because it’s by the author of the Haruhi books, which I’ve enjoyed the manga of, but it’s also a mystery. And we can’t get enough of those!
One Manga Down, 1000 Manga To Go
Wednesday, One Manga, the top scanlation aggregator site on the web announced it would be taking down ALL manga, not just titles licensed/owned by coalition members. This was quite a surprise as visitors were greeted with a pop-up message explaining the situation before they even got to any titles. They intend to keep their forums up and running, but it remains to be seen if anyone will still come around with all the manga gone. Reactions to the shut down have been varied and quite frankly extreme in some cases, as a perusal of the comments section of the manga.about.com article shows:
I have not stopped crying since i heard about this yesterday.. what am i going to do from now on?.. my reason to live from one Friday to the next is now gone.. i am deeply saddened.
What am i gonna do with the 36 series’ that I’m curetly reading right now? Im addicted. At 13 I fail to see anything more important than manga right now.. I seriously feel like someone close to me has a fatal disease, and that person is slowly crawling to their death.
Yeah…okay. I love manga too, but it’s not the be all, end all of my life. I was disappointed when some of my favorite titles were cancelled thanks to Kodansha yanking them from Tokyopop, but the world didn’t end because of it. And the world won’t end now without One Manga or 1000 Manga, or any of the other aggregators that may go down. I know teens like to be melodramatic and all, but sheesh! It’s just manga guys!
What Goes Down Must Come Up
The same day that One Manga announces its demise, Square Enix announces a new digital manga store for NA and France. The site will go live in the Fall, but a preview with the first chapters of Fullmetal Alchemist, Black Butler, Soul Eater and O-Parts Hunter (666 Satan) are available right now for download. They are also running demos at their booth at SDCC. This is an interesting development, since Square Enix doesn’t license to just one company here in the US. The four titles mentioned are split between Yen Press and Viz, but both manga publishers have said they are working with Square Enix in this endeavour. No price has been set yet, but it is nice to another publisher not only making titles available online, but to also be portable.
SDCC is Here!
That right, the San Diego Comic Con started this week. And it started off at a run. Wednesday is dubbed Preview Night, where the exhibit hall is open in the evening, and Vertical wasted no time in announcing a license and the first official one of the con. They will be releasing Lychee Light Club, by Usamaru Furuya, who is also the author of the highly anticipated 51 Ways to Save Her, which was announced at last SDCC by CMX, and cancelled before the first volume could be released. It’s a single volume and is about some students at an all boys school who create a robot to find beautiful women but run into a problem when the robot become sentient.
The first official day of the con brought more licenses. At the Bandai Entertainment panel, Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens was announced. Not too surprising, since it was a cult hit on the internet and the anime has already been released. Top Shelf, a comics publisher announced it would be releasing Cigarette Girl, a collection of short stories from an early artist of the gekiga movement, Masahiko Matsumoto. There were several manga related panels that ANN covered; Manga For Grown Ups, Best and Worst Manga 2010, and Manga: Lost in Translation.
Friday brought the Yen Press Panel, which had more new licenses to announce. Aron’s Absurd Armada, High School of the Dead, Higurashi: When They Cry: Demon Exposing Arc, and Otoyome-Gatari: The Bride’s Story. High School of the Dead is another no brainer as its anime was licensed and announced at Anime Expo. Fans were happy to hear about Otoyome-Gatari. It’s the new title from Kaoru Mori, the mangaka of Emma. It sounds like it with get the Twilight treatment with a hardback, larger size treatment.
Yen also finally revealed the fate of Yen Plus. It has its own website which has gone live with a beta. Most of the titles up right now are Yen’s original titles; Maximum Ride, Nightschool, Gossip Girl, and the first 2 chapters of Daniel X. Two Korean titles from the print magazine are there now, Time and Again and Jack Frost, and a special short story, Haunted House Call from the creator of Hollow Fields, Madeleine Rosca. There are no Japanese titles at the moment, but if you go back up one story you may see why for at least two of them. The cost will be $2.99 a month, paid by Paypal subscription, and will keep the last two recent issues available. This is looking like a good deal and the reader on the computer isn’t bad. It’s not flash-based, so the reader may be friendly for mobile devices. Some have said that teens will be left out because of the online payment, but any parents who refuse their kids a $2.99 investment for them to read is doing them a great disservice.
Manga related panels included The Future of Manga with Jason Thompson and Dallas Middaugh was on Publishing Comics representing Del Rey. Del Rey didn’t have a panel at the show this year and with the news of Ali Kokmen, the marketing manager who did a lot of to get Del Rey Manga going being laid off, makes more real the speculation that Del Rey is winding down their manga division. Sony held a panel on their adaptation of the Tokyopop published manhwa Priest, and Moto Hagio had a focus panel where she was also presented CCI’s Inkpot award.
NYT Best Seller List
It’s that time again, so let’s look at what’s going on with this week’s list of best sellers. And a check of the Hardback list shows…What?! No Twilight at #1? Who’s this green dude that’s taken the first three spots, leaving Twilight to come in at #4? Bahhhh. Over on the manga list, Naruto vol 48 retakes it’s #1 spot from Ouran High School Host Club vol 14, which falls to #2. Vampire Knight vol 10 moves back up to #3 with Black Butler vol 2 right behind at #4. New comer Black Lagoon vol 9 debuts at #5 while The Last AirBender falls another 2 to #6. Black Butler vol 1 moves back up one to #7 while another debut, Inuyasha vol 50 arrivals at #8. Soul Eater vol 3 is another newbie arriving at #9 while One Piece vol 54 holds on but falls 7 to #10. Viz hold a majority of 6/10 on the list with Yen Press’ strongest titles holding 3/10. Black Lagoon is a surprise as a more adult title, but is very welcome addition. It would be nice to see more adult titles taking on the massive teen machines of Naruto and Vampire Knight.
NYT Best Sellers: Second Opinion
A lot of people question the New York Times Best Seller List for its accuracy. They never full explain where they get their numbers from, so there’s plenty of doubt about how real they are. One person to not only feel that way, but does something about it Matt Blind of Rocket Bomber. He compiles his own list and explains exactly where the numbers come from. So, here’s a comparison of the this week’s lists:
- Naruto vol 48 1. Naruto vol 48
- Ouran High School Host Club vol 14 2. Ouran High School Host Club vol 14
- Vampire Knight vol 10 3. Vampire Knight vol 10
- Black Butler vol 2 4. Hellsing vol 10
- Black Lagoon vol 9 5. Maximum Ride vol 1
- Last Air Bender 6. Naruto vol 47
- Black Butler vol 1 7. Maximum Ride vol 2
- Inuyasha vol 50 8. Bleach vol 31
- Soul Eater vol 3 9. One Piece vol 54
- One Piece vol 54 10. Negima! vol 26
It’s an interesting comparison when seen side by side. The top three are the same, but Maximum Ride is missing from the NYT, and Black Butler is missing from RB. Interesting exchange, but from same company. Viz still holds 6 spots, while Yen is down to 2. Adult comics still get their representation on th RB with Hellsing, but there’s no Last Air Bender. It will be interesting to continue to do these comparison and see if/how things change between them.
This Week At Manga Village
What I’m Reading
- Black Butler vol 2
- Fairy Nagivator Runa vol 1
- Dramacon vol 3
Manga Factory Direct
Anime News Network was able to talk to company representative Mika Ogata and get some more details about Manga Factory and their prior relationship with Aurora. Despite having been former employees and having volumes of the defunct publishers books for sale, there is no connection between Manga Factory and Aurora. They are completely new company. The books are just a way to get some funds in. They won’t be making any announcements for licenses for the summer, but considering they’ve just started, that’s understandable. And I think it makes total sense for former employees to band together like this and create their own company. They no doubt have the contacts and the knowledge of the US manga market, that executives back in Japan that were calling the shots didn’t. This is like a manga fan’s dream come true, and I hope they succeed, just to prove that dreams like this can still come true.
Manga at the Harveys
The Harveys are awards nominated by and chosen for people in the comics industry. Since this is for the US comics industry, manga doesn’t make a big splash except in the “American Edition of Foreign Material” category. Two manga got nominations this year, and they are the two most likely to be read by comics fans; 20th Century Boys and Pluto, both by Naoki Urasawa. No one can deny the strength of these stories. Urasawa knows how to tell a tale and tell it well. On the surface it might seem hard to choose between the two, but not for me. I’m going for Pluto all the way. Winners will be announced at the San Diego Comic Con next weekend.
Is the Pressure working?
Found via Twitter. Another site that hosted scanlations has bowed to legal pressures and taken down all of the manga from members in the coalition. Manga Toshokan announced last night on their forums that:
we have been advised to remove all series serialized by the publishers in the coalition.
That doesn’t mean they have taken down everything. There is still manga from publishers not in the coalition, as well as manhwa and manhua. Needless to saw (but I’ll say it anyway), this has led to a lengthy thread that was at 77 pages as of this writing. Manga Toshokan realizes that they will lose a lot of their members because of this, and have a created a survey that they intend to send to publishers in the coalition. The questions seem worded mostly to say that sites like theirs are wanted and needed. While I don’t doubt that a digital solution is needed, I don’t think their survey will do much to sway anyone. It’s a different tactic though. Better than screaming obscenities at the publishers or crying for a boycott.
Planning for SDCC
If you’re going to the San Diego Comic Con this year, you’d better have a plan. With so many people and so many panels, there’s no way to just “wing it”. You’ll never get to see anything but the backs of the people in line ahead of you who DID have a plan. Kate Dacey at the Manga Critic helps you get started with information on some of the smaller publishers with panel times and special signing they’ll be hosting. Melinda Beasi of Manga Bookshelf has some of the activities for Viz and Tokyopop as well, which covers most of the publishers that will be there. I’d say it’s sad to have a year without CMX, except they never got a far shake at the DC booth. They have one of the larger booths just for the comics (not counting the Warner Bros booth which is usually next door) and they couldn’t even be bothered to give CMX their own table or put out samplers to promote them. It’s been said before, but I have to say it again. Screw you, DC.
NYT Best Seller List
It’s a new week, so that means a new best seller list. Starting from the top, we have Twilight in its usual spot of #1 of the Hardback list. It seems to be getting comfortable there, doesn’t it? Kicking off the manga list, we have not only a debut title, but it comes right in at #1. Ouran High School Host Club vol 14 kicks Naruto vol 48 back to #2. The newest One Piece vol 54 also debuts at #3, officially ending the massive manga wave, which leaves last week’s #1, The Last Airbender to fall to #4. Vampire Knight vol 10 takes a dive as well, from #2 to #5, and drops Soul Eater for Black Butler vol 2. I think they’re better suited for each other anyway. The third debut is Shaman King vol 29 coming in at #7 while Black Butler vol 1 moves back up to #8. Gotta keep an eye on those vampires. Fourth and Fifth debuts are both shojo. Nana vol 21 takes the #9 spot while Stepping on Roses vol 1 takes #10. This is quite a week as the girls rock the list and show the guys who’s really in charge. Viz comes off the winner too, with 7/10 and 4 of the top 5 spots. I wonder what they’ll have to announce at SDCC that will be appearing here soon (no doubt).
News From Japan
New Crayon Shin-chan Manga
Japanese publisher Futabasha has announced that a new series of Crayon Shin-chan will launch in the Sept. issue of Monthly Manga Town, where the original ran until the untimely death of its mangaka Yoshito Usui in a climbing accident last year. This new series will be done by Usui’s assistants, and the series will be officially credited at “Yoshito Usui and UY Studio”. It will be called Shin Crayon Shin-chan (New Crayon Shin-chan) and will continue to follow the madcap adventures of kindergartener Shin and his family and friends. I think this is a nice way to give tribute to the mangaka. Though I’m starting to think the series itself is cursed in the US. It was first licensed by Comics One, and then picked up by CMX, neither company even got close to completing its run. Maybe this is a series best left unlicensed.
Manga For Your Ears
Manga Out Loud
Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews
This Week at Manga Village
What I’ve been Reading
- Paradise Kiss vol 1
- Chi’s Sweet Home vol 1-2
- Neko Raman vol 1
- Bakuman vol 1