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Digital Manga Puts BL on Backburner, Books and Yaoi Con Postponed

Digital Manga Puts BL on Backburner, Books and Yaoi Con Postponed

Digital Manga made an exciting move when they recently relaunched their digital reading website, eManga, which now includes numerous format options. Hentai fans have also seen continuing bulk licenses for new titles scheduled out over the next couple of years. While several parts of Digital Manga seem to be taking off, and to mostly positive effect, it’s unfortunate that what used to be their bread and butter has taken equal hits. Boys’ love fans have been dealt a double blow by Digital Manga with news that they would be halting all their BL print productions until summer of 2013, and, North America’s largest boys’ love convention, Yaoi Con, will be postponed until 2014.

This decision to stop printing physical books so far only extends to their boys’ love and shoujo series, and is not affecting their Project-H (hentai, 18+) titles or the Osamu Tezuka books promised via their Kickstarter efforts. Along with several one shots, this delay also means longer waits for new volumes of on-going series including Tyrant Who Falls In Love, Ai no Kusabi, Alice the 101st and Ze. Currently their online release schedule shows most books resuming print publication in June 2013. Though their post about this stated January 1st would be the start of release dates affected, their December 2012 releases were put on hiatus as well. The full list is available on their site.

Not long after, news was sent via e-mail newsletter that there will be no Yaoi Con 2013. From Digital Manga president, Hikaru Sasahara:

“We learned a lot from hosting our first Yaoi-Con, and learned even more from your feedback. As a result, we are announcing that Yaoi-Con will be returning in the spring of 2014. We’ve identified many aspects we would like to update and improve, and doing so will require more than a year’s worth of preparation. We are aware that spring is a busy time in the convention season, and we are working to accommodate the schedules of guests, staff, volunteers, vendors, and attendees. As soon as we have more information, we will pass it on to you.”

These two pieces of news are a bit old now, but who wants to end an old year and start a new one with sour news? While I can understand the juggling of finances and resources that leads to such a decision, this kind of thing really worries me. As someone who still buys the majority of print books Digital Manga puts out, I see the word ‘postponed’ and immediately my mind wanders to some worst-case scenarios – what if summer comes around and they decide it’s not worth going back to? What if potentially lost sales between now and then make continuing to print boys’ love look unprofitable? What if I never get the last volumes to the series of theirs I’m collecting?!

Digital Manga is still pushing forward with print for a number of series, so I don’t expect they’ll drop the format entirely. They’ve also said that digital editions of some of the delayed print editions will still see publication for purchase via eManga, so not everyone is left waiting the additional months.

As for the Yaoi Con decision, 2012 was the first year Digital Manga ran the event and their major decision with it was to move the event to Long Beach, California. I can’t speak for how this affected overall attendance, but I can say that both my friend and I, even after purchasing both passes and Artist Alley places, opted to cancel our trip because of how much hassle and additional expense the new location was. I’m sad because I’ve yet to ever actually make it to Yaoi Con, but based on their guest list and event schedule this year, this looked like the ‘best’ year to have missed anyway. Unfortunate, but we’ll see how things shift around for its return in 2014.

In the meantime, we shall eagerly await June 2012 with our pre-orders at the ready, correct? Yes! Even if it makes our boys’ love bookshelves cry a little. Hilarious banner image of Hinako Takanaga’s Souichi from Tyrant Who Falls In Love is for dramatic effect only, I assure you (and, well, because it’s hilarious).

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.



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3 Responses

  1. […] Pattillo reflects that Digital Manga seems to be putting yaoi on the back burner. Lissa also surveyed the most recent […]

  2. […] about a new boys’ love license from Digital Manga given how close this came on the heels of their hiatus news. However, given that announced titles don’t tend to see print within 6 months anyway, it […]

  3. […] was unwrapping the plastic from a new volume of Tyrant Who Falls in Love, and other times it feels like ages ago. And, yes, the irony of their company name to the woes of them going almost entirely digital for a […]

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