More on the past and the future

Michelle Smith lists her picks of the week at Manga Recon. Lori Henderson looks over the latest Previews at Manga Xanadu.

At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna Draper Carlson lists her picks for the best manga of 2008. And at Rocket Bomber, Matt Blind posts his favorite manga of 2008 and his wish list for 2009.

Ed Chavez issues his 2008 report card on BLU manga at MangaCast.

Diamond releases their list of the top 300 graphic novels in December, and a number of manga make respectable showings.

The philosophers down at The Hooded Utilitarian are having a discussion about manga right now. It starts with Tom Crippen admitting that he just doesn’t get it and asking for help in seeing what he’s missing. (It actually started with Tom’s first version of the post, which is worth reading only for the comments at the end.) Co-blogger Noah Berlatsky does a good job of answering the question, including a spirited defense of shojo manga.

The Ninjaconsultants post part 2 of their SITACon 2008 podcast, with the theme of Otaku Shame.

At Manga Widget, Alex Hoffman expresses serious reservations about manga-style books like The Manga Bible and manga guides to … anything.

At Consequentialart’s Sequential Art Class, Josiah Leighton presents an early Katsuhiro Otomo story, flipped but untranslated, and analyzes why it works. Be warned: It’s violent. (Via Anime Vice.)

News from Europe: Jonathan posts the list of German manga releases for January at Manly Manga and More. Tiamat’s Disciple points out a new law whose troublingly vague wording could lead to censorship or prosecution for manga owners in the UK. TD links to a BBC report with more details; the telling legal point, I think, is that the owner of the offending material can be prosecuted, not just the producer.

News from Japan: ANN reports on lots of comings and goings this week. Kadokawa’s Comic Charge will cease publication, but the three titles by Eiji Otsuka that run in it, MPD-Psycho, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, and Yakumo Hyakki, will continue in a new magazine to launch this summer. It looks like Yu Yagami’s comic will live on as well. Harlequin is launching Monthly Harlequin, a manga magazine featuring one-shot romance stories, this week. Kimi ni Todoke is going on hiatus because the creator, Karuho Shiina, is having a baby. Nominations for the 2nd Manga Taisho awards are out, and they include the much-loved Saint Young Men. (I’ll admit it: This is one of the few titles I have bothered to read in scanlation, and it was worth it.) Peach-Pit is back after an illness, and the duo will resume their three current manga, Zombie Loan, Rozen Maiden, and Shugo Chara! Missed it: Jog reports that Kazuo Koike and Ryochi Ikogami, creators of Crying Freeman, have completed a new manga, a side story to Lady Snowblood. Caught it: Gia. And Ed posts the weekly manga rankings from Taioysha and the doujinshi rankings from Toranoana at MangaCast.

Reviews: Ed Sizemore takes a look at Bat-Manga at Comics Worth Reading, and he ignores the controversy in favor of a look at the book itself on its own terms. Johanna Draper Carlson also reviews Sand Chronicles and vol. 7 of High School Debut and wholeheartedly recommends both. Greg McElhatton is delighted by The Walking Man at Read About Comics. Melinda Beasi reviews vol. 1 of Momo Tama, Melinda and Michelle Smith take a look at a handful of Shojo Beat titles, and the staff pitches in for some Manga Minis at Manga Recon. And check out Melinda’s review of vol. 1 of Captive Hearts at her own blog, there it is, plain as daylight. Bad Jew has some thoughts on solanin at Sleep Is For the Weak. John Thomas sings the praises of vol. 3 of Gantz at Mecha Mecha Media. At Manic About Manga, Kris reads vol. 2 of Hitohira and vol. 5 of I Shall Never Return. Snow Wildsmith gives her take on Love Quest at Fujoshi Librarian. Carlo Santos takes on Hollow Fields, Me and the Devil Blues, and Fire Investigator Nanase, among others, in his latest Right Turn Only!! column at ANN. Carlo also has some harsh things to say about vol. 2 of Kujibiki Unbalance. Mitch is pleasantly surprised by Dorothea at Blogfonte. Tangognat reviews vols. 1-5 of Seimaden. Emily blogs about Love Root Zero and Minimum Queen at Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page. Dave Ferraro has mixed feelings about vol. 1 of Mixed Vegetables at Comics-and-More. At Manga Xanadu, Lori Henderson has some thoughts on vols. 16-18 of Hunter x Hunter. Tom Flinn gives vol. 1 of Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka five stars at ICv2. Tiamat’s Disciple takes a look at vol. 1 of Bleach. At Kuriousity, Lissa Pattillo checks out vol. 1 of Future Lovers and vol. 1 of Togainu no Chi, Gizmo reads vol. 1 of Higurashi When They Cry, and Marsha Reid reviews vol. 3 of Goong. Ed Chavez has audio reviews of vol. 1 of Pumpkin Scissors and vol. 8 of Suzuka, and Mangamaniac Julie has a print review of Tomorrow’s Ulterior Motives, at MangaCast.

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