Comps, complaints, companies

Johanna Draper Carlson examines the new Federal Trade Commission requirements for bloggers to disclose “material connections” related to the products they discuss. I’ve always gone with transparency when it comes to this stuff out of some vague sense that it was ethical, though I can’t really pinpoint what exactly made me think that. It just seemed easier and clearer, though I don’t think less of anyone who doesn’t. It just works for me. As to whether or not use of the disclaimer makes me look amateurish, I don’t much care, because I am an amateur. This is a hobby.


Kate Dacey examines a raging case of fan entitlement triggered by Yen Press giving a new cover to a light novel in a clearly sinister attempt to make it appealing for people who might enjoy it.


And just to clarify or reiterate something from yesterday, I think the newsworthy aspect of Calvin Reid’s Kodansha scoop from yesterday is the fact that Kodansha actually spoke to someone about a development that’s been confirmed for over a year. I’m not minimizing that, honestly, and I’m really looking forward to the interview that’s due later today, but… The fact that they’re setting up an office in Manhattan is news, though it kind of feels like news along the lines of someone starting to leave toiletries at their lover’s apartment, you know?

And aside from their massive withdrawal of licenses from Tokyopop and smaller reclamation from Dark Horse, Kodansha has still been licensing material through other publishers. There are two upcoming titles from Vertical, and Del Rey has retained all of its Kodansha properties and continues to announce new ones. In spite of the loss of perennial cash cows Akira and Ghost in the Shell (which Kodansha Comics solicited in the August edition of Previews), or perhaps because of it, Dark Horse has been given some of those lost Tokyopop licenses and will be rolling out more CLAMP omnibuses in addition to the already available Clover collection. And Dark Horse still has Kodansha’s Eden: It’s an Endless World! and Oh My Goddess.

Even Viz has at least one Kodansha license, Takehiko Inoue’s Vagabond, which is available in regular and VizBig editions. I think William Flanagan suggested on Twitter that this is because Inoue is in the position to decide who licenses his work, Kodansha-Shogakukan-Shueisha rivalry be damned.

5 Responses to Comps, complaints, companies

  1. […] translating its sizable backlist, but views original publishing as one of its "eventual ambitions." David Welsh provides a little commentary. [Publishers […]

  2. Lorena says:

    Regarding the new FTC rules, I think this is a long time coming. In my real life job, I work in public relations and it has always been a matter of course for those that receive comped product/services to ‘fess up on their blogs. Of course, my expectation has always been that a blogger will fairly review the product/service, which some readers have a hard time believing.

    Anyways, transparency is a good thing and it keeps bloggers honest. Granted, I’ve always felt that way, as both an amateur blogger and a PR professional.

  3. […] free, especially when it comes to a recommendation as to how the reader spend her money. Based on this one comment, public relations folks want the reviewer to be honest as […]

  4. I can’t say that Inoue didn’t go through Kodansha to license to Viz. But I know that he has an agent who is perfectly capable of licensing his work to any American publisher he chooses. The same is true for a few other high-powered mangaka such as CLAMP.

  5. I would just be happy to have someone send me something that would require putting a disclaimer on it! 😉

    I did get a couple of free things at SPX (after I made a purchase), so I’ll toss a note on there about it when I get the review up.

    I also put a rather witty disclaimer on anything I read that comes through my wife’s zine distro.

    Honestly, I don’t think it’s a bad thing–I think it’s good to know if a person is reviewing something they were given to promote.

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