Friday early links

Yen Press finally got a real website! The basic design is nice and clean, although the miscellaneous logos for different books clutter it up a bit—the armchair designer in me wants to replace those with titles in a single type plus cover shots. A couple of the links have no content yet, but I’m happy to see there is going to be a blog, and I notice there’s a “downloads” button as well. Hmmm.

David Welsh discusses where he buys his manga at Precocious Curmudgeon, and lots of people chime in with their comments.

ComiPress translates another blog post about hard-working manga artists; this one is about George Akiyama, who doesn’t seem to have anything translated into English, although Pseudo-Human Gourd Beetle sounds promising.

Imprint TALK has a post on the popularity of manga in Japan, including shots of folks reading on the train.

Pablo Hidalgo compares different comics adaptations of Star Wars, including Marvel and manga versions. (Via ComiPress.)

News from Japan: Canned Dogs reports that Shounen Magazine and Shounen Sunday will start a new biweekly magazine that will run popular chapters of Detective Conan (a.k.a. Case Closed) and Kindaichi Case Files. ANN has more, including the news that the new magazine will be called Conan & Kindaichi. ANN has the news that Girls Bravo mangaka Mario Kaneda will start a new manga serial in Kadokawa Shoten’s Monthly Shonen Ace. And I guess this was inevitable: schoolboy cafes.

Manhua! China Comics Now is an exhibit that will open in London on March 7.

NYCC news: ICv2 has announced their panels for the pre-show conference, which has proven to be one of the best parts of the whole experience for me.

Reviews: John Jakala runs through what he’s been reading lately at Sporadic Sequential (warning: includes image of homicidal Santa). Ed Sizemore reviews vols. 1 and 2 of Zondervan’s Manga Bible (not to be confused with Siku’s The Manga Bible) and vol. 1 of Le Chevalier d’Eon at Comics Worth Reading. Danielle Van Gorder checks out vol. 1 of Wild Ones, and the whole staff pitches in with the Small Bodied Manga Reviews at Anime on DVD. Michelle moves on to vol. 4 of Boys Over Flowers at Soliloquy in Blue. Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 7 of Beauty Pop and vol. 13 of Black Cat, and Sandra Scholes has an advance look at vol. 1 of Kingdom of the Winds, at Active Anime. Tiamat’s Disciple reads vol. 2 of With the Light. Nick is of two minds about vol. 1 of Harukaze Bitter Bop at Hobotaku. At Manga Life, Ysabet Reinhardt McFarlane checks out vol. 1 of Suppli and vol. 26 of Basara, and James Hanrahan reviews vols. 1 and 2 of King of Thorn. Comic Pants presents another edition of Manga Zubon, their collection of brief reviews. J. Bowers takes a look at vol. 1 of Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation at PLAYBACK:stl. At Okazu, Erica Friedman is pleased with Voiceful.

Short and sweet edition

David Welsh runs through his picks of this week’s new comics.

In this week’s Publishers Weekly Comics Week, Chris Arrant writes about Udon’s taking over the anthology Robot.

Dark Horse has a preview up of Shaman Warrior. (Via Mecha Mecha Media.)

Adam Stephanides looks at Hoshi Wa Utau, the new manga by Fruits Basket creator Natsuki Takaya.

Attention please! Kethylia has a public service announcement regarding CLAMP nomenclature.

ANN confirms the rumor we heard earlier this week, that the current issue of Dengeki Comic gao! will be its last. Also: There’s a manga edition of Yoshiki Tanaka’s Titania novels in the works.

Reviews: Dave Ferraro enjoys vol. 1 of Antique Bakery at Comics-and-More. Julie reviews vol. 2 of Wild Ones at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Danielle Van Gorder takes a taste of vol. 1 of Vanilla at Anime on DVD. Michelle checks out vols. 1 and 2 of Nana at Soliloquy in Blue. Ferdinand posts a brief review of vol. 2 of Presents at Prospero’s Manga. Connie looks over vol. 18 of Fruits Basket at Slightly Biased Manga. They posted ‘em late, so I don’t feel too bad about linking to About Heroes’ Midweek Manga Reviews a little late as well. And there’s a new set of reviews up at Comics Village: John Thomas on All Nippon Air Lines, Dan Polley on vol. 12 of Golgo 13, Lissa Pattillo on Yumi Kira Dream Shoppe, Charles Tan on vol. 2 of Uzumaki, and Lori Henderson on vol. 5 of Togari.

Flipped finds a new home, Infinity goes online

Here’s the best news of the day: David Welsh’s Flipped column has found a new home! He will be posting at The Comics Reporter now, and he jumps right in with a column about his favorite series.

Infinity is taking a huge step, for manga: Going forward, they will release all their books online, in PDF format. They won’t be free, but prices haven’t been released yet. And they will continue to publish print editions, but as Ed Chavez notes in his excellent commentary, distribution and print quality have been issues for Infinity, and ebooks get around both. Incidentally, Ed is seldom wrong, but when he says that translated Japanese titles cannot be found legally online, he’s not quite right: CPM has a couple of entire volumes up for free here.

Jake Forbes announces a new Tales of the Labyrinth anthology and provides graphic evidence of why he won’t be drawing for it.

Japanamerica author Roland Kelts takes an Asian-tinged tour of San Francisco and hears about Viz founder Seiji Horibuchi’s big plan for a Japanese popular culture center in the city’s Japantown.

At Manga Xanadu, Lori Henderson gets the latest Previews and has some tough decisions to make.

Canada always seems like a reasonable country, except for this: Their customs service just banned a number of erotic manga. (Check out this earlier story for more.)

Erica Friedman updates us with all the latest yuri news at Okazu. WaiWai offers a beginner’s look at lesbian manga, but Erica goes into greater depth in her informative review of Honey & Honey.

Christopher Butcher winds up his photo tour of Japan with pictures of Shibuya, Ginza, and the Ramen Museum.

At the Del Rey blog, Dallas Middaugh notes a literary device that works better in Japanese than in English.

News from Japan: ANN reports that Hajime no Ippo creator George Morikawa will draw a one-shot manga for the first issue of Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Rival. Artists Cuvie, Morishege, and Tota Kisawa have launched new series in Akita Shoten’s Young Champion. And Ichiinsha has announced a new light novel line.

Tokyopop is offering its West Coast fans a chance to be a part of their Van Von Hunter movie on Friday. They’re even buying the pizza!

Reviews: Occasional Superheroine Valerie D’Orazio finds a lot to like about vol. 6 of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Emru Townsend takes a look at vol. 2 of Mechademia, the academic journal of manga and anime, for Frames Per Second Magazine. Michelle enjoys vol. 18 of Fruits Basket at Soliloquy in Blue. At the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie is disappointed by vol. 1 of Yozakura Quartet. Singaporean anime blogger dKiWi reviews vol. 1 of Aqua at 2D>3D. Katie McNeill checks out vol. 1 of Harukaze Bitter Bop for Blogcritics. Greg McElhatton is not impressed with vol. 1 of Hell Girl at Read About Comics. The blogger at Anime wa Bakuhatsu da! likes vols. 1 and 2 of Parasyte. Mangamaniac reviews Love Circumstances for MangaCast. Miranda checks out vol. 1 of Translucent and Ferdinand looks at vols. 1 and 2 of Variante at Prospero’s Manga. Matthew Alexander reviews the adult title Heat, which probably wouldn’t make it past Canadian customs, at Anime on DVD. Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 4 of Yurara and vol. 11 of Skip Beat! at Active Anime. Erica Friedman reads Otome Cake with an editor’s eye. Kethylia jots a few quick reviews. Eric Turner reviews vol. 1 of Heaven!! and Xenith checks out vol. 1 of The Yagyu Ninja Scrolls at Manga Jouhou. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie reviews vol. 2 of Presents, vol. 4 of Kashimashi, and vol. 5 of Golgo 13. Lissa Pattillo checks out vol. 1 of Level C and writes a thoughtful and non-spoilery review of Death Note at Kuriousity.

PR: Dimensional Manga launches new series

There’s a new manga publisher in town. That’s not news, but this one promises something new:

Challenging the average comic fan with its never-before-seen concepts and content, Dimensional Manga’s stunning graphics and philosophical “real life” stories bring new ideas to readers unlike any other manga book on the market.

I’m curious how a title like Demon Prince: Children of Gaia is a “philosophical ‘real life’ story.” Their site offers previews—a “normal preview” and a “serious preview”—so go check it out for yourself.

[Read more…]

Monday early links

It’s been a busy week! Over at Comix Talk, I interrogated Adam Arnold of Seven Seas about his company’s use of free webcomics to promote their print manga. At Digital Strips, I have a short interview with artist Matthew Reidsma about his journal comic High Maintenance Machine.

NPR interviews Siku, the creator of The Manga Bible.

Katherine Keller recommends some yaoi manga that don’t fall into the usual gender-role traps at Sequential Tart. Bonus points for her excellent headline!

Paul Gravett looks at the phenomenon of global manga, with emphasis on British creators. (Via Journalista.)

At About.com, Deb Aoki interviews Saul Ferris and Chip Kidd, co-authors of Bat Manga! The Secret History of Batman in Japan.

Stephen Taylor writes about Nodame Cantabile for the Daily Yomiuru, and David Welsh takes issue with his view of manga in general.

Jog looks at the work of Hideshi Hino.

Saori Kan of The Star of Malaysia talks to pioneer mangaka Keiko Takemiya about her work and her love of teaching.

Rumors are flying in Japan that Dengeki Comic dao! will fold soon. Ed Chavez explains what that means to us.

Yamila Abraham shows off the line work for the cover of Happy Yaoi Yum Yum at the Yaoi Press blog.

Manga is largely unaffected by the recent crackdown on child pornography, according to the Asia Times.

Dark Horse editor and ur-otaku Carl Horn will speak on “Manga: The Business of Adapting Japanese Comics for the U.S. Market” at Portland State University in Oregon on March 13.

Reviews: Kevin Tan reviews vol. 1 of Gin Tama for The Star of Malaysia. The folks at Anime Pulse devote their latest podcast to manga—Alichino and Hana-Kimi, to be specific. Wilma Jandoc looks at A Perfect Day For Love Letters and X2 for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Ken Haley reviews vol. 28 of Naruto, which begins the new story arc, at Manga Recon. Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 1 of Minima! and vol. 1 of Yozakura Quartet at Active Anime. Mangmaniac reviews Love Circumstances and Ed Chavez does a podcast review of vol. 1 of Alice on Deadlines and vol. 3 of Galaxy Angel III at the MangaCast. Michelle reviews vol. 1 of Sand Chronicles, vols. 3 and 4 of Skip Beat, and vol. 17 of Fruits Basket at Soliloquy in Blue. Lori Henderson doesn’t see what the fuss is about vol. 1 of Hell Girl at Manga Xanadu. Danielle Van Gorder checks out Melted Love at Anime on DVD. At the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie reviews vol. 6 of Night of the Beasts, vol. 1 of Alive, and vol. 1 of Minima.

No Go in SJ, spring training begins, new comics everywhere

An alert Anime on DVD reader spotted this in the American Go Association’s E-Journal: Viz is dropping Hikaru no Go from Shonen Jump and replacing it with Slam Dunk. (Via ComiPress.) Lori Henderson reacts badly to the news…

Katherine Dacey picks the good stuff in this week’s crop of new releases and reviews some books she likes (for a change) at PopCultureShock’s Manga Recon blog. The MangaCast team combs through the new comics list as well.

Pitchers and catchers reported for duty last week, and Dave White celebrates with some samples of Aoizaka High School Baseball Club, which runs in Weekly Shonen Sunday.

Why can’t we all just get along? At Shuchaku East, Chloe has a measured response to some snark that popped up in comments to Danielle Leigh’s column at CBR.

Yaoi Press posts a preview of vol. 2 of Dark Prince.

Sandra Monte of the Brazilian blog Papo de Budega reports that Brazilian publisher Panini has canceled Eden and Peach Girl, causing dismay among fans there.

Things have been quiet over at Manga Life, but there’s a flurry of new posts up this week, including a new column by Fruits Basket translators Alethea and Athena Nibley.

This is getting interesting: Creator Hideo Iura and publisher Shogakukan are fighting back against a lawyer’s claim that Iura’s Bengoshi no Kuzu lifted material from his novel.

Who is the hardest working mangaka in Japan? ComiPress translates a blog post that makes the case for Shinji Mizushima, whose works include Song of a Baseball Maniac and Boys’ Idiotic Koushien.

Dorian points out that manga can be sexist too, and he scans in a couple of pages of Ral Grad to make his point. (Via When Fangirls Attack.)

Job board: Tokyopop is looking for a receptionist/office assistant. Don’t turn up your nose at that; I believe the mighty Shaenon Garrity started out as a receptionist for Viz. And speaking of Viz, they are looking for an assets coordinator. (Both via ANN.)

Temple University is offering a six-week course in anime and manga at its Japan campus.

Reviews: I know we’re all sick of hearing about The Manga Bible already, but this review makes a good point and is kind of funny besides. Manga Xanadu blogger Lori Henderson has already drafted her two daughters to write manga reviews, and now husband Brian gets into the act with his look at vol. 1 of Junk. Julie reviews vol. 1 of Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Erica Friedman does a thought experiment with vol. 2 of Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora at Okazu. David Welsh is happy that vol. 5 of Kitchen Princess moves beyond cookie-cutter shoujo into more interesting territory. Holly Ellingwood checks out vol. 12 of Death Note and Rachel Bentham gets on board All Nippon Air Lines at Active Anime. James Hanrahan reviews vol. 1 of Hell Girl and Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane critiques vol. 8 of Nana and vol. 1 of Sand Chronicles at Manga Life. Dave Lartigue explains why you should read all eight volumes of Tezuka’s Buddha at once, and he addresses some of the misgivings I had about it. James Fleenor posts his impressions of vols. 21 and 22 of Bleach at Anime Sentinel. Lissa Pattillo investigates The Prime Minister’s Secret Diplomacy at Manga Jouhou. Matthew J. Brady checks out the latest Shojo Beat at Warren Peace Sings the Blues. Tangognat is hooked after reading vol. 1 of Sand Chronicles. Katie McNeill reviews Noise for Blogcritics. At Anime on DVD, everyone pitches in with Small Bodied Manga Reviews.