Davis Welsh talks to all kinds of manga related folks to get the reaction to this year’s increased manga presence in the Eisner nominations. There are many good quotes and observations, but one that stoods out for us is the recognition for what might be called the “OGM/OEL Generation”:

This year’s slate also offers serious recognition for global manga. Becky Cloonan’s East Coast Rising (Tokyopop) earned a nod for Best New Series. Ross (The Abandoned – Tokyopop) Campbell and Svetlana (Dramacon – Tokyopop) Chmakova both were nominated in the Special Recognition category, formerly known as Talent Deserving Wider Recognition.

From Tokyopop editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl’s point of view, the Eisners are less a pioneering voice of support than a part of an already hearty chorus.

“If we’re looking for industry acceptance of OGM, I think we passed that point some time in late 2005,” Diaz-Przybyl said. “From blogs to [Publishers Weekly] to my editorial friends at Marvel and DC trying to poach my artists, the industry is clearly behind this new wave of talent, and for good reason. The artists nominated are all incredible, I’m sure have long and successful careers ahead of them, and they’re just a fraction of the new talent that is out there. The nominations just confirm what most of us already knew.”

Speaking of the Eisners, we understand there was much talk while we were away, much of it we haven’t had a chance to read. Of course we’re happy for our favorite books (BILLY HAZELNUTS) and old friends (STAGGER LEE) getting recognition, but the nominees seem increasingly more like a “Best of” list in a magazine, rather than a real award of merit. Juries now try to achieve some kind of “One from column A, one from column Z” parity so that everyone gets some attention. It’s nice that everyone can now call themselves an “Eisner nominee” but these kind of lists inevitably contain a howler or two. We won’t get snarky in public (catch us in the bar) but there are a couple of categories that show a lack of knowledge about how comics are produced…but, you know, that’s just us and it’s all subjective.


  1. Wait… are Cloonan and Campbell’s work “global manga” just because they’re published by TokyoPop? The Abandoned is in the same art and storytelling style as Wet Moon, which is published by Oni. Does that mean Wet Moon is “global manga” or does it mean that the term “manga” just is a hip label without any clear meaning to give graphic novels right now?

  2. I’ve completely lost track of who exactly companies like Tokyopop are marketing thier comics to anymore. If I’m understanding this correctly, “global manga” has been lifted up as the preferred label simply because OEL wasn’t sexy enough, and OEL was only chosen because hardcore Otaku’s or Japan-o-philes over here resisted labeling anything not created in Japan as actual manga.

    Then again, if we’re to believe that the vast majority of manga sales are driven by “non-traditional readers” (i.e. countless thousands of teenage girls), it seems like all this name changing would be the promotial equivelent of spinning tires. I know there are a lot of people both in the creative community and online who have strong opinions on what we should call American comics published in the Tankobon format, but I’d really love for someone from one of the American manga publishers to explain how they think solving that debate effects their bottom line.

    And on the subject of the Eisners:

    Changing the name from “Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition” to “Special Recognition” seems kind of useless to me.

  3. I’ve had a couple people ask me why they got rid of the “Wider Recognition” category this year, not knowing about the name change.

  4. I think the switch to Global Manga had to do with TokyoPop hiring creators who didn’t speak English as a first language.

    Kinda silly to call a book OEL (original english language) when the creator speaks Spanish.

    I’m not certain of this, but there may very well be original manga coming from non-english speaking European countries as well. If that gets translated and published in America, then what do we call it?

    Global Manga fits all of this.

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