RIP ‘Barefoot Gen’ creator Keiji Nakazawa

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BAREFOOT GEN and I SAW IT creator Keiji Nakazawa died on December 19th at age 73. The cause was lung cancer. As a boy of six, Nakazawa survived the nuclear bomb that fell on Hiroshima, although most of his family died in the bombing. The horrific events that followed were recounted in fictionalized form in […]

Video or it didn’t happen: more footage of real life anime girl Anastasiya Shpagina

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The doubters came out for yesterday’s story on the Russian girl who makes herself look like a real-life anime character. Some in the comments called for video. So here it is. And more pictures that give you more of a handle on how she does it. Answer: maybe it’s Maybelline! There are several videos out […]

Moyoco Anno to attend NYCC

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Holy crap! One of the greatest living manga-ka is coming to NYCC, Moyoco Anno, whose explorations of gender and romance have scandalized her native Japan. Color us excited! Getting out all our HAPPY MANIAs and SUGAR SUGAR RUNEs for autographs!

First Look: Claudia's Story by Anne Rice and Ashley Witter

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Among fall’s many anticipated releases, INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE: CLAUDIA’S STORY is an interesting twist on the graphic novel anticipation. Although Anne Rice’s much-loved vampire classic has been adapted before, in both traditional comics and manga, this book has an interesting twist: it’s told from the viewpoint of Claudia, the tragic child vampire of the […]

Urasawa doesn't like digital

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Oh no, Naoki! Not you too!

SDCC 12: Making a Living in Manga

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By Alexander Añé The Making a Living in Manga panel featured Adam Warren, Becky Cloonan, Fred Gallagher, Audra Furuichi, Christopher Butcher, JuYoun Lee, Erik Ko, and moderator Deb Aoki. This was a very diverse panel, hosting a good lineup of professionals and publishers including a journalist devoted to writing about the manga industry. From there […]

Final volume of BIZENGHAST to come out after all

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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.

Akira creator Otomo working on a new series

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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

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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

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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.

Must read: Worldwide manga troubles

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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

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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?: