I’m not a regular reader of Viz’s Shojo Beat magazine, but I had to pick up the anniversary issue (July 2007) because of the excerpt from Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight (which is accompanied by some very nice text pieces on Tezuka).
I hope that, beyond just celebrating the milestone with something special, Viz is testing the waters and seeing if there’s sufficient reader interest to release the series in digest form. Just judging by the short, disconnected chapters shown here, it looks like a treat. It always amazes me that Tezuka’s work can seem classic and immediate, timeless without being dated or stuffy. I’d love to read more of Princess Knight.
Other random thoughts about the issue:
It’s a really cohesive visual package. I’m not crazy about every aesthetic choice, like the colored ink for the manga chapters, but it’s attractive and eye-catching overall. I particularly liked the old-fashioned treatment on the Princess Knight pages.
I still don’t think I’d buy the magazine regularly. There aren’t enough series in it that I want to read in short chunks. The one that strikes me as hitting the mark for that kind of reading is, oddly enough, Baby & Me. It’s nothing that I want to collect in digest form, but I enjoyed reading twenty or so pages of it.
I don’t know if any more confirmation was needed, but the last serialized chapter of Nana will appear in the August issue, to be replaced by Honey and Clover in September. Sand Chronicles replaces the just-completed Yume Kira Dream Shoppe in the August issue, and Haruka replaces Baby & Me in November.
It’s fun seeing advertisements for books from a bunch of different publishers (Vertical, CMX, Juné) in the magazine. There’s just something collegial about it.
The ad for Midtown Comics reminds me that the store offers a very pleasant shopping experience.