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Comics A.M. | Bandai halts new manga, anime releases

Bandai Entertainment

Publishing | The anime and manga company Bandai Entertainment will stop distributing new products in February, although its existing catalog will continue to be available until the licenses expire. The company will shift its focus to licensing its properties for digital distribution and merchandising. President and CEO Ken Iyadomi said the decision to shut down new-product operations was made by the Japanese parent company without his input, and he strongly implied the underlying problem was that the corporate parent wanted to charge more for its anime than the current market will bear. Bandai published the Lucky Star, Kannagi and Eureka Seven manga, among others; all new manga volumes have been canceled, which means Kannagi will be left incomplete, at least for now. [Anime News Network]

Awards | The finalists for the Cybils, the blogger’s literary awards for children’s and YA books, have been posted, and they include five nominations each in the children’s and YA graphic novel categories. [Cybils Awards]

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Sea Lion Books to adapt Anne Rice’s Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana

Anne Rice is overseeing a number of comic adaptations of her work these days: Yen Press is adapting Interview with the Vampire into a graphic novel, and putting a twist on it by changing the narrator, and IDW is doing a six-issue adaptation of Servant of the Bones. Now Sea Lion Books, helmed by David Dabel, has picked up the rights to a very different Anne Rice novel, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana. No vampires here; the book is the second in a series Rice did telling the story of the life of Christ, and she says she researched it extensively to ensure that it would be accurate. The graphic novel is being adapted by Anne Elizabeth, who wrote Pendulum for Sea Lion, and illustrated by Siya Oum.

Sea Lion has a modest catalog of YA titles, including a graphic novel adaptation of Paolo Coelho’s The Alchemist, and they are publishing Richelle Mead’s Storm Born as single-issue comics, apparently. (I can only find one issue on their website.) I know that vampires were a big part of the mix when they launched, so this particular choice from Anne Rice’s repertoire seems a bit odd, but it will be interesting to see what they do with it.

Color commentary

Alec Longstreth, the colorist for The Unsinkable Walker Bean, is showing off his color schemes for the different characters at the First Second blog. The book, by Aaron Renier, tells the story of a boy who sets out to sea on a magical errand and winds up on a pirate ship. The story has a large cast, and it’s interesting to learn that Renier has background material on all the characters, even those who only have cameos. He also sent reference photos to Longstreth, who gave each character a unique set of colors. At the blog Longstreth shows off his reference sheet as well as a few examples of the finished work. This book is chock full of characters and detail, and this sort of consistency makes it much easier for the reader to follow.

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