It has been a busy week for manga lovers, with the debut of the new edition of Sailor Moon (and the prequel, Codename Sailor V), word that Tokyopop is considering coming back to life to publish the third and fourth volumes of Hetalia, the news that Fantagraphics is planning to publish the classic early BL manga Heart of Thomas, and the release of a Gurren Lagann artbook that will benefit the Japanese Red Cross Society.
At Rocket Bomber, Matt Blind takes a look at the past week's manga sales (tracking online sales, including pre-orders) and finds that Sailor Moon tops the charts.
Erica Friedman posts a manga reader's manifesto describing how she wants her digital comics—available anytime, anywhere, and cheaper than print.
Attention would-be creators: An English version of ComiPo!, a manga creation software from Japan, was released this week. Patrick Macias made a comic of his own to demonstrate the possibilities, and creator and critic Jason Thompson took it for a test run at Anime News Network.
Read and Discuss
Up front, I’ll say I found Usagi grating. She is also a good-natured, caring person. However, she is also very lazy and seems to always need rescuing. She certainly starts out having the steeper incline of development and maturity needed. She is the least likable character in the series. The other guardians are much more mature and developed persons.
Ed Sizemore in his review of the first volumes of Codename Sailor V and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon at Manga Worth Reading
I’m actually terrible at keeping my manga collection organized. None of my bookshelves have only manga on them, but I’ll be moving soon so maybe I’ll get the chance to try and devote space just for manga. Since the books themselves aren’t organized, but I do try to keep my Google docs up to date so that I know which volumes of a series I need to buy next. So my advice is: keep yourself constantly up to date with what you own so you don’t buy duplicates and waste your hard-earned money! Really be meticulous about it because once you start second-guessing your list, it makes buying manga a lot more nerve wracking.
Manga editor Daniella Orihuela-Gruber, who shares photos of her collection of 1,414 manga at Manga Bookshelf
As a female reader who's weathered the beauty/fashion industrial complex, a lot of the humor in Flowers and Bees, especially in the earlier volumes, comes from Masao's botched beauty treatment and his dawning realization of the sheer amount of time, money and effort that goes into something that no one else sees ($500 pants when he has to wear a school uniform, waxing). Anno's female characters have big eyes, big hair, big mouths and tiny waists; it is the males in this comic who are obsessed with their perceived physical flaws ("I have short legs!" replaces breast-size anxiety).
Kristy Valenti, offering eight reasons why you should read Moyoco Anno's Flowers and Bees
Off the top of my head, here's my five reasons why some manga/comics can be so... meh.
- Shamelessly pandering to fanboys/fangirls at the expense of plot/characterization
- Stories that just. won't. end. (even though they should've a long time ago)
- Damn you "how to draw manga" books for creating so many cookie-cutter creators.
- Catering to "what the kids are into nowadays." Oh, please.
- Comics about comics/influenced by comics by people who only read comics. Yawn.
Deb Aoki, kicking off a Twitter discussion on why manga get boring, at About.com
News from Japan
The creative quartet CLAMP has a new project in the works: a stage play and a manga series titled Moon Saga Yoshitsune Hiden (Moon Saga: The Secret of Yoshitsune). The singer Gackt, who is working with them on the project, will have a lead role in the stage play.
The JManga news team reports in on Summer Comiket, the huge doujinshi marketplace in Tokyo, with plenty of cosplay photos. And at Okazu, Erica Friedman reports on the Girls Love Festival, one of only two exclusively yuri doujinshi events in Japan.
Akita Shoten's magazine Weekly Shonen Champion will start a manga series based on the game Resident Evil/Biohazard in February.