Link-o-rama

The anthology discussion continues, and it’s getting a bit technical: At Irresponsible Pictures, Pata discusses the mechanics of reading manga and the difficulties of translating a vertical page to a horizontal screen:

If I try to fit the whole page onscreen, I can’t read the text. If I want to read the text, I can’t fit the whole page onscreen. GAR.

His followup post has more links, for those fascinated by the idea of e-anthologies. Meanwhile the MangaHusband, who reads Slashdot so I don’t have to, sent me this post on comics and micropayments. And several people have pointed to DriveThruComics, which seems to be translating the theory into experiment with a site that sells inexpensive comics downloads. No manga yet, but they say they are working on it.

At Icarus Comics, Simon Jones adds his two cents. And it’s worth pointing out that Icarus publishes Comics AG, (NSFW!) a dead-tree anthology that is up to issue 45.

There are several yaoi anthologies in the works, and Love Manga has the scoop on the new Iris anthology, When Worlds Collide. However, yaoi publishers seem to face a unique problem: Resistance from the printers. Tina Anderson has the story and she links to this post by Kellie of Iris:

It’s funny—it honestly never occurred to me that a printer who was okay with “graphic sexual content” would suddenly change their tune when that turned to “graphic homosexual content.” A cock is just fine, but two cocks…oh, no, missy, that’s just wrong.

Neanderthals.

Simon of Icarus also extracts the manga data from the Coldcut top 200 list. The top nine titles are from Viz, but the tenth title on Simon’s list (number 29 overall) is volume 2 of Finder Series, from BeBeautiful. Then it’s Viz, Viz, Viz, Viz, volume 1 of Finder Series,, Viz, Viz, Vizzzzz….. Actually, the entire list is Viz and BeBeautiful, because Coldcut only carries a limited range, but it’s still interesting to see what the rankings are, and as Simon points out, manga dominates the graphic novels category.

If you’re in the mood for a taste of a Japanese anthology, the latest FutoMaki at MangaCast looks at Monthly Shonen Companion.

At Shojo Beat, Kaze Hikaru is out and Backstage Prince is in. I love the editors’ explanation:

“Replacing beloved serialized titles with new ones can be bittersweet, but manga are like people: You like some more than others, you miss those whom you no longer see regularly, and you can never be introduced to too many. And don’t forget, you can still read more Godchild and Kaze Hikaru in their manga volumes!”

It strikes the perfect balance of philosophical insight and self-promotion!

Review-o-rama: The Honolulu Star-Bulletin’s Wilma Jandoc writes about Scrapped Princess, both the manga and the anime. Kadzuki at the Star of Malaysia reviews a book I really enjoyed, Genju no Seiza by Matsuri Akino, the creator of Pet Shop of Horrors. Blogcritics has been going to town on manga lately; their latest post is a review of volume 1 of Dragon Head.

Bleach party

ICv2 notes that Bleach appears to be benefiting from the “Cartoon Network effect,” with volume 1 of the series (first released in June 2004) hitting number 7 on last week’s Bookscan chart and volume 2 rising to number 20. (The Bookscan charts, for those of you who don’t follow these things obsessively, measure sales of graphic novels sold in bookstores.) Altogether, seven of the 14 volumes are somewhere in the Bookscan top 50.

This is happening, of course, because the Bleach anime debuted on Cartoon Network on September 9, so the speed of the effect is impressive.

Does this mean Bleach is the next Naruto? Probably not, according to ICv2, because Bleach has twice as many volumes out as Naruto did when it made its TV debut, 14 versus 7, and because Naruto was, let’s face it, a phenomenon: Volume 1 alone has sold over 70,000 copies, and all 11 volumes are currently in the Bookscan top 18. At Love Manga, David Taylor is guardedly optimistic:

Personally I think it probably can do well maybe not on the same scale but just one look at Naruto shows that no matter what happens when each volume comes out it just keeps selling better every time.

David also gives the Bookscan top ten in order, which ICv2 seems honor bound not to do. A glance at the chart tells the story: five of the ten spots are volumes of Naruto, with volume 1 at number 3.

Saturday morning comics

While we’re all arguing about manga anthologies in the English-speaking world, they seem to be doing just fine in Japan. According to ANN, Tokuma Shoten has revived the magazine Ryu and has set up a contest for aspiring manga-kas.

I’m really enjoying the Ask CMX page, despite the generic layout. They seem to have figured out the Amazon dynamic—if you liked Title X, then give Title Y a try. Meanwhile, MangaCast links to some previews of upcoming CMX titles.

For hardcores only: At Newsarama, Brian Hibbs devotes his Tilting at Windmills column to a discussion of Diamond’s relationship with the direct market—and a possible new competitor.

I was going to link to a bunch of manga reviews but David Welsh beat me to it. Thanks, David!

Defining your terms: Fanthropology has some differing definitions of yaoi. (Via When Fangirls Attack.)

On the light novels front, Jarred Pine interviews Kara Stambach, editor of Crest of the Stars, a sci-fi novel from Tokyopop.

I hear there’s going to be a comic-con in Phoenix this weekend. This is pretty cool:

Amy Black of Mesa, a corporate sales coordinator at Borders, will be at the convention all weekend with daughter Natasha, 13. Black set up a manga group at the store in Chandler so Natasha would have a safe place to interact with other fans. Many manga titles appeal to girls with relationship-oriented plot lines instead of action.

How cool would it be to have a mom who works for Borders! And set up a book group just for you!

On the other hand, the operators of a manga cafe got in trouble recently for letting a 14-year-old boy stay there all night playing an online game. This violates a local ordinance “aimed at providing youth with a wholesome upbringing,” which bans kids under 18 from manga cafes between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. The article doesn’t say what penalty the cafe operators face, but I’m a little curious as to where the parents were when all this was going on.

At Vertical, page proofs for Ode to Kirihito are making Anne Ishii very happy.

Some Friday links

On the Tokyopop blogs, ChunHyang72 has some cogent comments on the Fullmetal Alchemist censoring kerfuffle. I thought it was interesting that people were really mixed on this one, with a number of folks, even on ANN, saying it didn’t bother them at all. And I agree with ChunHyang on this:

What bothers me more, however, is the notion that English-language readers deserve an “authentic,” “uncompromised” version of the original Japanese manga. Hot news flash, folks: the very act of translation has already compromised the “authenticity” of the work; editors routinely look for idiomatic ways to express concepts that translate poorly across cultural lines (i.e. puns, slang, folk sayings) and make minor changes to characters’ names.

She also points to this post by TP blogger Tokyojupiter that looks at several Viz titles and speculates about why crosses are kept in some titles but not in others.

Queenie Chan follows up on her previous article on anthologies, e-manga, and the iTunes business model.

Seeing the future: MangaCast has cover scans for the latest batch of Tokyopop and Viz title announcements. Start looking for these in December. On the Viz front, Active Anime has descriptions of new series starting in the fourth quarter.

For those who like riddles, the Broccoli Books blog drops some enigmatic hints about future titles.

At Postmodern Barney, the title of Dorian’s review of Akira Amano’s Reborn says it all: Toddler Assassins Make Me Smile. Meanwhile, at Blogfonte, Mitch was disappointed by Ravenskull. I feel guilty about this as he bought it in part because of my review. I love that he actually read Ivanhoe, which Ravenskull is sort of based on, because that really informs his opinion of the manga. Unfortunately, he probably liked Ravenskull less as a result.

Metapost: Stating the obvious

One of my favorite parts of this blog is the comments. I live for comments. I love when you guys take a subject and run with it.

So it really hurt to have to lock one comments thread and delete another one altogether. It’s something I have never done before, and I hope I never have to do again.

So here’s the Official MangaBlog Comments Policy: Disagreement and discussion are welcome, but not insults and flaming. Nobody is banned, ever, but I do reserve the right to delete individual comments or lock threads.

I do MangaBlog for fun. I don’t get paid for it, and I don’t spend every minute watching my computer, waiting for a comment to come in so I can react to it. The tone I aim for is light and informative, and in future, I will remove comments that veer too far from that ideal.

MangaBlogCast time!

Yes, it’s that time of the week again. Check out the MangaBlogCast for manga updates and a new feature, Two-Minute Tokyopop.

Here are the links:

Tokyopop online exclusives

Mike Kiley interview
Christopher Butcher letter
Rob Tokar’s blog
Announcement that retailers would get a chance at the books after all

Two-minute Tokyopop

Innocent W
Kamen Tantei
Laya, the Witch of Red Pooh
Star Trek: The Manga
R.I.P.: Requiem in Phonybrian
Vampire Doll

Turning down the volumes?

Lyle asks why there seem to be more books from Tokyopop than Viz
Dave finds a mathematical explanation

Edit raises eyebrows in Fullmetal Alchemist

ANN’s side-by-side comparison
Simon says: Read more porn! (Warning: Possibly NSFW. Duh.)

Buddha wins Harvey Award

Naruto tops Booklist, three other manga also on chart

Anthologize this!

Tania del Rio’s column
Discussion at MangaBlog

Seven Seas announces light novel line

Hot Gimmick is so over

Mangaquake returns

Takeshi Obata arrested for possession of knife

Incoming

Emma
Disgaea
Bayna: The Explosive Delivery Man
Satsuma Gishiden
The Day of Revolution