Lurking Borgia

December 13, 2006

It always makes me happy when a comics publisher pays attention to libraries, and it’s also nice to see the increasing interaction between creators from other parts of the world and their North American fans, whether it’s Joann Sfar’s book tour or Marley headed to the New York Comic-Con or what have you. So I got a kick out of Go! Comi’s announcement of their poster collaboration with the American Library Association and You Higuri’s participation.

And while this does look like it will be the first time a Japanese manga-ka will contribute an illustration to the poster series, there are already lots of nice comic-themed ones:

  • Batgirl
  • Emily the Strange
  • Megatokyo
  • Sandman
  • The Teen Titans (the Cartoon Network version)
  • I’m not given to decorating with posters, but it would make me really happy to walk into a library and see Scott Pilgrim, the Bones, Emma, and Owly exhorting people to read. (Okay, so Scott has never struck me as that much of a bibliophile. I can see him encouraging others to do so, though. Certainly Wallace and Ramona would.)

    Digital delivery

    December 13, 2006

    How unfair is it that, when reading the PWCW interview with Digital Manga’s President Hikaru Sasahara, I kept thing, “Yeah, Mr. Edgier Brand of Manga. Where’s the rest of Bambi and Her Pink Gun?” I like to think it isn’t entirely nitpicking, and I’m pretty sure there are Worst fans out there who asked essentially the same question.

    I also thought it was kind of funny (and irritating) that Kai-Ming Cha framed what distinguishes DMP as offering titles that are an alternative to market-dominating “formulaic shojo titles aimed at teen girls,” then went on to talk about DMP’s massive success with arguably formulaic shônen-ai and yaoi, which is… well… really popular with teen girls, right? (Not just teen girls, obviously, but shôjo’s audience isn’t entirely homogenous either.) I mean, the Juné site is subtitled “Where Girls Gather & Boys Play.”

    It’s weird to think how DMP has reinvented itself from a purveyor of off-kilter seinen to a BL-yaoi house with a scattering of interesting fringe titles like the Project X series. And I’m all for publishers finding underserved niches and successfully popularizing them. Heck, it’s what the publishers who initially started licensing shôjo did, and now that category’s getting knocked for having a stranglehold.

    I think Simon Jones makes an excellent point about the comic-shop potential of more mature yaoi, like DMP’s new 801 imprint. Books from Juné and Blu already do incredibly well in comic shops, just judging by the graphic novel sales lists at ICv2. They handily outsell just about everything else in the manga category when they show up, unless it’s a mega-hit or a comic-shop favorite from a publisher like Dark Horse.