§ Everyone is digging this online thing. Rumiko Takahashi’s new manga will debut simultaneously in the US and Japan, but the US debut will be as a webcomic:

U.S. manga publisher Viz Media and Japan’s Weekly Shonen Sunday will join forces to present Rin-Ne, a new series by international manga superstar Rumiko Takahashi, simultaneously in the U.S. and Japan beginning April 22. The new series will debut online for U.S. readers on April 22 at TheRumicWorld.com, a new North American web site devoted to news about Takahashi, while the series will launch at the same time for Japanese readers in Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine. Each week a new chapter will be released at the same time for both U.S. and Japanese fans.

§ Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s chunk-sized autobiography A Drifting Life got a massive write up in the NY TImes:

It’s a book that manages to be, all at once, an insider’s history of manga, a mordant cultural tour of post-Hiroshima Japan and a scrappy portrait of a struggling artist. It’s a big, fat, greasy tub of salty popcorn for anyone interested (as Americans increasingly are) in the theory and practice of Japanese comics. It’s among this genre’s signal achievements.

Manga, like rock ’n’ roll, is fundamentally a young person’s game. Mr. Tatsumi, 73, was born the same year as Jerry Lee Lewis; “A Drifting Life” was 10 long years in the drafting. But no strain of composition shows in this book’s marathon 855 pages, which chronicle his career from 1945 to 1960, the period of its greatest ferment.

ADDENDUM: Peggy Burns posted pictures of just how prominent this piece was:
Hm, front page story in the NYT Arts section…manga just got a lot more hip in New York. This is definitely the art manga equivalent of the cover story on art comics from the NYT Magazine that kicked off the whole “comics are an art form” thing a few years ago.

According to Burns, after the article, A DRIFTING LIFE’s Amazon sales shot from the 3000s to #60 on the Amazon chart…it will be interetsing to see how this affects the NY Times GB Bestseller list, indeed.

§ Warren Ellis’s new column for Wired has debuted online.

It is a hair before midnight and frost is furring the road. Outside, there is the local homeless guy of indeterminate accent who thinks Superman: The Movie bubblegum cards from 1978 are legal tender and yells at old ladies to “show us yer Hampton”, the five cars that haven’t yet been stolen or burned out, and me. I’m outside because I smoke and it’s now only legal to do so if you’re standing in the street completely naked and visible to police helicopters.