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Manga fans have fond memories of Go! Comi, a manga publisher that produced some interesting and high-quality series during its brief lifetime: You Higuri’s Cantarella, the story of the cursed, but incredibly hot, Borgia family; After School Nightmare, a gender-bender tale that was nominated for an Eisner Award; and the beautifully drawn, sensitively written Song of the Hanging Sky. They also published entertaining trash like Train + Train that was simply fun to read. We liked Go! Comi.
Did we like them enough that we would donate money to help them get started again? As Kevin noted earlier, some enterprising scammer apparently thinks so: The Go! Comi web domain expired last year, and it looks like someone has picked it up and launched a fake Go! Comi website, complete with an appeal for donations so they can relaunch. Continue Reading »
Crime | Police in Petoskey, Michigan, arrested a 31-year-old man early Wednesday morning after he allegedly climbed to the roof of a downtown hardware store dressed as Batman. Mark Wayne Williams of Harbor Springs — yes, his middle name is Wayne — has been charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace and possession of dangerous weapons, as he reportedly carried a folding steel baton, weighted (sand-filled) gloves, and a can of chemical irritant spray.
Williams said at his arraignment that he didn’t realize the items were illegal, but didn’t offer an explanation as to why he was hanging off the roof of Meyer Ace Hardware dressed as the Dark Knight. The incident apparently isn’t Williams’ first encounter with police: The city’s public safety director said he had previously dressed as the Crow, but didn’t give any further details. [Petoskey News]
Crime | The expired website domain of defunct manga publisher Go! Comi is being used in a scam by an unknown party to solicit donations under the guise of resurrecting the company. “It is not real,” Audry Taylor, Go! Comi’s former creative director, warned last night on Twitter. “Do not donate. Gonna my lawyers on them.” [Anime News Network]
Audry Taylor was the creative director of Go! Comi back when it was one of the hottest small manga publishers around. Now Go! Comi has disappeared from view, and Taylor is devoting her time to writing YA prose fiction, but when it comes to topics like digital piracy and digital publishing, hers is a voice worth listening to. “Dear Publishing, manga is 3 yrs ahead of you on pirated material,” she tweeted yesterday. Right now, manga publishers are going out of business. They didn’t ADAPT.”
She points out that publishers’ biggest competitor is free comics, adding, “Consumers need powerful emotional & psychological reasons to buy your books rather than just grab the nearest free e-book.” Low prices alone won’t do the job.
A lot of manga readers justify reading scanlations by saying they are helping build an audience, but Taylor noted that Go! Comi’s books continued to be scanlated long after they were available in English. She did point out that readers who couldn’t find their books in stores had no qualms about reading them online. And she offered a five-point prescription for publishers: