Same Hat! Same Hat!! is chronicling a recent trip to Europe, during which they seem to have ignored all the other stuff people go for (castles, restaurants, scenery) and just looked for manga. This post, chronicling their trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair and an alarming conversation with Dark Horse, is great. Since they’re posting about Museum of Terror, I’m going to break a rule and link to their scanlation of Falling, by Junje Ito, Part 1 and Part 2, in the hopes that it will get more people interested and possibly get it published in English (at which point they’ll take the scanlation down).
Free Kirihito: Vertical’s Ode to Kirihito is rapidly becoming the must-have book of the year, and Tom Spurgeon is giving away two copies in a keep-it-simple contest. Check it out.
I’m OK, yuri OK: Pata directs us to this thread on the ANN forums, which actually has some rational moments but also brings out some serious wank about yuri and yaoi. Pata points out that the arguments about definitions largely stem from Japanese marketing practices, which we are free to ignore:
Personally, I find the target-audience system rather insulting to my tastes because Japan’s idea of What Males Will Like doesn’t always match what I actually like, and I am often enjoying stories from the What Females Will Like section. What kind of implied message is this that “Oh, so-and-so manga is not for you because you have a penis,” or vice versa? Tell me what’s in the story, not who it’s for, and I will let my brain decide if I like it, not my sexual organ.
That’s good advice for many areas of life, not just manga! At MangaCast, Ed has more on labels and marketing. At Precocious Curmudgeon, David Welsh gives his two cents. And for greater clarity, Tina Anderson gives an illustrated lesson on what yuri is and isn’t.
It’s lonely at the top: Kethylia agrees with ICv2’s top three choices, anyway. And adds this in the comments:
As for Dark Horse, they’ve never broke away from the declining American comic book reader demographic (40+ years old and male), and they are destined to rise and fall (mostly fall) with that niche demographic. BL, on the other hand (for better and for worse), is a growth segment–no one yet knows how big.
Still more yaoi updates: The 801 Media site is up, with previews of hot yaoi titles like The Sky Over My Spectacles. MangaCast continues its Yaoi-Con coverage with press releases and commentary on June and DramaQueen. On her Tokyopop blog, Tina Anderson covers the OEL BL announcements, which have been shamefully neglected elsewhere. At Icarus Publishing, Simon Jones manages to avoid trotting out that old chestnut about the Chinese character for “danger” being the same as “opportunity,” but you know that’s what he’s thinking. Regarding ICv2’s speculation that more explicit books will be harder to place in chain bookstores, Simon says
While ICv2 sees this as a potential problem for retailers, I see it as an opportunity for the DM. Here is an emerging market that book chains are not willing to, or incapable of serving. DM shouldn’t wait for these customers to come to them, but proactively reach out to that audience.
And, he points out, yaoi fans buy other books as well.