Mah Jong, new manga, and flipped floppies

They run a tight ship down at MangaCast where, holiday or no holiday, they preview the new manga for the week. Also, Ed has put together a Maki Side Dish on mah jong manga, showing that there truly is a manga for every taste. (And it sounds like there’s even a mah jong manga for every taste.)

Simon Jones ruminates a bit (NSFW) on Top Cow’s decision to flip and colorize the Witchblade manga so they can publish it as floppies before Bandai releases the unflipped, black-and-white, trade paperback. Clearly, he says, they’re trying to appeal to Western comics readers rather than the traditional manga fanbase.

In any case, Top Cow is poised to answer an interesting and important quandary… are some comic readers rejecting manga because they feel alienated by the flopped art and lack of color, or simply because they dislike manga and are married to traditional Western-style comics? I don’t think the answer will be in Top Cow’s advantage, although they’ve had success developing a good fan base in Japan with exactly the same strategy, in the opposite direction, reformatting their original Witchblade comics into tankoubon favored by Japanese readers.

There is a pleasing symmetry to this, actually: They convert floppies to manga to sell them in Japan, they convert manga to floppies to sell them in the U.S. But I still think the anatomically improbable cover will cause people’s eyeballs to melt.

Lillian DP has posted an interview with June Kim, creator of 12 Days.

At Manga Talk, Telophase finds some academic articles on manga.

David Welsh turns a mangaphile’s eye on the bookstores’ holiday gift guides.

PWCW is light on manga content this week except for a preview of Blank.

ComiPress has confirmation that Blue Dragon: RalΩGrado, a new manga by Death Note artist Takeshi Obata, will start running in the December 4 issue of Weekly Shonen Jump. They translate the description as “The history of a boy who arrives in a world where darkness reigns.”

Floating Sakura has more thoughts on the scanlation community and hints at possible changes at Manga Jouhou. Also, it’s humbling to learn that links from me and Dirk Deppey don’t bring in as much traffic as a post about Haruhi porn. (Oooh—are my numbers about to go up?)

Video time: Pata has provided some BBC Japanorama videos for your entertainment. I watched the first one, on otaku, and it’s worth checking out for the last sequence alone, as well as hearing plummy-voiced host Jonathan Ross come out with bons mots like “No longer the discarded crusts of the loaf of Japanese society, otakus are now the toast of the town.”

Press release corner: Digital Manga has opened a travel agency and Tokyopop is putting its name on manga-creation software. I’m linking to Johanna’s versions of the press releases as she has good comments on both.

Help wanted: Netcomics is looking for freelance translators. They should be fluent in English and Korean and have an “interest in male-oriented/action manga/manhwa.”

Slightly Biased Manga weighs in on the last volume of Ranma 1/2. Blogger Connie has recently relaunched the site as micro-reviews only, so plan on dropping in frequently.

Active Anime reviews volume 2 of Viz’s Train Man and volume 1 of Trinity Blood. At AoD, Patricia Beard gives volume 1 of Tenryu (Dragon Cycle) middling grades and Jarred Pine reviews Priest. Yaoi Suki reviews Shout Out Loud. And here’s good value for your click: At Tokyopop, Andre reviews the entire Read or Die series.

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  1. RE: Priest, sadly it’s not the penultimate volume — penultimate of what is published in Korea, perhaps. Volume 15 features some incredible action, but it is in no way the finale. At least a couple more volumes are needed to wrap it up — I just hope Minwoo doesn’t give up before then!

  2. I fixed it, but I’m very disappointed—I don’t get to use “penultimate” very often!

  3. Thanks for the link :) And the Netcomics link is pretty interesting…I’m planning to start checking out more of their titles [In the Starlight is on my pull list after reading the preview]. And slightlybiasedmanga looks like a good resource for good reading tips, I hadn’t checked it out in awhile.