Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman Face Front On New "EW" Cover
Passings | Manga creator Cocoa Fujiwara died March 31 at age 31. Fujiwara’s Inu x Boku SS, a story about humans with yokai blood who live together in a special apartment building, with some serving as bodyguards for others, is being published by Yen Press and has been made into an anime. Her first manga, a short story titled “Calling,” was published when she was just 15, and she chose not to go to high school in order to pursue a career as an artist. Her current series, Katsute Mahō Shōjo to Aku wa Tekitai Shiteita, runs in Square Enix’s Gangan Joker magazine, as did Inu x Boku SS. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Ahead of the premiere of Kick-Ass 2, Abraham Reisman profiles Mark Millar, with an emphasis on his subversion of the genre — and the new prominence he’s about to achieve with the films based on his comics: “By decade’s end, he’ll have had more of his creations translated into movie form than any comics writer other than Stan Lee.” The piece also includes criticism of his work, with Colin Smith observing, ““Millar does indeed have a history of producing work which represents less powerful groups in an insensitive, and often deeply insensitive, manner. There are massive contradictions between his words and actions as a private citizen and the apparent politics of some of his books.”[The New Republic]
Conventions | Matt Arado looks forward to this coming weekend’s Wizard World Chicago Comic Con (it’s actually in Rosemont) with some creator interviews and a look at the way the con has evolved over the years. [Daily Herald]
Hello and welcome to What Are You Reading? Today our special guests are Gardner Linn and Dave Lentz, the creative team behind the webcomic Registered Weapon — “the internet’s only webcomic starring a robotic cash register who fights crime.” They just kicked off their latest story, Case 006, on Nov. 12, and you can also download the first ten pages from their site if you prefer to read in bigger chunks.
To see what Gardner, Dave and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
Publishing | Vertical Inc. announced Sunday at Otakon in Baltimore that it has licensed Yoshikazu Yasuhiko’s 23-volume Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin and Mitsuhisa Kuji’s Wolfsmund. [Anime News Network]
Publishing | A year after the launch of Kodansha Comics, general manager Kimi Shimizu and Dallas Middaugh of Random House Publisher Services discuss their re-release of Sailor Moon, Kodansha’s fall line and the state of the manga market in the post-Borders landscape. “Manga numbers have been in decline for the past couple years, but what we’ve discovered in the past year or so is that decline is dramatically slowing,” Middaugh said .”So the simple fact of the matter is that most manga readers —usually when they’re committed, they’re committed—are reading a series. I actually believe that it takes more than the loss of a retail outlet to keep them from pursuing the manga that they want to read.” [ICv2]
Kodansha Comics has been a bit slow to get off the ground, but now they are off and running. After irritating fans last fall by keeping mum about titles, they have announced a stellar summer and fall lineup that includes the classic Sailor Moon, the revival of older but popular series like Love Hina and Tokyo Mew Mew, and some interesting new manga like Mardock Scramble and Animal Land. If only there were a place on the internet where you could go to get information about those books…
And now there is! After months of representing themselves with a plain black-and-white web page with a single press release and nothing to click on, Kodansha launched their new website this week. It has an attractive front page that is heavy on their former Del Rey titles; you have to go to the “Titles” link to see anything else, and they don’t have cover images up for the new books yet. Clicking on a link brings you to the Random House catalog page for the book, which is a bit annoying; it would be nicer to see the books integrated into the site itself. Perhaps that will come? However, it is nice to see the books listed by release date—a lot of manga publishers are very vague about that sort of thing, but their predecessor Del Rey always did it.
Speaking of Sailor Moon, Deb Aoki of About.com sent Kodansha some questions about their new edition and they answered them, apparently anonymously. So things are moving forward, and it should be an interesting summer.
When the news broke last week that Kodansha would stop licensing its manga to Del Rey and publish them under its own imprint, some commenters reacted with dismay. Aside from being unimpressed with the first few releases from the Japanese publisher, American readers are not happy with Kodansha’s complete lack of accessibility to the public — no content on their website, no press releases and very few interviews.
So when the Kodansha panel abruptly disappeared from the schedule for New York Comic Con & New York Anime Festival, online reaction was sharp and rather resentful. Fortunately, the Kodansha honchos seem to realize that things were going off-kilter and authorized Dallas Middaugh, who will continue to edit the publisher’s books under the new arrangement, to address what exactly happened.
And what happened was not a sudden cancellation, but rather a miscommunication, Middaugh explained. Kodansha had originally planned to do a panel at NYAF but decided to cancel it at the end of August. “We realized that we were a little off schedule,” he told Robot 6. “We really weren’t going to have any titles to announce, and without any titles to announce, we didn’t see any point in having the panel. I contacted the [New York] Comic Con folks and told them ‘We got nothing, please cancel the panel.’ And in their defense, I did say ‘What’s the latest we can get back to you if we decide we do want a panel?’ That day came and went, we had canceled the panel, they unfortunately took it as a yes and ran the panel information, and we were surprised the panel was listed.”
So what looked like an abrupt cancellation was actually a correction.