Viz is joining the omnibus trend (a much-applauded one on my end) by announcing the VIZBIG Edition imprint. These volumes collect three regular-size manga books for $17.99. It’s an obvious great deal for those who’ve never tried a series, but to entice those who already have the content, they’re also including “bonus color pages and added content such as author interviews, updated text, and character art.”
The first title, Rurouni Kenshin, comes out at the end of this month. Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z are due in May and Vagabond in September.
I love bigger books for lower prices, but I wonder what kind of long-term effects these projects will have. It’s getting to be like DVDs … the longer you wait, the better package you get, so why buy at release? With the current Amazon preorder discount, the book is just over $12, which compares very favorably with the non-discounted price of $30! for the three books bought separately.
Dark Horse Shojo?
You’ve likely already seen a link to this interview with Mike Richardson, CEO of Dark Horse. I’m curious about his quote, “we now have several shojo titles that are doing very well.” What are they? I only think of boy-targeted manga coming out from them, either horror or Oh My Goddess. I know they’ve got some CLAMP work planned, but the way I’m reading his comment suggests he’s talking about something already released. What am I forgetting?
(Mike goes on to say “it’s hard to get noticed particularly if you’re a writer, because we have to take time to read those scripts and that’s a hard thing to do with all the scripts we already have. … On the Internet though, someone who may not have been able to get noticed can put up their own strip.” How does a writer do that, exactly? Unless they’re James Hatton.)
An Excellent Top Ten List
Dallas Middaugh, Associate Publisher at Del Rey Manga, posts his top ten of 2007 list. I’m kind of “eh” on 6-10, but 2-5 are great, and I guess that means I should read #1.
He also asks some good questions about PW’s top ten manga list. For their other comic end-of-year coverage, they ask several people to participate to create a combined result (including me). I don’t understand why they don’t do the same thing when it comes to manga. For that matter, why do two different lists, since manga’s allowed on the “big list”, and this year, non-manga showed up on the manga one?
I hope Dallas does ask Japanese editors what they think of Jeffrey Brown — I’d love to know.
Viz Titles for Spring
Viz has always been my favorite manga publisher, because their works, especially shojo titles, are most consistently satisfying to me. I’m thrilled by their list of new series for first quarter 2008 (link no longer available).
I’ve already covered (and recommended) High School Debut. After hearing good things, I have copies of Sand Chronicles and Honey and Clover on the way, and I expect to enjoy them too. The other titles branch out somewhat, covering different genres for wider variety of readers. Which are you looking forward to?
Undertown Daily Strip
[Writer] Jim Pascoe announced today that his original English-language manga UNDERTOWN will be the new property running in TOKYOPOP’s syndicated slot starting … Sunday, January 6, 2008. Since 2005, TOKYOPOP has provided a rotating selection of manga to Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes comics and columns globally to newspapers. Over 50 papers plan to carry Undertown, including the Los Angeles Times, Denver Post, Vancouver Sun, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
I’ve never seen one of these manga strips; I imagine it’s frustrating, getting only three or four panels of a story a week when it can be read as one book.
Read Gott Gauss Online
I haven’t had a chance to check it out, but artist Viviane would like you to read her manga Gott Gauss. It was originally published in German, and then translated into English and put online. Let me know what you think.
Good for the Goose…
This site thinks Death Note is great. (I thought it was terribly disappointing.) They attack criticism of the series as not being “detailed and intelligent”, yet their defense of the book consists of the words “fantastic”, “super smart”, and “great” repeated six times. If they want more intelligent criticism, maybe they should demonstrate it first?
They also remind us “What you like and what is objectively good do not always match up,” which I totally agree with. I have my own guilty pleasures, certainly. But it applies to them as well — just because they liked it doesn’t mean it’s good.