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, Comic Book Resources, the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, 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 daughters.

Tokyo Ghoul Tops the Best-Seller List

Tokyo Ghoul

The first volume of Tokyo Ghoul tops the New York Times manga best-seller list. Want to check it out? Viz is offering an extended preview on its digital service.

The Attack on Titan: Before the Fall manga is two degrees of separation from the original series—it’s an adaptation of a light novel spinoff—but even so, it’s doing well, with 1.4 million copies in print in Japan, according to Kodansha’s Bessatsu Shōnen magazine, where the series runs. Kodansha Comics publishes the manga in North America, where the fifth volume is due out on August 25, and Vertical publishes the light novels.

Deb Aoki’s advice to journalists who want to interview manga-ka has lots of interesting tidbits about the industry and cultural differences that make it a good read for any manga fan.

Zainab Akhtar has a quick introduction to the two Inio Asano titles that will be published next year, A Girl on the Shore and Goodnight PunPun.

Erica Friedman brings us the latest edition of Yuri Network News at Okazu.

The venerable shoujo manga magazine Margaret has launched a digital edition.

Reviews

Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 1 of Black Rose Alice (Lesley’s Musings on Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 13 of Blue Exorcist (The Comic Book Bin)
Zainab Akhtar on Fragments of Horror (Comics & Cola)
Lori Henderson on vols. 2 and 3 of Genkaku Picasso (Manga Xanadu)
Richard Gutierrez on vol. 1 of Log Horizon (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 75 of One Piece (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Matthew Warner on vol. 28 of Toriko (The Fandom Post)

August Manga Releases, ‘Barefoot Gen’ Kickstarter

Attack on Titan 16

I rounded up the August manga releases at the Barnes and Noble blog; with new volumes of Naruto and Attack on Titan coming out, it’s a big month.

Speaking of Attack on Titan, there has been a flurry of news lately about how big a deal it is, but this sums it all up: There are currently 50 million copies in print of the different volumes of the series; volume 16 is out in Japan and will be out in the U.S. this month.

Last Gasp, the publisher of Barefoot Gen, has launched a Kickstarter to fund the publication of 4,000 hardcover volumes (1,000 each of the first four volumes) and distribution to schools and libraries.

Lori Henderson rounds up the Otakon news, with her own commentary on the new license announcements.

At Heart of Manga, Laura takes a look at this month’s new shoujo manga releases.

Zainab Akhtar writes about Jiro Taniguchi’s The Walking Man and the Japanese concept of ma, or emptiness.

Stop! You’re reading the wrong way! Most MangaBlog readers probably don’t even notice those guides on the last page of each volume that explain how to read manga right to left, but Verneida Vergara does, and she posts a quick survey of which publishers do and don’t include that helpful-to-newcomers information.

Reviews: The Manga Bookshelf team have plenty to say about an eclectic selection of new volumes in their latest Bookshelf Briefs column.

Erica Friedman on Ai Rabu Yuu Yori Aishiteru (Okazu)
Ash Brown on vol. 1 of Akame Ga Kill and vol. 2 of Let’s Dance a Waltz (Experiments in Manga)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Captain Ken (Comics-and-More)
Amanda Vail on Legal Drug and Drug & Drop (Women Write About Comics)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 12 of Magi (The Comic Book Bin)
Kanta Ishida on My Love Story!! (The Japan News)
Kristin on vol. 5 of My Love Story!! (Comic Attack)
Ash Brown on vol. 1 of Orange Junk (Experiments in Manga)
Sarah on vol. 9 of Ranma 1/2 (2-in-1 edition) (nagareboshi reviews)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 2 of A Silent Voice (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Matthew Warner on vol. 1 of So Cute It Hurts! (The Fandom Post)
Lindsey Tomsu on vols. 1-3 of Zero’s Familiar (No Flying, No Tights)

Otakon News, Manga Reigns Triumphant, and More

Queen Emeraldas

Queen Emeraldas

It’s been a busy couple of weeks! I rounded up most of the new manga license announcements from Anime Expo and Comic-Con International at the Barnes and Noble blog; here’s the latest from Otakon:

Kodansha Comics

  • Queen Emeraldas, by Leiji Matsumoto
  • Complex Age, by Yui Sakuma
  • Forget Me Not, by Nao Emoto

Viz

  • Goodnight PunPun, by Inio Asano (Solanin, Nijigahara Holograph)
  • The Heiress and the Chauffeur, by Keiko Ishihara
  • Blanc et Noir, an art book by Takeshi Obata (Death Note, Bakuman)

Vertical

  • Mysterious Girlfriend X, by Riichi Ueshiba
  • The Gods Lie, by Kaori Ozaki (Immortal Rain)
  • Devil’s Line, by Ryo Hanada

And somewhere in there, Seven Seas announced it has acquired the license to The Other Side of Secret, by Hideaki Yoshikawa.

Sean Gaffney always has interesting things to say about new licenses, so be sure to check out his SDCC/Otakon roundup as well.

On the other side of the coin, Lori Henderson takes a look at all the manga series that are ending in Japan this month.

There has been a flurry of commentary about the importance of manga in reshaping the comics and graphic novel market lately, and the best starting point is probably Heidi MacDonald’s post at The Beat, where she links to it all and provides her own perspective.

Looking for something to read? I did a spring and summer teen manga roundup at SLJTeen.

Justin Stroman caught up with Yen Press publisher Kurt Hassler at Anime Expo and talked to him about a bunch of things, including whether their digital-first licenses will go to print (maybe) and the decision to license Yowamushi Pedal:

Oh you know, there’s a lot of common wisdom in the industry that sports manga doesn’t work, but it’s very short-sighted not to challenge preconceptions, there’s obviously a huge Yowamushi fan base, I’ve seen any number of cosplayers, the anime has been a massive success…it’s one of those properties that we’ve had our eye on for a long time. We think the timing was right, we want to challenge the preconceived boundaries of what the market thinks it can do, and we think it has an excellent chance of being a highly successful title.

Justin also interviewed Viz editor Marlene First.

sasaki_maki-ding_dong_circus2015-cover

Ryan Holmberg writes about avant-garde manga artist Sasaki Maki; Holmberg has translated a collection of 15 Maki stories into English, and the book has just been published by Breakdown Press under the title Sasaki Maki’s Ding Dong Circus and Other Stories, 1967-1974.

ICv2 lists the top ten manga franchises.

The Manga Bookshelf team discuss their Pick of the Week.

Reviews: Ash Brown accounts for a week’s worth of manga reading at Experiments in Manga. Michelle Smith and Sean Gaffney provide short takes on recent releases in the latest Bookshelf Briefs from Manga Bookshelf.

Connie on vol. 6 of Ai no Kusabi (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 5 of Alice in the Country of Clover: Cheshire Cat Waltz (Slightly Biased Manga)
Confusedmuse on Alice in the Country of Hearts (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Connie on vol. 1 of Alice in the Country of Joker: Circus and Liar’s Game (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 30 of Blade of the Immortal (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 55 of Case Closed (The Fandom Post)
Connie on vol. 5 of Cross Game (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 5 of Demon Love Spell (Slightly Biased Manga)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 1 of The Demon Prince of Momochi House (The Fandom Post)
Connie on vol. 12 of Dengeki Daisy (Slightly Biased Manga)
Ren on vol. 1 of The Devils and the Realist (Fearless Facade)
Josh Begley on vol. 1 of Emma (omnibus edition) (The Fandom Post)
Kristin on Fragments of Horror (Comic Attack)
Tessa Barber on Gyo (No Flying, No Tights)
Lori Henderson on Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (Good Comics for Kids)
Erica Friedman on Love Desu (Okazu)
Connie on vol. 8 of Love Pistols (Slightly Biased Manga)
Connie on vol. 3 of No. 6 (Slightly Biased Manga)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 1 of Non Non Biyori (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Connie on vol. 4 of Phantom Thief Jeanne (Slightly Biased Manga)
Sarah on vol. 25 of Soul Eater (nagareboshi reviews)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 2 of Tokyo Ghoul (ANN)
Rebecca Silverman on vol. 1 of Ultraman (ANN)

The True Meaning of ‘Attack on Titan’

attack_titan1What is Attack on Titan really about? Vernieda Vergara puts it in context and discusses the social and political issues that Japanese readers might pick up on.

The folks at Sparkler Monthly are launching a Kickstarter to fund their third year. They have a lot of great premiums, and if you don’t want to be part of the Kickstarter, you can just get a plain ol’ membership instead. If you want to support global manga, this is the way to do it!

Taiyo Matsumoto will bring Sunny to an end in the July 27 issue of Monthly Spirits magazine; the fifth volume is due out on July 7 in North America.

The first volume of Tokyo Ghoul tops this week’s New York Times manga best-seller list, with vol. 70 of Naruto and vol. 5 of Seraph of the End in the number two and three spots. It’s worth noting that the first volume of Seraph is also on the list, which means new readers are still discovering it.

Erica Friedman has a special rainbows-and-weddings-infused edition of Yuri Network News at Okazu.

Reviews

Sakura Eries on vol. 8 of Are You Alice? (The Fandom Post)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 13 of Blue Exorcist (WatchPlayRead)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 15 of Dorohedoro (The Fandom Post)
Marissa Lieberman on vol. 1 of Dragon Ball (3-in-1 edition) (No Flying, No Tights)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 45 of Fairy Tail (The Fandom Post)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 6 of Food Wars (WatchPlayRead)
Manjiorin on Gyo (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Richard Gutierrez on vol. 1 of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (The Fandom Post)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 6 of Judge (Comics Worth Reading)
Sarah on vol. 18 of Kamisama Kiss (nagareboshi reviews)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 14 of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 5 of LBX (The Comic Book Bin)
Kristin on vol. 2 of Master Keaton (Comic Attack)
Trisha on My Neighbor Seki (Guys Lit Wire)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of Secret (Comics Worth Reading)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 5 of Seraph of the End (WatchPlayRead)
Erica Friedman on Strawberry Shake (Okazu)
Lesley Aeschiliman on vol. 11 of Voice Over: Seiyu Academy (WatchPlayRead)
Helen on Wish (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)

Summer Reading and a Tokyopop Teaser

The next volume of Attack on Titan isn’t out till August—what do you read in the meantime? At the Barnes & Noble blog I suggest some manga that offer many of the same pleasures as Attack on Titan as well as a roundup of June releases.

Tokyopop is “evolving,” although it’s not clear what that means. In a blog post on the Tokyopop site, CEO Stu Levy writes cryptically about “rebuilding” Tokyopop in a different form; more concretely, they will have panels at Anime Expo and San Diego, so something may be afoot.

Udon has licensed the manga adaptation of the Persona4 game.

Shonen Jump will publish a short story by American creators Bikkuri and rem in this week’s issue; the story, “Folie À Deux,” was published on the Shonen Jump + app in Japan. Bikkuri and rem were the winners of the 2007 Morning International Manga Competition, and rem is the illustrator of Yen Press’s adaptation of Gail Carriger’s Soulless.

Vol. 70 of Naruto tops the New York Times manga best-seller list, with the latest volume of Deadman Wonderland coming in at number two.

The Seven Seas folks explain why it’s not a good idea to wait till the end of a series to buy all the volumes:

Due to reader attrition, sales drop off after each volume is released–this is a natural thing for almost any series. Unfortunately, due to smaller sales with each passing volume, vendors/retailers order less. When they order less, we print less. It’s a classic case of supply-and-demand.

At Contemporary Japanese Literature, Kathryn Hemmann writes about how shoujo manga has changed the American comics scene, in terms of both the comics we read and the way we read them.

Tony Yao writes about fandom and shipping in the context of Kiss Him, Not Me.

Scott Green rounds up some artists’ tributes to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Memories, including a CLAMP doujinshi.

News from Japan: Kodasha’s Shonen Magazine will run a one-shot prequel to the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie in its 31st issue. Moviegoers who see Boruto: Naruto the Movie in theaters in August will get a special booklet with a new one-shot story by Masashi Kishimoto, as well as the final chapter of Naruto in full color. Inio Asano is taking a break from his current series, Dead Dead Demon’s Dededededestruction, which runs in Big Comic Spirits; it will be back at the end of August. Shueisha has posted an entire issue of Shonen Jump for free on its app: Issue #34 from 1997, which launched One Piece. Unfortunately, it seems to be only available in Japan. It looks like Hiromu Arakawa’s Silver Spoon will be coming to an end shortly.

Reviews: Ash Brown recounts a week’s worth of manga reading at Experiments in Manga.

Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 4 of Black Rose Alice (The Comic Book Bin)
A Library Girl on Cold Sleep (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 46 of Fairy Tail (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Ken H on Fragments of Horror (Sequential Ink)
Sakura Eries on vol. 18 of Goong (The Fandom Post)
Matthew Warner on vol. 7 of Inu x Boku SS (The Fandom Post)
Sakura Eries on vol. 3 of My Love Story!! (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 9 of Nisekoi: False Love (The Comic Book Bin)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Tokyo Ghoul (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 9 of Until Death Do Us Part (The Fandom Post)

One Piece Breaks a Record

One Piece 1One Piece makes the Guinness Book of World Records, setting the record for the most copies printed of a single title by a single author—the number of copies of the different volumes of One Piece stands at over 320 million. In a written statement, manga-ka Eiichiro Oda said, “Manga is an amusing way to pass time, but when I receive reports that say ‘through One Piece I made friends,’ or ‘through One Piece I found my sweetheart,’ I am really happy. I feel like this record number has the possibility to bring the same number of people together. I will not forget my predecessors in the manga world, the colleagues whom I work with, and my readers, and from now on I want to continue to draw a work that will not shame this record.”

At Organization Anti-Social Geniuses, Justin talks to four manga designers about their work.

The latest volumes of Naruto, Assassination Classroom, and Fairy Tail top this week’s New York Times manga best-seller list.

Also, in case you’re wondering, the Naruto spinoff is only going to be one volume long.

Lori Henderson has a license request: Mythical Detective Loki, please!

Kadokawa is publishing a bilingual English-Japanese edition of Sherlock: Pink-iro no Kenkyū, which is based on the BBC’s Sherlock series featuring Benedict Cumberbatch.

News from Japan: Bloody Cross will come to an end next month.

Reviews: Jocelyne Allen writes about Tsukuroitatsu Hito, a manga about sewing, at Brain Vs Book. Ash Brown looks back at the week in manga at Experiments in Manga.

Matthew Warner on vol. 6 of Bloody Cross (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 10 of Black Lagoon (The Comic Book Bin)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 3 of The Heroic Legend of Arslan (The Fandom Post)
Kristin on vols. 2-4 of Kiss of the Rose Princess (Comic Attack)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 4 of My Love Story!! (The Comic Book Bin)
John Rose on vol. 4 of Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro (The Fandom Post)
Dave Ferraro on vol. 1 of Spell of Desire (Comics-and-More)
Matthew Warner on vol. 1 of Sword Art Online: Girls Ops (The Fandom Post)
Kristin on vol. 1 of Tokyo Ghoul (Comic Attack)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 37 of Vagabond (The Comic Book Bin)
Erica Friedman on Watashi no Kiraina Otomodachi: Fatal Lies (Okazu)