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News, reviews and features with a focus on manga, self-published works and a Canadian perspective. Enjoy fulfilling your Kuriousity!

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Archive for the Misc Category

Update to Boys-Luv.com

Boys-Luv.com

Hello, site visitors! Some of you have noticed that since Kuriousity’s recent face lift, Boys-Luv.com – Kuriousity’s boys’ love exclusive partner-site – was no longer operating as normal. Part of the reason a little revamp of Kuriousity was done was to accommodate some recent software changes. Unfortunately those changes also broke Boys-Luv.com.

Because all the same content remains available here at Kuriousity, I’ve decided to shutdown Boys-Luv.com, at least for the time being (who knows what the future may bring!). All older posts from Boys-Lov can still be accessed via our archives, and any old links will automatically redirect to their Kuriousity equivalent.

For those who would like to continue reading only the boys’ love related posts, they are available via the Boys’ Love/Yaoi tag and can be subscribed to via their own RSS feed.

My apologies for any inconvenience or sad faces this may cause, and we all hope you stick around for the same fun manga and BL content here at Kuriousity!


Fulfilling Your Kuriousity on Facebook!

Fulfilling Your Kuriousity on Facebook!

Kuriousity is now on Facebook! You can subscribe to our new FB page to easily follow Kuriousity content from your own Facebook account. I’m not a Facebook user myself, but it didn’t seem fair to leave Kuriousity out in the social media cold. My thanks to those who take the time to check it out and give the page a Like!

As a reminder, we’re also on Twitter and Tumblr, and can be subscribed to via RSS. Huzzah for options!


Handling Hentai: An Interview With Project-H

Project-H

One of the fastest growing parts of the North American manga industry last year also seemed to be the one that flew under many radars – Digital Manga’s Project-H. Hentai might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’ve been surprised to see it discussed so lightly in the world of manga mavens. Even boys’ love, though while generally not as pornographic, seems to get it’s fair share of talk time.

Since it was announced back in mid 2011, Project H has been a swiftly growing part of its parent company. In 2012, they announced dozens of new books that would be published under it and, unlike the titles DMP has been announcing under Digital Manga Guild, almost every Project-H title is licensed with intent to print. With the cost-saving decrease in printing these days, the sheer volume of these books going to print is both a surprise and impressive.

I’ve been watching the imprint grow, and while my interest in the titles themselves have been hit or miss (like any other set of books out there), I remain intrigued by their apparent success.

With these thoughts in mind, I reached out to Digital Manga’s VP of Sales & Distribution, Yoko Tanigaki, who was able to answer a few questions about Project H’s past, present and future.

Read more…


Viz Media and Tokyopop Revamp and Relaunch Websites

Viz Media and Tokyopop Launch New Websites

A new year can mean fresh starts, new beginnings and brand new coats of paint. It’s just such a case with Viz Media and Tokyopop who’ve both revamped their websites in time to kick off 2013 in style.

Viz Media – which can now be reached at the simple and easily remembered viz.com – last did a large revamp of their website in January 2011, where I gave it a thorough and not especially glowing review. This time around the company has really gone for the simplistic route and I think it serves their content well.

Viz.comThe front page has clear images linking to their recent digital, print and animated releases, and more detailed breakdowns of all their new content via the links at the top. What I like the most  is how easy it is to find information on manga series, which are now available to view alphabetically, by genre, by popularity, by imprint and by the search feature. Wonderfully the search feature pulls up more results than before and separates the results by format (print, digital, animated, etc.). It’s a layout that works almost entirely on images over text, and being done this way while keeping so tidy, really does a good job showing off the products.

For those, like me, who may find the images a bit too big on smaller screens, you can use your browser’s zoom out feature and the website really nicely accommodates the change with more thumbnails per page at smaller sizes. For my main 1024×768 screen, 75% is the sweet spot!

Then we come to Tokyopop, whose new site launch is notable for more reasons than just a shiny new look. Tokyopop hasn’t had a website of its own since the publishing side of the company was shut down abruptly in 2011. They handed over the .com and their mailing list to another company that used them to promote their own Japanese pop culture material via Facebook. Since then there’s been trickling of news from Tokyopop that they planned to return to publishing; the largest step being their team-up with RightStuf to release Hetalia.

Tokyopop.comTokyopop.com now has a pretty attractive (though oversized for screens my size – zoom-outs are a must for reading it all) and easy to navigate website that certainly speaks at least a little more to their intent in returning. In what capacity is still in question, but it remains just as apparent that those expecting some sort of grand return to the abundant Tokyopop manga days of old are looking at the impossible. What the new website does show is that Tokyopop is continuing their publication of Hetalia, and has maintained the rights to their original manga-style graphic novels which they’re now promoting as digital editions. Remaining print editions are being sold via links to RightStuf, and some via print on demand. Tokyopop isn’t at all promoting or showcasing any of the hundreds of manga volumes they’ve published in the past despite remaining availability at retailers. I can only assume this is so they don’t give people the false impression that they’re still in the manga biz, which a fair enough decision on their part.

Interestingly, and unfortunately, from the initial discussions following TP’s site relaunch, the print on demands* are news to some of the books’ creators and the struggle to regain their rights after Tokyopop’s publishing-arm shutdown is an on-going battle. (*Edit: Current freelancer for Tokyopop, Daniella, shares her insight in the comments below)

I’ll be keeping an eye on Tokyopop.com predominantly for their blog section which includes areas for their current staff to speak about the company and its products, as well as a place for the approaching-infamous, Stu Levy. I don’t have any care for Hetalia, and am more interested in following their book creators’ new endeavours than the remains of their TP contracts, but I’m sure Tokyopop will pull off at least a few surprises over the next twelve months.


Year In Review: The Kuriousity of 2012

Kuriousity: A Year in Review 2012

Here we are in the first week of 2013. We survived 2012! A lot of the past year is a blur in my mind, a flurry of up and down personal trials and an ever changing manga industry that makes a lot of the events of the past twelve months mesh together. Where does it begin and end!?

Thank goodness for Kuriousity to give me some grounded events and dates with which to look back on. That said, it’s time for a brief look back at Kuriousity in 2012!

Read more…


Super Savings: Totally Huge Savings at Totally Manga!

Super Savings: Totally Huge Savings at Totally Manga

Some sad news and good news makes up this Super Savings’ post today. I was recently contacted by the owner of Totally Manga, a store dedicated entirely to selling manga. How I wish I could’ve seen that! Unfortunately they’ve needed to close up shop and that means getting rid of the last of their stock. Sad news indeed :(

The good news in this, however, is it that it means huge savings for online buyers. Much to my personal sadness, this sale is for US-buyers only (Edit: shipping options have been updated for Canadian and International buyers) but the deals are too great for me not to share with all Kuriousity’s American readers. This is especially true if you’re a BL fan – Totally Manga a fair variety of titles but predomiantly boys’ love, and notably from the English BL giant Digital Manga, including light novels and out of print titles. Many, many to choose from!

The best part? Every single volume is only $5.00/US! Free shipping is also offered on orders over $100. Quantities are limited, of course, so if you’re curious pop over there now and take a look. Buy lots of amazing, shiny books in my place because I can’t okay? Enjoy!

Added note: Doesn’t the website have the best colour scheme ever? Sort of reminds me of something… hmm…


Manga Is Not A Crime: Canadian Crown Drops Charges In Customs Case

Manga Is Not A Crime

Some of you may have noticed the Manga Is Not A Crime banner on my sidebar during one of your visits and the story of Ryan Matheson is a prime reason for my support of the work the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund does. Back in 2010, he was arrested trying to cross the border from the US to Canada when Canadian Customs official searched his laptop and found anime/manga imagery that they deemed child pornography.

CBLDF announced yesterday that all the charges against Ryan Matheson have since been dropped, which comes as fantastic news. Of course he’s not out of the woods yet with legal fees and some very unpleasant memories to follow him but it’s a big relief to see his immediate fight has finally ended.

Speaking out for the first time, Matheson says, “I’m glad to finally put this awful ordeal behind me. Ever since the beginning I knew I had committed no crime, so I was never willing to accept a plea to any criminal charge. The entire legal process is very traumatizing, and the overzealous bail conditions imposed on me were very difficult to endure. Although my defense was extremely strong, all trials are inherently risky and I value my life too much to risk a potential minimum mandatory sentence. I am very grateful for the spectacular work Michael Edelson and his team put into my case, and to all the generous people who supported me and contributed to my defense. I was able to stand up to the very last day and fight for something I believe in.”

As a Canadian, I have immense pride in my country as a place that values peace and equality. There’s no where in the world I’d rather live and I get homesick quick ever being off Canadian soil. Unfortunately nowhere is perfect and the pit in my stomach I feel crossing the border from trips to the US on my way home is a stern reminder of that. That I could be arrested for my bags full of comics is terrifying – it’s scary because it’s unfair for material that hurts no one, it’s scary because it could happen to anyone at anytime and it’s scary because if it happens, as Ryan Matheson’s case shows, there’s nothing you can do should someone else decide that what artwork you choose to look at is wrong.

MangaBlog’s Brigid Alverson has a really informative write-up on the case along with some history of other similar occurrences over at Comic Book Resources. It’s well worth a read and I hope gives you a good idea why supporting a group like CBLDF is such an important thing to do for comic readers everywhere.


More Manga, More Random: Kuriousity Now On Tumblr

Kuriousity on Tumblr

Just a quick heads-up post today that I recently started a Kuriousity Tumblr account. I’m new to the site but it’s been lots of fun exploring the endless streams of content. Along with cross-posting from here on the website, my account there will also have some Tumblr-only originals that are a combination of random manga-related images and ponderings from me, to some reblogs of other interesting content shared from the Tumblr-verse. I’ve also got Tumblr’s question-feature turned on so if there’s a question you’re curious to ask, then feel free!


Kuriousity Reviewers In and On The Coast

The Coast

The Coast is a local free paper published weekly here in my home-city of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It’s “independent and locally owned”, publishing every thing from local news, editorials, reviews and entertainment schedules, not to mention a bevy of ads that I love for always letting me know about fun local businesses I wouldn’t otherwise discover.

Recently I began writing reviews for the paper and my first was published in this week’s edition. The Coast is available to read digitally with its full print layout online and in blog-like format, where you can directly read my review of Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight. Writing in the shorter format has been a great exercise and I’m eager to share more of my favourite titles with fellow Haligonians.

Fellow Kuriousity writer, Shannon Fay, has been writing and reviewing for The Coast for a couple years now. Her reviews have recommended plenty of great manga titles to our local comic-loving populous. You can read her reviews online at The Coast’s website as well:

GoGo Monster
Solanin
Saturn Apartments (Vol. 01)
Black Blizzard
Peepo Choo (Vol.01)
Not Love But Delicious Food Makes Me So Happy!
A Drunken Dream
No Touching At All
La Quinta Camera: The Fifth Room
A Bride’s Story(Vol. 01)

Bakuman and Wandering Son also made her picks for Top 11 Books of 2011.

From now on I’ll be doing occasional round up of reviews by Shannon and I as they’re published in The Coast. If you’re in the Halifax area, I hope you pick up copies of the print edition and enjoy all the local literary flavour!


SuBLimeManga.com Launches Website and Adds a New Title

SuBLime Website Launches

Just as promised when news of their existence was announced, SuBLime has launched their website this week. No titles are yet available to purchase but they have release dates listed for their first four titles due out January 31, 2011.

I really like the website’s design – simple, fast-loading and quite visually cute while simultaneously rather classy. There’s a newsletter  you can sign up for, as well as registration for the site itself which will allow you to comment and purchase and download the digital editions when they’re available. The forum is currently marked as ‘Coming Soon’.

Tonight SuBLime also announced a new title – Iwamoto Kaoru and Fuwa Shinri’s Yebisu Celebrities. The first volume was originally released by BeBeautiful back in 2007. SuBLime will be releasing this five volume series digital-only, starting in March 2012. The story takes places at a design firm, one where only the talented and attractive are allowed, as the new part-timer catches his boss’s eye. As part of the new license, SuBLime will be doing some related giveaways in January when the staff returns from holiday vacation.


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