Catching up

August 23, 2006

MangaBlog’s Brigid pulls out all of the CMX highlights from the ICv2 interview with Paul Levitz. I agree with her that neglecting to recognize the contributions of director of manga Asako Suzuki (and CMX honcho Jim Chadwick) was a mistake, because they’ve both done a lot to turn the ship. First and foremost, we know who they are and what they do. Second, they seem to be repositioning CMX from being DC’s manga arm to a publisher with a reputation and a philosophy independent of its parent company. And I think that’s a good thing.

I also agree with remarks from Ed (MangaCast) Chavez in the comments section, particularly this one:

“They will have a tough of mad otaku to overcome. And I feel that announcements made in 2005 (the obscure shojo faze, which is something I feel every manga publisher that wants to be considered serious goes through) made it hard to take seriously for a while. But with some fun quirky releases (Omukae desu., Yubisaki Infinity) and some titles that really push the envelope … they are not sticking to the conservative play book anymore.”

It’s an interesting view of CMX’s rehabilitation process in that it portrays their efforts as almost remedial – doing now what they probably should have done from the start. I’ve really been taken with a lot of CMX’s recent and upcoming releases, and it seems smart to try and rebuild a reputation based on title quality and a willingness to step a little bit out of conventional categories.


I also really enjoyed Kai-Ming Cha’s interview with Makoto (Yellow) Tateno in the latest Publishers Weekly Comics Week (formatting/copy editing problems aside). I passed on Yellow, but now I’m thinking I’ll have to go back and give it a look.

“Actually, I had been reading a lot of boys’ love and seeing a lot of seme and uke things going on. I like the pairing of Starsky and Hutch–the officer type of story. I wanted to write something like that, something different.”

There are also interesting bits on how she juggles concurrent work in yaoi and shôjo, and what seems like good advice for would-be manga-ka:

“Draw a lot. My advice is that even if you’re not that good, even if you’re copying the artwork of others, just keep going. Eventually you’ll find your own style.”

I seem to remember that notion – even just copying work you admire builds up your muscles as an illustrator — coming up a lot in the interviews in Manga: Masters of the Art.


This announcement from Cold Cut is interesting to me mostly because news about non-Diamond distribution outlets usually focuses on bankruptcy rumors. I keep meaning to ask the owner of the local shop if he uses anyone but Diamond. I’m pretty sure he does, but maybe I’ll print this out before I go shopping today.


Also at The Engine, Tom Spurgeon asked for feedback on his Comics Reporter site. He indicates in this post that he’s looking to expand his manga coverage, which is exciting.