Coming Attractions: Book Expo America: The Hottest Graphic Novels of 2012!

beat-default

Once a year, booksellers, librarians, and assorted biblios assemble at Book Expo America, the largest publishing trade show in North America. 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the graphic novel pavilion at BEA, and while many graphic novel publishers are absent, there are many more “mainstream” publishers offering an amazing multitude of titles, genres, subjects, and audiences!

This year, John Hogan of Graphic Novel Reporter hosts The Hottest Graphic Novels of 2012! panel, where a team of five diverse individuals recommend a variety of graphic novels due to be published in 2012! Last year’s selections got lots of press and accolades, and quite a few of the titles below seem to be just as interesting and intriguing!

Final volume of BIZENGHAST to come out after all

beat-default

As we’ve been noting, of late the ashes of Tokyopop have been stirring, and several volumes that were thought lost are actually coming out in one shape or another. BIZENGHAST #8 by M. Alice “Marty” LeGrow is the latest book to find a new life as a print-to-order book via The Right Stuf and digitally through Graphicly. BIZENGHAST was one of the most successful of all Tokyopop’s homegrown manga (as making it to volume 8 would indicate) and it’s been spun off into an art book, coloring book, novelization, animated shorts, merchandise, and a tabletop role-playing game, according to ICv2.

So you speak Japanese? Manga editor sought

beat-default

Random House is hiring a manga editor to work in their Kodansha imprint/joint venture. It’s a pretty senior position for the right person who knows manga and speaks Japanese. Here’s the scoop:

Must Read: Can you make a living creating manga in North America?

beat-default

That’s the question Russo-Canadian cartoonist Svetlana Chmakova—by any standards one of the most successful North Ameircan manga creators—posed to a bunch of us at breakfast during TCAF. And Deb Aoki has responded with a comprehensive five-part series examining the question. Four parts are up thus far. Aoki starts with examining the reasons why manga by non-Japanese creators—whether you call it OEL or Global Manga or Bruce—has a hard time in the market, listing nine reasons. Among them:

Tokyopop is sorta back with Hetalia: Axis Powers

beat-default

After hinting at it on their Facebook page for a while, Tokyopop’s surviving member, Stuart Levy, announced a little wee return…as a licensing entity, anyway. The Right Stuff, in conjunction with Genosha Comics, will republish three volumes of Himaruya Hidekaz‘s HETALIA: AXIS POWERS, including the first two—which came out from Toykopop before it imploded last year—and the never-before-in-English third book, which was in production when Tpop went away.

Webcomic alert: DR. SLUMP by Akira Toriyama

beat-default

Best known for his hectic DRAGONBALL series, Akira Toriyama is probably one of the most successful cartoonists of all time. His first big hit was DR. SLUMP, a slapstick humor strip about an inventor who creates a little girl robot who is hopelessly naive about the world.

Hijinks ensue. Hijinks that anyone who likes FAMILY GUY will appreciate. This is not sophisticated humor but it is energetic, wildly imaginative cartooning at the highest level. It’s also world building in the classic McCloudian-approved way, with the setting of Penguin Village, like Springfield or Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, a friendly place filled with colorful characters.

Coming Attractions: Fall 2012: Macmillan!!

beat-default

Oh, man… so much good stuff coming from Macmillan! And they’re not even known for publishing graphic novels! Scan this list, and tell us what makes you squeel with joy!

Coming Attractions: March 2012, Part Two

beat-default

. Here are a selection of books due out this month. All of the information presented below [aside from my aside/snide comments] are from publisher or distributor websites. ALL information is subject to change, and something which might ship this month to a comics shop might show up months later in regular bookstores.  So, if […]

Akira creator Otomo working on a new series

beat-default

After a 20-year break from making longform manga, Katsuhiro Otomo is starting a new longform manga.

Future Comics: That Twitter comic by the Eyeshield 21 guy everyone is talking about

beat-default

Yusuke Murata is the manga-ka behind the very popular American football manga EYESHIELD 21. In between massive ongoing series—his next project is called onepunchman—Murata started posting a webcomic via Twitter, bsed on yet another series, Hetappi Manga Research Lab R. The story involves Murata being chased over a cliff by an editor and looming deadlines—no paranoia there!—and he uses unique folded paper and lighting effects to give the story more impact.

WB turns to BLEACH to get the Akira out

beat-default

Although their attempt to remake Akira as a movie about white people went down in flames, WB has not given up on manga source material—now they are planning a movie based on BLEACH, the hugely popular manga and anime by Tite Kubo. Will this be another, heh heh, whitewash? Probably—because Hollywood fears Asians as leads—but at least Masi Oka (from Heroes) is on board as a producer. Others involved are producer/potential director Peter Segal (GET SMART, THE LONGEST YARD), screenwriter Dan Mazeau (WRATH OF THE TITANS), and Oka and Michael Ewing of Callahan Filmworks. Viz Productions’ Jason Hoffs and Branon Coluccio are also in the production mix.

Coming Attractions: January 2012: Manga

beat-default

New manga! Fast cars! Sexy women (and men)! Nazis! Cats! Rock ‘n’ Roll! Murder!

Must read: Worldwide manga troubles

beat-default

Lost in the storms of outrage over every boob shot and inker change at various superheroes comics is the real underreported story of the last six months; the decline in graphic novel sales and the concurrent decline of manga. While the former is definitely partly caused by the latter and both are undoubtedly influenced by the bankruptcy of Borders, the full causes behind both have yet to be fully analyzed.

The manga side of the equation is covered in depth however in a lengthy column by Jason Thompson at io9 called Why Manga Publishing Is Dying (And How It Could Get Better). Thompson is no stranger to the manga field, having authored the essential reference Manga: The Complete Guide and the manga King of RPGs for TokyoPop. So his analysis is well worth following:

Former Marvel head Avi Arad writes a manga graphic novel

beat-default

Avi Arad, the energetic movie mogul who once ran Marvel, but now just helps out with things like the new Spider-Man movie…has written a comic book.

And it’s a manga?:

Sherlock Holmes: A Comic Comparison

beat-default

The past year has seen an unusually large number of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, both in comics and on the screen, but not all Holmeses are created equal. Last night, British viewers got to see the last episode of Season 2 of the BBC’s wildly popular starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, and Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows starring Robert Downey Junior and Jude Law is still doing well in theaters a month after it opened. So if you’re in a Holmesian mood and wondering what to read next, here’s run down on the Holmes adaptations which have come out or had new installments in the past year. Varying from inspiredly odd to unreadably awful, don’t go to the comic store without reading this first!

Comiket video: crowds organized but shrinking

beat-default

Although we think San Diego is the biggest and the craziest comics event on earth, all dedicated conologists know that Japan’s Comiket is actually the biggest. Held twice a year, the Winter edition just wrapped up and over 500,000 people attended the three-day festival.

The incredible thing about Comiket is that it is an amateur press show: the fans are there to buy doujinshi — fanzines based on popular manga by “amateur” creators. We know Japan is full of amazing wonders and enigmas, but the huge popularity of fanfic is definitely among them.