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:
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:
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.
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.
After a 20-year break from making longform manga, Katsuhiro Otomo is starting a new longform manga.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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!
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.
Chocolate Apple 1991-2011, a manga released at the just passed amateur manga show Comiket — which drew some 500,000 people — presents the author’s heartfelt appreciation of the late Steve Jobs and his creations, while portraying Jobs as a cute Japanese girl.
Well, that didn’t take long.
2012 has claimed its first publishing casualty as Bandai Entertainment has announced they will be canceling their manga and home entertainment publishing to focus on licensing their brands as they undergo a restructuring.
Their Facebook and Twitter accounts will also be shut down.
Gantz, Hiroya Oku’s popular, super-violent manga about a team of operatives and their mysterious missions, is ending its run in Young Jump next year, it’s being reported. More than 30 volumes of the manga have appeared in Japan — in the US, Dark Horse is up to volume 20. It’s also been adapted into a TV series and two movies.