Manga triumphalism—heck yeah!


As I’m probably too fond of saying, each year’s San Diego Comic-Con represents the end of comics’ fiscal year, and we’re now in a new cycle of sales, renewal and looking forward to the next thing. Although the con was not that memorable on its own, it did mark a new plateau in the direct sales era for comics penetration into the mass media, and for having a variety of voices and genres that the medium has probably has never been seen before.

This situation, while far from ideal, still represents a dream come true for a lot of us who have been toiling in the comics industry for a while. I remember as if it were yesterday sitting in various comics industry think tanks in the 90s wondering WHAT could be done to expand the audience for comics, how to bring in genres that weren’t superheroes, and how to overcome the tyranny of the “32 page pamphlet” as it was dubbed by either Kurt Busiek or Marv Wolfman, depending on who you ask. These tasks seemed daunting at the time, and it actually took 25 years to get to a place where it could be argued that its true, and everyone at those meetings is a certified old timer now.

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


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!

Is TokyoPop still coming back?


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:

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


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 […]

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


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


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.