ALAAC15: Udon To Raffle Off Every Book In Their Booth on Monday!

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I received this email from John Shableski, the recently hired Vice President of Sales at UDON Entertainment.  In a bit of brilliance, instead of shipping their display titles back to Toronto, or dealing with the ravenous hordes hoping for free books, they’ll be GIVING AWAY every title at their booth to one lucky library!

OMG these Yotsuba&! figures are so cuuuuuuuute!

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Not only are these tiny Yotsuba&! figures from Kotobukiya adorable as the dickens, they got me thinking about the place of merchandising in a creator’s business plan.

Is TokyoPop still coming back?

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Founded in 1997, TokyoPop was one of the most influential publishers of the Aughts, driving the manga boom in the US as the first publisher to print manga in its original right-to-left format, a move that helped cement its authenticity among young readers. Later on their “original English language manga” line developed an entire generation of young creators working in a manga style, including Becky Cloonan and Amy Reeder Hadley. But it all came to an end in 2011 when the company shut down except for the German office. Owner and founder Stuart Levy went on to make a documentary about the Tohoku earthquake, even amidst continuing controversy about the reversion of rights to creators However there have been flickers of life since then, with some new digital publishing, licensing OEL books like King City to Image, and a TokyoPop-branded newsletter that was part of Nerdist’s adventures in that area.

Since TokyoPop never went bankrupt, it’s entirely possible that Levy can bring it back, as promised on the company’s about page:

UDON to unleash the Persona 4 manga in English this September

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Picture it. 2008. I was a bored twenty-something who hadn’t touched a console game in years. Through random internet searching, as these bored young adults are prone to do, I found out about Persona 4. Which sounded like the kind of weird mix of slice of life with demon fighting that I’ve always wanted. I […]

24 Hours of International Comics: Kaoru Mori’s A Bride’s Story

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by Zachary Clemente 24 Hours of International Comics continue and, for me, it’s been leading up to this: A Bride’s Story by Kaoru Mori. There’s nothing I so vehemently recommend to anyone and everyone like this beautiful tale of life in 19th century Central Asia. Though mostly focusing on a main narrative thread, Mori lets her story […]

24 Hours of International Comics: Japan and Solanin

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The Beat takes a look at Japan with the manga Solanin during their 24 Hours of International Comics.

Can you smell what Junji Ito has cooking? A deluxe version of horror classic Gyo

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A seaside town is haunted by a terrible, terrible stench—and soon much more in Junji Ito’s classic horror manga GYO. Originally published in Japan in 2001 (and in English in 2003), Viz is bringing it back in a deluxe 400-page edition in April, with a new cover design and full-color endpapers. Ito is one of […]

RIP: Yoshihiro Tatsumi

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Manga pioneer Yoshihiro Tatsumi has passed away at age 79, according to a letter received by Paul Gravett. Tatsumi had been battling cancer for several years.

Tatsumi is best known as the pioneer of the “gekiga” style of manga (a term be invented), true to life stories of ordinary people. He own work featured haunting adult themes of alienation, dread and obsession. His autobiography A Drifting Life, depicting his struggles as an artist, won the Eisner award for Best Reality Based Work in 2010. He also won the World Outlook Award at Angoulême and the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize.

Mahou Shounen Breakfast Club and “the toxic ever present white gaze.”

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There’s no question but that in American culture the predominant view is one that is rich, white, male, straight and Christian. And while “The male gaze” is pretty well known, we’re getting to learn about the “white gaze” as well. Have you ever wondered what it looks like? Now we know. Except it’s from peace loving New Zealand AND America.

Kibbles ‘n’ Bits 1/30/15: Chew on this!

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A week’s worth of reading: § Has Manga Become a Niche Category? Johanna Draper Carlson examines some opinions on this, and quotes comments by Vertical’s Ed Chavez that I missed: The fact that shonen continues to be the only category that is consistently strong, and that moe has kinda catching up to shojo for second […]

Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service gets an omnibus

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If you have room on your shelf for ONE MORE omnibus series, make a little room for Dark Horse’s just announced omnibus series for The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service. Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki’s manga is a dark humored tale about five college students who form a special team to help spirits move on. It’s […]

Crunchyroll launches original webcomic by Hiroyuki Takahashi

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Streaming anime service Crunchyroll is getting into the original webcomic game with a new “Crunchyroll Originals” program, and it kicks off with HYPERSONIC music club by artist Hiroyuki Takahashi. The story line involves world of tomorrow young cyborgs fighting a mysterious conspiracy led by monster girls. Just a day at the office. Takahashi’s work is a mix of manga and music influences, and his work has a colorful explosive effect just right for hidef computer screen.

‘Link To The Past’ Returns In Reprint of Nintendo Power Series from Viz

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by Zachary Clemente Way back in the early 90s, Nintendo Power published a serialized run of The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past limited comic series. Viz announced today that they’ve acquired the rights to the comic and are reprinting it in a full-color volume, available on May 5th. With story and art by manga master […]

Manga master Junji Ito’s Fragments of Horror from Viz

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Junji Ito! Junji Ito! Junji Ito! Japanese horror master Ito has been avoiding the genre of his greatest triumphs—Uzimaki, Tomie, Gyo— for eight years, but he has a new book out, and Viz will bring it to the US next year: Fragments of Horror, a new collection of short horror tales to be published under […]

Vertical to make Tezuka backlist available in digital editions

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Americans can’t get enough Tezuka!

Well sort of. The Japanese comics pioneer was as prolific as he was influential and recently we’ve recently seen a pretty ambitious attempt at getting a bunch of his works into print here in the US from DMP.

But a lot of primo Tezuka’s work was already published here via a series of very attractive volumes published by Vertical which ranged from Black Jack—perhaps his most accessible series and one of the best known—and standlone volumes like Ode to Kirihito. Sadly many of these books are out of print, but not to worry, Vertical is bringing them back in digital form:

Lots of pushback on that $589,000 Tezuka Kickstarter from DMP

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The other day we reported on DMP’s new Kickstarter which hopes to publish some untranslated works by Osamu Tezuka but as a pretty hefty price: $360,000 to put out 20 books, and stretch goals that go all the way up to $589,000 for all 31 volumes. Understandably, a lot of manga observers have questioned this amount and the reward tiers— for instance, when this all started the lowest amount you could pledge to actually get a book was $150!