Time trials

August 8, 2006

I’ve been wondering when one of the general interest weekly magazines is going to take a look at manga, so thanks to Blog@Newsarama for pointing out this piece in Time. As Brigid notes, it focuses rather heavily on one segment of the audience.

It’s also very centered on Tokyopop, another success for the publisher’s publicity machine. Reporter Coco Masters focuses almost exclusively on the fomenters of the Manga Revolution, with some assistance from Calvin Reid of Publishers Weekly Comics Week:

“‘Tokyopop created what is known as the authentic Japanese manga,’ says Reid. Tokyopop insisted the books read from back to front so as not to compromise the original artwork and spelled Japanese sound effects phonetically. It changed the books’ dimensions to mass-market paperback size (about 200 pages) but stuck to a $10 price–about an hour’s worth of babysitting.”

Tokyopop also taught us how to love, contrary to claims of record producers putting together power ballad collections.

Despite its routine dominance of manga sales in bookstores and high profile courtesy of anime properties, Viz makes somewhat of an “and the rest” appearance to be stern Aunt Gertrude and claim that manga only comes from Japan. I can’t tell whether that bit came from speaking directly to a Viz source or scanning through Liza Coppola’s ICv2 interview from 9 months ago, but at least it creates the appearance of multiple-source journalism.

At the end, Masters wonders, “Anyone for Manga Meets Spider-Man?” Eh, not really. Spawn, on the other hand…