Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Posts Tagged ‘ manga ’

The fansub and scanlation debate is an old debate and not really something I feel like getting into. This post isn’t really about that, though it’s certainly related. What I want to address is more general: in this economy especially, how much of the entertainment people buy have they already sampled? How much of it do they decide to pick up spontaneously, as they’re browsing through the store aisles?

Read it before you buy it?

Read it before you buy it? Or buy it before you read it?

For anime, how many of your DVDs contain series you haven’t seen at all until you bought them? The number of series being broadcast on television has been dwindling for a while, but more and more companies are streaming their goods online, in whole or part, so there are still plenty of legitimate ways of seeing a series at least partially before buying it (and in addition to DVDs, there are now also budding download-to-own schemes for various platforms). Does anyone walk into the store without an idea of what they want to get? Does anyone just decide to buy a title coincidentally sitting next to the one they intended to get, thinking that it kinda looks interesting?

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I was out most of  today, but when I came back, I had a slew of Anime Expo-related tweets waiting for me. Some of the most interesting ones were centered around the OEL manga panel, which apparently offered some very harsh/blunt words on both the business side of things and the artist side of things.Dramacon is the only OEL title that anyone buys.

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So at Heroes Con this weekend, the Longbox was revealed. The popular analogy of the moment is that it’s like iTunes, but for comics — that is, it will serve both as a platform for companies to distribute their comics for download and as the software consumers would use to read their downloaded comics.

Longbox for comic viewing

It has some very Apple-inspired aethestics.

I’ve written about the idea of digital distribution of comics before, but had only considered a web-based platform because that was what most companies seemed to be experimenting with at the time. And really, I think one of the other reasons I hadn’t considered the iTunes model before is because I couldn’t really see the comics (or manga) industry ever agreeing on a universal solution, especially considering how haphazard and all over the place everyone’s digital model is for anime and television streams and downloads. And yet, how convenient and elegant it would be if they could agree? If you could find all your comics in one place for the super cheap price of $0.99/issue? It’s just about perfect.

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In early May, I got to meet briefly with senior editor Eric Searleman of VIZ Media for a portfolio review when he came to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for Editor’s Day. But while both the panel and the portfolio review were informative, but I still had a ton of questions I wanted to ask. It was actually Eric that suggested I hit him up for a formal interview, so I figured, why not?

Interview with Eric Searleman [View the rest of this entry…]

Editors’ Day is a small, annual event the Sequential Art department at SCAD puts on. Editors from various comic publishers came to discuss various topics and answer questions at a panel on Thursday, and then spent all day Friday reviewing portfolios from students. Discluding Dark Horse and Oni Press who were supposed to come but have rescheduled, this year we had representatives from Marvel, DC (and Vertigo), Slave Labor Graphics, Nickelodeon Magazine, and… Viz Media.

Viz Media
I was surprised that Viz ended coming after all. A few months back, a professor mentioned that Viz had canceled for Editors’ Day, which was kind of expected considering the whole VP of Original Publishing leaving the company thing in February despite various announcements about Viz’s upcoming original comics line last summer. The whole idea seemed like it was going to collapse, though I wouldn’t really blame Viz for it, especially after all the controversy and criticism TOKYOPOP got the same summer for screwing over many of their original creators. The OEL bubble had always seemed like a precarious thing, but everyone agrees that the economy isn’t helping.

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Review: Kanpai!

May 1, 2009 Review 2 Comments

A month or two ago, BookCloseouts was having a $0.99 TOKYOPOP sale. Browsing through, there were a bunch of old, random titles I cared little about… along with Planetes vol. 1 and both volumes of Kanpai! The former was more of an impulse, but the latter was something I’d kindasorta wanted to check out for a while, but never wanted to put down the money for since I was half-certain that it would suck. I guess it’s kind of sad that as much as I love Gravitation, I never had too much respect for Maki Murakami. Maybe it’s because of her doujinshi. Maybe it’s because of Gravitation EX. But yeah — even though I liked the one-shot off which Kanpai! is based, I wasn’t too inclined towards the title.

But come on, for ninety-nine cents? The whole order plus shipping cost less than a normally-priced TP manga. So here is a review.

I actually finished reading Kanpai! a few weeks ago but never got around to writing a review. I had to sit down and force myself to just do it tonight though since I’m bringing the two volumes with me to a departmental garage sale thing tomorrow — if I’m lucky, I might actually profit a little from them, hahaha. Maybe I’ll also be able to get rid of this copy of Catcher in the Rye.

Finally! The announcement of the license came in July of last year, but DOGS finally officially released middle of last week (though a few people have reported seeing them in stores before then). I had had my preorder through HeavyInk, which has only served me well in the past, but I’m beginning to think that their strength is only in subscriptions and US trades, rather than licensed manga — typical of a comic store, I guess. They seem to have had various complications/delays with my order, so I finally just canceled it and ordered through Amazon. It arrived within three days. Because they only included bubble packaging on one side, my cover was a little warped, but other than that: it’s beautiful~.

I’ve updated my MAL review for DOGS to include some commentary about Viz’s release, but I’m going to do an in-depth semi-review here because I feel like it.

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On the first day of class this quarter, one of my professors started things cheerfully by talking about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and how devastatingly scary it is, especially for people whose entire lives come from repetitious use of their hands — not just their livelihoods, their lives. As he put it, some people were just put on this planet to draw. He mentioned how CTS is normally a condition associated with older folk, but that in recent years those afflicted have become younger and younger, perhaps because of video games, but also because of more jobs that involve typing and such. And yet, the exact cause of CTS is still largely in debate. Common knowledge says it’s caused by repetitive action, but science still says that the biggest risk factor is a genetic predisposition.

So I don’t know just how worried I should be, especially considering the fact that I seem to have very, very poor circulation in my hands. I can put on gloves, wear them for twenty minutes, and my hands will still be as icy as they were before. My forearm will be fine, but my hands will be freezing. There are probably plenty of other explanations for why my hands can’t seem to stay warm, but as an idiot pursuing art as a career, CTS is easily one of my biggest fears, right up there under blindness. If my blood vessels can’t seem to reach my fingertips, how long will it be before my nerves can’t either?

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TOKYOPOP’s Got a Live Action Deal

December 18, 2008 News Comments Off on TOKYOPOP’s Got a Live Action Deal

Live action adaptations of anime have been getting a lot of coverage lately. Since that official trailer came out, I’ve given up on Dragonball, or I should say Dragonball Evolution. Piccolo being green is its only redeeming point, but considering that’s how it should have been all along, it’s not really redemption after all. I was a skeptic all along, but originally, I’d been planning on humoring it and going to see it in theatres anyway because hey, it’s Dragonball. I’ll go to make fun of it, but I still would have gone. Not so much anymore. Considering our flailing economy, a few laughs that will undoubtedly turn into uncontrollable tears isn’t worth the ticket price.

That live action Cowboy Bebop movie got a lot of headlines today because it looks like Keanu Reeves really wants that role as Spike Speigal after all. I’m still skeptical about it, but after all the disastrous news for Dragonball, but was a little cheered knowing that Reeves is a fan and hopes to preserve the original integrity of the anime.

Now, TOKYOPOP just sent me an email exclaiming that it’s got a deal for a live action adaptation of Priest, one of its manhwa properties. Apparently, it’s something that’s been floating around for a while, but now it’s got a shiny new director I’ve never heard of so there’s new life to it. I’m not familiar with Priest, but it’s Western horror and vampires. Not really something I’m particularly interested in, so I can’t decide if it’s better suited for Hollywood than, say Dragonaball. If Twilight’s any indication, I guess vampires have a place. Western horror? I dunno. Crappy remakes of Japanese thrillers seem to be big, so even though this is Korean, maybe that appeal will still be there.

I never liked the idea of TOKYOPOP restructuring and making that New Media division. I still think it’s pretty stupid and pointless of them to try and expand into new areas when their core market is suffering so much. I suppose licensing out a property doesn’t really require much effort on their part, but I’d like to think that they have some hand in production to keep the property from deviating too much and going to hell. So I’m not sure how much I actually want TP to succeed in this endeavor because I just want them to go back to focusing on their manga. They don’t need a New Media division if they keep laying people off. I really can’t see this movie being a huge box office success though, even if it stays pretty low budget and B-list like it feels like it will.

It’s probably too early to be speculating, anyway. I wouldn’t be surprising if this title continues to flounder around the next few years, if it gets finished at all.

Review: Gundam Wing manga Ground Zero, Blind Target, Battlefield of Pacifists

December 7, 2008 Review Comments Off on Review: Gundam Wing manga Ground Zero, Blind Target, Battlefield of Pacifists

So I’ve reread and reviewed Gundam Wing’s Ground Zero, Blind Target, and Battlefield of Pacifists. All three are manga that take place between the Gundam Wing anime and the Endless Waltz OAV, and the latter two are written by scriptwriters of the series. These three books, along with Gundam Wing: Episode Zero, were among the first manga I ever bought, but I haven’t read them in years… it was really strange going back to them now, especially since it’s been just as long since I’ve seen the Gundam Wing anime. It was kind of nostalgic and kind of hilarious. I didn’t realize or remember how pretentious some of these storylines were. :P

I’ll be rereading and reviewing Episode Zero soon, and after that, I’m going to be selling them all to a friend. I was really fighting with the idea of letting them go — like I said, these were pretty much the first manga I ever bought — but I think after rereading all of them, I’ll be all right. Gundam Wing was one of my first major fandoms, so it makes sense that it’s hard to get rid of what I own. It makes me wonder what else I’ll be getting rid of soon, and it makes me wonder what I’ll be getting rid of in the future. I don’t buy too many things in general, but I get attached easily. And I’m a packrat. I’m not used to getting rid of things at all. Damn economy, eh? Damn it all.