Tuesday, February 08, 2005


Via The Comics Observer and the TCJ Message Board, Time briefly profiles Rieko Saibara, whose Chikuro Kindergarten I discussed here. She's profiled along with Paul Hornschemeier, Marjane Satrapi, and Joann Sfar under the collective heading "Comic Book Heroes: How four daring young artists are shaking up the world of cartooning." I'm not sure why Time is profiling a creator who hasn't been published in the U.S. and whom there are no plans to publish afaik, but I'm all for of it. (Now if they would just publish a profile of Kotobuki Shiriagari...)

Speaking of untranslated manga, the AnimeonDVD Manga Forum reports that selected Borders and Waldenbooks are selling selected imported Japanese-language manga titles. These are being shelved with the English-language manga, not with the foreign language books, and are appearing in places without a substantial Japanese community (not in my town yet, though), so they're apparently being aimed at English-speaking fans. Unfortunately, they're being priced for considerably more than you would pay at a Japanese bookstore or by mail order. Still, it'll be interesting to see if this experiment succeeds. In the AoD Forum thread, some eyebrows are raised over one of the titles, Boku wa imouto ni koi o suru, which apparently contains some rather graphic scenes of incestuous brother-sister love. (The official English title is "Secret sweethearts," but a literal translation would be "I love my younger sister.")

The AoD Manga Forum also reports the series which will appear in Viz's forthcoming shoujo manga anthology (to be called Shojo Beat). These are Nana, Zettai Kareshi, Crimson Hero, Kaze Hikaru, God Child, and Akachan To Boku (Baby & Me). The big news here is Nana, a highly acclaimed series by Ai Yazawa, creator of Paradise Kiss (everyone I know who's read both says Nana is better). The only other title I'm at all familiar with is Zettai Kareshi (Absolute Boyfriend) by Yuu Watase of Fushigi Yuugi, Imadoki etc. fame. I've seen a little of this in scanlation, and it looked fun.

In less happy news, CPM Press has cancelled thirteen upcoming manga titles. They had recently laid off several people from the manga side of their operations, citing "market factors." Nobody on the AoD Manga Forum knows quite what this means for the future of CPM Press, but one can't help worrying about their survival, especially given the recent closure of Studio Ironcat. CPM deserves credit for having published Alien Nine and Alien Nine: Emulators, at least. I recently picked up one of their manhwa titles, Mythology of the Heavens vol. 2 by Hyun Se Lee, which has attractive art; someday I may even get around to reviewing it.

(Edited to fix an embarrassing mistake in translating "boku wa imouto ni koi o suru.")

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