VizBig dreamin’

Looking over the Viz titles that Diamond plans to de-list, I see several series that really deserve the VizBig treatement–if not for the casual consumer (i.e. me), then for the libraries that are making a commitment to buying manga and graphic novels. Here are the books I’d most like to see re-issued in that three-for-one format:

  • Banana Fish
  • Basara
  • The Drifting Classroom
  • Eagle: The Making of an Asian-American President
  • Firefighter Daigo of Company M
  • Flowers & Bees
  • From Far Away
  • Kekkaishi
  • Maison Ikkoku
  • Mermaid Saga
  • Please Save My Earth
  • Red River
  • The Return of Lum: Urusei Yatsura

I’d add Inubaka: Crazy for Dogs to the list, but then I’d have to publicly admit that I enjoy such a totally schlocky series.

As for titles that are already out of print, my top candidates would be Rumiko Takahashi’s Rumic Trilogy and Mitsuru Adachi’s Short Program. I’d also love to see X/1999 re-issued in omnibus format, as many of the early volumes are exceptionally difficult to find in stores. And it goes without saying that I’d love to see Viz re-issue No. 5 in any format, though I realize I’m more likely to see a woman in the White House first.

15 Responses to VizBig dreamin’

  1. Matt Blind says:

    When I first saw lisitngs for the Fushigi Yugi VizBig editions, my immediate thought was “they need to do this for Basara and Red River, too”

    So consider this a ‘me too’ post.

    Oh, and with the whole Obama-story-arc (if considered as fiction, it’s an *excellent* arc) we’re about a year and a half too late for Eagle Omnibuses (omnibusi?) — I mean, these need to be available ASAP; Eagle is a story with a lot of parallels and I don’t think it’s ever been as widely available as the title deserves.

  2. thirstygirl says:

    Wow, that is going to be a major blow for manga stores in New Zealand, as Diamond is the only official distributor for Viz titles here even if recently they have been doing a really shonky job with random cancellation of pre-ordered titles/late shipping etc. Sure as a consumer I will still be able to get them from the internet but I do actually prefer to support the local economy as much as possible.

    But to get back to your main point- yes those titles really need Vizbig editions for libraries.

  3. Deb Aoki says:

    So true. What was so disappointing was during the 2008 election season everyone wanted to plug Eagle for having so many parallels to current events — but the dang thing is out of print. It seemed pointless to promote a book that most people couldn’t buy. :\

    Basara and Please Save My Earth are so underrated / underexposed considering how interesting they both are. I’ve always thought that PSME was hurt by a very weak first volume — it should have come with a disclaimer: “please forgive the goofiness and awkward art of this first volume and hang around for the next two — you won’t regret it.” But since both titles never seemed to catch steam the first time around, I kind of doubt that they’ll give Basara or PSME a second go-round.

    Maybe as VIZ publishes the latest Rumiko Takahashi manga later this year, they might see fit to reissue older Takahashi titles in a “Rumic Library” VIZ Big series. That’d be nice, huh?

  4. Ken H. says:

    Eagle and Drifting Classroom are two VizBig books I’d love to own. I’ve always been a bit shocked at how long Eagle’s been out of print considering the positive buzz that surrounded it.

  5. Pedro Bouça says:

    They should do a VizBig of Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga! At least that way we could see the rest of the darn thing…

    Hunter (Pedro Bouça)

  6. Katherine Dacey says:

    Agreed on all fronts–it’s shocking that Viz didn’t try to capitalize on last year’s election to bring back Eagle, and disappointing that some of their classic shojo titles are going out of print. Given older fans’ interest in these titles, you’d think they’d be great candidates for repackaging.

    And Monkey… sigh. It’s not even listed on the Viz website, that’s how long ago they gave up on it. It’s hard out here for a fan…

  7. […] David Welsh scans this week’s new manga at Precocious Curmudgeon, and he also compiles a handly list of Viz titles he’d like to see in omnibus format. […]

  8. Chloe says:

    I confess I wouldn’t mind a two volume, brick-sized Revolutionary Utena either. Haven’t seen many singles of it floating around lately…

  9. Jim Kosmicki says:

    Viz DID do a Vizbig version of Eagle, it just wasn’t called Vizbig yet. I have all the volumes but one. If you think it’s hard to get regular volumes of Eagle, try getting the omnibus editions. I’ve ordered volume 2 (the one I’m missing) at least 5 times and even when I indicated the proper ISBN number, I’ve always gotten the individual volume 2 instead.

    Eagle was one of the first manga I got into, and I still hold it to be one of the better to get the general population interested.

  10. Katherine Dacey says:

    I feel your pain, Jim–I had a similar experience hunting for the original Eagle omnibii (omnibuses?). How hard could it be to dust those off those five volumes and re-issue them?!

  11. Connie says:

    It’s a shame that the Eagle strategy clearly didn’t work out, because I loved the way they distributed it. I know there’s no reason to release 100-page graphic novels now that there are no floppy issues anymore, but seeing those in the comic shop lined up with the gigantic omnibuses made me want to read that series so badly.

    I concur with all those, especially since my wallet took a hit over the past couple months when I ordered all the individual volumes of Banana Fish, Red River, and Basara. It would also make my heart sing to see people reading Flowers and Bees again.

    Speaking of Basara and Red River, riddle me this: Most of my early volumes of Red River up through volume 5 are 2nd printings (which I noticed because the logo on the spine changed). How is it that Red River got a second printing and Basara didn’t? Is Red River really so popular? I didn’t think a lot of series like that got 2nd printings. It just seems odd to me.

  12. Katherine Dacey says:

    Maybe it’s the soap opera factor? Red River *is* a lot more sudsy than Basara. Or maybe the dated artwork in Basara just didn’t click with the Arina Tanemura crowd.

  13. Eva says:

    I’ve been re-reading From Far Away just this past week and I love it to distraction, especially for middle school-age girls. And it has the potential to cross over to action-loving boys, too (or at least the ones who can get past the oh-so-shojo covers). If these were released in doorstop editions, I’d buy multiple copies for the library immediately!

  14. Katherine Dacey says:

    I thought of your piece at Good Comics for Kids when I included From Far Away in the list, Eva! It’s frightfully hard to find, and it’s not in very many libraries’ collections.

  15. Eva says:

    There are a lot of really great series that came out toward the beginning of the decade that libraries never picked up because it was before manga (and most other kinds of graphic novels, for that matter) were being reviewed by sources like LJ, SLJ, Booklist, etc. I’d really love to see more reviewers go back and review these older completed series. It might give some of these series a new lease on life.

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