Developing…

walkin_V3_lThis post is late because there was so much news today that every time I thought I was finished, something new would come up. Like this: A manga publisher is on the block, and speculation is leaning toward Aurora, which just asked Netcomics to pull all its series off the site. Aurora fits the profile in the ad: it is a Southern California-based manga publisher founded in 2006 that is a direct subsidiary of a Japanese publisher. The only other publisher that fits those criteria is Viz, and I don’t think they are available for $300,000. Commentary from Simon Jones, Gia Manry, and ANN senior news editor Egon Loo, who states that Aurora is not for sale.

Speaking of wild speculation, Ed Chavez dropped some hints about Vertical’s new releases at Anime Boston last week, and the ANN forum has been churning out possibilities ever since.

shizuku-kaminoThe umpteenth article about Kami no Shizuku (Drops of the Gods), the wine manga, mentions something that is news to me: The creators say there will be an English version by the end of the year. Someone recently explained to me why this manga would never be published in the U.S., which means it’s about due—although “English version” could mean it will be published in any English-speaking country. It is published by Kodansha, which gives us a limited range of possible U.S. licensors and raises the possibility they might publish it under their Kodansha USA imprint. David Welsh is pleased. (Spotted by sharp-eyed Anna at 2 screenshot limit.)

The Eisner nominations are out today, and they are more manga-riffic than ever.

UPDATE: And I forgot to mention that Seven Seas has rescued two licenses, Gunslinger Girl and Blood Alone.

Lori Henderson rounds up this week’s kid-friendly comics and manga at Good Comics for Kids.

The NY Times best-seller list is up, and the usual suspects are there—Naruto, Bleach, and Black Butler, which is on the list for the 10th week—does nobody read my reviews?? At Early Word, Robin Brenner questions the inconsistencies in the list, noting that L: Change the World, a light novel, made the list but Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s A Drifting Life was listed as a softcover graphic novel, not manga.

Johanna Draper Carlson checks out the latest Previews and finds it full of cats.

David Brothers takes a look at Tsutomu Nihei, the creator of Noise and Blame!, whose most recent work is Wolverine: Snikt! Yes, that Wolverine.

fasterthanakiss1Meanwhile, David Welsh has two new license requests, both from Hakusensha’s LaLa.

Kate Dacey paid a visit to the exhibit Korean Comics: A Society Through Small Frames, and she records her observations at The Manga Critic.

News from Japan: Say Hello to Black Jack manga-ka Shuho Sato has opened up his web manga site to other creators.

Reviews

Michelle Smith on Adolf 3: The Half-Aryan (Soliloquy in Blue)
Zack Davisson on vol. 2 of Alice in the Country of Hearts (Manga Life)
Connie on vol. 4 of Astral Project (Slightly Biased Manga)
Rob McMonigal on vol. 3 of Bleach (Panel Patter)
Snow Wildsmith on vol. 1 of Bunny Drop (Fujoshi Librarian)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Gunjo (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 14 of Hayate the Combat Butler (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Anna on vols. 1 and 2 of Love*Com (2 screenshot limit)
Charles Webb on vol. 1 of Maoh: Juvenile Remix (Manga Life)
Rob McMonigal on vol. 5 of Nana (Panel Patter)
Daniele Leigh on vols. 4-8 of Pluto (Comics Should Be Good)
Tangognat on vol. 1 of Ratman (Tangognat)
Richard Bruton on Red Snow (Forbidden Planet)
Lori Henderson on the April and May issues of Shonen Jump (Manga Xanadu)
Todd Douglass on vol. 11 of Spiral: The Bonds of Reasoning (Anime Maki)
David Welsh on vol. 1 of Twin Spica and vol. 1 of Saturn Apartments (The Manga Curmudgeon)
Connie on vol. 10 of We Were There (Slightly Biased Manga)
Rob McMonigal on Yellow 2 Episode 1 (Panel Patter)
Rob McMonigal on vol. 3 of Yotsuba&! (Panel Patter)
Susan S. on vols. vol. 1 and 2 of ZE (Manga Jouhou)

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Comments

  1. Don’t forget the news that Seven Seas licensed Gunslinger Girl and Blood Alone (and announced several new omnibus). ^_-
    http://gomanga.com/news/press_045.php

  2. See! I told you it was a busy day! I added them in—thanks for the reminder.

  3. I finally got around to reading Black Butler yesterday (I reserved it from the library months ago, but it’s just that popular!) and looking at your review now, I’m in complete agreement. What a disappointment. A great premise that seems content to coast on cliches and trendy costumes. I did like Yen’s translation of Sebastian’s voice — nailed that Jeevesy sound.

  4. Oh, a slight correction– Nihei did Snikt! a few years back, 2006 or so. His latest book is still Biomega :)

  5. If it’s not Aurora, then it’s probably Go! Comi, which would make me even sadder ’cause I want my Kurogane Communication. :/ Or else some other mysterious manga publisher I’m not familiar with. (I suppose Seven Seas is possible but since they just license-rescued some stuff I have a hard time buying that they’re in that much trouble.)

    Interesting though; I wonder how Egan knows that Aurora isn’t up for sale? They implied in their post about Netcomics taking Aurora stuff out– by mentioning that Aurora’s phone numbers were out of service –that they had not been able to contact the company to get comment for the article.

  6. Simon Jones says:

    ANN did mention a few details to me that seem to point away from Go Comi. I don’t want to step on their scoop, though. They talked with the sales broker, who confirmed some details but did not name the seller. I suppose there’s client confidentiality involved.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the results of their investigation. Or maybe Anime Vice’s. ;)

    What’s curious to me, regardless of who’s actually up for sale, is why manga industry peeps don’t know about this. I mean, if I were going to sell off Icarus (ha!), the first people I would talk to would be existing manga publishers. I can understand the emotional toll that flat-out closure has on people (although I still think the end of a publisher is an occasion that should be properly marked… I hate it when a publisher drifts in limbo or fades away), but when putting a company up for sale, you’d want as many interested parties to know about it.

    Hey, perhaps other publishers do know, and just haven’t talked.

  7. Regarding the Go!Comi comments, I don’t think it can be. Even ignoring the ‘wholly owned subsidiary’ part (which I’m pretty sure they weren’t) ithe auction information states that the company was founded in 2006. As far as I can tell, Go!Comi’s first titles were published in 2005, so even the dates wouldn’t match up on that front.

  8. Gia- SevenSeas became a part of fantasy publisher TOR awhile back, so I’m guessing it’s not them. They have a smaller output, but seem okay.

  9. Seven Seas is also “saved” by the “founded in 2006″ clause. They were founded some time in 2004, and though their first release of a japanese series was in 2006 the license and such were announced in 2005.

    I did a some searching, and the only (other) companies I’ve found that were founded in 2006 were DramaQueen (Houston based), Yen Press (NY based), and 801 Media (“division of Digital Manga, Inc. and a sister company of Digital Manga Publishing.”, from their website, so I guess I can count it as a company). DMP are based in California, I’d assume that places 801 there too.

    I guess memory is a funny thin, as most other manga companies that I remember being founded “recently” actually hit the 2004/2005 range. I wrote it all out for myself, I might as well paste it here;
    Del Rey Manga’s – 2003 (first release in 2004)
    DMP – Eugh. Complicated. Copyrighted 1996, Co-publishing with DH in 2003, started solo releases in 2004. (And then Juné was 2004, 801 were 2006, DokiDoki were 2009).
    DramaQueen – 2006 (ignore amazon.com’s dates. The books themselves say 2006, as does the copyright on their website).
    DrMaster – copyrighted 2004, might have released stuff in 2004, definitely released stuff in 2005.
    Media Blaster’s manga section was supposedly set up in 2004
    Netcomics – established 2005, website/book launch 2006
    Yaoi Generation – 2008
    Yen Press – 2006

  10. Moon in Autumn says:

    Blood Alone AND Gunslinger Girl? Oh, what a happy day! Thank you, Seven Seas! What do you think the chances are that the first volume they’ll publish is the next one that’s due instead of starting over at volume 1?

  11. Approximately nill as their license announcement says they’ll be releasing omnibus editions of the series (1-3 for Blood Alone, 1-3, 4-6 for Gunslinger) before then releasing the the next individual volumes (so, 4 and 7) ;)