Hey, everyone! Sorry about my untimely absence—I have been off in Washington, DC, at the American Library Association annual meeting, where I participated in panels on The Best Manga You’re Not Reading and Good Comics for Kids, interviewed Raina Telgemeier live on stage, met Art Spiegelman and got his autograph (and a personalized drawing!), and
had all kinds of awesome fun observed the important issues that librarians face today. (For those of you who couldn’t be there, Tangognat liveblogged our Good Comics for Kids panel. Thanks, Anna!)
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much manga there. Random House had a few miscellaneous volumes tucked away in a bookcase full of graphic novels, but no one wanted to talk about them, and none of the traditional manga publishers were there. I did see Red: A Haida Manga at the PGW booth, and it looked awesome. And the high point was getting to flip through a galley of Moto Hagio’s A Drunken Dream, although, sadly, I had to give it back. If you’re curious, I wrote about my experiences at ALA for PWCW and Robot 6.
There was plenty going on while I was away, though! The most interesting bit of news, I think is that the staff of the recently defunct publishing company Aurora is setting up their own publishing company, Manga Factory. Aurora was the American arm of the Japanese publisher Ohzora, but now they have gone independent. They plan to launch at Anime Expo, and they are selling off the old Aurora books, as well as Deux (yaoi) and LuvLuv (teen love) titles for a limited time. And they are going digital, making Teen Apocalypse:Guilstein available for iPad and Kindle. (Note: You don’t have to have a Kindle to read Kindle books—there are versions of the software available for Mac, PC, iPod/iPad/iPhone, and I think they just launched for Android as well). ANN and Deb Aoki were way ahead of me on this one, so go check out their coverage.
The other big news of last week is not exactly news—Tokyopop is going digital, but then Tokyopop has been a pioneer in digital comics. What they have done now is partnered with the distribution service Zinio to offer their global manga for download to Mac or PC.
At PWCW, Kai-Ming Cha reports on the status of the scanlation wars: Some scans are down, but still accessible to fans, and scans pulled down in one place are popping up in others.
The art-manga roundtable at The Hooded Utilitarian wound up this weekend with posts by Ed Chavez, Shaenon Garrity, and Deb Aoki, who asks, “Can Manga Muster Up Its Maus/Watchmen Mega-Crossover Hit?” It’s all great reading, and if you haven’t had time for it so far, well, there’s a three-day weekend coming up…
Also at TCJ, the blogger Stephanie Folse (Telophase) contributes a post on the visual language of manga and comics.
Jason Thompson looks at underground comics in his latest House of 1000 Manga column at ANN.
Erin Finnegan posts some old but good shonen fighting advice.
Johanna Draper Carlson and Ed Sizemore discuss manga with new reader Caroline in the latest Manga Out Loud podcast.
Anime Expo is this weekend, and if you’re going, or thinking of going, check out Deb Aoki’s schedule of manga events.
News from Japan: Ouran High School Host Club is entering its final story arc, according to ANN. House of Five Leaves is ending, Kenichi Sonoda is launching a new series, and a new bishoujo magazine, titled Comic Sumomo, is starting up. Cookie magazine will host a two-episode Kodocha/Honey Bitter crossover. And Battle Angel Alita: Last Order is going on hiatus and may not return after the creator had a disagreement with his editors over wording describing a character’s mental illness.
Clive Owen on vol. 14 of Air Gear (Animanga Nation)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender (I Reads You)
Carlo Santos on vol. 9 of Black God (ANN)
David Brothers on Children of the Sea (ComicsAlliance)
Michelle Smith on vol. 1 of Chi’s Sweet Home (Soliloquy in Blue)
Theron Martin on vol. 16 of Claymore (ANN)
Lissa Pattillo on Domu (Kuriousity)
Diana Dang on Dramacon: Ultimate Edition (Stop, Drop, and Read)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 14 of Excel Saga (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Jaime Samms on Fevered Kiss (Kuriousity)
James Fleenor on vol. 1 of .hack//link (Anime Sentinel)
Connie on vol. 10 of Hellsing (Slightly Biased Manga)
Faith McAdams on vol. 13 of High School Debut (Animanga Nation)
Connie on vols. 19 and 20 of Hikaru no Go (Slightly Biased Manga)
Dave Ferraro on I’ll Give It My All… Tomorrow (Comics-and-More)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of Kingyo Used Books (Comics Worth Reading)
Leroy Douresseaux on The Last Airbender (The Comic Book Bin)
Kelkagandy on vols. 1 and 2 of The Lizard Prince (kelkagandy’s ramblings)
Connie on vol. 3 of Mad Love Chase (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 4 of Maid-Sama (Slightly Biased Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 3 of Ooku: The Inner Chambers (The Comic Book Bin)
Connie on vol. 14 of Ouran High School Host Club (Slightly Biased Manga)
Chris Zimmerman on Romeo x Juliet Omnibus (The Comic Book Bin)
Michelle Smith on vols. 1-3 of Saiyuki (Soliloquy in Blue)
Shannon Fay on vol. 1 of Saturn Apartments (Kuriousity)
Connie on vol. 8 of Slam Dunk (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 2 of Song of the Hanging Sky (Slightly Biased Manga)