I’m back from San Diego, which was great, as always. I covered a ton of panels for CBR, where I am a contributing writer, and I got to be one of the folks who went up on stage when that site won the Eisner Award for best comics journalism, which was pretty damn awesome. Aside from that, though, one of the best moments was being part of the Best and Worst Manga panel, arranged and moderated by the amazing Deb Aoki. It was held in one of the bigger panel rooms, which I would estimate seats about 300 people, and it was standing room only. This was in contrast to the other comics panels I covered, which were mostly in smaller rooms that were only half full. What’s more, the audience was really engaged, reacting with enthusiasm to all our choices. Clearly, the manga scene is alive and well, at least in San Diego.
Here’s Deb’s writeup of the panel. tl;dr: Read Vinland Saga. Seriously.
Deb also rounded up the manga news from the con. Some highlights:
- Udon licensed Kill la Kill
- Kodansha announced two new licenses, including Let’s Dance a Waltz, by Kitchen Princess manga-ka Natsumi Ando
- Drawn and Quarterly announced Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler and a collection of short stories by Tadao Tsuge that originally ran in GARO magazine.
- Artist Katsuya Terada (The Monkey King) was signing at the Dark Horse and Last Gasp panels, promoting two of his books.
- Viz, Vertical, Yen Press, and Seven Seas didn’t have panels but they all were doing a brisk business at their booths.
Sean Gaffney has his usual astute commentary on the announcements at his blog. Meanwhile, deb, Deb, who was my roommate at the con, has more on the Udon announcements and a video of Terada drawing the Monkey King at her site, Manga Comics Manga.
Lori Henderson rounds up the con news in her latest Manga Dome podcast at Manga Xanadu.
Vertical sold completely out of their newest Moyoco Anno title, In Clothes Called Fat, at the show. I read it before I left and again when I got back, and then I reviewed it for Robot 6.
The ICv2 folks sat down with Viz execs Leyla Aker and Kevin Hamric for a meaty interview (part 1, part 2) about the state of the manga market, print versus digital sales, their rescues of some Tokyopop licenses (including Deadman Wonderland), and whether they will release a Doraemon manga anytime soon (it’s already being published digitally in English by Shogakukan).
Meanwhile, while we were in San Diego, the Japanese government started a new anti-piracy campaign that has two prongs: They are sending takedown notices to pirate sites and directing readers to legitimate online manga sites.
Hiroshi Oti, the creator of Ganbare Goemon, has died at the age of 54.
L.B. Bryant on vol. 1 of Black Rose Alice (ICv2)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 5 of Blood Lad (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
L.B. Bryant on vol. 1 of Food Wars (ICv2)
Ash Brown on In Clothes Called Fat (Experiments in Manga)
Lori Henderson on Insufficient Direction (Manga Xanadu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 4 of Inu x Boku SS (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Kristin on Les Miserables (Manga Classics) (Comic Attack)
Kristin on vol. 1 of Monster (perfect edition) (Comic Attack)
Rob McMonigal on La Quinta Camera (Panel Patter)
Drew McCabe on The Shadowman (Comic Attack)
Kristin on vol. 1 of Spell of Desire (Comic Attack)
Kristin on vol. 1 of Terra Formars (Comic Attack)