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Happy Epiphany, all!

§ Chris Butcher continues his looks at Manga Milestones of the ’00s, probably our favorite of all the decade retrospectives we’ve read. Picks #3 and #4 include Shonen Jump and Inu Yasha for format reasons:

In the first 3 months of the Viz revamp, Viz had re-released nearly 40 volumes in new editions, and changed over the vast majority of their line to the new Tokyopop format. The only hold-outs were series that would not be getting reprints, like Kia Asamiya’s Steam Detectives, or mature works and special projects like Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue. The writing was on the wall: the old format books were dead, and you were only hanging onto them until the new ones came out. If that long.

The satisfying chunk got a lot bigger.

Part five takes on Tezuka with BUDDHA:

Buddha cemented the name of Tezuka in the minds of the denizens of the North American comics industry, but also the wider literary world, which was just beginning to dabble in reviewing and discussing these grown-up comic books. Buddha was irresistible in that regard, as the subject (Buddhism!) was hot! Buddha was touted as a great “way in” to understanding Buddhism, and with the review came the attendant praise and acclaim for Tezuka, further raising his profile. Best of all? North America loves memoir and biography, and looking at the graphic critical darlings of the last 10 years like Persepolis, Fun Home, Blankets, etc., it’s easy to see how something like Buddha would fit in nicely.

BTW, we’re Phoenix #4ers all the way — it’s our firm belief that all one needs to read is that single volume of Tezuka to grant him his seat in the Pantheon. Karma, baby, karma.

§ There are a lot of manga retrospectives out there, and Johanna links to all the key ones, even the clueless ones.

§ ICv2 sums up Top 10 Comics Business Events of 2009.

§ News note: Looks like the boys REALLY are back at work on CASANOVA. Woot.

§ Douglas Wolk(HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) previews the week’s comics. Which, btw, are not being delivered in the UK at all due to epic snowfail.


§ Michel Fiffe has one of his excellent career-spanning interviews with the supremely underrated Ty Templeton up at the new TCJ. Part One and Part Two. And, a supplementary post with more artwork.

§ Some reactions to Barry Blair’s death:
Mark Masztal
Richard Pini
Boing Boing

§ James Cameron is laughing at all of us as AVATAR is already the 4th biggest grossing movie of all time, but conservative bloggers and pundits are not so thrilled.

§ Frank Santoro ponders the Dubya-Doom connection

§ Elizabeth Rappe previews the year in women in geek culture.

§ BONUS: Richard Nash continues to preach the end of Old Publishing:

6. In 2020 we will look back on the last days of publishing and realize that it was not a surfeit of capitalism that killed it, but rather an addiction to a mishmash of Industrial Revolution practices that killed it, including a Fordist any color so long as it is black attitude to packaging the product, a Sloanist hierarchical management approach to decision making, and a GM-esque continual rearranging of divisions like deck chairs on the Titanic based on internal management preferences rather than consumer preferences.