The big retail news of the past 48 hours is that Borders is changing its strategy, with plans to close 250 of its Waldenbooks stores and focus on its “superstores.” This is generally a strategy I deplore, as I resent being sent off to a distant, soul-suckingly ugly commercial strip every time I want to make a single purchase. However, I can see the strategy here, as outside of manga the Waldenbooks inventory strikes me as very limited. The good news is that graphic novel sections seem to be getting bigger, as Wayne Beamer of Blog@Newsarama noted. When I blogged about bookstores last week, lots of people commented, most to say that their bookstores are expanding their GN sections. My local Barnes & Noble recently enlarged its manga section, but managed to do so without really increasing the variety of titles.
At Tokyopop, ChunHyang72 wraps up the latest manga news with handy links in her weekly Manga Minute.
Shaenon Garrity launches a pre-emptive strike at this week’s Overlooked Manga Festival, taking a good look at To Terra so it won’t become overlooked.
The Tennesseean takes a look at Christian manga, complete with quotes from ICv2′s Milton Griepp about the rising tide of graphic novels. That’s impressive but probably irrelevant, because Christian comics are more likely to be sold in Christian bookstores, which are outside the usual distribution and reporting systems, than in a Borders or a local comic store.
Graphic novels from religion publishers have been plagued at times in the past by poor quality art or weak stories, but that’s changing, said Bruce Nuffer, associate publisher of Zonderkidz.
Maybe, but I read the first volume of Serenity and wasn’t impressed with it’s we’ll-save-this-bad-girl-by-praying-for-her approach.
Your Libre/BeBeautiful update of the day: Simon Jones reports that the online store Rabbit Valley has dropped its BeBeautiful titles. So far that’s the only one anyone can find.
Pata explains how not to learn Japanese—and has some suggestions for doing it right. I have to say, my kids loved the Kana de Manga books, but they still don’t know Japanese, probably because it really is hard to learn a language on your own.
At MangaCast, new contributor Readilbert translates an Indonesian article on manga.
Reviews: Jessica Severs reviews vol. 1 of Archlord for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Active Anime’s Holly Ellingwood looks at vol. 7 of Black Cat and vol. 1 of Free Collars Kingdom. Julie checks out vol. 1 of Metamo Kiss at the Mangamaniaccafe. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie reads vol. 2 of Saint Seiya and vol. 2 of Monster. Matthew Alexander enjoys vol. 1 of Kedamono Damono at Anime on DVD. Leroy Douresseaux checks out vol. 1 of Backstage Prince at the Comic Book Bin. I love the sluglines at Prospero’s Manga, and they’re particularly good today as Miranda takes on Poison Cherry Drive and Ferdinand checks out vol. 1 of 100% Perfect Girl. At Comics Worth Reading, Rob Vollmar gives Ode to Kirihito a slightly less glowing review than everyone else. And Katherine Dacey-Tsuei shows the rest of us how it’s done with her review of Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms.