Getting Back In The Swing Of Things
After nearly a week offline, there's so much to catch up on. I'm
sure I've missed a lot, but here's what caught my eye while wandering
around the web today:
covers Tokyopop's success with romance comics, a genre abandoned long
ago by American comic publishers. Tokyopop editor Mark Paniccia
has a great quote that gets at the heart of why I'm so enthusiastic and
optimistic about manga:
"The success of comics movies such as
and Blade have
helped break down some of the barriers of American comics--and I'm
about that--but the content of manga is more appealing to the masses,
and I'm much more happy that it's bringing more people back into
I'm often surprised by the hostility certain segments of comic fandom
have for manga. To me, it's great that new readers are learning
to to appreciate the charms of sequential art.
Later in the piece, Paniccia hits on another reason manga appeals to me:
As Tokyopop’s mature-readers romance titles
with both male and female readers, the publisher is taking another step
that’s counter to mainstream American comics, but in line with
independents, that is, cultivate readers for creators, specifically,
not for properties.
Finally, Franklin Harris gets in a great comment following the article:
"It's largely that way in Japan,” Paniccia said. “Manga is mainly
author/creator driven and the properties are finite. Kind of like film,
I suppose. People may go to see movies because they're interested in
the story, but in many cases, they are drawn to the actors or
directors. A good manga is like a good movie. It has a beginning, a
middle and an end...and a sequel, sometimes. But American comics are
like TV where they have to keep it going and going. After a while, it's
going to get stale"
Insert tiresome complaints from
about how manga sucks and how it doesn't sell (in the direct market)
Apparently Newsarama posters were baffled by having their usual refrain
laid bare so early on in the game: So far (as of early 12/30, at
comments thread has remained
surprisingly positive, which is all the more surprising when you
consider (1) it's a manga thread (2) on Newsarama.
There. I've done your work for you.
- Ex-CrossGen staffer Butch
Guice is working on a new project that looks interesting: A
two-book series called Olympus from Humanoids.
There isn't much
in the way of details--no info on format, price, or release date--but
I'm a sucker for Greek myths, and the art from Guice looks great.
I'm not so sure about Geoff Johns, though. I mainly associate him
with the declining quality of Avengers and JSA
this year. But
this is something I'll probably check out in more detail once it comes
- Lord help me, but based on the
Pulse's interview with Dan Slott, I'm actually interested in the
new She-Hulk book. The idea of a fun book set in
Universe dealing with "the bizarre field of Superhuman Law" sounds
promising, especially since it won't rely on breaking the fourth wall
for its humor. (That device quickly became extremely grating in
the old She-Hulk series.) And the art from Juan
interesting--much softer and quieter than I would expect from a Marvel
series. Only problem is $3 is much more than I'm willing to spend
for a Marvel comic, so it looks like it's another case of waiting for
the trade. Luckily, Marvel seems to collect just about everything
they publish. And if the series bombs and it's never collected,
I'm sure I'll be able to find the comics in bargain bins.
- Finally, I've long maintained that Rob Liefeld is the patron
Grotesque Anatomy, so it's nice to see that he's getting the
recognition he so richly deserves. Yes, Liefeld is the honored
recipient of the prestigious Quasimodo Award
for The Worst Understanding of Human Anatomy from Ninth Art's
Committee for the Prevention of Sequential Mediocrity.
Congratulations, Mr. Liefeld: All that hardly working finally
I'm still hoping to put together a "2003 in Review" entry, but it's
looking more and more as though that won't happen until 2004. So
just in case I don't blog until then, Happy New Year, Everyone!