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)

Editors talk shop, plus a manga starter kit

Justin Stroman talks to Yen Press freelancer Abigail Blackman about manga editing and the ins and outs of licensing manga. And here’s an interview with translator Adrienne Beck about translating Food Wars.

Helen McCarthy dishes a bit about her new book, A Brief History of Manga.

Zainab Akhtar lists five books that helped her get into manga, and since it’s Zainab, they are all great choices: Black Blizzard, Sunny, Pluto, Yotsuba&!, and Uzumaki.

News from the Vertical Tumblr: Knights of Sidonia will be available as an e-book, starting this week with vols. 1 and 2.

News from Japan: Yoshihiro Togashi will resume work on Hunter x Hunter after a lengthy hiatus. Ouran High School Host Club creator Bisco Hatori has a new series in the works. So does Mochi, creator of Cuticle Detective Inaba.

Reviews

Maggie on vol. 11 of Attack on Titan (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Kristin on vols. 16 and 17 of Black Bird (Comic Attack)
Matthew Warner on vol. 11 of Blue Exorcist (The Fandom Post)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 9 of A Certain Scientific Railgun (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Justin Stroman on vol. 1 of Food Wars (Organization Anti-Social Geniuses)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 14 of Kamisama Kiss (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
A Library Girl on vols. 1 and 2 of Midnight Secretary (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
Rebecca Silverman on vols. 1 and 2 of Monster Musume (ANN)
A Library Girl on Olympos (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
L.B. Bryant on vol. 1 of Puella Magi Madoka Magica: The Different Story (ICv2)
A Library Girl on vol. 1 of The Secret Notes of Lady Kanoko (A Library Girl’s Familiar Diversions)
David Brothers on Space Brothers (4thletter!)
Sarah on vol. 9 of Strobe Edge (nagareboshi reviews)

Sakuracon roundup, plus what editors really think of scanlations

Opus

More license announcements from Sakuracon: We covered the Yen Press news over the weekend, and Dark Horse announced some new licenses as well: CLAMP’s Legal Drug (previously published by Tokyopop) and the sequel, Drug & Drop; two by Satoshi Kon, OPUS and Seraphim: 266613336 Wings; and an Oreimo spinoff, Oreimo: Kuroneko. Also, Dark Horse will start publishing CLAMP manga digitally, starting with Clover in May and then Cardcaptor Sakura and Chobits in June.

Sean Gaffney has plenty of commentary on all the new Sakuracon licenses at his blog.

The manga lineup at TCAF was looking pretty solid already, with Moyoco Anno and est em slated to be guests, and now they have added Akira Himekawa, the two-woman team that draws the Legend of Zelda manga and the Japanese version of My Little Pony.

Justin Stroman gets opinions from several manga editors about scanlations and whether or not they drive demand. Ben Applegate of Kodansha Comics leads off with an interesting comment as to why manga publishers don’t use scanlations as a guide:

The biggest reason is that, unfortunately, heavy social media users are just not representative of a majority of English-language manga fans. But it can’t help that most of the target audience has already read the series online, and thus isn’t very motivated to buy.

Ichiro Marutani takes a look at the way that Japanese publishers and the Japanese government are fighting piracy.

Justin also has an interesting roundtable with manga adapters about what they do.

Moyoco Anno’s Insufficient Direction is now available on Crunchyroll.

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

Erica Friedman brings us up to date on the world of yuri in the latest edition of Yuri Network News at Okazu.

Lori Henderson chats about what she has been reading and presents her weekly wish list in the latest Manga Dome podcast at Manga Xanadu.

At nagareboshi reviews, Sarah explains why she wants to be just like Nanami Momozono (from Kamisama Kiss) when she grows up.

Reviews: Ash Brown rounds up a week’s worth of manga reading at Experiments in Manga. The Manga Bookshelf bloggers take a quick look at some new releases in their latest Bookshelf Briefs column.

Sean Gaffney on vol. 12 of Attack on Titan (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Matthew Warner on vol. 60 of Bleach (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 50 of Case Closed (The Comic Book Bin)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of Deadman Wonderland (The Comic Book Bin)
AstroNerdBoy on vol. 34 of Fairy Tail (AstroNerdBoy’s Anime and Manga Blog)
Anna N on Insufficient Direction (Manga Report)
Matthew Cycyk on vol. 8 of Knights of Sidonia (Matt Talks About Manga)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 11 of Library Wars (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sarah on vol. 11 of Library Wars (nagareboshi reviews)
Matthew Warner on vol. 11 of Library Wars (The Fandom Post)
Kory Cerjak on vol. 4 of Magi (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 5 of Magi (The Comic Book Bin)
Ash Brown on vol. 1 of Maka-Maka: Sex, Life, and Communication (Experiments in Manga)
Lesley Aeschliman on vol. 19 of Naruto (Lesley’s Musings… on Manga)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 65 of Naruto (The Comic Book Bin)
Sarah on vol. 65 of Naruto (nagareboshi reviews)
Ash Brown on Nijigahara Holograph (Experiments in Manga)
Johanna Draper Carlson on Nijigahara Holograph (Comics Worth Reading)
Kate O’Neil on vol. 1 of Phantom Thief Jeanne (The Fandom Post)
Erica Friedman on vol. 5 of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (perfect edition) (Okazu)
Matthew Warner on vol. 14 of Rin-ne (The Fandom Post)
Lori Henderson on vol. 2 of Sailor Moon Short Stories (Manga Xanadu)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 1 of Say I Love You (Comics Worth Reading)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Say I Love You (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of The Seven Deadly Sins (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Derek Bown on the April 7 issue of Shonen Jump (Manga Bookshelf)
Sarah on vol. 17 of Soul Eater (nagareboshi reviews)
Sarah on vol. 8 of Strobe Edge (nagareboshi reviews)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of Sweet Blue Flowers (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 2 of Sweet Rein (The Comic Book Bin)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of Torikaebaya (Okazu)
Sarah on vol. 1 of Umineko When They Cry (nagareboshi reviews)
L.B. Bryant on Sword Art Online: Aincrad (ICv2)
Erica Friedman on vol. 1 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Okazu)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (A Case Suitable for Treatment)
Sean Gaffney on vol. 1 of xxxHOLIC: Rei (A Case Suitable for Treatment)

Yen Press announces new licenses

Yen On logo

Yen Press charged into con season today with a slew of new announcements at their SakuraCon panel. First up is a new light novel imprint, Yen On. Yen already publishes quite a few light novels, including Spice & Wolf and the previously announced Sword Art Online (also a manga) and Accel World. They announced three new titles for the imprint: Another, which they previously published digitally, and which is also a manga; A Certain Magical Index; and Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

They followed that up with some new manga announcements. I’m just gonna pull these from the press release.

KING OF EDEN by Takashi Nagasaki, art by SangCheol Lee – Maybe you’re not familiar with the name Takashi Nagasaki, but you sure should be! Nagasaki, the critically acclaimed co-author of Monster, 20th Century Boys, Master Keaton, Billy Bat, and Pluto, pens a grotesque thriller that will leave you begging for more! Starting May 1, chapters will be simultaneously published worldwide!
PandoraHearts ~odds and ends~ by Jun Mochizuki – If you love the cracking mind-warp that is PandoraHearts, you won’t want to miss this art book! Lavishly presented in hardback with a slipcase, Mochizuki’s darkly whimsical world comes to vivid life in this collection of over 120 color and black-and-white illustrations from PandoraHearts, Crimson-Shell, and more! Look for it in November 2014!
GOU-DERE SORA NAGIHARA by Suu Minazuki – No Yen list would be complete without a little raunch, am I right? In this hilarious fantasy romp out in November 2014, Shouta Yamakawa, a boy in love with his favorite demure manga heroine, Sora Nagihara, casually wishes she could be real…only to find himself staring into her eyes?! But Shouta soon realizes he got more than he bargained for ’cos this Sora turns out to be one bold, brazen babe!
LOVE AT FOURTEEN by Fuka Mizutani – Serialized in Hakusensha’s wonderful Rakuen Le Paradis anthology, LOVE AT FOURTEEN is a charming, bittersweet slice-of-life story about two very mature students in junior high falling in love like the teenagers they are. If you have a soft spot for subtle (not to mention adorable) romance, you’re going to have to read this in November 2014!
THE ANGEL OF ELHAMBURG by Aki – In this beautiful standalone volume, a close friendship between a king blessed by a strange angel and his knight begins to crumble under the weight of jealousy and contempt when a woman, and soon her child, comes between them. We love Aki with a burning passion here at Yen, so we’re beyond excited to be adding the gorgeousness of THE ANGEL OF ELHAMBURG to our Spring 2015 list!

A couple of other things…

Tokyopop, RightStuf, and Gentosha have announced that vol. 6 of Hetalia: Axis Powers will be released on May 31. Also, I don’t have a link for this but their latest newsletter announces that a motion comic of Sokora Refugees will launch on Saturday—but if you’re the impatient type, check out this Hulu link, as it seems it has been out since 2010.

Jason Thompson takes a look at The Legend of Koizumi in his latest House of 1000 Manga column for ANN.

Eisner nominations and new Manga Competition!

The Mysterious Underground Men

The Mysterious Underground Men

The big news this week is the Eisner nominations. Here’s the list in the manga category (officially known as Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia):

The Heart of Thomas, by Moto Hagio (Fantagraphics)
The Mysterious Underground Men, by Osamu Tezuka (PictureBox)
Showa: A History of Japan, 1926–1939, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)
Summit of the Gods, vol. 4, by Yemmakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi (Fanfare/Ponent Mon)
Utsubora: The Story of a Novelist, by Asumiko Nakamura (Vertical)

If the choices seem pretty far from the mainstream, keep in mind that the Eisner judges have a difficult task (I was a judge in 2012 so I know this): You have to read a LOT of comics, and reading a series is a big investment of time; you’re looking for excellence, which implies literary quality; and you have to judge based on what came out in the nomination year, so even if you read a lot of series, you can’t consider the series as a whole, just a one-year slice. This biases the selection process heavily in favor of one-shots. All that said, I’d love to hear from you what you think the judges missed. I have my own opinions, which I’ll post eventually…

Attention creators! Entries are now being accepted for the Eighth International Manga Award.

Reviews

Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 60 of Bleach (The Comic Book Bin)
Mark Thomas on vol. 5 of Demon Love Spell (The Fandom Post)
Johanna Draper Carlson on vol. 5 of Happy Marriage?! (Comics Worth Reading)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 5 of Happy Marriage?! (I Reads You)
Johanna Draper Carlson on Insufficient Direction (Comics Worth Reading)
Kimi on vol. 6 of Itazura na Kiss (The Kimi-Chan Experience)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 11 of Library Wars (The Comic Book Bin)
Mark Thomas on vol. 2 of No Matter How You Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular (The Fandom Post)
Leroy Douresseaux on vol. 20 of Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (The Comic Book Bin)
Jocelyne Allen on Sakuran (Brain Vs. Book)
Kristin on vol. 1 of What Did You Eat Yesterday? (Comic Attack)
Matthew Alexander on vol. 3 of Wolfsmund (The Fandom Post)