Aar! Manga!

Ahoy! Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day, not only an important internet holiday in its own right but also a sacred feast for members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. ‘Tis a great day to settle in with a copy of One Piece, Destiny’s Hand, or East Coast Rising, or fire up th’ browser and check out the webcomic Vampirates. ComiPress is celebrating today by translating all its posts into pirate-speak.

David Welsh is looking forward to this week’s new manga.

John Jakala has some fun with recent manga solicitations and the Dark Horse newsletter.

New titles for CMX: In this week’s PWCW, Kai-Ming Cha talks to CMX director of manga Asako Suzuki and manga editor Jim Chadwick about some new titles: Go West and the superhero parody Dokkoida?! by Yu Yagami, creator of Hikkatsu and Those Who Hunt Elves, and two one-shots from Flex Comics, Zombie Fairy and Leader’s High. Check the article for some interesting commentary, and MangaCast has cover art for the Yagami titles. Also up at PWCW: A preview of The Dark Crystal Vol. 1: The Garthim Wars.

Leah posts an Osamu Tezuka primer at Hobotaku.

At the Icarus blog (NSFW), Simon Jones lists the upcoming adult manga and discusses why it’s important that Tokyopop and Aurora are releasing mature titles.

The Yaoi Review looks at new titles for September.

Congrats to all those involved with Yuri Monogatari 3, which was nominated for a Lambda Book Award. And YM fans take note: At least five contributors will be at Yuricon’s Yurisai event.

ComiPress has some Japanese serialization news.

MangaCast has press releases on Viz’s acquisition of the Death Note live action movies and the Yen Press fall lineup.

Everyone else is linking to this guy, so I guess I will too: An argument against “global manga.” I thought we would have been over this by now, but I guess not.

Reviews: Carlo Santos has a new Right Turn Only!! column up at ANN, giving his take on Demon Flowers, Tekkonkinkreet, and more. He also gives some bad grades to vol. 1 of St. Lunatic High School. About Heroes also posts brief reviews of new and old manga, including Battle Royale: Ultimate Edition, Ohikkoshi, and My Heavenly Hockey Club. At Anime on DVD, Robert Harris reviews vol. 1 of Pretty Face and Greg Hackmann critiques the Sanami Matoh one-shot RA-I. Michael Aronson compares and contrasts vol. 2 of Puri Puri with Love Hina at Manga Life. Nick isn’t too enthusiastic about vol. 1 of Shakugan no Shana at Hobotaku. At Active Anime, Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 17 of Fruits Basket and Scott Campbell checks out vol. 1 of Ichigeki Sacchu Hoihoi-san. Billy Aguiar reviews vol. 1 of Gon at CBGXtra.com. Miranda has a brief but positive review of Truly Kindly at Prospero’s Manga. At Okazu, Erica Friedman looks for teh yuri in vol. 1 of Venus Versus Virus and comes up empty. At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna names The Voices of a Distant Star one of the best manga of 2006. Michelle reads vol. 15 of Hana-Kimi at Soliloquy in Blue. At PopCultureShock, Katherine Dacey-Tsuei enjoys vols. 1-4 of Mitsukazu Mihara’s The Embalmer. Julie checks out vol. 1 of Blood Sucker: Legend of Zipangubout at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Over at Manganews, mjules reviews Lover’s Flat and vol. 2 of Flower of Life, and Cornerofmadness reads vol. 19 of Bleach. Connie posts reviews of vol. 8 of Lupin III, vol. 9 of Guru Guru Pon-Chan, vol. 2 of My Heavenly Hockey Club, vol. 7 of Law of Ueki, vol. 20 of Bleach, vol. 9 of XXXholic, and vols. 5 and 6 of Saint Seiya at Slightly Biased Manga.

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  1. It is SOO impressive how many different ways you find to say: soandso has read thisandthat. I mean that quite literally in my role as EFL teacher who has to try to get the kids to develop a readable writing style.

  2. Against Global: I commented there, but it’s under moderation. Unfortunately, in the BL genre, it’s here to stay—not because it’s a style rip, but because the distinction is made because the fans want it made. There are fans who feel that “yaoi” is something native only to Japan, and m/m erotic comics are something that is different, and can be created anywhere. I know, the logic is strange— but ‘Japanese BL’ by definition, is 4 women by women, and it’s written that way and sold by publishers…that way. BL made outside Japan isn’t—it”s often not tailored just for women, and pushed at just girls, and to call it ‘American BL’ would negate all those non-Japanese creators currently involved in the English BL business. ^_^

  3. The global critic certainly gets points on a few aspects [including his ability to somehow weave a MacBeth quote into a comic blog] but if he doesn’t like the single volume format, what does he think can replace it? Single issues? Omnibus? Seems a bit wanting in the answers department….

  4. For the swearing fellow at the “argument against global manga” link: scream all the obscenities you like, but it’s empirically true that manga is a style, a style with many variations, but a style in the same way that Art Deco, Cubism, Art Nouveau and all the etceteras are styles. If the world seems against you on this is isn’t because the world is blind or duped by marketers, the world is simply applying correct observation while you are simply being excessively passionate on a moot point.

  5. Hey Rikki!

    I like your comparison of manga to other art movements. You think anyone here (possibly from continental Europe, since they’re traditionally the manifesto-penning sort) would like to write a Global Manga Manifesto?- as distinct from Nouvelle Manga, mind. What would this manifesto include? What would be the main points? The definitions? The principles? Man, this I wanna see!

  6. Here’s my try. It doesn’t really define what ‘manga’ or global manga style is, but it sounds manifesto-y. Got more to add?


    point one: The term ‘manga’ refers in general to sequential art, in particular to sequential art first published in Japan, henceforth referred to as ‘Japanese manga’.

    point two: Japanese manga ecompasses a near-infinite range of styles, formats, themes, stories, and idioms. Many of these recurring styles have influenced artists outside of Japan.

    point three: ‘Global manga’ refers in general to sequential art (insofar as the broader meaning of the term manga refers merely to sequential art), and refers specifically to sequential art that has been influenced and informed in major way, shape or form by Japanese manga. It must also be acknowledged as such by the creator.

    point four: Most of this influence will be reflected in the visual style of the work- whether through character design, visual idioms or storytelling tropes. This may include the use of speed lines; the ‘big eyes small mouth’ design; cinekinetic pacing, etc.

    point five: ‘Global manga’ is an aestehtic movement in and of itself, distinct but not isolated from Japanese manga or other regional styles. It is an internationalized concept, belonging to no single country, language or culture.

  7. (because every manifesto must have a point of contention with which to piss off the so-called ‘old guard’)

    point six : ‘Global manga’ is a reaction to pre-existing regional sequential art industries. In many cases, Global manga artists openly acknowledge their divergence from pre-existing sequential art traditions.

    point seven: Global manga is a deliberate effort to merge regional influences and perspectives with artistic tropes that have been divorced from their original Japanese context.

  8. That’s a nice manifesto, Tintin. I would change point two so that it reads:

    point two: Japanese manga encompasses a near-infinite variance of the manga style, formats, themes, stories, and idioms. Many of these recurring variances on the style have influenced artists outside of Japan, creating such offshoots as “Global Manga” with as much transitive power as the original Arts and Crafts Movement had on Art Nouveau. Manga style itself can be described as a (usually) black and white segmental art form accentuating exaggerated energy and provocative emotion either in line, design, motion, or length of story. Even when superlative realism is applied either to characters or background or both, exaggerated energy and provocative emotion can be detected within the work even if subtle in nature, in some instances this can lead to an ethereal quality. Line width is often subject to gender themes within manga style, i.e. “shoujo” manga for young girls often employs a very thin line-work.

  9. What bothered me most about that global manga rant was the way in which the author created a false dichotomy between “manga” as a term signifying “Japanese sequential art” (a.k.a. “the real stuff”) and “manga” as a marketing category used here to help booksellers shelve their product. The typical Japanese bookstore may not have a single “manga” aisle a la Borders, but the term is certainly used to influence how and where comics are sold. The fact that the term “manga” connotes other things as well—medium, style, genre, format, audience—doesn’t negate the fact that it’s a publishing category, albeit a much broader one in Japan than in the US.

  10. That rant put too much emphasis on country of origin and race. What happens if you change those variables?
    Can an westerner in Japan draw manga? Can a Japanese artist outside of Japan create manga? I don’t see why it should matter.

    Artists are out there creating works of art while less creative people busy themselves by arguing over names. It’s kind of funny.

    (cutting and pasting some of my reply to the rant)

    Interestingly, Japan is acknowledging that there are great non-Japanese artists who draw in a “manga style”. Taro Aso (Japanese Foreign Minister and manga fan) created the “International Manga Awards” and one of the prize winners this year was Madeleine Rosca for her work on “Hollow Fields” (Published by Seven Seas). She’s from Tasmania.

    If the Japanese aren’t fussed by “international manga” why should we be?

  11. Good point, Nathaniel. As a matter of fact, there is an American trying to break into the manga industry in Japan—Takeshi Miyazawa. And check my interview with Glenn Kardy—they have hired a Japanese artist, working in Japan, to draw an OEL manga aimed at North American readers. The lines are blurring all the time.

  12. I have checked them out, good stuff. You write a neat blog. :)

  13. Brigid,

    Your blog is great and really informative, and I read it nearly every day. It really keeps me up to date with the latest news.

    However, I just want to correct one small thing. Takeshi Miyazawa isn’t American – he’s Canadian.


  14. Thanks for noting that, Sonia! Corrections and constructive criticism are always welcome!

    However, as Canada is located in North America, I for one would be pleased to claim Tak as American, despite any semantic differences. ;)


  1. […] the heels of last week’s discussions about global manga, The Star of Malaysia takes a look at manga produced outside of […]