PR: Yen to publish Cirque du Freak manga

Yen announced this acquisition at SDCC and it caught my eye right away. It’s a Japanese manga based on a series of YA novels by an Irish writer. That really stretches the definition of global manga. And Yen is timing the U.S. release to coincide with the movie based on the books. Mr. Shan must be a happy guy. Read on for more details.

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Thursday news and reviews

The crack MangaCast team picks the best of the best from this week’s new manga releases, and Ed Chavez lists the October/November releases from the August Previews, for those who like to plan ahead.

Matt Blind compiles a chart of July’s new manga releases and lists the top manga in online pre-orders at Rocket Bomber. And he takes a closer look at Del Rey, with charts and some info that may not be obvious to the casual reader.

I think I already reported this, but it was a while ago: The Phoenix Wright manga is coming in September.

News from Japan: ANN updates us on the fates of the manga serials that ran in Young Sunday, which ceased publication recently. Also, Makoto Kobayashi, the creator of What’s Michael, will be drawing a “true story” manga about his experiences working for Shonen Magazine 25 years ago. The manga version of Cafe Kichijouji de will restart in the fall; my kids discovered this one a few years ago and thought it was hilarious. Venus Versus Virus is ending its run in Monthly Dengeki Daioh. And there’s a manga adaptation of Kung Fu Panda running in Kerokero Ace. Meanwhile, Kyoto Seika University, which has long offered a manga program, now has a course in cell phone manga.

Reviews: Esther Keller gives her take on the first issue of Yen+ at Good Comics For Kids. Matthew Brady reviews Viz’s all-ages manga Cowa! at Warren Peace Sings the Blues. Shifting gears completely, Casey Brienza finds a lot to like about vol. 5 of MPD-Psycho at ANN. At Manga Life, Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane reviews Short-Tempered Melancholic and Park Cooper checks out Cowa! and vol. 2 of Dororo and pens short takes on a stack of other manga. Johanna Draper Carlson reviews vol. 2 of Dorothea and recommends all of Yotsuba&! at Comics Worth Reading. New reviews are up at Comics Village: John Thomas on Tokyo Zombie, Sabrina on The Gorgeous Life of Strawberry-Chan, Lori Henderson on vol. 11 of Nana, and Charles Tan on vol. 5 of Eyeshield 21. It takes a real man to read a shoujo manga, and Isaac Hale shows he has what it takes at PopCultureShock, where he gives an A+ to vols. 9-11 of Nana. Ed Chavez posts an audio review of vol. 1 of Toto! at MangaCast. Writer Rachel Manija Brown posts a brief review of Silver Diamond. Connie enjoyed Tokyo Zombie, to her surprise, at Slightly Biased Manga. D.M. Evans reads vol. 1 of Psycho Busters, the novel, at Manga Jouhou. Sesho has audio reviews up of vol. 1 of Elemental Gelade and vol. 7 of GTO. Lissa Pattillo checks out vol. 5 of Yotsuba&! and vol. 7 of Satisfaction Guaranteed at Kuriousity. Julie reads vol. 8 of Chibi Vampire and vol. 5 of I Hate You More Than Anyone! at the Manga Maniac Cafe.

Quick news roundup

The PWCW Dream Team of Kai-Ming Cha, Ed Chavez, and Erin Finnegan recap the manga news from SDCC, and they pick up on a few things I don’t think were noticed elsewhere: Last Gasp has licensed Junko Mizuno’s three-volume series Fancy Gigilo Pelu, and Drawn and Quarterly will be publishing the autobiography of Yoshihiro Tatsumi, creator of The Push Man.

At Kurioiusity, Lissa Pattillo has more news, including the fact that Digital has apparently picked up the BL manga Train*Train by Eiki Eiki.

Vol. 30 of Naruto drops from number 50 to 73 on the USA Today best-seller list, and vol. 20 of Fruits Basket slides from 79 to 132.

At the MangaCast, Ed Chavez delivers an audio con report on Tokyopop at Anime Expo.

David Welsh takes a look at this week’s new comics.

NPR has a nice story on the swarms of librarians at Comic-Con. (Via John Jakala.)

Deb Aoki picks the 11 best manga announced at SDCC at

Fixing the internet: John Jakala channels Stan Lee to improve the marketing copy for the September Shonen Jump. He also agonizes over which edition of Bat-Manga! to buy.

Reviews: Danielle Leigh gives her take on the first issue of Yen+ at Comic Book Resources. She’ll be reading the second issue, and so will I. David Welsh devotes his Flipped column to vol. 1 of Me and the Devil Blues at The Comics Reporter. At PopCultureShock, Chloe Ferguson reviews vol. 1 of Vassalord (“If the phrase “vampire playboy” doesn’t make you grimace, this is certainly the series for you”) and Ken Haley takes a look at vol. 1 of Tokko. I like Casey, who blogs as Kethylia, because she’s not afraid to criticize a manga that everyone else is raving about. Having made it safe for me to admit that I hated The Push Man, she reviews Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s Good-Bye and proclaims it much better (although still marred by the rearranged panels). Perhaps I’ll give it a try. On a completely different note, Emily finds a fun collection of short manga, Danshi x Joushi, at Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page. Erica Friedman reviews vol. 2 of Yuri Hime Wildrose, which fills an interesting niche in the market, at Okazu.

First look: Yen+

Yen+, August 2008
Published by Yen Press
Senior Editor JuYoun Lee
Rated OT, for Older Teen
About 450 pages, $8.99

Yen+ is good. It’s beautifully produced, with attractive covers and plenty of extras. The manga look really good on the larger pages, and the Yen folks have picked a wide variety of very readable manga for this debut issue. I do think the lineup is flawed, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Let’s get the inevitable comparisons to Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat over with right away. Yen+ has a slightly smaller trim size than the same trim size as those two, but it’s still big enough to make for a noticeably better read than the standard volume of manga. It’s thicker but also more expensive. It has no extra articles on fashion, music, or Japanese culture, as Shojo Beat does, but this first issue carries lots of pieces of congratulatory art by the manga creators.

Here is the big point of divergence, though: [Read more…]

SDCC-free news roundup

Quote of the week: “You may not have won an Eisner, but you’re publishing the books that Viz Editors are buying.” (Told to publisher Stephen Robson at the Fanfare booth.)—Kai-Ming Cha

Jason Yadao explains the whole Galaxy Angel thing at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. I have often thought someone should do this, because I found the books rather confusing.

John Jakala distracts himself from thoughts of SDCC by finding a photo of Viz HQ and a preview of Takehiko Inoue’s REAL.

Johanna Draper Carlson comments on the ongoing discussion of rape as a story device in yaoi manga.

Bear with Matt Blind a bit this week, because although his post on why some manga sell well is kind of wordy, he makes some interesting points. We all know about the Cartoon Network effect, but frequent releases isn’t as obvious a factor. Also up at Rocket Bomber: The week’s top 500 manga (online sales) and some thoughts on diversifying into new media.

The Star of Malaysia profiles Kathryn Chong, who at 18 is a second-place winner in the Morning International Manga Competition.

According to this survey, the completed manga series that Japanese respondents were least likely to know the conclusion of is Dr. Slump. This is an interesting list, as a lot of the series mentioned are long and probably encompass more than one story arc, so the end of the overall series isn’t that important anyway.

Erica Friedman has a short post of this week’s yuri news up at Okazu.

News from Germany: Blogger Invaeon has word of three new German licenses at Manly Manga and More.

Reviews: Kethylia critiques a Fanfare title, Jiro Taniguchi’s The Ice Wanderer, and makes some interesting cultural observations. She also reads the yaoi novel Sweet Admiration, just for fun. At Read About Comics, Greg McElhatton finds vol. 1 of Me and the Devil Blues to be surprising, sometimes quite well done, but in the end not that memorable. Tiamat’s Disciple checks in with a detailed look at the new Yen Press anthology, issue 1 of Yen+, and also posts his thoughts on vol. 2 of Kaze no Hana, vol. 4 of Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning, and vol. 1 of Suzunari! Tom Baker reviews Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need at The Star of Malaysia. Salimbol reports on vols. 25-26 of Boys Over Flowers at The Chocolate Mud Wyvern Presents. Sesho gives vol. 1 of Eden: It’s an Endless World an A+ in his lates podcast. At Slightly Biased Manga, Connie reads vol. 34 of Dragon Ball, Galaxy Girl, Panda Boy, vol. 11 of Moon Child, vol. 3 of Oyayubihime Infinity, and vol. 2 of Two Flowers for the Dragon. Erica Friedman reviews the light novel vol. 2 of Strawberry Panic at Okazu. Michelle checks out vols. 1 and 2 of Tears of a Lamb at Soliloquy in Blue. Rachel Bentham reads vol. 1 of Dark Prince, Scott Campbell checks out vol. 18 of Zatch Bell, and Holly Ellingwood enjoys vol. 2 of Aventura at Active Anime. At—I think this used to be Anime on DVD—Natalie Oxford reviews Death Note: How to Read. Lissa Pattillo checks out vol. 2 of Invisible Boy and vol. 1 of You’re So Cool at Kuriousity.

SDCC wrapup

Gia winds up SDCC with an account of the CMX panel. The new titles, Genghis Kahn and March on Earth, were announced earlier, but the Q and A sound good.

ICv2 has followup stories on the Tokyopop-Gentosha deal and Del Rey’s planned CLAMP in America book, to be penned by one of our favorite writers, Shaenon Garrity.

Translator Satsuma has the dope on Soryuden.

John Thomas has the press release on Yoshitaka Amano’s Shinjuku; unlike the official Dark Horse site, he has illustrations.

And Deb Aoki has more information about the new Yen Press acquisitions, some of which sound rather interesting, as well as a photo gallery of the con.

Gia has a video of Hiro Mashima drawing Natsu, and Suvudu, Random House’s new blog, also posted some video of his appearance (via Blog@Newsarama)

Head on over to ComiPress for a comprehensive list of posts by manga bloggers at SDCC and new title announcements.