INTERVIEW: Gail Simone Guides 'Blockbuster Update' of Red Sonja, Vampirella and Dejah Thoris
This week I want to talk one of the biggest surprises of the 2008 Spring anime season — a little show that could, titled Itazura na Kiss (aka Mischievous Kiss). Based on a 23-volume shojo manga of the same name from the early 90’s, the creators of the anime have done a beautiful job updating a very influential shojo work (which began almost two decades ago) to the year 2008. In doing so, they’ve also revealed not only the influence of Itazura na kiss upon the contemporary shojo field but also the ways in which the original narrative often undermines the very cliches it has inspired in shojo manga since the early 90’s.
Tomorrow Viz will “officially” release 26 manga and one manga magazine (Shonen Jump) via Diamond. Now, a great many of those books have been available in the chain bookstores for a little while (maybe a week or so?), and they have definitely been available through amazon even longer. However, if we are talking the direct market that is a lot of manga to shove out there on a single day.
I would say a number of these manga titles are quite good, a fair number are mediocre and a few are…not great. (This is me trying to be polite.) Now the Viz price point (7.99-9.99) makes it possible to pick up a fair number of books relatively cheaply…but if you follow, like I do, a good number of series, it adds up quickly if you get your books all in one day.
Okay so the first day of school wasn’t soooo bad…however, I’m still suffering a rather bad case of the “anywhere but here”s. How about you all?
Today’s question — what manga school setting would you like to attend?
I think I would enjoy attending Ouran High School since I have short brown hair, wear glasses, and was once called “sir” by a customer at my comic book shop (yeah, don’t ask, I was even wearing a skirt that day), I could be Haruhi and stumble across my own harem of cute boys! This certainly is more appealing than joining the art school gang at Honey & Clover because eventually H&C will get you with some kind of nostalgia-oriented melancholy or something…and who feels nostalgic while they are actually slogging through school? Bah, on you Honey & Clover. Just be happy, you crazy young people!
So join in on the fun — which school would you want (or wouldn’t want) to attend?
In my area we are heading back to school this week and it already seems like it is going to be the hardest week ever all over again. And then I thought, oohhh! Manga always make school seem like so much fun! Or potentially life threatening! So every day this week I’m going to pick a manga with a school setting and talk a little bit about the awesome.
This is also part of “Danielle’s back to school survival strategy” — i.e. talking about fun things! Won’t you come along and join the discussion?
This week we have a little of something for everyone — shonen, shojo, yaoi, and seinen picks of the week!
I usually read through a good deal of manga on a weekly basis (or at least I have been lately, once I fearfully assessed the leaning-tower-of-Pisa-ness of my manga stack/s) but very rarely do I find the time to share my reading experiences in this forum. So instead of chasing after the “new,” (i.e. discussing new releases which I often haven’t read yet), I’ve decided to pay tribute the manga volume format, which allows us to catch up with a variety of titles depending upon our moods and needs as readers.
Shonen, Shojo, Josei and Seinen categories will all be covered on a regular basis.
Tokyopop’s recent instability makes it incredibly difficult to figure out which series will make it through the company’s “restructuring” and which series won’t. While we can make educated guesses — a lot of OEL won’t make it, a lot of manwha won’t make it — there have been some surprises on the cancellations list, at least as far as I was concerned. (For example, the cancellation of Nosatsu Junkie surprised the heck out of me, since it was a fairly well-reviewed shojo series, which means I assumed it was TP’s bread and butter.)
Yen+ Is the new manga / manwha / OEL anthology from Yen Press and does something quite different from the two successful manga magazines currently on the U.S. market — Shonen Jump and Shojo Beat — by including comics from OEL creative teams as well as work from Korea. However, it actually differentiates itself from SJ and SB even more by not sticking to one specific “genre” of comic — so that girl-oriented romantic comedies and fan-servicey action titles stand side-by-side.
Does Yen+ make it work?
I’m pretty sure Vassalord is basically why manga exists on this earth.
So I can write about a comic that features a “cyborg vampire” who works for the Vatican and his master/lover, a playboy vampire Johnny Rayflo, and shows them fighting evil. And each other. But usually evil. Although often each other.
The only question I have about Vassalord is: great comic? Or greatest comic?
A lot of people don’t seem to know about CMX manga. It is a very strange little imprint of DC Comics (it is considered part of “Wildstorm” even though you wouldn’t even guess that unless you examined the copyright info in the back of a CMX manga).
For a large number of manga fans, CMX is best known for one of the biggest mistakes a U.S. publisher has ever made with a beloved title — that being the publisher’s edits of the raunchy & violent title Tenjho Tenge into “pg-13″ respectability. CMX appears to have learned from that very early mistake but there are some fans that will never forgive them for mangling that title so badly from the get-go.
I am very clearly not one of those fans.
Today my boyfriend gets back from his walk and smiles when he sees a few (small-ish) stacks of manga on the guest bed. “You’re organizing?” (“Organizing” is code for “selling manga on ebay”). I nod.
This makes me look good until he sees the two LARGE stacks of to-be-read manga in the bedroom.
“But you are going to sell off more of it…” He trails off, it isn’t quite a question.
I whimper a little as if in pain.
“But when we move…” He starts.
My whimpering gets a little louder.
He put his hands up in surrender and backs away.
My day two went like this: panel, panel, panel, panel, panel, panel, panel. And then more panel. (It’s like that SNL Christopher Walken skit, “I need more cow-bell!” That is how I currently feel about panels. Um. Except in reverse).
I managed to see Viz, DarkHorse, DMP, Nozomi/Right Stuff, and ADV. That is a LOT of industry. Too much, I think, in the end.
Before I forget, folks who want to get in touch with me after the manga and anime in academia panel should just use the email attached to this blog (just click on the contacts link/sidebar!).
The rest of my day was really quite awesome. I won a raffle, ended up joining a panel — spontaneously! — and met some very cool ladies of manga and anime blogging. Oh yes, then I went to the AMV show.
It was a full, rich, exhausting day.
Friday’s schedule looks to be just as insanely busy.
First, thanks to BrianÂ for helping me get press credentials!Â I missed a fewÂ panels today that were press & industry only but that’s my own fault for not thinking of this earlier.Â In the meantime, I did have a really great time checking things out and making my own schedule.
Since Gia at a Geek by any other name really sets the standard of news-blogging from conventions I’m not even going to try to duplicate her work.Â (Although if I hear first-hand about a great manga license you know I won’t be able to keep my mouth shut).Â Instead I’m going to blog my experiences and general impressions of the event.Â (And please forgive any typoes, I’d rather just get this out before I go back for more programming tonight!)
So my first time West of Des Moines, Iowa ever (oh shush, I grew up on the East coast) treats me to a bomb threat at the LAX airport. Fun!
This is going to be short and not very sweet but oh well. I feel the need to share my convention horror mildly inconveniencing stories. Also, my dinner last night was a small pack of Nutter butters. One could say I might be a little cranky. One *shouldn’t* say if they want to keep all their limbs, though, is all I’m saying.
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