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Posts Tagged 7 Billion Needles

Manga Minis: Bye-Bye-Bye, SuBLime’s Boys’ Love Sync and Vertical goes Digital

Manga Minis: Bye-Bye-Bye, and SuBLime's Boys' Love Sync

We’re saying some sad good-byes to a couple things first in today’s mini news round-up, then cap things off with some interesting pieces of digital news to lighten things up at least a little:

 Seven Sea‘s Adam Arnold has responded to a fan’s inquiry to the status of their series, Blood Alone. Because of a publisher switch-up, the title is currently not available for Seven Seas to license past where it’s already released. With Blood Alone now owned by Kodansha, Seven Seas doesn’t see the license availability changing because of Kodansha’s own English branch. The last volume of Blood Alone published in English was volume six in April 2012. (News credit to Conner)

I really liked this series, so it’s sad we’ll likely never see volume seven published in English. I’ll keep my fingers crossed though! Series look so lonely sitting unfinished on the shelf…


 Erica Friedman of ALC Publishing has published a post  announcing her decision to cease future publications. ALC Publishing has published several yuri books and, up until JManga’s recent shutdown, was collaborating with the website to release several yuri series digitally. Erica cites reasons including a poor buying market, fans lack of interest in digital titles and a lack of support from North America’s largest publisher of yuri, Seven Seas.

It’s a real shame when any publisher is forced to pull the plug for reasons beyond their control, and Erica’s worked very hard to cater to a niche market over the years. As a reader and collector of yuri, I’ve enjoyed ALC’s previous titles and I’m grateful that Erica will still be promoting the genre and sharing her thoughts via her website, Okazu (which has recently gotten an address change, so update those links folks!).

 SuBLime announced a new project in late February – a joint manga and light novel release that will be simultaneously released in Japan and in English. The title is Into Illusion, written by Reiko Yoshihara, the author best known for Ai no Kusabi. The artist for the manga is Ryo Tateishi, whose work on the cover provided by SuBLime is enough to make any boys’ love fan interested! You can check out their post for the eye-candy and more information. This series is scheduled to start at the end of April.

 And lastly, keeping on the digital train, Vertical Inc. will be releasing a number of their series for digital purchase starting this Spring. The current planned titles are Twin Spica, The Drops of God, and 7 Billion Needles with availability to be made on Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iBookstore and the NOOK. This is good news for those who prefer their collections condensed digitally, plus Vertical has previously said that their Twin Spica series is already going out of print so this offers it a second lease at readership life. (Credit for the news goes to AnimeNewsNetwork)

NYCC 2012: Vertical Nabs Tezuka’s Twin Knights, Okazaki’s Helter Skelter

NYCC 2012: Vertical Nabs Tezuka’s Twin Knights, Okazaki’s Helter Skelter

It begins! New York Comic Con 2012 is this weekend and there’s been a lot of anticipation that this would be the big news event of the year for comics and manga. It’s a great show, having an audience big enough to be an important promotional opportunity but without all the same Hollywood-suffocation of SDCC.  This is the first time in a few years I haven’t attended, but fortunately there’s no shortage of Twitter tweets and news posts to keep us all informed of the news as it breaks.

Vertical Inc. was one of the first to provide us eager readers with manga news. They’ve licensed two new series both due out next year:

Twin Knights – Osamu Tezuka
Helter Skelter – Kyoko Okazaki

Of the two, Twin Knights is definitely the big news for me. It’s a sequel series to Tezuka’s Princess Knight which Vertical released in two omnibus volumes last year. This follow-up story takes place years in the future with the birth of Princess Sapphire’s twin children – Prince Daisy and Princess Violetta. When the two grow older, the son is kidnapped and his sister juggles her own identity while pretending to be him in order to go out and make a rescue. Sounds great to me!

The other series really piques my interest as well. I haven’t heard of Helter Skelter in detail until now but it sounds like a story that fits well in Vertical’s library of books which includes titles like Lychee Light Club, Black Jack and 7 Billion Needles.

Helter Skelter revolves around Ririko, a model who underwent extensive plastic surgery to attain her beauty. The clinic who performed Ririko’s surgeries goes under investigation for questionable business practices, and Ririko’s body starts to deteriorate. As the model’s prominence in the entertainment industry begins to falter, so does her sanity.” – AnimeNewsNetwork

The first volume of Twin Knights will be released in July 2013 for $12.95/US, $13.95/CAN. Volume one of Helter Skelter will premiere in July 2013 as well for $16.95/US, $18.95/CAN.

ANN has a full write-up of the event, including this interesting tidbit “…gauging interest in starting a subscription model so that series will stay in print.”. Fantagraphics recently offered a subscription-like service for their series, Wandering Son. Omnibus volumes were a big trend-shift for print manga in North America – could subscription models be next? If it’ll keep printed books in my hands, then sign me up! My only real issue with subscriptions directly with publishers is cutting out the comic-store middle man, but it’s all test-and-see now.

Back to the manga goods in closing – two awesome licenses! Excellent choices, Vertical. I’m eagerly awaiting them both next summer.

NYAF 2011: Vertical Inc

Vertical Inc and a logo edit of mine that completely defeats the point of the original!

The second big manga panel of NYCC/NYAF was Vertical Inc‘s which happened Friday night. It was one of the most anticipated manga related events as the company’s marketing director, Ed Chavez, paved the way to it with teasing hints about new titles they’d be revealing. The panel was run by Ed and the company’s editorial director, Yani Mentzas. Their signature Chi plushie was also present, always offering the audience a well worn smile.

A powerpoint presentation was used for the panel to showcase Vertical’s current and upcoming volumes. Ed noted he’d made the same presentation multiple times this convention season so he’d be going through them pretty quick. While that may have been the case, he still had something interesting to add about almost every one. There’s a lot of info here so I’m going to stick with a more list-style format for this panel write-up.

Oct 15 Note: A few cover images will be added to this post after the con ends so check back if curious!

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Super Savings: Manga Galore at BMV Books

Super Savings: BMV Books

Conveniently located on Toronto’s busy (and bound to keep you even busier) Bloor St W, my roommate and I entered what we thought was just your run of the mill used book store. Never know what you can find, right? Well what we found was BMV Books – a three-floor discount bookstore with an entire floor dedicated to comic books, manga and fantasy novels.

The manga sold here is mostly overstock material, meaning it’s likely product sold to them that couldn’t be sold by either the publisher or other companies. They also sell some used material brought in to them by customers. Their selection is vast – from titles over a decade old to titles much more recent, you’ll find a little of everything and all at about 50% off the CDN cover price or less. Typically the books ranged from $3.00-$6.00, depending on the company and format.

We found books as new as the third volume of Vertical’s 7 Billion Needles and Yen Press’s Maximum Ride, to editions as old as Mixx’s Sailor Moon and Magic Knight Rayearth volumes (in surprisingly good condition too). There was something of every genre released in English, including boys’ love and yuri. First edition volumes of Fushigi Yuugi were especially nostalgic to me (my first manga GN purchases!) while I loved the opportunity to fill in my collection with some long-since out of print OEL titles from Tokyopop, NetComics titles (which I have trouble finding anywhere but conventions) and a couple ADV Manga books. All for cheap!

If you’re a manga fan who lives in or around, or is simply visiting, Toronto, then along with their assortment of comic stores, I highly recommend putting Bloor St W’s BMV Books on your list of must-shop stops.

Swag Bag: Muscling In On Toronto’s Manga Supply

Welcome to what is definitely the longest Swag Bag to date! Mostly because I completely failed to compile my Swag Bag from last year’s Anime North… None the less! – my recent trip to Toronto was chock full of fun finds, and painful but no doubt hilarious attempts at cramming it all into my suitcases. This post here consists of the manga I bought while traversing the packed streets of Toronto while my TCAF purchases will come in a later post once I’ve finished oogling them enough to write something coherent.

The books listed here were all purchased from either my local Strange Adventures (pre-con buying is important, like eating before going to the grocery store – it helps… I think). The rest with exception of I think 1 or 2 came from what I’m dubbing the manga treasure trove of Toronto – The Beguiling. My thanks to their very accomodating staff! If curious about my other comic shop adventures in Toronto, you can check out the Ontario section of Kuriousity’s Canadian Comic Shop listings.

Now onto the swag!

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Swag Bag – Clones, Contagions and Perennial Prisons

It’s been a bit slow-going new purchases wise for me as of late – time to put a stop to that! Plus last week’s Swag Bag was late, so I figure why not slip this one in early? While my preferred and go to location for shopping is always my local comic store, Strange Adventures, I had some gift cards and coupons that sent me to one of Halifax’s Chapters bookstore chain stores. When it comes to pricing, I wouldn’t recommend Canadians buy their books at Chapters because they charge full CDN price regardless of our dollar’s strength. That said though, it’s hard not to drool over the sheer amount of selection they have. With that in mind, I enjoyed purchasing from a few different publishers with my assortment of books this week.

It was boys’ love time first – and ouch do these take a chunk of your wallet at full cover price. Each new BLU Manga book (Tokyopop‘s BL imprint) are $18.99 each. None the less, I purchased the second and final volume of Madness because I wanted some more of that demon x priest action. What can I say – I love that dynamic! Going for something a little more straight-forward, into the pile went the one-shot You and Me, Etc. As one of BLU’s most recent releases, it has the larger cut size which is really great to see.

20th Century Boys (Vol. 13)Speaking of larger cut sizes, I bought the second volume of Viz Media‘s Afterschool Charisma. The book is part of their SigIKKI line-up meaning it has both the large trim size and extra shiny cover design. I really liked the first volume so I’m eager to read this second part. The same can be said for volume three of 7 Billion Needles (from Vertical Inc.) – amazing first two volumes so here’s to volume three being as entertaining. Also an absolutely-must-buy was the thirteenth volume of 20th Century Boys – cue the zombie apocalypse without the zombies.

One more seinen to the pile, I bought volume four of Deadman Wonderland. The last couple of volumes have been a little messy execution-wise but the violence, intensity and in-prison conspiracy story makes it more than worth a continued read. But should I need a break from the darker content of the bulk of the books I bought, I topped off the receipt with the eighth volume of Silver Diamond. Pretty boys fighting with flowers and vines to save a dying kingdom – Lissa approved!

So what did you purchase this week?

Swag Bag – Freckles, Food and Manga Mysteries

It was a fairly big week for titles I really wanted to come out so I was happy to arrive at my local comic shop and find nearly all the books I wanted were on the shelf waiting for me – and then some!

AyakoThe first book I picked up was Ayako, a new one-volume omnibus from Osamu Tezuka. It’s published by Vertical and the packaging is definitely different from your average manga – a thick, hardcover book, and it’s a hefty one! Also from Vertical I bought the second volume of 7 Billion Needles. I really loved the first one though to this day still find it hard to figure out exactly why, it’s just a really compelling story.

Viz Media books came next and I continued on with several on-going series: Bleach (Vol. 33), Toriko (Vol. 02) and Cactus Secret (Vol. 04). I also bought the second volume of Bakuman (Vol. 02), even though the flat-out dumb character interactions in volume one left me feeling cold towards it. Fingers crossed for more manga industry and less… whatever that attempt at romance was.

Next I picked up some DelRey titles, which did feel a little odd all things considering. But these were two very welcome purchases, volume 28 of Reservoir Chronicles Tsubasa and volume 11 of Ghost Hunt. Both are the final volumes of the series which means they’re both two series I won’t need to fear never seeing the end of. The Tsubasa book also surprised me with how thick it is, looks like a lengthy finish. Hopefully one that makes sense too.

Alas that while it was good to see two series finish up just in time, it wasn’t so lucky for the first volume of Arisa. I picked up this series after reading Carlos Santos’ review of the title and I’m really glad I did (as I never would’ve if not for his review). I’ve already read it and really enjoyed it – definitely a case of not judging a book by its cover. Please, Kodansha Comics, should you ever truly exist, choose this book as one of those you keep going with from DelRey’s library.

And lastly, I picked up the boys’ love one-shot Cafe Latte Rhapsody from June Manga, and Black God (Vol. 11) published by Yen Press. Cafe Latte is by Toko Kawai, whose works I’ve generally enjoyed in the past. The art’s a little bleh but she writes good character stories. Flipping through, this one stars a character with freckles which I thought was cute.

So how about you? What marks your first purchases of December?

NYAF 2010: Vertical Inc.

NYAF 2010: Vertical Inc

Saturday evening at New York Anime Fest sported an industry panel by Vertical Inc. It was your standard one-hour panel but they made it count with a couple license announcements and a whole bunch of other information.

The panel was run by marketing director, Ed Chavez, and Vertical editorial director, Ioannis Mentzas.  Sitting in on the sound box was the bug-eyed Chi plushie (belonging to the namesake series’ creator), which has become a staple at Vertical events since the toy was left behind at SDCC.

On the note about the plush toy, they noted that they’ve been taking photos of fans with the cat at various events and, with individuals’ permission, would like to one day release a postcard book of the pictures. That being said, the Chi plush will also be making an appearance at MangaNext.

There were two new titles announced during this panel.

The first is a new Osamu Tezuka title called Book of Human Insects. It’s a fairly hefty series at ten volumes with each one currently planned to be sold at $29.99. The book will be 360 pages and is slated for release on July 26, 2011 at a price of $21.95. (Thanks to Kate Dacey for the correction) The original title of the series was ‘Human Metamorposis’ and it tells the tale of a woman who repeatedly changes her profession, and subsequently her entire identity, which direly affects those around her.

The second title is No Longer Human by Furuya Usamaru. This is the artist’s most current work. The series itself is three volumes long and will be $12.95 a volume. The first volume will be 208 pages and will be released September 13, 2011. The story is based off a novel written by Osama Dazai about a man named Oba Yozo who struggles with his need to hide behind a false personality as he suffers from the trauma of a sexual childhood experience.

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