• Yoshihiro Yonezawa, founder of Comiket, the world’s largest comics convention, has died at age 53:

Yonezawa organized the first Comiket (Comic Market) in 1975 to display and sell dojinshi (self-published manga and novels). In 2002 he won a Japan Society for Children’s Literature Prize for his novel “Fujiko Fujio-ron: F to (A) no Hoteishiki” (Fujio Fujiko discourse: the F and “A” equation).

The manga critic’s funeral will be held jointly by his family and the Comiket committee at Zenpukuji Temple in Tokyo’s Minato-ku on Oct. 7. The chief mourner at the funeral will be Yonezawa’s wife Eiko.

200610020404• CLAMP is launching a new series in Monthly New Type:

A new Clamp series, titled “Kobato.” apparently a sequel to their series “Kobato (ka)” (currently serializing in Monthly Sunday GX will start serializing in “Monthly New Type” starting their November issue (on sale October 10th)

• Love Manga interviews Simon Jones, of Icarus, which pubishes erotic/porn manga, and talks about their manga anthology, BLUE EYES:

…early on, we knew we would have to crack the direct market. Tokyopop’s trade boom was just over the horizon; periodicals was still the bread and butter for comic shops. As a new publisher, we were an unknown quantity to retailers. Had we started trying to shove $20 books into the market with no track record whatsoever, most consumers and retailers probably would have just looked at us and thought “hey, who are these jokers?â€?

[snip]Price concerns is another big reason, of course. Knowing that we’d appeal to a niche market, and we’d have limited options in distribution, we had to price our books accordingly. Having an anthology “floppyâ€? means there’s an inexpensive option for casual readers. Everyone jokes about anthologies as a way to get people to pay for the same thing twice, but it’s definitely not the case in practice. We don’t make a profit on Comic AG. I mean, who else releases 80-page comics of fresh material for 5 quids? (Other than Viz, damn it.) It’s all about building confidence in readers, and retailers. If our circulation goes up, we’d start adding pages to it.