Archives for October 2007

Scary Wednesday

This week’s PWCW has two must-read pieces for manga fans, Kai-Ming Cha’s article on Vertical’s plans to publish Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack and Ed Chavez’s report on Yaoi-Con. And while it’s not manga, check out my piece on Thunder Road and Uclick’s plan to bring cell phone comics to the web.

The new, improved MangaCast is live! ComiPress talks to Ed Chavez about their move, including transitioning from LiveJournal to WordPress. At the shiny new site, Jack Tse launches his new podcast, This Week in Manga.

Yamila Abraham of Yaoi Press is back from Yaoicon. And ComiPress rounds up the new license announcements.

Same Hat links to some previews of MW.

Reviews: At Active Anime, Scott Campbell looks at vol. 2 of Parasyte and vol. 2 of Alive. Kethylia checks out Osamu Tezuka’s MW. Ferdinand reviews Princess Ai: The Ultimate Edition, vol. 1 of Dorothy of Oz, and issue 1 of Multiple Warheads at Prospero’s Manga. Tangognat checks out Le Chevalier d’Eon.

Quick trot ’round the news sites

I’m rushing out the door this morning but will be back later with more news and commentary.

The Manga Recon blog presents this week’s new manga and a review of Osamu Tezuka’s MW, which is so good they are giving away free copies! Details at the link.

Remember that scene in Megatokyo when Piro turns to shoujo manga for advice about his life? In a special Halloween Flipped column, David Welsh does the same thing with horror manga.

At Panels and Pixels, Chris Mautner looks at horror manga as well.

Comicsnob has another edition of The Pulse, their summary of online manga sales, along with the top 100 volumes and top 25 series.

Yen Press has licensed three yaoi titles by Lily Hoshino: Love Quest (Rabu Kue), Mr. Flower Bride (Hanayome-kun), and Mr. Flower Groom (Hanamuko-san).

If you read French, check out Xavier Guilbert’s essay on Ode to Kirihito at du9. If you don’t, just relax, they will probably translate it soon.

Tiamat’s Disciple presents overviews of Flame of Recca and Full Moon O Sagashite.

Elae updates the list of new releases in Germany.

John T looks at vol. 1 of Uzumaki at Mecha Mecha Media.

PR: Udon to publish Robot

I never read Robot, but it definitely has a following, and people were disappointed when Digital dropped it after volume 3. Now Udon is picking it up, beginning with vol. 4. This is definitely manga for grownups! Read on for more details.

UDON and d/visual Join Forces to Continue Popular Artbook Series

Toronto, ON – Oct 29, 2007 – Conceived and edited by Range Murata (”Last
Exile”, ”Blue Submarine No.6”), and published in Japan by Wanimagazine, ROBOT is a unique, full color anthology series which unites Japan’s greatest Manga creators, many of whom are experimenting with color stories for the first time. New volumes of the series’ English language version have been absent from store shelves for nearly a year. Now, UDON Entertainment and d/visual have teamed up to continue bringing the series to English readers, starting with ROBOT Volume 4 in December 2007.

The artwork of the ROBOT series is of unparalleled quality, with cutting-edge storytelling styles that bring awe-inspiring fairy-tale landscapes and exciting sci-fi worlds to life. The series’ compiler and editor Range Murata created ROBOT with the goal of showing the world the hidden talents of the Japanese art world, and to give exposure to these skilled, up-and-coming artists. At the same time, many of Japan’s more popular creators have also used the series’ unique anthology format to experiment with their own original ideas. ROBOT Volume 4 features the work of such greats as yoshitoshi ABe(Serial Experiments Lain), Kouji Ogata (Boogiepop
Phantom) and over a dozen more of Japan’s finest artists.

Originally published by Digital Manga Publishing, the English edition of ROBOT premiered in 2005 to rave reviews from both manga readers and fans of great artwork. The first volume of the series went through several printings. Unfortunately DMP published only 3 volumes of the popular series, and now UDON Entertainment and d/visual are ready to pick up right where things left off. “Pretty much everyone at UDON is a huge fan of the ROBOT series,” says UDON Chief Erik Ko. “d/visual has already done a spectacular job bringing ROBOT to Italian, and Chinese readers, so when they asked us if UDON wanted to co-produce and continue ROBOT in English we jumped at the chance. We’re quite excited to be working alongside d/visual and with Wanimagazine.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue releasing the English edition of ROBOT”, says d/visual director Federico Colpi. “In only three years, d/visual has become one of the most valued publishers in Europe and Asia in the field of art books, classic manga, and innovative Japanese graphic novels. We have also been selected by many publishers worldwide as a printing service. We are glad that books we have printed in the past such as ROBOT #2 and #3 and the ‘yoshitoshi ABe illustrations’ art book, released last year by DMP, have been so well received by North American audiences. Most of all, we are excited to partner with UDON Entertainment, a company we love for their astounding comics and videogame work.”

Koshi Yamazaki, president of Wanimagazine Inc., commented as well: “It was a real shame that a successful series such as the English edition of ROBOT was stopped after only three volumes, so I am incredibly happy about the return of ROBOT to North America and to the worldwide English audience. It is a pleasure to start this new venture with a skilled partner such as Udon Entertainment, and of course with d/visual, with which we already enjoy a strong relationship. Most of all, I am happy to know that our English readers around the globe will once again have a chance to enjoy the works of our outstanding artists.”

ROBOT, which has previously been released roughly annually, will now be moving to a quarterly release schedule. With 9 volumes of ROBOT already released in Japan (and more to come!), English readers have a lot to look forward to. Look for ROBOT Volume 4 everywhere artbooks, comics, and manga are sold in December 2007.

ROBOT Volume 4
Release: December 2007
US Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-1897376744
Diamond#: OCT073852
Format: 160 pgs, Full Color, Artbook, 8 ¾ X 11 ¾ inches
Robot Promo site:
Cover Artwork:

Monday early roundup

Yaoi Suki has comprehensive coverage of Yaoicon, with panel reports from all the major publishers (except BeBeautiful, which wasn’t there). If you read yaoi, you need to read Yaoi Suki—Jen and Jordan do a great job of covering the scene, and the Yaoicon coverage is concise, complete, and readable. Over at MangaCast’s new digs, Ed has posted covers for newly announced titles from 801 and Boysenberry.

Variety notices manga, with a piece about film adaptations that focuses on Tokyopop, plus a profile of Tpop honcho Stu Levy and a highly arguable list of Tokyopop’s top ten properties.

Julie checks out the November Previews at the Manga Maniac Cafe.

ICv2’s Comic Book Guy Steve Bennett wonders if manga publishers will make the same mistake that superhero publishers did—just keep churning out more of the same.

At Otaku Champloo, Khursten weighs in on Japan’s request that U.S. authorities do a better job of enforcing copyright laws. Khursten is located in the Philippines, where there are few licensed properties available in English, so a crackdown would really affect people. And at Journalista, Dirk Deppey points out that this will always be a bigger issue for anime companies because Japanese watchers can download a fansubbed anime and just ignore the subtitles.

Hazel checks out some new scanlations.

Mely of Coffeeandink finds a gem in Bleach.

The Taipei Times looks at animamix artists, Asian artists who are influenced by the look of manga.

Kinokuniya goes pan-Asian.

Reviews: At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson critiques vol. 1 of Red String. Julie reviews vol. 1 of The Yagyu Ninja Scrolls, vol. 19 of Red River, vol. 1 of Style School: Illustration and Instruction, and vol. 2 of I Hate You More Than Anyone at the Manga Maniac Cafe. At Hobotaku, Nick is still not sure about vol. 1 of Welcome to the NHK. Matthew “Not the Newsarama Guy” Brady reviews the November issue of Shojo Beat. Kethylia is disappointed by vol. 9 of Guru Guru Pon-Chan but likes vol. 1 of Peach Girl: Sae’s Story. Patricia Beard reviews the one-shot Star for Anime on DVD. MangaCast seems to be running on two sites at the moment; Mangamaniac Julie reviews vol. 2 of Our Everlasting at the new site, and Pea checks out vol. 9 of Shocking Pink Sky at the old digs. At Prospero’s Manga, Ferdinand checks out vol. 1 of Atelier Marie and Elie: Zarlburg Alchemist and Miranda checks out vol. 1 of Me2, and at Comics Buyers Guide, Billy Aguiar checks out vol. 1 of The Yagyu Ninja Scrolls: Revenge of the Hori Clan. EvilOmar looks over Crying Freeman at About Heroes. Ken Haley reviews vol. 3 of MPD Psycho at PopCultureShock’s Manga Recon blog. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie checks out vol. 8 of Saint Seiya, Mantis Woman, and two Hideshi Hino releases, Bug Boy and Oninbo and the Bugs From Hell 1. Joshua Habel reviews vol. 1 of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service at The Stute.

Fast Friday Update

New to the blogroll:, where Deb Aoki is doing a nice job of keeping up with the manga scene. Check out her in-depth interviews with Kurt Hassler and Dallas Middaugh. I haven’t been a fan of the sites in the past, but it looks like Deb is putting up some really nice content, so go take a look. Also: Phoenix Comics & Collectibles, which despite its name is located in Hicksville, NY.

Jason Thompson looks back at his original proposal for Manga: The Complete Guide and discusses how the project evolved from there.

For this week’s Overlooked Manga Festival, Shaenon Garrity takes a look at Comics Underground Japan.

The MangaCast team looks at this week’s new releases, and Pea starts a series on the Indonesian manga scene.

Derik Badman analyzes the composition of a page of Andromeda Stories.

Tokyopop, Aurora, Viz, Go Comi, and Digital Manga Publishing are all donating manga to relief centers for evacuees from the Southern California fires.

Quick news roundup

In this week’s Flipped column, David Welsh interviews Dylan Acres, one of the founders of the excellent Rumiko Takahashi fan site Rumic World. I liked this, because it sums up what I like about manga:

In ’93 I was coming from this world of Marvel’s X-Men comics where everything was grim and gritty and everyone was persecuted for being a mutant. I had never read a comic where the main characters got jealous or were petty or vain, in a realistic way at least. And all of a sudden in Takahashi’s works I saw that and it really rang true.

Back at Precocious Curmudgeon, David looks at this week’s new manga.

With Iron Wok Jan coming to the end of its run, PWCW’s Kai-Ming Cha talks to folks at DrMaster about their plans to diversify—and the painful aspects of a long-running, difficult-to-translate manga. Also at PWCW: Anne Ishii, former Vertical marketing director and blogger extraordinaire, explains Tekkonkinkreet.

At Same Hat! Same Hat!!, Ryan takes a look at the covers Chip Kidd has been designing for Vertical’s classic manga and declares him out of his slump. Also: A look at Jason Thompson’s Manga: The Complete Guide, for which Ryan wrote several short reviews.

Giapet notes that the Japanese government has asked the U.S. authorities to crack down on unauthorized distribution of manga. There’s a good discussion in comments as well, and keep in mind that this may extend to scanlations someday as well. I have more thoughts on this at Digital Strips. UPDATE: Thanks to Crystal Risen in comics for correcting me on this and pointing me to this ANN story.

At the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie has more on Aurora’s new Luv Luv line, which promises to be rather steamy.

ICv2 confirms that Blu manga prices will rise from $9.99 to $12.99 per volume.

The new issue of Otaku USA is out. I picked it up this week but haven’t had a chance to read it yet; editor Patrick Macias gives a quick overview at his blog.

Online manga update: Flex Comics Flare is an online manga magazine aimed at women, which launched this week on the Yahoo! Comics Japan website. It’s all in Japanese, of course, and even worse, the comics can only be read with Windows Internet Explorer, cutting out a huge chunk of the potential audience. Yes, this is related to the Flex Comics that recently inked a deal with DC/CMX, so maybe some of these will be coming to the U.S., not to mention Macs, soon.

Tokyo police bust a brother-and-sister team who were bumping into otaku in Akibahara and then demanding money as an apology.

Reviews: Jog looks at New Engineering, an art-manga that was in danger of being overlooked until a bunch of people saw it at SPX. Carlo Santos has a new Right Turn Only!! column up, with harsh words for a handful of manga and kisses for others. Ben Leary checks out vol. 1 of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED X Astray at Anime on DVD. Julie is serving up some manhwa at the Manga Maniac Cafe, with reviews of vol. 1 of Chunchu: The Genocide Fiend and vol. 1 of Bride of the Water God. Nick posts a brief and unenthusiastic review of vol. 1 of Shinshoku Kiss at Hobotaku. Holly Ellingwood keeps busy at Active Anime with reviews of vol. 2 of Innocent Bird, vol. 4 of Kitchen Princess, and vol. 11 of Black Cat. At Prospero’s Manga, Ferdinand refuses to suspend his disbelief for vol. 1 of Missile Happy but has good things to say about vol. 1 of Psycho Busters.