To-Terra-1-CvrCool link of the day #2 that we should have linked to ages ago: A 16 page preview of TO TERRA at Chris Butcher’s blog.

This SF adventure classic is due from Vertical this spring. Apparently there has been some controversy about just what genre this book falls into:

Reading MangaBlog yesterday, I stumbled across a link to an interesting LiveJournal entry about Vertical’s forthcoming To Terra. Kethylia took issue with Vertical’s marketing strategy for this canonic series; she felt that describing To Terra as “shojo Star Trek” did a disservice to manga-ka Keiko Takemiya, as she explained in the subsequent discussion at MangaBlog:

Takemiya Keiko was and is one of those rare shoujo manga artists who crossed over into shounen manga. It’s still remarkable today when artists like CLAMP do it, and it was waaaay more remarkable back then.

Fair enough–To Terra was originally conceived as a shonen series, and it would be useful to note that fact, either in a forward to the first volume or in publicity materials. But in all the ensuing “You, sir, are an idiot” exchanges between folks in the “who cares?” camp and the “it’s history, dammit!” camp, bloggers seem to have lost sight of the more interesting issue. Labels are not permanent, immutable things–they’re the product of both marketing and scholarship, and, as such, are fluid. I offer two examples from my bailiwick.

Although Japan’s genre-by-gender system is useful for making sure everyone gets their own comics, clearly it can be a little but of a straitjacket, too. Well, we don’t really care, so long as the stories are good.