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Posts Tagged Digital

Review: Body Guard

Body Guard
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Manga-ka: Kimiyoshi
Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: May 2013

Synopsis: “Takahiro’s normal life as a high school student gets turned on its head when his father marries a super rich Hollywood actress named, Elizabeth Adley, and leaves Japan to be with her. Takahiro is forced to leave his apartment home move into a lavish hotel room. Fantasies of naked nights of porn and debauchery begin to fill Takahiro’s mind. Too bad his new mother in law has other plans. In order to protect Takahiro (and her money) from kidnappings, Elizabeth hires two bodyguards from a distinguished American company. Any thoughts of unsupervised nights of fun quickly rush from Takahiro’s mind. On the up side, his new bodyguards are totally cool.”

Sometimes there are books so bad that you almost have to recommend them as an important genre piece. Some books just make the good books look better. That said, Body Guard is still not a book I would recommend to many, but I would lying if I said I hadn’t shown select pages to a number of fellow boys’ love fans just to get a good laugh.

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Review: Don’t Tell My Husband (Vol. 01)

Don’t Tell My Husband (Vol. 01)
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Manga-ka: Kei Kousaki
Publisher: Digital Manga Guild
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: January 2013

Synopsis: “Because Minano has spent her entire life sheltered by her wealth and parents, she has seldom experienced the hardships of everyday life. Nothing changes after her marriage to a wealthy CEO, as she is still spoiled shamelessly by her husband. Why then, would she try and break into said husband’s company to steal a heavily guarded opal necklace? Or why, when she’s held up in a bank robbery, would she take matters into her own hands to thwart the robbers? Is she really who she seems? Does one high-heeled madam with nerves of steel even stand a chance against gun-wielding criminals? Just who is this sheltered wife?”

This is a strange little manga. I wasn’t sure what I was getting when I went into it, and I still wasn’t really sure when I finished. It’s an amusing little distraction but feels as flighty as its lead who fails to carry these episodic chapters.

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Review: Weekly Shonen Jump – July 29th, 2013

Shonen Jump - July 29th, 2013

Back when Viz Media launched their digital edition of Shonen Jump, I was quick to subscribe. I did this in spite of being cranky over the loss of the print edition and honestly didn’t intend to even read the new digital version. Still, I did want to support such a bold move in the industry that was edging towards simultaneous releases. That was 2011.

Shonen Jump on iPadThis is August 2013. I’ve since become an enthusiastic reader of the weekly digital magazine which comes out Monday mornings in North America. This was helped in part by now owning an iPad for reading it on. For me, comics and PC browsers do not mix. The app process is so simple too – just open the app and hit download. Within a few seconds you have over 200 pages of high quality, brand new chapters of manga to read. No internet past the original download required.

And the price? I honestly don’t know how they can do it at this price right out of the gate – $24.99/US for a full years’ worth. For that many pages of manga every week. Manga which directly supports the creators and publishers. Win. Win. Win. This cheap serialization, with print editions coming later for collecting, is exactly the kind of digital and print combo I’ve always hoped would come of the hefty shift in the publishing world.

I’m going to start writing a bit about random issues of Shonen Jump beginning with today’s post. I don’t plan for this to be every week occurrence, nor do I read every manga running (everything but One Piece and Naruto). Editions like this week’s prove the perfect opportunity to start as they feature not only new chapters of the regular series, but a special one shot by one of their creators as well. Let’s get reading!

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Sparkler Monthly Launches With New Chapters of Off*Beat, and Multiple Series’ Debuts

Sparkler Monthly Launches With New Chapters of Off*Beat, and Multiple Series' Debuts

Back in February I posted an interview with comic creator, Jen Lee Quick – best known for her series, Off*Beat – as part of the launch of Chromatic Press. Yesterday the new publisher launched issue number one of their digital multimedia magazine, Sparkler Monthly.

Issue #001
Issue #000 (Preview)

This first issue – which is free for everyone to read – includes the long-awaited new chapter of Off*Beat (yay!), and the first chapter of Christy Lijewski’s new comic series, Dire Hearts. It also has the newest chapter of their prose story, Tokyo Demons, (which I’ve written about previously) and premieres another prose story, Gauntlet, and a new audio drama, Awake.

As a disclaimer, I am currently working with Chromatic Press and got to help do some work on their Sparkler series. I was completely smitten with the goal of the publisher, and the staff and creators who made it up, so I was quick to offer what help I could at the beginning. I’m thrilled to be a part of it. I hope readers and listeners enjoy all the content already available and stick around as a subscriber for all the continuing goodies.

Information about submitting work for consideration to the magazine can be read on their website, along with subscription information.


Digital Manga Goes Big With Acquisition of the Tezuka Library

Digital Manga Places Dibs on the Tezuka Library

One of the biggest pieces of manga news at Anime Expo earlier this month came from Digital Manga Publishing, who announced that they’ve called official dibs on Osamu Tezuka’s entire available library for publication – to put it simply.

I’m rarely surprised to see companies grab onto a Tezuka title, but having someone step up to lay claim on them all was a bit of a shocker. There aren’t a lot of details on what this deal – which partners Digital Manga with Tezuka Productions – entails, but we do know it encompasses both series that have never been published in English and titles that have.

This, of course, is no small task. As the well-earned bearer of the title God of Manga, Tezuka has (according to Wikipedia) over 700 titles under his beat, equating to thousands and thousands and thousands of individual pages. Digital Manga couldn’t confirm any specific series, despite the umbrella of ‘all’, but did say they were now the official distributor of his titles in English.

Digital Manga has released a few of Osamu Tezuka’s titles including Unico, Barbara and Swallowing the Earth. The majority of Tezuka titles released in English have been done by Vertical Inc. including Princess Knight, Black Jack and Buddha. Viz Media previously released a few Tezuka books, including Phoenix, while Dark Horse published series including Astro Boy and Metropolis. Recently a new company, Kansai Club, had a successful Kickstarter to fund Tezuka’s The Crater, which they had hoped would be the first of more Tezuka titles they release. Might not be so after this.

Currently the majority of titles will be released digitally – likely through DMP’s website, eManga – while the occasional book may see print via more Kickstarter campaigns. I’ll cross that moral-highroad again when we come to it. Digital Manga has said that any title already released in English will not be considered for print editions. Fortunately there’s little shortage of those previously printed (Amazon CAN/US) that are still available, and more still upcoming such as Vertical Inc’s release of Twin Knight.

So where does that leave Tezuka readers now? Had Vertical Inc. not already stated they had no plans to license more older titles, I’d lament this DMP news as it’d mean no more Tezuka titles in Vertical’s more than capable hands. Now, however, there is some comfort in knowing that many of Tezuka’s yet-to-be-published work could yet be made be available in English. With the majority of his best known titles already released in English, it’s also good that his titles now rest in the hands of a company with a fairly well established digital distribution set-up. I don’t see a market big enough to support print for most of the titles we’ve yet to see, and boy are there a lot of them, so digital seems the way to go. Plus, as much as I love adding to the bookshelves, the potential for hundreds and hundreds more from one creator? I think that’s a job better suited to my iPad.

Digital Manga says more news about this massive acquisition will be coming in the next few weeks, so we’ll see what new details and title-specific news comes with it.


Manga Minis: Sailor Moon Delay, New Hetalia, Shonen Jump Grows and CLAMP Slows

Manga Minis: Sailor Moon Delay, New Hetalia, Shonen Jump Grows and CLAMP Slows

 RightStuf announced that they have plans to publish the next two volumes of Hetalia in their continued partnership with Tokyopop. Hetalia (Vol. 04-05) will be available “before the holiday season” according to the Tokyopop manga twitter. Exact date obviously varies! RightStuf and Tokyopop previously released the third volume exclusively through their online sites, and print-on-demand issues of the first two. (Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)

 Kodansha Comics revealed at Anime Expo that they’ll be speeding up their release of Attack on Titan. Starting in August the company will be releasing one volume a month in both print and digital formats. By doing this they should be caught up to the Japanese volumes by the end of the year. This is fantastic news for the manga readers! The only downside is as someone trying to stick to just the anime until it catches up, this pains me on a very conflicted level. The pressure! The temptation! It’s sad and beautiful. (Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)

 Some actually sad news came from Kodansha Comics when they had to announce that the 20th Anniversary Sailor Moon art book would be delayed. The book was supposed to come out sometime this year, but has been pushed to 2014. At least the reasoning isn’t bad – it’s said that the delay is because Naoko Takeuchi is still working on new content for the book. The art book isn’t the only thing from the Sailor Moon anniversary that’s met with delays as the new anime has been pushed to some undetermined time in 2014 as well. (Source: @debaoki)

 Flipping back to good news, Viz Media announced that their digital Shonen Jump will now be available in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Yay! This is fantastic news indeed. While those living in those areas will not be able to access the back issues, they’ll still get all the same content on a weekly basis as those already subscribed. It’s a fantastic deal, guys, so get on that and enjoy! (Source: AnimeNewsNetwork)

Gate 7 (Vol. 03) Convention guest news: Dark Horse and San Diego Comic Con are welcoming the creator of Lone Wolf and Cub, Kazuo Koike, to it’s event later this month. Then in August, California Japan Expo is hosting the manga artist and character designer for Neon Genesis Evangelion, Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.

 And last but not least, there’s been speculation for a while that CLAMP’s Gate 7 series is on hiatus and CLAMP fans have found plenty of new evidence to support it. While the story hasn’t really clicked for me, the loss of eye-candy alone makes this sad news indeed. While the original plan to release this series globally on the same day didn’t happen, Dark Horse has still been releasing the volumes in English as they become available. CLAMP’s currently on-going series include xxxHolic and Drug & Drop, a continuation of Legal Drug.


Viz Media Adds New Akira Toriyama Series to Weekly Shonen Jump

Jaco the Galactic Patrolman

The future is now! In this week’s issue of Shonen Jump, Viz Media revealed that they’ve licensed Akira Toriyama’s brand new on-going series, Jaco the Galactic Patrolman.

Viz describes Jaco as “the story of a powerful alien policeman stranded on Earth.” While that may not be much to go on, the mere fact it’s by Akira Toriyama – creator of Dragonball and Dr. Slump – is reason enough to look forward to it. It looks to be a return to his comedic roots, though I do hope it still takes itself a little seriously sometimes as I love the balance between those two moods that Toriyama can achieve. The promo picture already makes me eager to read it. His art always strikes that pleasant chord of being both fun and nostalgic.

Jaco is scheduled to start in the July 15th edition of the digital magazine. As the series itself was only revealed late last week, it was exciting to read about it’s English inclusion only days after.

Shonen Jump is also offering a discount on its already really cheap – seriously, how do they do that? – yearly subscriptions for Shonen Jump. During this weekend of Anime Expo, a year’s worth of weekly content will be available for only $19.99/US.


Dishing the Digital: Shonen Jump Staff Launch Weekly Podcast

Dishing the Digital: Shonen Jump Staff Launch Weekly Podcast

New podcast alert! The podcast world is sadly sparse when it comes to manga-centric content, but the staff of Shonen Jump have taken it upon themselves to fill that void with their new Shonen Jump podcast! And it’s pretty fun you guys.

So far there are three podcasts with plans to keep it a weekly occurrence. On the podcast, a collection of the magazine’s editors get together and talk about what happened in the newest issue and a few other tidbits related to the content and its production. While there is the occasional industry talk (which I love!), ultimately this is a group of individuals who love Shonen Jump talking about Shonen Jump, as fans to the fans. It’s a podcast I never realized how much I wanted until I got to listen to it.

The group have great chemistry and are a lot of fun to listen to. They’re naturals, and I hope they continue having the time to keep this podcast going while also pumping out 150+ pages of Shonen Jump manga every week.

You can listen to the podcast via their website, and subscribe on Apple devices through iTunes. Make sure you give it a listen, subscribe, leave a nice review and, should you have them, submit a question or two via their Twitter account and website for potential answering on the show.


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…

Works

 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)


Showcase: Tokyo Demons

Showcase: Tokyo Demons

Welcome to the first instalment of a new feature for Kuriousity – Showcase! I’ve been wanting to start something like this for a long time and hopefully it’s the start of many interesting things to come. In these columns, which will have no discernible frequency or scheduling (like everything else here – always a surprise!), I’ll be taking a look at some different independent projects that I think readers here at Kuriousity would enjoy. It might be a comic, it might be a novel, it might be a web comic – who knows! I’m a huge fan of self-published creators and hope to introduce great stories to new fans, promote a creator’s work and have a chance to rave about some favourites.

The first title I’m writing about has not only rekindled the fiction lover in me – who has been buried far too long – but is also well-timed as one of the flagship titles for the newly announced, Chromatic PressTokyo Demons.

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