Shameless self-promotion: Don’t miss this month’s Shojo Beat, which has (in addition to the usual bouquet of goodies) a brief article by yours truly about The Rose of Versailles and the Japanese love of all things French and frilly.
Speaking of manga in magazines, Matt Blind has more on the manga issue of Wired, including the cover, at Comicsnob.
Shaenon Garrity devotes the Overlooked Manga Festival to Aria, which was overlooked by ADV (they dropped the license after the third volume) but has been picked up by Tokyopop, along with its sequel, Aqua.
Aurora is launching a new josei line, LuvLuv, in January.
USA Today looks at declining manga sales in Japan and cites several reasons, including the popularity of cell phones, the aging of the population, and a lack of originality, a reason that was endorsed by several commenters at ANN. But Simon Jones points out that the slump is in magazines, not manga; people are still reading manga, just in a different form. Over at Blog@Newsarama, commenter Preston Do has an interesting take:
I guess that’s what happens in a business where teh majority of its comics are drawn AND written by one person instead of having skilled people specialize in one or the department. Very few people are talented enough to pull such a task off and I suspect that’s why characters and stories are getting boring or drawing quality isn’t top notch.
Actually, I think that one-creator thing is one of the things people find appealing about manga.
At the MangaCast, Ed Chavez posts news about printing delays that will affect Ninin Ga Shinobuden and other Infinity titles; rumors of a new title from Broccoli; and more possible new titles from Icarus (post is NSFW).
Tina Anderson is looking forward to some new gay manga from Japan.
Canned Dogs takes a look at Shinryaku! Ikamusume, a manga with tentacles but no sex (it’s about a squid-girl). He has scans, so pop in just to look at the art.
ComiPress continues its online run of Manga Zombie with a look at Fukushima Masami: King of Fleshbomb.
Tiamat’s Disciple posts an overview of Ah! My Goddess.
The Star of Malaysia has a nice profile of Captain Tsubasa creator Yoichi Takahashi, who says his characters have developed minds of their own.
Uber-otaku Jason Thompson will be signing his book and talking manga in Torrance, CA, on Oct. 27.
Going to NYAF? ICv2 will be hosting an anime and manga conference.
Tokyopop is looking for an online business development director. (Via Icarus.)
Reviews: At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie checks out vol. 1 of With the Light, vol. 10 of From Eroica With Love, vol. 10 of XXXholic, vol. 11 of Swan, and vol. 8 of Law of Ueki. Tscheese reviews Tail of the Moon at Manga Punk. At Active Anime, Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 1 of Kedamono Damono, vol. 1 of Psycho Busters, vol. 1 of The Yagyu Ninja Scrolls: Revenge of the Hori Clans, and vol. 7 of Pichi Pichi Pitch; Rachel Bentham checks out vol. 1 of Fall in Love Like a Comic, Katie Gallant reads vol. 3 of the Chibi Vampire novel, and Scott Campbell picks up vol. 5 of ES: Eternal Sabbath. Julie stayed busy over the weekend, posting reviews of vol. 3 of Vampire Knight, vols. 21 and 22 of Boys Over Flowers, vol. 7 of Tail of the Moon, and vol. 1 of Psycho Busters at the Manga Maniac Cafe and vol. 1 of The Crimson Spell at MangaCast. Also up at MangaCast: Readilbert looks at vol. 4 of Babysitter Gin, and Ed Chavez podcasts his thoughts on vol. 1 of Kurohime and vol. 1 of Undertown. Greg McElhatton enjoys vol. 1 of Translucent at Read About Comics. Kethylia posts brief reviews of vol. 1 of Welcome to the N.H.K. (light novel), vol. 1 of MPD-Psycho, and vol. 1 of Walkin’ Butterfly. At Manga Life, Robert Murray reviews vol. 1 of Venus in Love, Ryan Lewis checks out vol. 11 of Kekkaishi, Lori Henderson reads vol. 5 of O-Parts Hunter, and Dan Polley gives his take on vol. 5 of Air Gear, vol.4 of Gacha Gacha The Next Revolution, and vol. 1 of @ Large. Michelle looks at vol. 17 of Hana-Kimi at Soliloquy in Blue. At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna enjoys the anthology Mangaka America. At the Star of Malaysia, Kurogane reviews vol. 1 of Shiki Tsukai and Kadzuki finds lots of reasons to like vol. 2 of Mushishi.