Digital and Deux cut out the middleman

The MangaCast crew picks the best of last week’s new releases, and Red Z. Baylon parses the list for Japanator.

I used to describe Fanfare/Ponent Mon as “the best manga you’ll never see,” because they were so rare in bookstores. Thankfully, their new distributor, Midpoint Press, is on the case, and David Welsh talks to Midpoint’s Gail Kump for this week’s Flipped column at The Comics Reporter.

While everyone else is raising prices, Deux Press is slashing theirs: Everything released through April is permanently priced at $5 (if bought through their website) and May releases are $9. (Via The Yaoi Review.)

In a story that changed several times after the post went up, Christopher Butcher reports that Digital Manga (including its many imprints) is now selling its books directly to comics retailers. Cutting out the middleman (Diamond Comics Distributors) means that Digital can offer the books to retailers at a lower price than they would normally pay to Diamond. Digital rep Michelle Mauk swoops in to explain that Digital is not ending its “exclusive” arrangement with Diamond; the direct sales are of books that Diamond no longer chooses to distribute. Chris thinks this is a harbinger of change in the near future, as publishers move away from using Diamond as their exclusive distributor to comics shops. For those who don’t follow the comics industry that closely, what this means is that retailers will be able to get Digital books that might otherwise be unavailable to them and at a lower price to boot, which translates to an obvious win for their customers.

Gottsu-Iiyan has some further thoughts on the controversy stirred up by the Handley case as reflected in reader reactions to his first post and his responses to those reactions.

Melinda Beasi goes all meta on us and discusses why fiction is important and why it’s manga that really pulls her in.

Lori Henderson looks at Tokyopop’s many flavors of game-based manga at Manga Xanadu.

At Comics 411, Tom Mason lists some comics companies that are hiring, including Dark Horse and “Wildstorm’s manga division,” presumably CMX, which is looking for an assistant editor.

The Fanfare/Ponent Mon crowd note an anniversary that ties in with their upcoming release, Summit of the Gods.

See subtitled interviews with Moto Hagio, doujinshi artists, the widow of the founder of Comiket, and more in this excerpt from the film The Fragile Heart of Moe, which will debut in September 2009. (Via Scott Green at AICN.)

Lorena bids farewell to Shojo Beat at i ♥ manga.

News from Japan: Ed Chavez posts the latest manga rankings from Taiyosha. And denouncing other people’s projects as pork is apparently a favorite indoor sport in Japan as well as here, as a task force has deemed a proposed center for anime and manga “unnecessary.”

Reviews: If you read French, this looks like an interesting manhwa: Le Visiteur du Sud, by Oh Yeong Jin, the account of a South Korean artist who spent 18 months in North Korea, working on a construction project. (Review is in French as well.) David Welsh devotes much of his new comics post to a discussion of The Color of Earth and The Color of Water, the first two parts of Kim Dong Hwa’s trilogy about a girl’s coming of age. And Carlo Santos treats us to another set of rapid-fire reviews in his latest Right Turn Only!! column at ANN. Other recent reviews of note:

Lissa Pattillo on vol. 6 of Black God (Kuriousity)
Connie on vol. 5 of Black Jack (Slightly Biased Manga)
Michelle Smith on vol. 19 of Boys Over Flowers (Soliloquy in Blue)
Laura on Castle of Dreams (Heart of Manga)
James Fleenor on Children of the Sea (Anime Sentinel)
Lorena on chapter 3 of Children of the Sea (i ♥ manga)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 14 of Claymore (
Connie on vol. 1 of Future Diary (Manga Recon)
Sesho on vol. 1 of Future Diary (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Cynthia on vol. 2 of Future Lovers (Boys Next Door)
Lorena on vol. 1 of Gankutsuou (i ♥ manga)
Julie on vol. 4 of Gantz (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Julie on Golden Prince and Argent King (MangaCast)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 11 of Hayate the Combat Butler (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Melinda Beasi on vols. 1-10 of High School Debut (There it is, Plain as Daylight)
Connie on vol. 6 of I”s (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 12 of Inubaka (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 23 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (Slightly Biased Manga)
David Brothers on Lone Wolf and Cub: The Flute of the Fallen Tiger (4thletter!)
Kate Dacey on vols. 1-6 of Night of the Beasts (The Manga Critic)
Dave Ferraro on Oishinbo: Ramen & Gyoza (Comics-and-More)
Sesho on vol. 1 of Otomen (Sesho’s Anime and Manga Reviews)
Tangognat on vol. 2 of Otomen (Tangognat)
Jason Yadao on Rin-ne (The Honolulu Star-Bulletin)
Connie on vol. 1 of Silver Diamond (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lorena on vol. 3 of Skip Beat! (i ♥ manga)
Melinda Beasi on vols. 2-6 of Wild Adapter (There it is, Plain as Daylight)

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