Emanata started life as a simple comic reader app, giving indie comics creators a way to share their stories with the world. Today, things are changing in a big way. While apps like comiXology give readers a full catalog of mainstream digital comics to purchase, download and read on tablets and other mobile devices, Emanata has just introduced a new digital storefront that aims to do the same for indie comics! Read More...

JManga, the digital comics site, launched its free digital manga service JManga7 yesterday with two well regarded shoujo manga series and a wide variety of other offerings, including free samples of a number of titles that are already available on its JManga sister site.

The two new launch titles are Crazy for You, a high-school romance by Kimi ni Todoke creator Karuho Shiina, and Pride, the story of rival opera singers, by Yukari Ichijo, a veteran shoujo manga creator and winner of the Kodansha Manga Award. JManga7 offers three chapters of each for free; readers who like them can buy the first two volumes of each series on the regular JManga site, which is offering them at a discount at the moment. (Interestingly, both manga are published by Shueisha, which is one of the parent companies of Viz.)

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New York Comic Con is starting to look like New York Manga Con, and the latest announcement of a visting manga-ka came last Thursday: GEN Manga, the digital manga magazine, is bringing Nagumo to NYCC.

I reviewed the first five issues of "GEN" a while back, but if you didn't happen to pick up issue 8, you might not be familiar with Nagumo. "GEN" published his short manga "Let's Eat Ramen" in that issue, and as far as I can tell, that is the only Nagumo manga available (legitimately) in English. He has had two series in Houbunsha's "Manga Time Kirara Carat," a seinen manga magazine devoted mostly to 4-koma; to give you a flavor of their style, Yen Press has published a number of their other manga, including "Sunshine Sketch," "K-ON!," and "S.S. Astro."

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They've been one of the most popular lines of DC collectibles, but now they have a comic series and universe all their own: DC's "Ame-Comi Girls" features a female-centric version of the DCU blended with all the energy and excitement of an action manga. A DC Digital First, new installments are available every Monday at the DC Digital store.

On September 10, a landmark chapter will be released, with all five of the lead superheroines teaming up for the beginning of a brand-new story arc. MTV Geek caught up with "Ame-Comi" writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray to discuss where the series is headed next. Plus: some exclusive art to feast your eyes on!

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The digital manga site JManga is celebrating its first anniversary with a spinoff: JManga7, a new unlimited-access manga service that will offer new chapters of manga seven days a week.

The site went live today, and while there is no manga yet—that's coming in October—JManga is kicking things off with a competition to win seven Nexus 7 tablets and seven free subscriptions to the site.
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The original title of this post was called "How We Can Beat Comics Piracy" -- but I think, unless you make really draconian laws and basically spy on everybody's Internet, illegal downloading is not going to go away. Indeed, draconian laws and heavy fines seem to only spur some people on, as a form of rebellion. But I think the key is to slow piracy down so it stops being a "commonplace" thing "everybody" does, and push it back to being a fringe activity. For example, when I say that I am buying a comic -- especially a digital one -- I'm often mocked by peers for "wasting my money." The argument goes: if it's so easy to get an illegal scan, why bother paying for the comic? I am in a comics field anyway, so I could just chalk it up to "research." I might even be "helping" the publisher of the comic I torrented.

But I just can't shake the feeling that Comics is too fragile an industry to absorb such a blasé attitude towards illegal torrenting. This is not to say that other industries and forms of media aren't also impacted negatively by piracy. I'm just saying that in a realm where selling 100,000 copies of a single issue constitutes a "blockbuster," 1000s of potential buyers who torrent make all the difference -- especially for critically-acclaimed but lower-selling books. Read More...

This week brings an interesting batch of new manga, with a handful of genre titles and some oddball things as well.

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Right on the heels of the unprecedented ratings for AMC's The Walking Dead season finale, Robert Kirkman and ComiXology have teamed up to give away The Walking Dead #19 for free. This issue features the introduction of female zombie slasher Michonne and ties directly into season two's final episode! Read More...

We knew when Apple revealed the new iPad and its HD Retina display that developers would be right behind them with hi-res updates for their apps and ComiXology is getting in on the action too. Today they announced version 3.1 of the Comics by ComiXology app and their new HD digital comics format, CMX-HD. Read More...

Between the Marvel Comics app, ComiXology and host of other outlets, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Marvel titles on your iPad or iPhone. Now a new option has just popped up as Marvel has joined several other publishers and added a large collection of digital comics to Apple's iBooks. Read More...

Yen Press will make manga history on Friday by launching the first worldwide simultaneous release of a manga in English and Japanese.

Subscribers to the digital magazine Yen Plus will be able to read each new chapter of Atsushi Ohkubo's Soul Eater NOT the same day it appears in Square Enix's print magazine Monthly Sh?nen Gangan.

Like the original Soul Eater manga, Soul Eater NOT is set at the Death Weapon Meister Academy, where the students learn to transform into weapons or into the "meisters" who wield them. The "NOT" in the title stands for "Normally Overcome Target," and it refers to the students who are at the academy to learn how to control their power so they can lead a normal life, rather than using them in battle.

Although Soul Eater NOT is a spinoff of Soul Eater, Yen Press publishing director Kurt Hassler said that readers can enjoy it without reading the original. "It's a school comedy in this wacky, fantastical setting of the Soul Eater world," he said. "Soul Eater is comedic enough in and of itself, but this is a great departure from that. It's more character oriented—not that Soul Eater isn’t character oriented, but it is more a slice of life of these characters than pursuing a hard-core plot." Read More...

Do you think you have what it takes to be a translator? Or maybe you just like fooling around with kana and kanji? Here's your chance to test your skills: The online manga site JManga is running a translation contest, and it's pretty straightforward: Download the yon-koma (4-panel) gag manga at the site, translate it into English, and e-mail your translation to JManga by February 14. The winners will get a free digital copy of the book Young-kun, from which the contest comic was drawn.

I asked JManga's Robert Newman how many winners there would be, and he said, "We will be announcing multiple winners based an varying criteria such as accuracy, humor, tone of voice, etc." I also asked him to clarify whether winners would have to have a paid JManga account to claim their digital book, and he said no, a free account was fine.

To accompany the contest, JManga interviewed veteran translator William Flanagan, whose credits include xxxHoLiC, Fairy Tail, and Fushigi Yuugi, about the challenges of the job. He talks about giving each character a different voice, preserving the humor, and a challenge that is unique to manga translation:

One of the hard parts has to do with foreshadowing. As translator/rewriter/editor, you have as little advance knowledge of the future events in the plot as any Japanese reader. So you have to be aware of lines of dialog that might foreshadow future events in the manga to preserve the author's foreshadowing. Not an easy task, let me tell you!

It's clear from Flanagan's comments that there is a lot more to translating manga than just moving the words from Japanese to English. Read More...

This is the week that Viz joined the digital battle in earnest, with the debut of Shonen Jump Alpha, their online shonen manga magazine. While the monthly print version of Shonen Jump still has a few issues to go before it disappears entirely, SJ Alpha is a weekly that carries fresh chapters of six different manga—Bakuman, Bleach, Naruto, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, One Piece, and Toriko—just two weeks after they run in Japan. The magazine is priced at $25.99 for 52 weeks of access to 48 issues, or you can get four weeks' access to a single issue for 99 cents.

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2011 was a big year for manga, with a new publisher (Kodansha Comics), the return of Sailor Moon, the demise of Tokyopop, and a host of other events. But the biggest story of the year, one that stretched across almost all publishers, was the adoption of digital platforms for manga.

Manga publishers have been slower than others to make the move from paper to pixels, in part because Japanese licensors tightly control the way manga was published and until recently, they weren't interested in digital rights. That situation has been changing over the past few years, and 2011 was the year that manga went digital in a big way.

Viz launches new platforms and digital Shonen Jump: Viz Media led the way with its iPad app, which was announced in late 2010. Right from the start, they put flagship series such as Naruto on the app and charged $4.99 per volume, about half the price of a current print volume. They continued to add both new volumes and new platforms throughout 2011, making their digital manga available via the iPhone/iPod Touch, their own web store, and the Nook (Barnes & Noble's e-reader). Read More...

Its not everyday we see the world's greatest superhero teams going to war with each other, but in 2012 the Avengers and the X-Men are going to square off for an epic battle of supremacy. Before the first punch is thrown Marvel wants to make sure everyone is up to speed and the AVENGERS VS X-MEN: MAJOR PLAYERS holiday sale is a sure fire way to get caught up.

From December 21st through December 30th Marvel will be letting go of classic issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, Astonishing X-Men, New Avengers and more for just $0.99 a piece via the Marvel Comics app. It's digital comics holiday miracle and you can check out the full list of books after the break! Read More...

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