UPDATE: It was very nice of you all to pretend you didn’t notice. Or were you just as spacy as I was this morning?
This article claiming that UK retailers are missing out on the manga boom is only three paragraphs long, but it raises a heap of questions. First of all, the claim is being made by Emma Hayley, who works for Self Made Hero, which puts out the Shakespeare manga books. So I’m wondering if the problem is more acute with smaller publishers, and if Viz and Tokyopop have the same problem. Certainly plenty of manga is published in UK editions, and before it went bust, the Ottaker’s chain even had a manga club. And this doesn’t seem right:
Hayley added that UK retailers should follow the lead of US booksellers. “Our books have been featured in both Borders and Waterstone’s and they do a good job,” she said. “However, they put all manga in a dedicated section. If you look at the US, stores have manga biography in the biography section for example. They are no longer treating manga as a genre.”
I know Yen plans to market With the Light in parenting sections, but that still seems to be more the exception than the rule. The manga section certainly isn’t in danger of disappearing. Has anyone seen manga biographies in the biography section?
At PWCW, Billy Aguiar has a nice interview with Jason Thompson, former Viz editor and current author of the awesomely comprehensive Manga: The Complete Guide.
Comicsnob Matt Blind launches this week’s manga watch list with a commentary about cine-manga.
ComiPress reports that Kyoto police are cracking down on manga showing sex with children and Osaka police are checking bookstores to make sure “harmful” manga are being shelved away from the clean stuff. The article seems to mix two messages. At the beginning, the article states the problem is that sexy manga are available in convenience stores and bookstores. Later on, there’s this:
An official of the Kyoto police juvenile section said, “Intercourse involving children under 13 is in violation of the criminal law. Lolicon manga may stimulate similar crimes in the real world, so we can’t leave this situation unattended. We are going to warn the parents through these labels. This is not a restriction of the “freedom of press” since the act of labeling is not banning the publication of the books itself.”
Not logical. It’s unlikely that a loli manga would cause someone otherwise not inclined in that direction to rape an underage child, so labeling them and keeping them away from the general public doesn’t solve that problem. The effect on actual pedophiles is unclear, but it seems the labeling would serve the double purpose of making such manga easier to find for them as wants it. Simon Jones thinks this is not about erotica but about manga for teen girls, which would change the scenario a bit. And he asks, wisely, “Are local police really the best arbiters of what is indecent material, as they seem to be in both reports?” At The Beat, commenters discuss the labeling issue.
In this week’s Flipped, David Welsh plans for summer with a list of manga-related activities and upcoming releases.
Reviews: At Mecha Mecha Media, John Thomas has a lengthy and thoughtful review of vol. 1 of Kamui. Okazu’s Erica Friedman has a two-part review of vol. 8 of Yuri Hime magazine. The Anime on DVD staff all kick in on this week’s Small Bodied Manga Reviews. At Manga Life, Michael Aronson gives middling grades to vol. 2 of DN Angel. Rob Vollmar reviews Hokusai: First Manga Master at Comics Worth Reading, and readers chime in with more recommended reading in comments. At the Mangamaniaccafe, Julie checks out vol. 3 of After School Nightmare. Active Anime’s Christopher Seaman reads vol. 3 of Vampire Doll.