First up my apologies for the Kuriousity update hiccup this past week. A family emergency had me away for a while. Thanks to the huge relief of improvements and progress, I’m back at my desk and buried in my books again. …so, what’d I miss?
Ah yes, San Diego Comic Con – the biggest geek con in North America. Comics aren’t especially relevant there anymore as a medium, more as basis for movies and games, but it’s always had at least some manga news slipped in to take advantage of its sheer size and coverage.
Kodansha Comics’s panel seems like it was mostly just a brief Q&A session and an overview of their previously announced titles. To little surprise, they were proud to note that Sailor Moon is the number one selling manga in North America. As well it should be because it’s great (and I don’t ‘think’ that’s just nostalgia speaking)! Their website continues to be pretty far behind as updates go, excluding their front page slider, so you can’t find any info there on the titles they discussed there such as Natsume Ono’s Danza or Miles Edgeworth Investigations. So, if you’re curious about plots, release dates and covers, I recommend Amazon (CAN/US) for Kodansha Comics’ info still.
Edit: Kodansha Comics did in fact have one new manga license to announce that I missed – Negiho: Magical Little Girls. Negiho is a spin-off of the Negima series where the lead character is an adult teaching a class of kindergartners, as opposed to being a child prodigy teaching a class of teenage girls. This book is due out April 2013, coinciding with the last volume of Negima.
Viz Media’s panel looks to have been much the same – predominantly talk of existing licenses and upcoming books instead of announcing much new. Some notable announcements were their upcoming launch of Toshin, which is their line-up of anime brand merchandise (which I hope utilizes some manga artwork for a change – I can hope, right?) and their answer to a question regarding the Tiger & Bunny manga as it being something they’re “looking into”. I haven’t seen that anime yet, as it’s never been made legally available to watch in Canada, but I hope to check it out when they finally slap it on some DVDs. Viz Media also released their manga-reading app for Android devices.
Yen Press wins for most actual news with a couple new titles. They’ve rounded up all the info on their own website, something I always love they do in such detail.
BTOOOM! – Junya Inoue
“A teenage gamer is trapped on a deserted island and forced to play a real-life version of his favorite video game! But even though he’s an expert strategist as a player, will he be able to survive this life-and-death game!”
Welcome to the Erotic Bookstore – Watanabe Pon
“In this essay manga, a young woman who works at a bookstore describes her experiences after her manager decides to open an adult toy section at the back of the shop. While the subject matter seems…erotic…the art is very cute and the tone of the story is very slice-of-life as the young woman records her observations, promotion efforts, etc.”
Another (Novels & Manga) – Yukito Ayatsuji/Hiro Kiyohara
“A teenage boy moves to a new school and learns that his classroom has been plagued by a string of gruesome deaths following the murder of a student over 25 years before.”
While BTOOOM! looks to be getting the usual Yen Press print treatment, I was sad to see Welcome to the Erotic Bookstore is going to be digital only. I’m all up for digital options, as I can definitely understand the appeal, but as a choice not the only-choice. The novel form of Another will be digital only as well, while the manga, which was originally four volumes long, will be released as a printed omnibus.
Yen Press did note though that depending on the success of these two digital editions, they may look to printing them. This is great to see, but does of course run into that issue of people not buying it because it’s not in print, which hinders its ability to ever see print, but those who do buy it digitally likely won’t buy it in print because its a double-dip. Tricky stuff to predict.
JManga also had a panel where they announced a variety of new licenses for their digital-only service. You can check out ANN’s coverage for the details. I’m a no-go on reading manga via my computer but if JManga launches their iPad app as planned this Autumn, they may make a subscriber out of me yet!
So not a whole said at SDCC but something is generally always better than nothing. With other more manga-friendly conventions such as Otakon and New York Comic Con coming up, we could very well see some more titles announced this convention season yet. Not that some publishers haven’t still made it a very lucrative summer for new titles, convention platform or not.