ICv2 has a new publication out detailing manga trends, and the editors predict that the number of manga releases will be down 13% this year from 2009, bringing the total number of volumes published to less than 1,000 for the first time since 2004. This paragraph says it all:
While most manga publishers told ICv2 that they plan to publish about the same or slightly fewer volumes (Yen Press, which continues to expand its list, is the major exception), a number of publishers such as Aurora, Go Comi, and Dr. Master have either pulled out or drastically curtailed their publishing efforts.
Also, ICv2 lists the top 25 manga properties and the top 10 shoujo and shonen properties. These lists include all channels—presumably that means comics stores, bookstores, and online—so they present a fuller picture of the manga market than we usually see. With that in mind, two things jumped out at me. One is that Death Note continues to be in the top ten long after the series ended. The other is the complete absence of Viz Signature series, despite their critical acclaim. In fact, with the exception of the Yen Press titles, that top 25 list could be from two or three years ago. If it is a true reflection of sales figures, then it indicates that the overall manga market is younger and more stable than the online discourse would indicate. (Because, quickly now, how many bloggers are reading Shugo Chara? And how many are reading Children of the Sea? The proportions seem to be reversed in the real world.)
A good reporter goes to primary sources, and that’s exactly what Gia Manry did when she started wondering what effect the Handley case would have on U.S. publishers: She went out and asked a bunch of them. Among those weighing in are Ed Chavez of Vertical, Peter Payne of JList, Simon Jones of Icarus, and Michelle Mauk of DMP. Gia also got a copy of Sakura-Con’s instructions to exhibitors. Good stuff, and well worth a read.
Pot, meet kettle: Melinda Beasi comments on the irony of anime and manga fans hatin’ on Twilight fans. Can’t we all just enjoy our obsessions without pissing on the lawn next door? It’s good stuff, and be sure to check the lengthy comment thread as well. Gia Manry follows up at Anime Vice, pointing out that everyone looks down on someone (although for some reason furries are always at the bottom of these charts).
Tokyopop senior editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl talks about her likes and dislikes at Graphic Novel Reporter.
One thing I think we can all agree on is that 1960s eye candy is delightful. At Fanboy.com, Michael Pinto presents some vintage shoujo manga by Eico Hanamura for your viewing pleasure.
Christopher Butcher checks out some early Osamu Tezuka manga as well as other, pre-Tezuka works at the Osamu Tezuka Museum.
David Welsh is giving away a free copy of vol. 1 of Bunny Drop to readers of Manga Curmudgeon. Don’t be put off by the name; this is a great book. I read it over the weekend and was planning to review it, but David and Deb Aoki beat me to it. So go, enter!
Reviews: Kristin looks at some of Digital’s Harlequin manga in her Bento Bako Lite column at Comic Attack.
Zack Davisson on vol. 1 of Alice in the Country of Hearts (Manga Life)
Laura on vol. 1 of Cactus’s Secret (Heart of Manga)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 1 of Dinosaur King (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Deb Aoki on vol. 1 of Dorohedoro (About.com)
Danica Davidson on Haru Hana: The Complete Collection (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 2 of Hero Tales (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Connie on vol. 6 of I Hate You More Than Anyone (Slightly Biased Manga)
Katherine Farmar on Kiss Your Hair (Comics Village)
Danica Davidson on vols. 1-4 of Lucky Star (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Lissa Pattillo on vol. 7 of The Magic Touch (Kuriousity)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 5 of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Scott VonSchilling on vol. 1 of My Darling! Miss Bancho (The Anime Almanac)
Snow Wildsmith on Oishinbo: Japanese Cuisine (Graphic Novel Reporter)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 36 of One Piece (The Comic Book Bin)
Julie on The Sheikh’s Contract Bride (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Ysabet Reinhardt MacFarlane on vol. 6 of St. Dragon Girl (Manga Life)
Connie on vol. 1 of Ultimo (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kris on Unsophisticated and Rude (Manic About Manga)