Save the whales… for dinner!

OK, the post-Thanksgiving stupor is finally wearing off and I’m getting back to business again. Let’s start off with something completely different: Steven Schulz e-mailed me with a link to his scanlation of an anti-anti-whaling screed by insane right-wing cartoonist Kobayashi Yoshinori. Yes, all you Greenpeace-loving whale-huggers, did you realize that whales are actually marauders of the deep and that the best thing we can do for the earth is kill more of them? And that the anti-whaling movement is actually a plot by the Anglo-Saxon countries, whose beef-eating habits are much worse for the environment? No? Well, read on, and be enlightened!

The MangaCast team make their picks from this week’s new manga, and for those who like to plan ahead, Ed posts the manga list from the December Previews (shipping next February and March). The Manga Villagers list their picks as well at Comics Village.

As Broccoli Books prepares to close its doors, Shizuki is sending out promotional trinkets to libraries with anime clubs. Click for details.

It looks like Tania del Rio’s manga version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch is coming to an end; Johanna Draper Carlson has some thoughts at Comics Worth Reading.

Over at Precocious Curmudgeon, David Welsh’s readers have been sharing their ideas for saving the comics market. He has a bunch of posts up, so go take a look.

At Manic About Manga, Kris talks about how she started reading BL and recommends some titles for beginners, then follows up with more suggestions.

Looking to score some cheap manga? Kate Dacey has some tips on shopping on E-bay at Manga Recon.

Erica Friedman catches us up on the week in yuri at Okazu.

Xavier Guilbert translates his interview with Tori Miki into English at du9.

Mike Gombos of Dark Horse posts some fresh art from Vampire Hunter D creator Yoshitaka Amano. These are of the character he persists in calling Tacoman, although he’s really modeled on an octopus (tako), not a Mexican treat.

At Japanator, Dick McVengeance admits there are some manga even he won’t read, and the readers chime in with their own do-not-wants.

News from Japan: The 24th issue of Young Animal magazine features a one-shot manga, Samurai Sword, based on the film Kill by director Mamuro Oshii, whose other credits include Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor. Bones’ Xam’d: Lost Memories anime will get the manga treatment as well, in Ace Assault. A speaker at the World Congress III Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents criticized the Japanese government for allowing anime and manga with representations of children in sexual situations. Japan allows drawings, but not photographs, of children in sexual acts.

Reviews: Jog surrounds his review of vol. 1 of Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo with a discussion of manga derived from anime at Jog – The Blog. He had me at “homoerotic space vampires.” At Manga Widget, Alex Hoffman celebrates Thanksgiving with short takes on nine manga about food, then posts a longer review of vol. 1 of Kasumi. Tom Spurgeon has a brief review of vol. 2 of Black Jack up at The Comics Reporter. Scott Green reviews issue #1 of Electric Ant at Aint It Cool News (via the authors’ blog, Same Hat! Same Hat!). Ken Haley takes a look at vol. 1 of 01-Ghost, the latest entry from Go!Comi, and Sam Kusek gives low marks to vols. 1 and 2 of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, at Manga Recon. Kris reads Lies and Kisses, vol. 1 of Blank Slate, Gakuen Heaven, vol. 1 of Ichigenme… The First Class is Civil Law, and Two of Hearts at Manic About Manga. Win Wiacek checks out vol. 1 of Hellgate: London and vol. 5 of Eden: It’s an Endless World at Now Read This! Connie reviews vol. 12 of Nana, vols. 2, 3, and 4 of Hellsing, and vols. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 of Tramps Like Us at Slightly Biased Manga. Allen Lujo reads Mana at Manga Jouhou. John Thomas takes a look at vol. 2 of Black Jack and Alex Hoffman reads vol. 1 of RalΩGrad at Comics Village. Ed Sizemore reads vol. 3 of Haruka: Beyond the Stream of Time at Comics Worth Reading. Holly Ellingwood reviews vol. 1 of Yokaiden and Rachel Bentham chekcs out vol. 7 of Mamotte! Lollipop at Active Anime. Tiamat’s Disciple shares some thoughts on vol. 3 of With the Light. Lissa Pattillo reads vol. 3 of Your and My Secret and vol. 1 of B.Ichi at Kuriousity. Down at the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie manages to fit in a post on vol. 3 of Parasyte before heading out for vacation. Erica Friedman reviews vol. 1 of Hanjuku Joshi and vol. 2 of Sunshine Sketch at Okazu. Gary Thompson reviews vol. 3 of Pumpkin Scissors and Briana Lawrence looks at vol. 1 of Fate/Stay Night at Mania.com. Sesho posts a written review of vol. 4 of Negima and a podcast of vol. 1 of Hayate Cross Blade.

Side dishes

No manga post today—I’m about to start cooking an epic Thanksgiving dinner. However, you might enjoy this post from my personal blog, which will give you something to be thankful for. Times may be tough, but at least we’re not reduced to darning socks, substituting shredded potatoes for flour, and making our own soap.

Also, Thanksgiving is the day when radio stations throughout the land play Alice’s Restaurant. A few weeks ago, I got to see Arlo Guthrie in concert, and I even chatted with him for a few minutes afterwards. This is the third time I’ve seen him (the first time was when his hair was still dark—that’s how old I am!), and he just gets better and better; if he’s coming to a venue near you, I highly recommend making the effort to go. Anyway, I was noodling around and I found this account of the actual Alice’s Restaurant Massacree, which makes pretty interesting reading. Check it out while you’re waiting for dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Broccoli dish, Dylan manga, and more!

In this week’s PWCW, Calvin, Kai-Ming, and I talked to the folks at Broccoli and some other manga movers and shakers about the Broccoli shutdown and what it says about the industry as a whole. And Kai-Ming still found time to talk to Erik Ko about Udon’s new kids’ manga line.

God Len lists this week’s manga and anime releases at Japanator, and the Manga Villagers make their picks from last week’s new releases.

Blaine Harden of the Washington Post interviews Makoto Yoshitani, who chronicles Japanese office life his manga Otaryman.

At ANN, Tina Anderson joins Casey, Bamboo, and Sara for a roundtable discussion of global BL and gay comics.

Yaoi Generation is getting ready to release its first title, vol. 1 of breath, on December 16, and they will start accepting pre-orders at their online store on Friday, November 28, with a special discount on their first day.

Lori Henderson is looking forward to some upcoming releases from Viz.

Erica Friedman posts this week’s yuri news at Okazu.

Erin posts audio of the Otaku USA panel from NYAF at the Ninjaconsultant site.

Susie, who retouches sound effects in manga, takes exception to a negative review of her work. If you’re wondering why she’s upset, take a look at this earlier post in which she explains how she changed a single sound effect in Gantz.

Danielle Leigh posts her true confessions, anime and manga style, at Manga Before Flowers.

Deb Aoki gets in the Twilight mood by counting down her top 18 vampire manga series. 18!!

Global edu-manga publisher eigoMANGA is putting their content up on Crunchyroll.

News from Japan: Gottsu-iiyan does a little digging on Naoki Urasawa’s Bob Dylan comic at The Eastern Edge. Ed Chavez has this week’s manga rankings and finds some turkey-themed covers at MangaCast.

Reviews: David Welsh reviews my favorite new graphic novel, vol. 1 of Yokaiden, at Precocious Curmudgeon. Ferdinand is less impressed at Prospero’s Manga. Manga Recon’s Michelle Smith and Kate Dacey present short takes on several shoujo series that don’t shy away from cliches in the latest edition of Manga Minis. Justin Colussy-Estes reviews vol. 3 of Mushishi at Comics Village. Dave Ferraro is glad he picked up vol. 1 of Slam Dunk at Comics-and-More. New at Active Anime: Scott Campbell on vol. 6 of My Heavenly Hockey Club, vol. 6 of Mushishi, and vol. 5 of Parasyte, and Davey C. Jones on vol. 4 of Hell Girl. Michelle Smith enjoys vol. 9 of Maison Ikkoku and a Japanese title, vol. 1 of Cat Street, at Soliloquy in Blue. Johanna Draper Carlson reads vol. 14 of Yakitate!! Japan at Comics Worth Reading. Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane reviews Gaba Kawa and vol. 1 of We Were There at Manga Life. Lissa Pattillo checks out vol. 3 of Legend and Romantic Illusions at Kuriousity. Greg Hackmann isn’t too impressed with Goth and vol. 3 of Gimmick! at Mania.com. (I’m not too impressed with Mania.com, which swallowed up the eminently readable Anime on DVD site and smothered their excellent manga reviews in tiny white-on-dark type, blinking ads, and a whole bunch of crap that I don’t care about. There is still some solid writing there, but you really have to search to find it. /rant.) Erica Friedman posts her take on the Flamboyant artbook, vol. 1 of Akatsuki-iro no Senpuku Majyo, and vol. 1 of Your and My Secret at Okazu. Emily reads HR de Tsukamaete at Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page. Tangognat reviews vol. 1 of Jyu-Oh-Sei. At Anime Sentinel, James Fleenor rejects the shojo label on vol. 1 of Blank Slate on the grounds that it has plenty of slammin’ shonen action. Cyn posts new reviews of Dark Walker and Barefoot Waltz at Boys Next Door. Sesho checks out vol. 4 of Gon and posts an audio review of vol. 1 of Inukami! Oyceter has pithy reviews, some with spoilers, of vol. 1 of Kitchen Princess and vols. 12-13 of Claymore.

News flash: Federal authorities don’t get yaoi

Remember Christopher Handley, the guy who was arrested for having manga in his own home, for his own use, that the authorities decided was obscene? Well, it turns out that at least some of the manga in question was yaoi. Here’s the money quote:

“There is explicit sex in yaoi comics,” Handley’s lawyer Eric Chase told MTV. “And the men are drawn in a very androgynous style, which has the effect of making them look really young. There’s a real taboo in Japan about showing pubic hair, so they’re all drawn without it, which also makes them look young. So what concerned the authorities were the depictions of children in explicit sexual situations that they believed to be obscene. But there are no actual children. It was all very crude images from a comic book.”

Got that? Yaoi isn’t child pornography, but it might as well be. Despite what this article says, a judge already found the child pornography part of the statute under which Handley was charged to be unconstitutional, and I think he’s just facing obscenity charges now, but the appearance of the characters may be a factor in that determination. To be honest I can’t believe that anyone, anywhere is bothering to prosecute an obscenity case in this day and age. Here’s Neil Gaiman, who has been campaigning vigorously on Handley’s behalf.

“They found his manga, and found some objectionable panels,” Gaiman said. “He’s been arrested for having some drawings of rude things in manga. I’m sorry, but if you went through my comic collection, you could arrest me if you’re going to start doing that. It’s just wrong.”

Exactly. The case goes to trial December 2.

A heap of manga have been nominated for comics awards at the Angouleme comics festival in France.

Ed Chavez takes a look at Viz’s new titles and the Japanese doujinshi rankings at MangaCast.

At Manga Widget, Alex Hoffman comments on the demise of Broccoli Books and speculates a bit about what’s taking Kodansha so long.

News from Japan: Daily Yomiuri reporter Makoto Fukuda looks at the work of journalist Kenji Ando, who seeks out forgotten anime and manga, and wonders if he shouldn’t be doing more investigative work himself. (Via The Comics Reporter.) Makoto Kobayashi, creator of What’s Michael? and Club 9, has a new manga in the works for Evening Magazine.

Reviews: Carlo Santos kicks us off with his latest Right Turn Only!! column, in which he checks out new volumes of Yakitate!! Japan and Mushishi, and some new titles, including teen-friendly furry manga The 9Lives. Carlo also takes a longer look at vol. 2 of Gantz and Casey Brienza reads vol. 1 of Evyione: Ocean Fantasy at ANN. Snow Wildsmith reviews vols. 1 and 2 of Dark Prince and a handful of artbooks. Let’s fall asleep takes a look at some manga of interest to young women, including After School Nightmare, Moon Boy, Vampire Knight, and Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles. Ed Chavez podcasts his thoughts on vol. 2 of Ghost Talker’s Daydream and solanin and Mangamaniac Julie checks out Falling Into Love at MangaCast. Back at the Manga Maniac Cafe, Julie reads vol. 11 of Moon Child and Gaba Kawa. Connie takes a look at vol. 2 of Blank Slate, vol. 1 of Inukami, and vol. 9 of Oh My Goddess at Slightly Biased Manga. Briana Lawrence checks out vol. 3 of Hell Girl at Mania.com. Kiara hits the books with Haridama Magic Cram School at Manga Jouhou. Lissa Pattillo reads vol. 1 of Wild Animals, Only Words, and You Make My Head Spin!, and guest reviewer Marsha Reid reviews vol. 1 of Suzunari. John Thomas reviews Monster Men Bureiko Lullaby, which sounds like it definitely is obscene, at Mecha Mecha Media. Dan Polley checks out vol. 12 of Pastel and Charles Tan reads vol. 6 of Puri Puri at Comics Village.

Broccoli shutdown begins

ICv2 summarizes the facts of the Broccoli USA dissolution, including a mention of their yaoi line, Boysenberry Books, which they introduced in 2007, just as the yaoi market began to level off. Meanwhile, operations manager Shizuki Yamashita is starting to shut things down:

All of the book licenses revert back to the Japanese publishers at the end of this year. And we are working w/ them so that the titles can be released by other US publishers sometime in the future. We are gathering all production material, including finished books that haven’t been printed yet, so that the new licensees will be able to use the materials if they choose to do so.

One Broccoli thing that seems to be unique is that they would send readers stickers and dust jackets on request. Shizuki says they will still send them out until early December. And she would be happy to send out promotional items to libraries and school clubs—click the link for more.

Simon Jones reflects on Broccoli’s demise:

But, with one exception, there does seem to be a common thread between all the manga publishers who’ve severely redacted their release schedules this year, or worse… they all made a play for the mainstream, middle ground manga readers. When one aims to appeal to a wide segment, be it through choice of licenses or a liberal number of imprints, it’s very difficult to develop enough of a personality to distinguish oneself in the market, especially one inhabited by some very dominant players.

(The banner on the Icarus blog is actually SFW for a change, but there are some small images on the home page that you might not want your boss to see.)

Here, maybe this will cheer us up: New York Magazine has a preview of Yuichi Yokoyama’s weird but interesting art-manga Travel. (Via Journalista.)

At du9, Xavier Guilbert interviews manga artist Tori Miki (in French).

News from Japan: Hayao Miyazaki to Taro Aso: Keep that manga habit in the closet, dude.

Reviews: Sam Kusek reviews vol. 1 of B.ICHI and Ken Haley checks out vol. 1 of Ghost Slayers Ayashi at Manga Recon. Kris reads Lovers and Souls and vol. 1 of Loveholic at Manic About Manga. Erica Friedman takes a look at vol. 1 of Papaya Gundan at Okazu. There’s a new manga out by Fruits Basket creator Natsuki Takaya, vol. 1 of Phantom Dream, and Julie gets a look at it at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Lissa Pattillo reviews vol. 1 of The 9Lives at Kuriousity. Scott Campbell reads vol. 19 of Negima! and Davey C. Jones checks out vol. 10 of Air Gear at Active Anime.

Farewell to Broccoli?

Here’s some sad news, if true: Broccoli USA, parent company of Broccoli Books and publisher of Kamui, the Galaxy Angel series, and Juvenile Orion, is dissolving, at least according to Gia’s interpreteation of a press release (in Japanese). The statement gives the reason as competition in the manga industry and says the company will be liquidated by February 2009. A commenter notes that all licenses will revert to Broccoli Japan. Simon Jones has a little more detail and notes that their production values were widely admired in the industry and probably pushed improvements across the board. Anime Biz has still more, including the info that operations here will shut down by December 31. ANN wraps it up, and the mourning begins in their forums. (Illustration is my favorite Broccoli title of all time, E’S.)

At PWCW, Kai-Ming Cha talks to Eiji Han Shimuzu about the Emotional Content collective and their manga biographies.

Lori Henderson lists this week’s new releases at Manga Village. The MangaCast team makes their picks as well.

For those who like to think ahead, Manga Recon lists CMX’s March releases.

Casey, Bamboo, and Robin discuss yaoi at ANN.

Alethea and Athena Nibley continue their discussion of the challenges of translation at Manga Life.

Adults only, please: Scott VonSchilling enjoys the series Kodomo no Jikan but has no desire to read yaoi; Hisui and Narutaki at Reverse Thieves love yaoi but find lolicon disturbing. Each was convinced that the other was missing something, so they traded genres: Scott read Gerard et Jacques (warning! NSFW image) and Hisui and Narutaki read Kodomo no Jikan. No one is converted, but the discussions are really interesting, as each makes the effort to see beyond their own preconceptions and critique the underlying story.

Same Hat alerts us to another Shintaro Kago scanlation—as always, not for the faint of heart!

Reviews: Erica Friedman has a delightful review of vol. 4 of Lady Snowblood at Okazu. Over at Manga Recon, Kate Dacey reviews solanin, Isaac Hale and Sam Kusek team up for some Manga Minis, and Kate Dacey and Michelle Smith go On the Shojo Beat. Katherine Farmar reads You & Harujion and Lori Henderson checks out vol. 1 of Nora: The Last Chronicle of Devildom at Comics Village. Lori also enjoys the Viz Kids novel vol. 1 of Naruto, The Boy Ninja at Good Comics for Kids. Ed Chavez has an audio review of vol. 1 of Higurashi at MangaCast. Carlo Santos reviews vol. 1 of Ghost Slayers Ayashi and Casey Brienza reads vols. 1 and 2 of The Flat Earth/Exchange at ANN. Ed Sizemore takes a look at vols. 3 and 4 of Rosario + Vampire at Comics Worth Reading. Hazel takes a look at vol. 1 of Chibi Vampire at Anime Infatuation. New at Manga Life: David Rasmussen on vol. 3 of The Record of a Fallen Vampire and vol. 2 of Blank Slate, and Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane on vol. 32 of Boys Over Flowers and vol. 2 of Sugar Princess. Deb Aoki finds vol. 2 of Black Jack both entertaining and confusing at About.com. You would think there would be nothing left to say at this point, but Edward Zacharias has a lenthy critique of vol. 32 of Naruto at Animanga Nation. Kris reads Sighing Kiss, Paradise on the Hill, God of Dogs, Stop Bullying Me!, and Constellations in My Palm at Manic About Manga. Connie checks out vol. 15 of Saint Seiya and vol. 11 of Ouran High School Host Club at Slightly Biased Manga. Tangognat enjoys vols. 1 and 2 of Song of the Hanging Sky. Emily’s latest find is Teppen! at Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page. Ferdinand reviews vol. 1 of Nora: The Last Chronicle of Devildom and the VIZBIG edition of vol. 1 of Vagabond at Prospero’s Manga. Julie reads vol. 15 of Skip Beat! and vol. 14 of Tail of the Moon at the Manga Maniac Cafe. Lissa Pattillo checks out solanin and guest reviewer Marsha Reid enjoys vol. 1 of S.S. Astro at Kuriousity.