Where the boys (and girls) are

Highly recommended: Jason Thompson has a thoughtful take on moe in his latest comiXology column.

What’s Tokyopop up to these days? Johanna Draper Carlson summarizes a recent webinar for bloggers, which I also particpated in but didn’t have time to write up. There were few tidbits, including a look at the upcoming CSI: Interns manga and the news that VB Rose will resume regular updates in November.

David Welsh polls his readers on what Japanese shoujo manga magazines would be good fodder for a U.S. anthology, and he puts in his most recent license request, this one drawn from the nominees for the Prix Asie.

Yaoi Press publisher Yamila Abraham files her con report on Anime Expo. It sounds like she had a great time, although I’d love to know more about the “shoplifter boobytraps.”

Meanwhile, Deb Aoki posts an AX photo gallery at About.com.

Sesho notes that his local Borders has moved the manga to the kids’ section and is not pleased. I went to Borders last weekend myself and noticed that our manga section had also been moved and is now next to the teen section. I don’t necessarly think that’s a bad thing, though, as most of the people who buy manga in Borders are teenagers. Adults are more likely to get their manga online or in a comics store, options that aren’t as available to younger teens with no credit card and no car. As for soccer moms fainting at the sight of MPD-Psycho—um, I’m a soccer mom and it doesn’t bother me. Of course, I’m an unusually cool soccer mom, but most of the other moms I talk to understand that there are different types of entertainment for adults and kids, and when I show them the age ratings and point out that most mature manga is shrink-wrapped, they get it right away. Also, the images in manga aren’t much worse than what the kids are reading in other books and watching on TV anyway—my kids love Bones and NCIS, which have their share of grisly scenes.

Readers of the Heart of Manga blog have chosen their favorite manga of the month—and it’s a tie!

News from Japan: Shogakukan is planning to release a special anthology, Shonen Sunday 1983, which will collect nine titles that ran in Shonen Sunday that year.

Reviews: It’s not manga, but check out my review of the webcomic Family Man if you like historical drama with a supernatural touch (or just hot guys in frilly shirts). Shojo Flash takes a look at Tokyopop’s shojo sampler, which they are giving out free with the last volume of Fruits Basket.

Tangognat on vols. 1-5 of Beauty is the Beast (Tangognat)
Diana Dang on vol. 1 of Black Bird (Stop, Drop, and Read!)
Connie on vol. 11 of Crimson Hero (Slightly Biased Manga)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of A Distant Neighborhood (Comics Worth Reading)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 9 of Emma (Comics Worth Reading)
Emily on Koi Nanka Hajimaranai (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page)
Kinukitty on Lovers and Souls (The Hooded Utilitarian)
Dan Polley on vol. 1 of Maid War Chronicle (Comics Village)
Melinda Beasi on vol. 2 of Moon Child (There it is, Plain as Daylight)
Connie on vol. 12 of Muhyo & Roji’s Bureau of Supernatural Investigation (Slightly BIased Manga)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 1 of Sarasah (Kuriousity)
Brad Rice on Sayonara, Mr. Fatty (Japanator)
Kate Dacey on Swallowing the Earth (The Manga Critic)
Lorena on vol. 2 of With the Light (i heart manga)
Connie on vol. 1 of You’re So Cool (Slightly Biased Manga)

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  1. Manga’s in-store placement has more to do with visibility and proximity toward exits. Manga is a high loss category for our store (I’d be interesting in hearing more about those shoplifter boobytraps, too!).

    Moving manga upstairs makes it harder to steal, so that’s probably the biggest factor behind the move—not the notion that manga is kiddie stuff.

    Our manga & comics section is currently sandwiched between the adult Sci-Fi & YA Fiction sections, which seems like the perfect place. We used to have the kids manga (Warriors, Pokemon) shelved in the kids section, but that’s been moved to the end of comics too.

    (additional note: face-outs aren’t there because we don’t have stock, it’s because better visibility = higher sales. Management actively encourages them!)

  2. The Borders near me just moved the manga to a section facing the registers at the front of the store, which happens to be next to the young adult section. However, they’ve been moving around most sections and the employees were making comments about how a lot of the moving was for doing away with the DVD/CD areas. I haven’t been to the other area Borders lately, which is newer, where the manga is/was closer to the cafe.

  3. Ok, at my Borders, I would say in the manga section that 3/4 to 1/2 of every row on each bookcase are faceouts. That is not about selling them. That is about not having enough to stock the shelves. In the sci-fi section I have seen ONE new book on the shelves in the past 2 weeks. That’s it. ONE book. Before moving, the manga were between the sci-fi and horror sections.

    As for shrink wrap, the kids/adults take that off. it doesn’t matter. a couple of years ago, there were plenty of manga bum kids in the aisles in the manga section. now there are none. even though i used to bitch about them, i felt like they were a healthy sign that people at least liked to read manga. Most of the time in Borders, i only see about one other person looking at manga, if even that. Bring back the manga bums!

    I’ve never seen one person buy a manga in my local comics store except me:) sad but true. Some of the comic stores around me are actually getting rid of their manga because they don’t sell, except for the usual suspects like naruto, bleach, etc. At Borders, when i do see people in the manga section its pretty balanced between kid and adult.

    And yes, you are a cool soccer mom. I am a gangsta geeky badminton godfather.

  4. “I went to Borders last weekend myself and noticed that our manga section had also been moved and is now next to the teen section.”

    This seems to have happened all over the place; I’m willing to bet it’s a top-down strategy. My local NJ Borders stores did it last summer (a year ago!). I used the store reorganization as the opening anecdote for the journal article on manga publishing in the U.S. for Publishing Research Quarterly: http://www.springerlink.com/content/f11798l55w2872n0/

  5. Sesho: You’re right, if every shelf is 1/2 to 3/4s faceouts, then it’s low stock. They should condense the section if that’s the case. Borders’ sci-fi selection is a big problem, too: http://io9.com/5065839/should-sf-writers-boycott-borders

    Personally, I haven’t heard about a top down strategy to move manga near YA or Independent Reader (although Casey, your paper looks fascinating, and right up my alley. Why must it be $34!). When we first moved our manga section upstairs last year, it was near comics & the art section—and next to the restrooms, i.e. as far away from any exit as possible. It was on the opposite end of the store from IR & YA fiction.

    I do think placement between YA fiction & Sci-Fi is ideal for manga, but again, stores are more concerned about theft. At my store, the only 3 things we always boobytrap are hardcover books, manga, & African American fiction, because that’s where we see the most loss.

    Which explains the placement across from the cafe & the register that Bonita noticed. Neither is ideal, but even with staff hours cut, the one place guaranteed staff coverage are registers (FOS & cafe). That means, theoretically, there’s always someone there to watch the section for shoplifters.

  6. Renee: Unfortunately, big academic journal publishers adore gated content. If you—or anyone else, for that matter, who is reading this comment—don’t have an affiliation with an academic library that has an institutional subscription to Publishing Research Quarterly, feel free to send me a message through the Google Profile site (http://www.google.com/profiles/casey.brienza) privately.

  7. Umm, I realize no one is reading this thread anymore, but for posterity, Borders has created a new teen shop called “Ink” featuring comics & YA fiction: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124813622016167035.html

    However, they have neglected to tell the employees, at least at my store. Alas!


  1. […] points us to an anecdotal report about Borders moving the manga section in with the kids books. Last time I was in a Borders, the manga section was next to the sci-fi and fantasy books and […]