About Brigid Alverson

Brigid Alverson has been reading comics since she was 4. After earning an MFA in printmaking, she headed to New York to become a famous artist but ended up working with words instead of pictures, first as a book editor and later as a newspaper reporter. She started MangaBlog to keep track of her daughters’ reading habits and now covers manga, comics and graphic novels as a freelancer for School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly Comics Week, Graphic Novel Reporter, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Robot 6. She also edits the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. Now settled in the outskirts of Boston, Brigid is married to a physicist and has two teenage daughters.

Comic-Con Hangover

Best and Worst Manga panelists: Deb Aoki, yours truly, David Brothers, and Christopher Butcher

Best and Worst Manga panelists: Deb Aoki, yours truly, David Brothers, and Christopher Butcher

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.

Reviews

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)

JoJo’s new license adventure

It’s been a busy few weeks, so let’s start with new license announcements. Sean Gaffney has a thorough writeup of the Anime Expo news, which includes the big news that Viz will be releasing (or re-releasing, in the case of the third arc) JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Here’s a quick rundown of the rest:

Viz
Baraou no Souretsu (Requiem for the Rose King), by Aya Kanno (Otomen)
Faster than a Kiss, by Meca Tanaka (Omukai Desu, Pearl Pink)
Momochi-san Chi no Ayakashi Ouji (The Demon Prince of Momochi House), by Aya Shouoto (Kiss of the Rose Princess)
… plus a digital one-off chapter of Vampire Knight and new omnibuses of Yu-Gi-Oh and Gyo

Vertical
Yume no Kaseki (A Fossil of a Dream), a short story collection by Paprika director Satoshi Kon

Dark Horse
Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt
… plus omnibus editions of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service and Oh My Goddess and a Satoshi Kon artbook

Kodansha
Maria the Witch (Junketsu no Maria), by the creator of Moyashimon
A Silent Voice, which is already running digitally on Crunchyroll

In other news, SuBLime has licensed Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi (English title: The World’s Greatest First Love:The Case of Ritsu Onodera), which is a Junjo Romantica spinoff; the anime has been running on Crunchyroll.

Returning to the present day, the Manga Bookshelf team looks at this week’s new releases.

In a panel at the Tokyo International Book Fair, translators Yoda Hiroko and Matt Alt discuss translating Doraemon for the American audience.

Wired has a short interview with Kazuto Tatsuta, who wrote about his experiences as a cleanup worker at the Fukushima nuclear plant in 1F: The Labor Diary Of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

This came out a couple of weeks ago, but it’s an interesting post: Justin asks some manga insiders why they think fans are still reading manga illegally and aren’t embarrassed to admit it.

News from Japan: Good news for fans of Arata: The Legend, which has been on hiatus: Manga-ka Yuu Watase plans to return to work on it in time for fall serialization.

Reviews: The Manga Bookshelf team turns in this week’s set of Bookshelf Briefs. Ash Brown looks back at a week’s worth of manga reading and reading about manga at Experiments in Manga.

Sarah on vol. 11 of Blue Exorcist (nagareboshi reviews)
David Brothers on Dorohedoro (4thletter!)
Katherine Hanson on vol. 1 of Gakuen Polizi (Yuri no Boke)
Kristin on vols. 4-6 of Midnight Secretary (Comic Attack)
Kristin on vol. 3 of Millennium Snow (Comic Attack)
J. Caleb Mozzocco on vol. 1 of My Love Story!! (Good Comics for Kids)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of My Love Story!! (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 6 of Midnight Secretary (The Fandom Post)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of Monster (Perfect Edition) (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Matthew Warner on vol. 3 of Nisekoi (The Fandom Post)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1-3 of No. 6 (Good Comics for Kids)
Alice Vernon on vol. 1 of Sword Art Online: Fairy Dance (Girls Like Comics)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of Terra Formars (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 2 of UQ Holder! (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of World War Blue (Manga Xanadu)

DC to publish Jiro Kuwata’s Batman manga

batmanga-1-sfcover

DC Comics will release Jiro Kuwata’s 1960s Batman manga, Batmanga, as a digital-first comic starting this Saturday, and later it will be released as three print volumes. The manga will be released unflipped and the digital price will be 99 cents a chapter, available on the DC Comics app, Readdcentertainment.com, Comixology, iBooks, Google Play, the Kindle Store, and the Nook Store.

Another new license announcement: Viz confirmed it has the license to the two-volume Little Battlers eXperience (Danbōru Senki) manga by Hideaki Fujii.

And the BL imprint SuBLime announced it will release The World’s Greatest First Love: The Case of Ritsu Onodera (Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi ~Onodera Ritsu no Baai~), by Shungiku Nakamura, in February.

Manga creator Moyoco Anno talks about her life and her work, including Happy Mania, Sakuran, Sugar Sugar Rune, and Insufficient Direction, in an interview at Publishers Weekly.

The Manga Bookshelf team looks at this week’s new releases and discusses their Pick of the Week.

Shonen Jump is publishing a two-chapter Nisekoi/My Love Story crossover.

Laura looks at some new shoujo manga coming out in July at Heart of Manga.

At Organization Anti-Social Geniuses, Justin talks about scanlation and its place in the modern manga scene, triggered by a Tumblr post by a scanlator who is blocking Japanese IPs so the creators won’t find out their work is being put online without their consent.

Reviews: The Manga Bookshelf team keeps it short and sweet in their latest set of Bookshelf Briefs. Ash Brown looks back on a week of manga reading at Experiments in Manga.

Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 6 of Btooom! (Comics Worth Reading)
Sakura Eries on vol. 15 of Goong (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 7 of Haganai: I Don’t Have Many Friends (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 2 of The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 1 of Highschool DxD (The Fandom Post)
Ash Brown on vol. 7 of No. 6 (Experiments in Manga)
Ash Brown on The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame and Endless Game (Experiments in Manga)
Lori Henderson on vols. 6-12 of Sumomomo Momomo (Manga Xanadu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Sword Art Online: Fairy Dance (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Manga Xanadu)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 5 of Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal (The Comic Book Bin)

Viz signs with comiXology; Yen announces new titles

Viz signs on with comiXology, making that digital-comics platform the closest thing there is to one-stop shopping for digital manga.

Yen Press announced four new licenses on Friday the 13th: Akame Ga Kill!, Kagerou Daze, Secret, and Sword Art Online: Progressive. Lissa Pattillo has the details.

Lori Henderson discusses Seven Seas’ new license announcements in the latest edition of her Manga Dome Podcast at Manga Xanadu.

Calvin Reid and Heidi MacDonald’s report on Book Expo America includes a chat with Viz senior director of sales and marketing Kevin Hamric, who says the company has had another strong year:

The manga and anime distributor will publish about 300 titles in 2014 in addition to about 30 titles (including non-manga originals and licenses) coming from Perfect Square, Viz’s children’s imprint. The house is also launching 14 new manga series this year (up from its usual 5 or 6). Viz began selling its English language print manga in India this year (distribution is by S&S U.K.) and the fans “are eating them up,” Hamric said. Viz launched the program with 25 series from Shueisha and expect to increase that number after the program is reviewed in June.

Plus they have the Sailor Moon anime, and they are dubbing July Pop Culture Month.

Erica Friedman brings us up to date in her latest Yuri Network News post at Okazu.

Shaenon Garrity writes about the wine-tasting manga Drops of God in this week’s House of 1000 Manga column at ANN.

Over at Mangabrog (hey!), there’s a translation of a conversation between Taiyo Matsumoto, Inio Asano, and Keigo Shinzo.

Zainab Akhtar takes a look at Dark Horse’s plans to publish two Satoshi Kon manga, Opus and Seraphim.

News from Japan: The Diet is about to pass a new child pornography law that bans possession of photos and videos but exempts anime and manga. Sankarea will end with the next volume, on November 7.

Reviews

Ken H on vol. 12 of Attack on Titan (Comics Should Be Good)
Ken H on vol. 29 of Blade of the Immortal (Comics Should Be Good)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 15 of Case Closed (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Ken H on vols. 1-3 of Countdown Seven Days (Comics Should Be Good)
Erica Friedman on Dark Cherry to Shoujo A (Okazu)
Ken H on vols. 4 and 5 of The Flowers of Evil (Comics Should Be Good)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 23 of Higurashi: When They Cry (The Fandom Post)
Sarah on vols. 1 and 2 of Millennium Snow (nagareboshi ★ reviews)
Kevin Church on Nijigahara Holograph (Comics Alliance)
Angela Sylvia on vol. 19 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (The Fandom Post)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 2 of Ranma 1/2 (omnibus edition) (The Fandom Post)
Ken H on vol. 1 of Say I Love You (Comics Should Be Good)
Anna N. on vol. 1 of Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign (Manga Report)

Amazon squeezes Yen; Lillian DP talks Tokyopop and scanlations

Amazon appears to be targeting Yen Press in its current war with parent company Hachette. Amazon and Hachette have been wrangling over contract terms, and Amazon has eliminated discounts on their books, lengthened the turnaround time for orders of older books, and omitted pre-order buttons for some upcoming titles.

The Manga Bookshelf bloggers discuss their Picks of the Week.

Justin Stroman has really been killing it at Organization Anti-Social Geniuses lately with a whole series of interviews with manga insiders. Here are two more, and they’re both fascinating reading: Former Tokyopop senior editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl talks about her years at Tokyopop and discusses how scanlation and piracy have affected the industry at different times, and artist
Jamie Lynn Lano, who worked as assistant to The Prince of Tennis manga-ka Takeshi Konomi and has written a book about it, The Princess of Tennis, talks about her experiences.

Atsushi Ohara at the Asahi Shimbun reports on the deliberations for the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prizes, which were announced in April.

David Brothers looks at the depiction of sudden death in Knights of Sidonia.

Erica Friedman updates us on the world of yuri in the latest Yuri Network News episode at Okazu.

Reviews: The Manga Bookshelf team files this week’s Bookshelf Briefs. Ash Brown summarizes a week of manga at Experiments in Manga.

Lori Henderson on vol. 1 of Attack on Titan: Before the Fall (Manga Xanadu)
Lori Henderson on vols. 1-3 of Inu x Boku: SS (Manga Xanadu)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 5 of Midnight Secretary (The Fandom Post)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 7 of One Piece (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 2 of Phantom Thief Jeanne (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Erica Friedman on Rainy Song (Okazu)
Matthew Warner on vol. 1 of Say I Love You (The Fandom Post)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 2 of Sweet Rein (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 2 of Takasugi-San’s Obento (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
David Brothers on Wolfsmund (4thletter!)

Anime update: Viz gets Sailor Moon, Disney grabs Doraemon

I’m back from a couple of crazy weeks that included travels to C2E2 and TCAF as well as a bunch of personal and day-job stuff, and I’m jumping back in with some big anime news: Disney has licensed the Doraemon anime for its Disney XD channel and Viz got the license for all the Sailor Moon anime—the original series, including the episodes that have never been licensed in North America, plus three movies and the new Sailor Moon Crystal anime that will debut in July. Since both these anime started as manga, we can expect some strong synergy. Kodansha Comics’ Sailor Moon manga was already a chart-topper, but perhaps we will see new readers picking it up; as for Doraemon, right now it’s available only digitally, via Amazon, but the time may have come for a print release.

Keeping with that anime theme, co-author Helen McCarthy announces the third edition of The Anime Encyclopedia.

OK, enough of that. Back to manga news. At Organization Anti-Social Geniuses, Justin Stroman interviews Leyla Aker, the editor of Gangsta (and also Viz’s vice president of publishing), and he also talks to Eric Eberhardt, director of digital publishing marketing, about the new Viz Select imprint for digital-first releases.

Manga was prominently featured at this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), with guest appearances by Moyoco Anno, est em, and the two-woman team of Akira Himekawa. Deb Aoki reports in on the “Future of Manga Publishing” panel she moderated, which featured manga editor and literary agent Yohei Sadoshima, and she also presents a Twitter conversation with fans about what would make manga more appealing.

Erica Friedman posts her con report on TCAF, along with a list of books she bought and why they are awesome. Ash Brown reports in as well. And here’s my take, at Robot 6.

Laura is back blogging again at Heart of Manga, after some harrowing health problems, and she has a look at the shoujo manga that will be coming out this month.

News from Japan: Drops of God will come to an end in the June 12 issue of Kodansha’s Morning magazine; three more volumes of tankoubon will be released, for a total of 44. Death Note and Bakuman writer Tsugumi Ohba is working on a new story, Skip Yamada-kun, a one-shot that will run in “Jump” meets “Girl” SPECIAL COMIC, a special issue of Shukan Young Jump. Robico, the creator of My Little Monster, will do the art.

Reviews

Joe Iglesias on vol. 5 of Battle Angel Alita (Eastern Standard)
Justin on vol. 1 of Gangsta (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Kristin on Insufficient Direction (Comic Attack)
Alice Vernon on Inu x Boku SS (Girls Like Comics)
Sean Gaffney on vols. 3 and 4 of Ranma 1/2 (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on Showa 1939-1944: A History of Japan (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Maggie on solanin (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Manjiorin on vols. 1 and 2 of Sweet Rein (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Kristin on vol. 2 of Sweet Rein (Comic Attack)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 17 of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of xxxHoLIC: Rei (Comics Worth Reading)