§ If you’re in the Washington DC area, you’ll want to check out this show at the Japan Information and Culture Center:
Shojo Manga! Girl Power! “Girls’ Comics from Japan”
January 29th – March 16th, 2007
Girls’ comics, or Shojo Manga occupy a very special place in the world of Japanese comics. Not just tales of love, these illustrated stories empower the girls of Japan and aid them in traversing the intricate societal roles and expectations females face in Japan. Featuring artwork from World War II to the present, “Girl Power!” focuses on a period of Japanese history that has seen women’s position in society undergo drastic changes. That path is documented in shojo manga. For more information, please click here. For some examples of the artwork featured in this exhibition and its appearance at other venues, please click here.
§ Meanwhile, Japan is getting its first free manga weekly:
Comic Gumbo, Japan’s first ever free weekly manga magazine, will hit the streets next week, bolstered by the success of a growing number of handout magazines like R25 and Hot Pepper.
Venture Publisher Dejima will start handing out Comic Gumbo from Tuesday next week, giving comic fans two complete stories and 11 series features, featuring such manga-ka as Tatsuya Egawa (who will give his own interpretation of novelist Soseki Natsume’s classic “Botchan”), Motoka Murakami, Hiroyuki Yoshida and Shuho Itabashi.
Dejima plans to produce 100,000 copies per issue, handing them out to the target readership of men in their 20s to 40s on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.
Gumbo will be distributed during busy periods in the morning and afternoon mostly at stations along the Yamanote Line, but will handed out at about 30 stations in the Tokyo area as far as Omiya, Yokohama and Chiba stations.
Gumbo will have 230 pages, about half the number of popular manga books, with around 26 pages devoted to ads. It will also be available free online.
§ Finally, we’re used to breast festishes, but this is just sick. NSFW!!!