It’s been a year since Yen Press debuted their manga anthology magazine Yen Plus. I picked up the first issue at SDCC and reviewed it in two posts, one for each side. I wasn’t thrilled with the Japanese side, and really enjoyed the Korean/OEL side. A look at the second issue re-enforced those feelings. It’s been a whole year, and at SDCC this year Yen Press had their anniversary issue, so I picked it up again. I wanted to see if the magazine had improved over the year.
It’s been a slow week for news, part of which can be blamed on the Twitter DDOS attack Thursday and Friday. My reading list is way down too. I spent the week writing my Black Jack thesis and reading graphic novels for Good Comics for Kids Summer Reading Challenge. I should be back to reading more manga this week. Maybe.
I’ve been going on a lot about the Twilight/Fanboy debate, mainly because it really irks me. But the reason for that is that I’ve never experienced any real prejudice in my comic shopping, or at cons. Several commentors on the Robot 6 blog article about Girls and Fandom gave anticdotes about their experiences with Fanboys and in comic shops, and quite frankly, it shocked me that they were meeting any kind of resistance from the other patrons and/owners.
I know this is late, but SDCC threw everything off schedule. Everything will back by this week. I hope.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Otakon ran this weekend. Did you notice? There were no announcements from manga publishers, and really not a lot of announcements in general. Whoever planned for this years Otakon really blew it. Placing it between the biggest industry cons was a serious mistake. Attendance was barely changed from last years numbers. Even with this economy, AX showed a reasonable rise, and SDCC sold out at least two months sooner than last year. So it’s not that people aren’t going to the cons, they just need more time in between to replenish cash reserves. Otakon, stay in August.
Yeah, I should have written this last night, but I didn’t get home until after midnight and was exhausted.
Saturday was a struggle to wake up, but we managed it, had another nice breakfast, and checked out. We made it to the convention center just in time for the Women in Manga panel, the only manga panel I was able to make it to all con. That’s just the way it goes. I’m not lamenting. Lots of other people were there to cover the manga panels, and if I’ve got anything to add, I’ll do it in my weekly news post.
Day two started out with a real breakfast. Eggs, pancakes, french toast and toast. This hotel is awesome! It’s a lot better than the fast food sandwiches we usually end up with. Didn’t make it to Stargate Universe, but we weren’t looking forward to the line, and we were tired last night.
Even though this strip is 3 years old, it still describes the experience of SDCC fairly well. The only thing that needs to be added are the lines. Yes, the infamous SDCC lines were back this year and worse than ever. We got to the con at sometime after 10am and walked the Exhibit Hall for most of the morning. My husband took lots of pictures of toys, including a few for me.
Manga’s version of the “Sub vs Dub” debate
And that’s the reason. Semantics is the study of meanings, and to writers and historians, meanings matter. Fans and businesses exploiting the power of the word ‘manga’ are tapping in to one of the oldest magics known to man – the belief that real names have real power, and that attaching a name to a thought or act can give it weight, can bring it into being. But to me, attaching the word ‘manga’ to non-Japanese comics doesn’t change anything important about those comics, and may well dilute and weaken the power of the word in its original form.
In the article by Publisher’s Weekly, and picked up by AnimeonDVD.com, Tokyopop has pulled out of it’s exhibit space at the San Diego Comic Con. Some might see this as another sign of them going down. I see it as another smart move.
Exhibit space has no doubt become very expensive at Comic Con International, as it’s at a premium. The Exhibit Hall (aka Dealer’s room as it was once called many, many moons ago), now takes up the entire convention hall first level. And the space Tokyopop has been getting for the last few years was an entire block, enough to fit at least 10 vendors in, but they weren’t doing anything really productive with this space. Maybe 1/4 of it was used for a local vendor to seel books (not them), the other 3/4’s was used for computers to log into their website (last year) and hold autograph sessions with their creators. For the money that they must have been pouring in, that’s not a very effective use of the space, if you ask me.
Now, just because they pulled out of the Exhibit Hall, does that mean they won’t show up at the convention? Hardly. San Diego Comic Con has been becoming less and less of a comic convention and more of a media convention. This is the place you come to to show off you new TV shows and Movies, strut your stars in front of the fans, and run trailers and scenes from upcoming shows to gage fan reaction. It’s also the place you go to to make deals. There is a lot of behind the scenes deal-making going on at SDCC, that we as fans don’t see or hear about. And with a new media company that is going to want to get comic licenses made into other media, there ARE going to be people from TP walking around.
Also, Tokyopop is based in Los Angeles. It’s just a 2 hour drive down the I-5 (give or take) to go. So it’s not like they are flying across country to attend the event. I expect to still see a Tokyopop panel, and Tokyopop representitives on other panels, in the portfolio reviews area, and maybe even some creators (local) in the autographs area.
Not having to maintain space down on a floor that already overcrowded, impossible to walk in one day, and more media circus than productive business, Tokyopop is making a smart financial move. And in these tough times, that’s something we all have to do.