Waiting for the trades

January 5, 2006

From a purely selfish perspective, MangaTrade is going quite well so far. I’ve already arranged to swap two volumes of Negima! for X-Day and an extra copy Genshiken for an Iron Wok Jan! X-Day wasn’t a title I had on my want list, but it’s one of those books that’s been buzzing around the margins since I read about it in Paul Gravett’s Manga book. I think I’m going to be much more inclined to try books on a whim for a couple of bucks of postage than for the cover price. Thanks to everyone who’s joined so far, and to everyone who’s mentioned it on their blogs.

Now, on to the unpleasant topic of comics I’ll actually be purchasing. Once again, I’m forced to ponder the mysteries of the Diamond shipping list with regards to Viz’s monthly output. It’s enough to know that new volumes of Death Note and Ultra Maniac will be showing up sometime this month, though precisely when is anyone’s guess. (Seeing those titles side by side fills me with all kinds of horrible crossover ideas, but they’re best left unspoken.) The second issue of Seven Soldiers: Frankenstein shows up today. I really enjoyed the first. (DC’s site says it comes out next week. Diamond says it’s today.)

Speaking further of manga, which apparently is a natural side effect of my sexual orientation, David Taylor has a wonderfully thorough and interesting look at ICv2’s Manga Awards. Some quick reactions:

  • I agree wholeheartedly with David that a Top New Manga Publisher of the Year Award would have been welcome. While Go! Comi is still very new, I would probably have sent the award their way just for the quality of their product. (And really, Del Rey didn’t have that many titles in circulation when they won last year’s award.)
  • I’m actually a bit surprised that Fullmetal Alchemist beat Naruto for Manga Release of the Year. I like Fullmetal better, but Naruto seemed more like a phenomenon.
  • As impressive, even insidious, as Tokyopop’s marketing for its OEL titles has been, I have to wonder when it’s going to help generate a hit title.
  • It’s kind of unsettling how easily Tokyopop and Viz have replaced Marvel and DC when I think “Big Two.” That isn’t necessarily a good thing for either of them.
  • Viz is a logical choice for Manga Publisher of the Year for the reasons stated and for the launch of its Shojo Beat anthology and line. Even if this line doesn’t achieve the level of success of Shonen Jump (home of Naruto), it’s still noteworthy. (More stories by Ai Yazawa and Yû Watase? Viz wins.)