Farewell to Francis

Sad news in the blogosphere: Francis, who blogged as Tiamat’s Disciple at the blog Tiamat’s Manga Reviews, has died of prostate cancer.

Sunday Comics Debt takes a look at some of the problems with CMX, including a possible lack of focus. And while we’re at it: Tom Spurgeon talks to retailer Christopher Butcher about TCAF, mostly, but toward the end he sneaks in some manga questions. Here’s Chris on why CMX failed:

Success publishing manga in the U.S. is almost entirely down to marketing, and how/how well a book is marketed. So since none of the books sold very well and the line closed, then no, I don’t think any of the books succeeded in a way that might suggest they were fulfilling a specific need in the market. They were failed entirely by the publisher, and the marketing.

I have friends at DC (I’m a retailer after all), in the marketing department. I am not speaking lightly here, if anyone’s offended they’ve got my number. But they had a bunch — a bunch! — of great books in their line. Really well-done manga, artistically exciting and creative and fun. The audience for good books is as far as I’m concerned limitless. The ability to get those good books to the audience is a valuable one.

Word. Chris also has some things to say about the market; he admonishes scanlators and has this interesting piece of advice, which I haven’t seen anywhere else:

What I think is going to be the key is positioning mangaka as people, positioning the creators of these works as flesh-and-blood real people that produce the work, people worthy of respect and support. Making CLAMP or Tite Kubo or Moto Hagio seem as real to people as Yoshihiro Tatsumi does. Or Daniel Clowes, for that matter. I think that’s part of how the war will be won. I wish all publishers good luck in encouraging mangaka to travel.

And to talk, since manga creators seem to be particularly averse to saying anything interesting in an interview.

Kristin looks at the most promising manga in the June Previews at Comic Attack.

Ed Sizemore and Johanna Draper Carlson discuss the manga industry in general, and the shutdown of CMX in particular, in the latest Manga Out Loud podcast.

David Brothers comments on the cityscapes in Akira at 4thletter!

Udon has a preview of vol. 1 of Mega Man ZX, and they also note that Hitoshi Ariga’s Mimimi is available on Kindle.

News from Japan: ANN has the top-selling series in Japan for the first half of 2010.


Paul Gravett on AX: Alternative Manga (Paul Gravett)
Julie Opipari on vol. 3 of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Manga Maniac Cafe)
Melinda Beasi on vol. 1 of I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Examiner.com)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Library Wars: Love and War (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Snow Wildsmith on Maniac Shorts Shot (Fujoshi Librarian)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of Mikansei No. 1 (I Reads You)
Shaenon Garrity on vol. 1 of My Girlfriend’s a Geek (About.com)
Sadie Mattox on Not Simple (Extremely Graphic)
Andre on vol. 1 of Sumomomo Momomo (Kuriousity)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of Toriko (Comics Worth Reading)
Erica Friedman on vol. 2 of Watashi no Taisetsuna Tomodachi (Okazu)

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