Archives for July 2009

Tweet or Die

Jolie du Pre interviews Erica Friedman for the Chicago Examiner.

Attention publishers: David Welsh has found another Io Kuroda manga for you to license: Nasu. I have to say, it sounds awesome.

Deb Aoki posts her SDCC photos and some manga highlights of the con at

Shojo Flash looks at the latest Previews and is alarmed to see that the pickings look rather slim.

ANN notes that the latest volumes of Naruto and Fruits Basket made the USA Today Booklist this week.

Tiamat’s Disciple discusses manga adaptations of anime.

It looks like Cathy’s copy of Kimi ni Todoke had a printing problem. Did anyone else have the same experience?

Adam Stephanides has a few words about one of CMX’s newly announced licenses, 51 Ways to Protect Her, at Completely Futile.

Lori Henderson writes about the warm welcome she has aways received in comics stores, regardless of the fact that she’s … you know… female.

Viz is hiring, but be warned, this is not an entry-level job.

Reviews: Over at Good Comics for Kids, teenage reviewer Sabrina Fritz takes a look at two Tomoko Taniguchi titles, Let’s Stay Together Forever and Call Me Princess. Sam Kusek looks over the new offerings at Viz’s Shonen Sunday website at Manga Recon. Here’s a new way to review manga: Jacob Martin is live-tweeting his impressions of Read or Die. The Daily Wildcat of the University of Arizona has some graphic novel recommendations, and several of them are manga!

Jacob Martin on vol. 1 of Aishiteruze Baby (SNAG Vs. World)
Lorena Nava Ruggero on vol. 1 of Bride of the Water God (i heart manga)
Shannon Fay on vol. 2 of Chibi-Vampire (Kuriousity)
Julie on vol. 2 of Dorothea (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Connie on vol. 2 of Gestalt (Slightly Biased Manga)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of Kimi ni Todoke (Comics Worth Reading)
Justin Colussy-Estes on The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (light novel) (Comics Village)
Julie on Mr. Flower Bride (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Anna on Oishinbo: Ramen & Gyoza (2 screenshot limit)
Connie on vol. 2 of Papillon (Slightly Biased Manga)
Melinda Beasi on vol. 1 of Sugarholic (There it is, Plain as Daylight)
Jessica Severs on vol. 2 of Tsubasa: Those With Wings and vol. 3 of Phantom Dream (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Tsubomi (Okazu)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 4 of With the Light (Comics Worth Reading)
Shojo Flash on vol. 1 of Zone-00 (Shojo Flash)

Sales figures, SDCC wrapup, emotional responses

ICv2’s latest Insider’s Guide is out, and it includes the news that graphic novel sales were down in the first half of 2009, although with this important caveat:

The Bookscan figures do not include graphic novels racked in Kids and YA departments in bookstores, which probably means that the decline is less than 8% over-all.

Yes, that seems like an important omission. ICv2 also posts charts of the top manga, shonen manga, and shoujo manga properties of the second quarter of 2009. Shojo Flash does a bit of analysis.

Kai-Ming Cha reports that no one seemed too down about the economy at SDCC, and in fact the manga booths were bustling. Of course, it’s possible to read between the lines and make a list of who wasn’t there. Kai-Ming also talks to Ultimo creator Hiroyuki Takei, and Anne Ishii chats up IKKI editor Hideki Egami for PWCW.

Translator twins Alethea and Athena Nibley write about cover copy and Comic-Con in their latest column at Manga Life.

Melinda Beasi is moved to tears by a passage in the lastest volume of Pluto.

David Welsh notes that the last volume of Parasyte is out this week.

At Heart of Manga, Laura explains Japanese secondary schools, often a source of confusion for new manga readers.

News from Japan: ANN has an update on Shuho Sato’s online publishing project; he just put up 500 pages, including big chunks of Say Hello to Black Jack and The New Say Hello to Black Jack, online for free. ANN also has the latest Japanese comics rankings.


Matthew J. Brady on vols. 2 and 3 of 20th Century Boys (Warren Peace Sings the Blues)
Dan Polley on vol. 1 of Ballad of a Shinigami (Comics Village)
Michelle Smith on vol. 28 of Bleach (Soliloquy in Blue)
Julie on vol. 10 of Crimson Hero (Manga Maniac Cafe)
David Rasmussen on vol. 1 of Dogs: Bullets and Carnage (Manga Life)
Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane on vol. 1 of Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You (Manga Life)
Carlo Santos on vol. 12 of Oh My Goddess! (ANN)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 7 of One Thousand and One Nights (Kuriousity)
Clive Owen on vol. 6 of Rosario + Vampire (Animanga Nation)
Michael May on Samurai 7 (Robot 6)
Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane on vol. 18 of Skip Beat! (Manga Life)
Lorena Nava Ruggero on vol. 3 of Swan (i heart manga)
David Welsh on Tea for Two (Precocious Curmudgeon)

PR: Del Rey to publish Airbender manga

OK, here’s the official 411 on Del Rey’s Airbender manga, which was announced at SDCC. Now, I don’t watch a lot of TV or movies (I’m too busy reading), so this is one of those projects that would elicit a big ol’ “meh” from me, except for the awesomeness of the creators. Dave Roman? Nina Matsumoto? Sign me up! Read on for more.



SAN DIEGO, CA – July 25, 2009 – Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group and Nickelodeon/Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) announced at Comic-Con International in San Diego, four new manga style releases – an artistic and storytelling stylized comic book set in black and white. Based on Nickelodeon’s international hit animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and the upcoming feature film release “The Last Airbender,” directed by M. Night Shyamalan, this partnership marks the first manga tie-in for Nickelodeon.

The two original black-and-white manga will be written by Dave Roman (Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden, Agnes Quill). The prequel manga, scheduled for publication in April 2009, will be illustrated by Nina Matsumoto (Yokaiden) and the movie adaptation, to be published in June 2010, will be illustrated by Joon Choi (This is Pop).

“We’re excited to partner with Del Rey on these upcoming manga releases,” said Paula Allen, SVP of Nickelodeon Global Publishing. “Recreating and adapting the layered storylines and incredible, animated martial arts of the Avatar series and upcoming feature film in the manga style will allow fans to experience their favorite moment from the show over and over again.”

The Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series and The Last Airbender live-action movie follow the epic journey of Aang, the Avatar. In an ancient world where armies of the four elements—fire, earth, water, and air—are constantly at war, the Avatar, a master of the elements, is meant to restore peace and order. Aang is the newest reincarnation of the Avatar, and is also the last airbender, harnessing the power of air and wind. Freed from a century-long sleep inside an iceberg, the 12-year-old is responsible for saving the world and finds both friends and hostile enemies on the path to his destiny.

“We’re excited to be working with Nickelodeon to bring these great stories to the manga audience,” says Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher of Del Rey Manga. “Avatar: The Last Airbender has shown incredible crossover appeal with manga fans. The release of The Last Airbender movie and original tie-in manga gives us the chance to share completely new stories with Avatar fans looking for more about Aang, Zuko, and their favorite characters.”


Dave Roman currently works for Nickelodeon Magazine as an associate editor. The co-creator of the Harvey Award-nominated series Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden and the Ignatz award-winning Teen Boat, he also pens his own webcomic, Astronaut Elementary. Roman, based in New York, is also the creator of the comic Agnes Quill, and he co-wrote Del Rey Manga and Marvel Comics’ X-Men: Misfits with his wife, Raina Telgemeier.

Nina Matsumoto is the creator of the original English-language manga series, Yokaiden, which debuted in November 2008. Matsumoto gained notoriety on the internet for her original piece, “The Simpsonzu,” a manga-inspired illustration of the characters of The Simpsons cartoon. She is a penciller with Bongo Comics, home of The Simpsons comics, and lives in western Canada.

Joon Choi is the art director at Studio Joon Toon and an Animator at This is Pop, he is also an illustrator and animator whose work has been seen on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and Gameloft.

Enlightened by a female smart-aleck

Girlamatic has been home to some nice online manga over the years, so it’s good news that it is being relaunched with a new, all-free format. I talked to editor Diana McQueen about it in this week’s Unbound column at Robot 6. I also interviewed Scott Christian Sava, creator of The Dreamland Chronicles, for Graphic Novel Reporter. (Yeah, busy week—that’s why I haven’t been on Twitter much.)

Kate Dacey and Red Baylon look over this week’s new releases.

Lorena Nava Ruggero has a very informative report on the women in manga panel at SDCC.

And Kate Dacey has an interesting poll at The Manga Critic: What was the most exciting licensing news that came out of the con?

In international manga news—well, I don’t think I can say this any better than The China Post:

Yiin Chii-ming, minister of economic affairs, has buckled under pressure to apologize for an offensive manga designed to promote his priority economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China.

The comic strip, published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), depicts a dolt being enlightened by a female smart-aleck polyglot on the pact Taipei wants to sign with Beijing — an act that is considered a sellout of Taiwan by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

First of all, in Taiwan they use manga to promote economic agreements? Who knew! But if you’re going to go that route, you have to accept that “dolt being enlightened by a female smart-aleck something-or-other” is a standard storyline, and just go with it.

News from Japan: ANN has news of several new series debuting in Evening magazine, including one by Makoto Kobayashi, the creator of Where’s Michael? and Club 9. Canned Dogs reports that Sanrio will be selling official Hello Kitty products at Comiket (one hopes the accompanying illustration is a parody and not one of the items on offer).

Reviews: Connie has an interesting look at some vintage manga, including Tezuka’s New Treasure Island, at Slightly Biased Manga. This one gets my vote for post of the day. Ed Sizemore posts brief reviews of some recent Del Rey releases at Comics Worth Reading.

John Thomas on vol. 1 of 20th Century Boys (Comics Village)
Casey Brienza on vol. 1 of Angelic Runes (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Emily on Aniki wa Tsunayoshi! (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Courtney Kraft on vol. 6 of Black God (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 2 of Black Jack (Kuriousity)
Julie on vol. 1 of B.O.D.Y. (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Joe McCulloch on The Color of Earth (Bookforum)
Lorena Nava Ruggero on vol. 5 of Emma (i heart manga)
Billy Aguiar on vol. 1 of Gestalt (Prospero’s Manga)
Melinda Beasi on vol. 2 of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (There it is, Plain as Daylight)
Alex Hoffman on vol. 1 of Jack Frost (Comics Village)
David Welsh on vol. 1 of Kimi ni Todoke (Precocious Curmudgeon)
Lori Henderson on vol. 31 of Naruto (Manga Xanadu)
Holly Ellingwood on vol. 11 of Oh My Goddess! (Active Anime)
Danielle Leigh on Oishinbo: Fish, Sushi & Sashimi (Comics Should Be Good)
Oyceter on vols. 11 and 12 of Ouran High School Host Club (Sakura of DOOM)
Casey Brienza on Princess Princess Plus (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Holly Ellingwood on vol. 5 of Sand Chronicles (Active Anime)
Greg McElhatton on chapter 1 of Saturn Apartments (Read About Comics)
Courtney Kraft on vol. 1 of Train*Train (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Sandra Scholes on vol. 1 of Treasure (Active Anime)

PR: Viz debuts Shonen Sunday lineup

Viz launched its Shonen Sunday website last week, featuring free online manga from the Japanese magazine of the same name. Here’s the official rundown on the launch titles.


New Manga Chapters From Each Series Will Be Previewed For Free On The Official SHONEN SUNDAY Website With Print Versions Scheduled To Be Published In 2010

San Francisco, CA, JULY 28, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, previewed three upcoming manga titles to be published under the company’s newest imprint – SHONEN SUNDAY – for a packed audience at its Anime & Manga panel discussion at the recent 2009 Comic-Con International show in San Diego, CA.

The new manga series will debut in 2010 and will include ARATA: THE LEGEND by renowned manga creator Yuu Watase, MAOH: JUVENILE REMIX based on the original story by Kotaro Isaka with story and art by Megumi Osuga, and HYDE & CLOSER by Haro Aso. Every month, the official SHONEN SUNDAY website at will present a new chapter from each of the three new titles online for free, as well as post a new chapter from the ongoing action/fantasy adventure KEKKAISHI by Yellow Tanabe (rated ‘T’ for Teens; published domestically by VIZ Media).

The new manga line-up will complement the current online serialization of another SHONEN SUNDAY series, RIN-NE, which is now available at, the official North American website for all Rumiko Takahashi news. RIN-NE is the first SHONEN SUNDAY manga series to be published simultaneously in Japan and North America, and the graphic novels will go on sale nationwide on October 20, 2009.

“The expansion of our new SHONEN SUNDAY imprint and website with these new titles give manga fans a lot to be excited about,” says Shie Lundberg, Sr. Director, Strategy and Business Development. “The official SHONEN SUNDAY website is a comprehensive destination for new manga chapters, featured previews, trailers, downloadable wallpapers, news, creator interviews and more. We invite fans to visit the site regularly for free updates and keep and eye out for the debut of these acclaimed new series in 2010.”

ARATA: THE LEGEND • Rated ‘T’ for Teens •
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Available: March 2010
In a mythical world where humans and gods co-exist, a ceremony marking the new governing princess is about to occur for the first time in 60 years. Only a girl from the Hime Clan may take this position, but the lack of females born to this family means that a boy called Arata must pose for the role. Meanwhile in modern-day Japan, a boy named Arata Hinohara is starting his new life in high school. He wants to put memories of his difficult past behind him, but things aren’t going to be simple when he discovers a mysterious connection to the first Arata…
VIZ Media has also publishes the following works by Yuu Watase:

MAOH: JUVENILE REMIX • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens•
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Available: May 2010
“As crazy as your ideas might be, as long as you believe in yourself and tackle the issue head-on, you can even change the world.”
Ando is a high school student who has the power to make others say out loud what he’s thinking. Inukai is the mysterious leader of a vigilante group called Grasshopper, which is at odds with the city’s redevelopment plan. In this chaotic city, these two will come together to weave a story of courage, determination and confrontation.
MAOH: Juvenile Remix is based on the original novel MAOH by Kotaro Isaka.
HYDE & CLOSER • Rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens •
MSRP: $9.99 U.S. / $12.99 CAN • Available: July 2010
Shunpei Closer is your average…well, slightly below average kid in junior high who finds himself in the middle of a great battle of dark sorcery. With cursed dolls coming after him one after another, Shunpei Closer’s life is in danger! If that weren’t enough, Hyde, the teddy bear given to him by his grandfather, suddenly comes alive to rescue him. With Hyde’s help, can Shunpei save himself and live to see another day?

Updates, wrapups, and scanlations

It has been a busy week, manga-wise, but Lori Henderson has a great roundup of all the latest news at Manga Xanadu, while David Welsh looks over the most promising of the new manga announcements at Precocious Curmudgeon.

I linked to Tiamat’s Disciple’s post justifying scanlations yesterday, and I’m linking to it again for two reasons: There’s quite the lively discussion going on in the comments section, and Simon Jones has addressed the issue quite admirably from the publisher’s point of view at the Icarus Blog (possibly NSFW; wouldn’t fly in my office). Read the comments there as well.

Deb Aoki picks out the 30 most memorable moments of SDCC from a manga-lovers point of view.

Matt Blind posts the top 500 manga (online sales) at Rocket Bomber, and the New York Times has their much smaller best-seller list up as well.

News from Japan: The new Kingdom Hearts manga has begun in Shounen Gangan, but Gia points out that the U.S. won’t get the game until September. At Same Hat! Same Hat!, Ryan presents a look at chapter 2 of Suehiro Maruo’s Imomushi (in Japanese).

Reviews: The Manga Recon team posts another set of Manga Minis for your enjoyment, and Michelle Smith takes a look at a manga-related book, Manga Kamishibai: The Art of Japanese Paper Theater. Elsewhere:

Melinda Beasi on vol. 1 of Amefurashi: The Rain Goddess (Manga Recon)
Scott VonSchilling on vol. 1 of The Battle of Genryu: Origin (The Anime Almanac)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Black Bird (Comics-and-More)
Kate Dacey on vols. 1-3 of Dororo (The Manga Critic)
John Mitchell on A Drifting Life (the johnandjanaverse)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Gokujou Drops (Okazu)
Connie on vol. 7 of Honey and Clover (Slightly Biased Manga)
Lorena Nava Ruggero on vol. 6 of Land of the Blindfolded (i heart manga)
Connie on vol. 1 of Papillon (Slightly Biased Manga)
Julie on vol. 1 of Pluto (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Connie on vol. 1 of Record of a Fallen Vampire (Slightly Biased Manga)
Johanna Draper Carson on Swallowing the Earth (Comics Worth Reading)
Laura on vol. 1 of To Terra (Heart of Manga)
Melinda Beasi on Unsophisticated and Rude (There it is, Plain as Daylight)