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Posts Tagged GoComi

May Manga Mysteries, Scams and Buy-It-Now Bargains

I was doing my usual website check-ins and Amazon spelunking and I came across a few interesting things. Along with a scam and a mystery, I also found some listings for books that, while not new licenses (I leave those to publishers these days) are still some exciting re-releases to look forward to.

First and most time-sensitive today is GoComi.com. I posted that the site had been resurrected with the bare framework of a WordPress layout a couple weeks back. Now the site’s updated with the following message:

“Go! Comi is coming back! We take great efforts to rebuilt Go! Comi as a publisher for Manga & Comics! Help us rebuilding Go! Comi.”

It then asks for donations sent via PayPal directly to them. This screamed scam to me at first, second and third glance. The messy layout, the abundance of ads, the low-res images taken from Amazon and a link asking for random money? The power of the internet spread the word quick to GoComi’s Creative Director (when the company was up and about), Audry Taylor, who has confirmed on her Twitter that this site is a SCAM. So it’s confirmed 100% that this site is just trying to trick manga fans into giving them money. If you know anyone who’s been there and considered donating, please tell them absolutely not to do it. Audry Taylor is sending her lawyers after them so hopefully the offending site will be taken down soon.

Speaking of long-gone manga publishers, a listing for Manzai Comics (Vol. 02) from Aurora Publishing has popped up on Amazon.ca. It has a release date of July 12, 2011. While I’m used to seeing book listings ‘recycled’ on Chapters‘ website (meaning cancelled books given a future date to bump them off recent listings instead of actually deleting them), it’s odd seeing it on Amazon. It’s the same ISBN as the book’s original listing from 2009 so it’s most likely it’s a case of recycled listing but still, a manga mystery!

On a less mysterious but more ‘yay!’ factor comes a listing on Amazon.ca for a box set of Full Metal Alchemist due out from Viz Media in November 2011. The set will include “volumes 1-27, plus extras such as Fullmetal Alchemist Novel: The Ties That Bind and a full-color, two-sided poster.” The price is listed at $219.99/CAN but right now you can pre-order the set on Amazon at 30% off the price – meaning 27+ volumes of FMA for only $137.93. Hard to argue that bargain!

Speaking of a bargain, there’s an omnibus edition of Osamu Tezuka’s Dororo series listed for a February 2012 release. The series is licensed by Vertical Inc and has previously been released in single volume formats. The book is listed at a whopping 880 pages with a price of $29.95/CAN. Awesome bargain for one of my favourite series from Osamu Tezuka even if I’d still say not his strongest.

And lastly for today, if  you’re like me and love seeing how manga covers are designed, here are some newly revealed manga covers to oogle!

Tenjo Tenge Omnibus (Vol. 01) (Vol. 02) (Vol. 03) (Vol. 04)
X 3-in-1 (Vol. 01)
Princess Knight (Vol. 01)
No Longer Human (Vol. 01)
Drops of God (Vol. 01)
Pokemon Black & White (Vol. 01) (Vol. 02)


Publisher Websites Come, Go and Update

KodanshaComics.com

Some website news today and I don’t mean regarding Kuriousity (though a reminder you can get to the site from the more easily remembered kuriousity.ca!).

First up is Kodansha Comics which after months of using their website KodanshaComics.com to list their press releases, has uploaded their actual website It’s simple and neatly laid out, which is great to see on a publisher site. Very easily navigated so yay for that! You can see covers for several of their upcoming books on the Release Dates page. The search and title info is unfortunately just linked to Random House’s page instead of housing its own internal sources but at least it’s something. A note that if you’re not using a screen resolution higher than 1200pixels wide, I’d recommend zooming out to 83% viewing. It’s a fixed width site that doesn’t seem designed to support smaller screens.

Elsewhere Dark Horse has made some huge changes to their website and I must say it looks and works great! It has a sharp new look, a retooled search function and an easy to use Browse function that allows you to call up any or all of their books in a specified period of time and ordered in a variety of ways. Each individual page even has a link to Comic Book finder so you can find a location nearest to you to purchase the goods. This site update comes just in time for their upcoming Digital Store launch which will include manga-epic Lone Wolf and Cub. My kudos to the design and programming team – the new site is fantastic!

On a less positive note, Tokyopop (which recently announced its shutdown of the company’s publishing division) is gearing up for a complete tear down of its website. With a community heavy in participation including blog posts, forums and media uploads, they’ve sent out a few e-mails to remind folks to save what they want now because as of “early next week” it’s all going to be gone.

“As we’ve previously stated in our newsletter, TOKYOPOP.com will go offline early next week. We know that you probably have kept copies of everything you’ve uploaded (photos, videos, drawings etc.), but we just want to be extra-sure and give you this last reminder so that you can pull anything down from TOKYOPOP.com that you still need. The last chance to pull your uploads is THIS WEEKEND! After this weekend, you will not have access to material on TOKYOPOP.com. If you’re concerned about losing any data, please act right away! Don’t forget to tell your friends about this too, if you think that they’re unaware of this.”

And as a bit of weird final note – the old URL for now defunct manga publisher GoComi! has been resurrected and now has the bare basics of a WordPress installation. There’s a teeny tiny bit of info regarding GoComi and a couple of their titles but I wouldn’t see this as any sign of a return. Most likely it’s a more creative than usual domain park seeing as how it uses old cached information and images from Amazon (plus a bunch of ads to take advantage of visitors who might be curious enough to click on the Google Ads). Still a little weird though, hmm? [Thanks go to Ryu Sheng for noticing this one]


Super Savings: Loonie Manga Deals at Amazon.ca

Loonie Manga Deals at Amazon.ca

Amazon always has some of the best pricing for purchasing books online and occasionally even manga gets the extra special discount treatment, such as Amazon.ca’s Loonie Deals. I was spelunking through the discounted section today and found some manga titles sitting there at some ‘get ’em while you can’ prices:

Steal Moon (Vol. 02) (BL)
$11.36 (CAN) – 31% OFF

Devil Within (Vol. 02)
$9.03 – 40% OFF

Lover’s Pledge (BL)
$9.35 (CAN) – 43% OFF

Love Master A (Vol. 01)
$7.45 (CAN) – 50% OFF

Venus Versus Virus Omnibus (Vol. 01)
$7.04 (CAN) – 59% OFF

A-I Revolution (Vol. 04)
$3.85 (CAN) – 74% OFF

Inukami Omnibus (Vol. 01)
$11.72 (CAN) – 37% OFF

IDOL Pleasures
$9.77 (CAN) – 41% OFF

A-I Revolution (Vol. 01)
$8.17 (CAN) – 45% OFF

King of the Lamp (Vol. 01)
$6.57 (CAN) – 56% OFF

Your Honest Deceit (Vol. 02) (BL)
$5.13 (CAN) – 68% OFF

What’s most interesting and worth a look about these titles is the majority are out of print series. Several of from the now-defunct Go!Comi, and there’s a boys’ love title from DramaQueen. Newer titles are the two omnibus collections from Seven Seas and offer a great value for some huge books with hefty page counts!


Swag Bag – Ninjas, Pets and Used Fairy Tales

It’s going to take me a while to sort through all my manga swag from New York Anime Fest this past weekend, and who knows how long for a proper installment of Swag Bag – but before I traveled down to the US for some con adventures, I hit my usual Wednesday haunt at Strange Adventures to pick up some new and old titles.

My most anticipated, and thus quickly picked up, titles were the newest volumes of two of my favourites – Pet Shop of Horrors (Vol. 07) and Shinobi Life (Vol. 06). It was another long wait for Pet Shop of Horrors, and to my dismay, I found this particular volume a bit of letdown comparatively. I mean, it was still great because it’s Matsuri Akino but definitely not the series’ best. Shinobi Life proved as satisfying as ever though. I love how carefully it’s crafting a plot that could easily become confusing in another’s hands. Will the schoolgirl and ninja ever find their happy ending?

To my luck that day, a box of used manga had just been deposited in the store with a whole bunch of well-kept books looking for a new home. While the individual who owned the books prior seemed to have very similar tastes to myself (ie: very little there I didn’t already own unfortunately), there were still a few goodies to pick up:

Looking for some new series to start, I picked up the first volumes of The Chronicles of the Grim Peddler (which was fantastic fairy-tale manhwa) and Monochrome Factor (which I haven’t read yet). I also bought the first two volumes of Mushishi after having read them at the library and enjoyed them, plus the anime was really good. Lastly I got volume three of 07-Ghost, firmly establishing to me that this series still doesn’t make any sense. Ah well, I gave it three volumes – character designs are still pretty though!


13 Days of Halloween: After School Nightmare

12 Days of Halloween: After School Nightmare

Shannon, here – Halloween is my favourite holiday and to honour it I’m counting down 13 manga throughout the month that I think best capture the Halloween spirit. They aren’t all horror manga, as to me Halloween is about more than scares: it’s about a sense of fun and wonder. It’s about discovering that there may be more to this world than meets the eye. So with that in mind, there’s everything on this list from action-packed shounen to romantic-comedy to children’s manga to some lock-the-doors-and-leave-the-lights-on horror.(See all 13 Days of Halloween so far…)

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

12. After School Nightmare

After School Nightmare may not seem like an obvious Halloween-time manga. There are no ghosts or goblins, no monsters lurking in the shadows. In After School Nightmare the boogeyman isn’t in your closet, but in your mind, right under your skin: The boogeyman is you. In this gender-bending shoujo horror (which is quite possibly the best sub-genre of anything ever) the characters have to deal with their worst nightmares, literally.

Mashiro Ichijo is a normal high-school boy…almost. While Mashiro has the build and upper body of a young man, down below he’s actually female. One day Mashiro is enrolled in a strange class by the school nurse. In this class Mashiro and other students dream and meet up in a shared nightmare. In the dreams the students take on forms that reflect their inner struggles. Mashiro wears a girl’s uniform in the dreams which is pretty mild compared to some forms the other kids take, like a girl who has huge holes through her head and torso. In the dreams the students must compete and even fight each other in order to ‘graduate.’

A big appeal of Halloween is that it gives you a chance to dress however you want and be something completely different from usual. October 31st is the one day of the year when you can dress like a Mexican wrestler, or a bearded lady from the circus, or a two-headed monster, and not be the weird one at a party. The shared dreams in After School Nightmare have a similar atmosphere. It’s the one place where the students get to show an aspect of themselves that they otherwise keep hidden. The forms they take on in the dreams (a little girl, a shining knight, a paper giraffe, a gaggle of grabbing, clinging hands) are who they really are. It’s their school uniforms that are the costumes.

Of course, the main difference between a Halloween party and a session in the dream world is that a Halloween party is generally a good time for all while the dream classes are traumatic, full of blood, and end in tears (if that’s the way your parties usually go, then perhaps hosting parties is not for you). But there’s still enough of a link in my mind to make After School Nightmare good Halloween reading.

You can read Lissa’s reviews of After School Nightmare volumes five, seven, eight and nine here. Also worth checking out is September’s Manga Moveable Feast, which collects various blog posts concerning After School Nightmare.


ANNCast – Retro Anime, Canadian Cons and Me on Manga-Doom

ANNCast - Viewercast May 21

So doom may be a little grim a word but it’s a rampant sort of tone recently with all that’s going on in the English manga-industry. I popped in on this week’s ANNCast to share some of my thoughts on recent events, in particular DC’s announcement regarding CMX and the disappearance of Go!Comi.

I’m starting to feel like all my efforts to promote CMX are being intentionally smited somehow though – first CMX’s shutdown is announced mere days after we here at Kuriousity make the decision to push out a bunch of CMX reviews (since the site’s been sadly lacking them!) and then here in the ANNCast I tell everyone to go check out CMX’s site and look through the books they have – only to have DC Comics, for some inexplicable reason, strip down CMX’s website today. Yikes. And triple-boo on you, DC Comics. What the heck is going through your corporate mind over there?

Also on the ANNCast this week is a guest sharing her thoughts on the difference between Canadian and American anime conventions. Interesting ideas there. As someone who’s been staff helping run a convention and holding panels more than an attendee of any, I don’t have all that much to go on pertaining to the concept. Comparatively I’ve been to San Diego Comic Con and Fan Expo, which are ‘very’ similar in their target-audience but different in obvious ways because, well, SDCC is in California and Fan Expo is not. I am heading to Anime North next week and New York Anime Fest in October however, so for pondering’s sake, I’ll keep the concept of difference in mind. The discussion about the semi-thankless nature of running an anime convention is interesting too. Super-duper hard work but worth it for all the thank yous and happy fans? Yup!

So check out the podcast if you so feel inclined – it always makes for interesting listening! And beware my voice, which you may be doomed to hear in your mind each time you read one of my reviews from now on ;)


A Little Less Spring in Manga’s Step This Season

The English manga publishing industry has started to look pretty glum recently. First news of Aurora Publishing’s supposed demise spread through the web after the approach of listings appearing to be the company for sale, then in late April Yen Press announced that it’s anthology magazine Yen Plus is no longer going to be in print.

Continuing down a dim road,  GoComi’s forums first went down in April but the website itself followed just the other day – gocomi.com now showing an expired domain as of May 8th. This led to speculation but alas none of it good, especially as the publisher hasn’t released a book since October 2009.

Audry Taylor, Creative Director of GoComi, confirmed the website’s demise on her Twitter account while AnimeNewsNetwork recently learned that she was no longer working at the company. Earlier this year GoComi had posted an update on their forums about the difficulties they were having and that their website would likely be something shut down in the future. Whether this means the company itself is gone or just really slimming back remains to be confirmed but the prospects aren’t looking anywhere near as good as we’d like.

Doing nothing to soften the blow however came news of Viz Media laying off 60 of its employees and shutting down its New York branch altogether (Update: News of their NY offices closing has been confirmed false by Viz). This equals around 40% of the  publisher’s workforce, a sizable chunk for any company to let go. While this shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the company is going to vanish on us, it is a stark reminder of the things they’re required to do to keep stable. A statement was released on Viz’s website regarding the move as well, taking the time to reassure consumers.

Viz MediaIt’s a sign of darker times but certainly not the end of them. Still, I can’t help but see it as a real eye-opener as to what really equates to success. New York Times Bestseller list looks impressive, for example, yet the numbers that beat out other lesser-selling graphic novels doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve sold truck loads, or enough to make up for the dozens of titles released each month that don’t sell nearly as many as their frontline siblings and still need the support to keep strong.

“But what can I do to help?” You may (hopefully) ask yourself. It’s pretty simple, and nothing you probably haven’t heard before – buy. Your money helps the publishers, funds the creators and truly shows your support. Not buying now because you’d rather buy later? The sad reality is that the books you want may not be there later. Publishers can’t live off money later – they need your help now, not only to fund the price of making the books but also to show them people do want more. That’s the way you can do your part to see your favourite books on store shelves later.

And you don’t need to buy a lot – companies understand that many of their target audiences don’t have as much disposable income as they’d like. Do what you can and be proud of your collection (and never stop looking for those awesome bargains at your local store, online vendor or anime convention!).

Imagine the sales if today (good ‘ol new book shipment Wednesday), if every reader who’s read an illegal scanlation went out and bought one manga book. Just one. Food for thought?

But stay positive, folks! Times may look a little glum but there’s so much power in our hands to make a difference. Purchase, share, suggest and love your manga!

And keep in mind the good stuff we’ve been lucky to have recently as well: the evolving trend of omnibus editions is allowing affordable ways to collect manga series both new and old, Fantagraphics recently announced their own manga imprint showing an appreciated enthusiasm in the market and experimentation with different genres, online manga from companies offers lots of legal ways to enjoy your favourites digitally and manga publishers continue to pick up numerous new series. Just to name a few of course!


Manga Stuff Sunday – Contests and Continuations

A bunch of interesting news and previews this past week – what better way to spend a lazy Sunday than getting caught up on a bunch of them! From contests to continuations, there should be a little something for everyone in this lengthy round-up of the week’s what-have-yous:

RightStuf’s most recent sale is on Tokyopop books, including their boys’ love imprint, BLU. Until February 1st, you’ll save at least 33% on each book. Perfect time to get caught up some series and get your hands on the recent ones – which include lots of fantastic new licenses including Alice in the Country of Hearts and Deadman Wonderland.

More information about Yen Press’s upcoming adaptation of Twilight has been released. The book will be a hardcover edition costing $19.99. It’s already one of the top-selling books on Amazon right now! Entertainment Weekly has an image of the cover and an interior preview. On a related note, Shannon Garrity has a great – and amusing – post comparing Twilight with most modern-day shoujo manga.

Fans of the series rejoice – Descendants of Darkness (Yami no Matsuei) is returning! After an eight year hiatus the supernatural manga laced with all that glorious homoerotic tension (perhaps biggest understatement of the new year so far) will be returning to publication with the release of its twelth volume in Japan. Viz Media has the English license to the series and has published up to volume eleven, last released in 2006.

DeviantArt is currently holding a contest: Ponyo Make A Splash – Online Banner Creation Contest. They’re looking for ad banners designed for use on the website to promote the upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray release of Studio Ghibli/Disney’s Ponyo. There are four different banner templates for designers to submit banners in. As for the prizes, “…each of the four winners will recieve a $500 Visa gift card, a devWEAR bag of Winner’s choice, a copy of Ponyo on DVD, a devWEAR shirt of Winner’s choice, and a one year Premium Membership to deviantART.”

Fushigi Yugi Genbu Kaiden After the continuation was pushed back to Spring 2010in early 2009, it looks like Yu Watase is finally able to put Fushigi Yuugi‘s prequel series, Genbu Kaiden, back into her busy production schedule! She posts about it over on her personal blog, though no complete translation is yet publicly posted of the entry. Viz Media has released the currently available nine volumes of the series. (via Manga Xanadu)

Lastly, the fairly-silent-in-recent-months publisher, GoComi has posted an update of their status via their forums. There isn’t a lot of specific news but they assure readers that despite some economic problems, they’re still plugging forward and going at it their best. Unfortunately a number of titles have gone on hold. You can read the whole post over there which also includes information of the potential future of their website community, the popularity of 07-Ghost and word about the status of books sold through their online store. (via @danielle_leigh1)


Review: Days of Cool Idols

Reviewer: Lissa Pattillo


Manga-ka: Mizuki Watanabe
Publisher: GoComi
Rating: Teen (13+)
Release Date: May 2009

Synopsis: “Talentless, shy Tsubasa has just been accepted to the prestigious Seiko Academy. Right away, he gets mixed up with the most popular kids in school – and the entertainment world! Forced to join the pop idol group RINXS, Tsubasa finds himself stuck in a cross-dressing comedy of kidnapping, blackmail and mistaken identity.”

Days of Cool Idols is a one-shot story about a young boy trying to start new life for himself at a new school. When he finds himself among the school’s elite and being asked to perform a great favour to both them, the entertainment industry and all its fans, he begins to believe he may’ve finally found a place where he belongs, even if the book itself struggles with that particular point.

Read more…


PR: Go!Comi Announces Japan Ai iPhone App

GO! COMI AND ZEITGEIST GAMES ANNOUNCE
“JAPAN AI – THE IPHONE APP”

9 July 2009, LOS ANGELES

Innovative manga publisher Go! Comi and cutting-edge game designer Zeitgeist Games today announced the release of the iPhone version of Aimee Major Steinberger’s smash-hit manga journal “Japan Ai – A Tall Girl’s Adventure in Japan” – named one of the Young Adults Librarian Association’s Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens of 2009! It is now available, formatted for the iPhone or iPod Touch, for the introductory price of .99 CENTS!

Read more…


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