Tag Archives: Hetalia

Life of A (Rookie) Editor: Success and Secrets

There’s been a lot of good happening in my professional career lately.

I’ve been pretty busy, so if you’ve noticed a drop in the number of posts, it’s mostly because it was what I like to call “copy-edit hell week”, which has stretched into 3 weeks now. Sooner or later (please, sooner, please!) that copy-edit hell will go away and break into a fresh new burst of busy!

But during all this hustle and bustle, I’ve gotten a raise from one client and been asked to work for another manga publisher. It’s amazing news and a huge relief to me. I was debating moving away from manga editing slightly by getting a part-time job. It’s not that this line-of-work is a deliberate money thing for me, but I just want to keep doing it AND pay my bills. Plus it’s great to re-affirm that I can do freelance manga editing as a career because it seems like such a crazy pipe dream at times.

On top of that, Hetalia Axis Powers vol. 2 has been on the New York Times bestselling manga list for a number of weeks now, bringing vol. 1 along for the ride and back into the top 10. That always makes me happy for the simple reason that it’s a title that I’ve worked on and the first manga I’ve worked on to make it to the list!

Speaking of Hetalia, I actually knew Tokyopop had licensed it before the rest of the general public did (even before TP’s not-so-subtle Twitter hints that they’d picked it up.) Of course, I found this out when I technically wasn’t working or interning for Tokyopop, but just happened to be visiting the office. When I put two and two together (there was a lot of Hetalia paraphernalia about), I was quickly and sternly warned not to mention it to anyone.

It was the first time I had known a publishing secret. It was a little scary, actually, because anyone who knew anything about popular manga knew that Hetalia was a huge phenomenon. I hadn’t gotten into the series yet because the only way to read it was obviously illegal, but I was pretty stoked that the company had snagged such a popular manga. It was big! It was exciting! Fangirls would scream! I couldn’t help but hope for it’s success considering that Tokyopop had drastically downsized the previous year. (This was in 2009.) It’s so cool to see it succeed like I hoped it would! A lot of people in the office were waiting with bated breath to see if Hetalia would be picked up by the American fandom.

To some, it might seem a little silly to keep a license announcement secret. After all, letting fans know sooner rather than later will only result in excited otaku and good press for the company, right? Wrong! It’d be one thing if it was a really minor leak, like when Deb Aoki recently spilled the beans on Kami no Shizuku being licensed by Vertical Inc. just before an episode of ANNCast was set to break the news. The result was pretty much only some grumbling and the release of that ANNCast a little earlier than expected because Vertical pretty much had the license set up already.

But a premature license announcement can have a lot of disastrous results. If the news got out too early, it could displease the Japanese rights holders and put negotiations on shaky ground. Or a publisher could be unprepared to release the information because publishing dates and technicalities aren’t set in stone. This has happened before, most recently when Vertical announced No Longer Human a little too early, had to retract the statement last October and couldn’t confirm the license again until last month. Obviously, no one but the folks at Vertical know what happened after their first, mistaken announcement, but I can’t imagine it was pleasant to deal with.

Lastly, retracting or losing a license due to an unintended, early announcement isn’t going to get any favorable reaction from fans. Over all, it looks terribly unprofessional for the company or whomever let the secret slip early. That’s really serious, since the loss of a reliable reputation can cost a publishing company future licenses they may want. For an individual worker, it means a not just loss of their reputation, but a potential blacklisting.

So there you go, manga publishing secrets are serious business. It’s always best to listen to official license announcements by the publishers themselves, since, as the manga blogging community has witnessed, sometimes a book popping up on Amazon doesn’t always mean a title is going to be release when the listing says.

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Discussion: Is Hetalia Offensive to You?

If there’s one thing I really hate in this world, it’s having to an argument or discussion with a mention of my religion, the loss of my family in the Holocaust or just mention of the Holocaust in general. If I never had to do it again, my life would be billions of times better.

Earlier this evening I had to. (Edit: The owner of the blog linked in the comment I just linked is apparently not the author of the comment that spurred this post. He was kind enough to apologize for whomever trolled All About Manga and his information doesn’t match the original comment, so please remember that the blog post and the rude person who commented are not the same as you read this. He’s deleted the offending post seeing as people were giving him a lot of grief for his views and the blog is of a more personal nature.)

Normally, I wouldn’t post about immature fandom wank or single out one of my readers in a bad way, but I feel like this poses an important question:

Is Hetalia offensive to you at all?

I find it inoffensive for a lot of reasons, beginning with the fact that most of Hetalia’s material is based on pre-World War II events. The initial concept is firmly rooted in it, but it seems like Hidekaz Himaruya did this for two reasons–people are familiar with the time period and Japan was involved. Would Hetalia have been as big a hit if Himaruya began with his characters in the midst of the Seven Weeks War? Let’s be honest, do you even know what the Seven Weeks War was about off the top of your head? Plus, with Japan there, Himaruya’s primary target audience feels like they can relate to a character. On top of that most of the strips about World War II events fall into these categories:

1) Comedic spying on each other,

2)  Not fighting battles because it’s Christmas and everyone should be friends on Jesus’ “birthday”,

3) Training sessions in which Italy spectacularly fails at proving his military might.

I have a lot of trouble getting offended by the pretty non-violent depictions of World War II mentioned above. Being as realistic about history as I can here, these are the things that would have happened with or without the genocide happening in the background. Killing the Jews, Gypsies, gays, handicapped and others wasn’t the only reason Hilter started a war and saving those innocent lives was definitely not the main reason why the Allied Powers fought back against the Nazi regime. The Allies wanted to keep Hitler off their lawn, Hitler wanted to rule the world and the German people were poor, miserable and in need of someone to blame. What we don’t realize is that we still point fingers and make scapegoats out of those who we don’t agree with; the treatment just isn’t usually as violent and the scope not as large.

Now the scene at the end of Hetalia volume 1 where Italy visits Germany on the start of the war has the potential to be very offensive. It’s actually the only time in the published manga that Nazi swastikas are seen. In my reading of it, I felt that Germany was hesitant and nervous about going to war. This would make sense historically as the Germans at the time were still suffering from World War I and the economic troubles that were brought upon them afterward. War is a huge undertaking and I don’t think any country’s started one without a lot of its people feeling trepidation. On top of that, all the countries are seen as different characters than their leaders in any given time period, which means Germany the character doesn’t automatically equal Hitler or Otto von Bismark, etc.

Thus, that scene saved the whole concept of having World War II scenes depicted as comedic for me. Germany is not depicted as eager to go to war or as a bloodthirsty killer. Jews aren’t mentioned and neither is the genocide not because Himaruya just ignores them, but because Himaruya knows just how dangerous for the popularity and the tone of his manga that would be. I’m actually surprised he wasn’t careful enough to avoid the offensive portrayal of Koreans, but I suppose it might be a societal insensitivity that he doesn’t notice in himself.

Either way, that characterization of Germany just did it for me. It reminded me that this manga was about history acting like people and since history is about what people used to be like. History is a lot like psychology, to understand all the names and dates of battles, you have to understand why people went to war. To understand a genocide, you have to understand how people treated those they thought of as lesser beings. When you study history objectively, you can’t forget the unpleasant parts. Hetalia is not an objective history lesson in the slightest, it’s a manga that tries to get you interested in history, so the unpleasant parts are drawn as cute kids having little spats. But a lot of people who get offended at the unpleasant parts of history long past forget that they had nothing to do with it because they simply hadn’t been born yet.

So what am I supposed to feel offended about in Hetalia? That the concept is based off of a certain time period? That the manga actually spends more time on events that predate the second World War? Germany the personification going against his stereotype and not really wanting to fight? Himaruya is not trying to make anyone laugh at genocide. At most, I feel, he is trying to make people laugh at the follies of humanity, make us take a look at just how stupid humanity used to be.

As for the Hetalia fans acting inappropriately that are also mentioned in the blog post linked in the comment (once again, the comment on All About Manga wasn’t made by the blogger I’ve just linked.), I think the best thing is to determine the intent of the action. Are we just talking about cosplayers hamming it up for the camera because they don’t know how offensive their actions are or people trying to recruit members for their white power group? Because if it’s the former, that’s when it’s time to march up to them and educate them politely on just what they’re doing wrong. And if Prince Harry was dumb enough to do it, so are a few other blissfully ignorant anime and manga fans. Make the offending people aware and sorry for what they did will work a lot better than getting butthurt on the internet.

Let me know what you think and if you do find Hetalia offensive.

*P.S.- Just so you know, this isn’t me defending Hetalia for TOKYOPOP. Yes, I got paid to work on it, but not enough to give it this much mention without truly liking the manga myself. Just want to be honest and clear on this point.

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Anime Los Angeles 2011

Anime Los Angeles is a sleepy little convention held in the LAX Marriott every year, right after all the hustle and bustle of the holidays has died down. I usually attend Anime Los Angeles for only one day, mostly to visit friends who come down from various parts of the state. This year, however, I attended a second day on behalf of TOKYOPOP in order to give away a few volumes of Hetalia to fans attending a panel.

I’ve found that Anime Los Angeles is mostly for two kinds of people: cosplayers and people who want to gawk at or take photos of cosplayers. My cosplay days being far behind me, there wasn’t much else to do at Anime Los Angeles other than hang out or attempt to peruse the tiny and very cramped dealer’s hall.

The live programming also consists of mostly cosplay workshops and a number of panels I will collectively title “Being An Old School Anime Fan”. The rest consisted of scattered how-to panels, martial arts demos and a few specific fandom panels like the Hetalia History one I attended. Bandai Entertainment did hold a panel, but after a bit of searching around on the internet, I’ve surmised that nothing big or exciting came of it. While I was there for two days, I wound up just going home at around 2 p.m. each day because there wasn’t anything of interest to do.

The only purchases I made at the con consisted of a Princess Jellyfish button commissioned from a friend in the Artist’s Alley, a mini-comic from Gina Bigg’s Red String and a cellphone charm also from Red String.  This was in part due to the fact that I spent a fair amount of money on comics during the preceding week, but also because the dealer’s room was just too damn packed. This happens to be one of my biggest issues with the convention right now.

Anime Los Angeles has clearly grown in attendance, but over the past three years, it hasn’t upgraded to a larger facility. Now, it’s clearly time to change that because it’s much too hard to move down a hallway in a timely manner, in part due to all the cosplayers/photographers. Another thing that could stand to fixed is the shoddy reception inside the hotel’s convention floors. It’s affected groups of my friends and myself at this year’s con and at previous cons, so I’ve no doubt it is happening to a lot of other attendees. I realize this is the responsibility of the hotel, not the convention, but someone should start lodging complaints and a complaint will be better received by an entity that generates so much business for them instead of just one or two convention goers. Otherwise, Anime Los Angeles is kind of a great convention. They provide free snacks and beverages for attendees, put up pretty pictures of cosplayers from previous years on their walls and include fun participatory stuff like badge ribbon scavenger hunts. The con could be really great if there was a little extra breathing room and better cell phone service.

But enough complaining, it’s not like I didn’t enjoy myself at all, here are some of my con highlights:

Making Ed Sizemore Jealous –Uhhh, I mean, meeting Helen McCarthy:


Helen McCartney, anime scholar and, most recently, author of The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga, was the Fan Guest of Honor. She came out all the way from London to be at Anime Los Angeles and was on a large number of panels. I wished I could have caught a few more, but some were either on Friday (a day I didn’t attend) and others were on topics like one’s first trip to Japan (I’ve had my first trip already, and a second).  Still, I got a few minutes to chat with her about old school cosplay in the autograph room and I would have stayed and chatted longer if I wasn’t keeping someone waiting elsewhere. I hope she comes back to my part of the States again soon because she was also a delight on the How Technology has changed the Anime Industry and Anime Fandom Before the Internet panels I did attend.

Hetalia History:

Can you spot all the Hungary-chans?

This was the panel I attended for TOKYOPOP, not knowing what to expect from it. What I got was a witty evaluation of the in-jokes of Hetalia complete with clips from old British period dramas. Some people brush off Hetalia as a flaky introduction to history, but the truth is that there’s a lot more fact in the manga than people can easily see, something that panelist Walter Amos specializes in illuminating. Himaruya really does know his stuff and sometimes it’s not so easy to see amongst all footnotes and adorable personified countries. This panel is definitely for the history buffs in the fandom, that’s for sure, so it instantly appealed to me.

I wish I had more highlights to share, but I didn’t do much at Anime Los Angeles! It’s a very laid back convention about 99% of the time as it is.

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Guest Post: An Average Manga Consumer

David Hampton probably doesn’t want me to post his full name here because he likes to keep a low profile online, but he’ll have to suck it up for the sake of this post.  Dave is also a close friend of mine who graduated from my alma mater & beloved college anime club shortly after I started attending them. Fortunately for me, he got a job in the area, came back to hang out with the youngins and we became great friends. Dave is one of those guys who you can have endless and fascinating conversations with and he’s directly inspired two different posts here at All About Manga despite not being a huge manga otaku. So here is his post about being an average manga consumer, the hows, whys and what he’s thinkings.

P.S. I’m not going near Thai food for a year now. Or rice, watermelon or pineapple.

P.P.S. I did buy something that would suitably pass as pirate treasure.

P.P.P.S. Happy 2011, guys! Sorry for the dry spell, a lot of my initial volunteers for guest posts fell through. More posts from me when I’m not brain dead/jetlagged.

~~~~
Awhile ago Daniella sent a call out for guest bloggers to fill in for her while she was off circumnavigating the globe, presumably in search of pirate treasure or something equally good, like Thai food.  At first I figured I didn’t have much to say – I don’t work in the industry, I don’t really follow any particular publishers or personalities.  I’m basically just a normal manga consumer, and I don’t even consume all that much.  I just really enjoy a good book here and there.

But that’s exactly it!  Hi, I’m Dave, and I am a member of Your Target Market.  Today’s post will discuss the manga industry from the perspective of someone who loves it but doesn’t know much beyond “don’t start on the leftmost page.”

I sit squarely in what I believe is called the “long tail” of manga consumers:

The idea is that the majority of consumption comes from people who aren’t as dedicated, but show up in these huge numbers.  A bit like how zombies do actually, now that I think of it.

I’m going to run with that for a moment.

*Most Manga Consumers Act Like the Living Dead*
We masses don’t really have much of an idea of the consequences of what we’re doing or how we do it, we just focus on getting whatever it is that we want.  We come shambling into some bookstore, unkempt and disheveled, intent on getting our One Piece or Death Note or whatever popular title stands in for brains in this metaphor, and stopping at nothing until we succeed (or until something stops us).  Sometimes we make noise.  We aren’t the most pleasant market to interact with, largely because we hardly ever communicate back in any effective manner, but there are too many of us to feasibly ignore.  This is a subtle problem, one where marketing is more effective than shotguns.  This is the crowd that I believe I belong to.

*The Perspective of a Zombie Consumer*
I don’t buy a ton of manga.  Maybe a couple a month, three or four if I’m really enjoying a series or there’s a good deal.  I’ve completed a few titles but they tend to be shorter, usually around ten books.  I gave up on a couple of series’ once I saw how long they were and how much it would cost to finish them.  I choose bookstores based on which one I happen to be closest to when I decided it’s time to browse.  I’m certainly no expert on the subject, but perhaps I can offer a new perspective on things.

Here are my takes on a few topics:
*Finding New Manga to Read*
Without immersing myself in manga or anime culture, finding new manga to read is kind of a pain in the rear.  So I don’t.  The number one factor that introduces me to new manga is the recommendation of a friend.  This is how I got into every series I’ve ever read to completion.  It’s worth noting that it takes more than just the recommendation, there has to be some hook in the book itself to grab my attention and keep it.  In my case, this is generally one standout element that I happen to connect with.  Usually this is a main character that I immediately like, thrust into some moralistic situation that I find curious and interesting.  The first few chapters of Rurouni Kenshin, Saikano, and Battle Angel Alita are great examples of this, if you’re familiar with them.  All three of those were recommended by good friends, and so once I knew that someone like me enjoyed them I stopped worrying and got into that early hook.  I ended up buying the whole series each time.  In the absence of friends, I follow the path of least resistance: I browse store shelves when I’m already there.  Seeking out new properties can be fun, but I always feel a bit overwhelmed when I try, and the price of being wrong is about $9 times as many books as it takes me to figure this out.

This isn’t unique to manga.  Two of my other favorite things to consume, music and video games, also run into this problem, and for the same reason: one of the reasons they’re so good is that they’re expensive to produce.  And there are a ton of properties vying for attention.

To me, the obvious alternative to this is to buy inexpensive used manga, which can usually be found for about half price.  It’s definitely a solid legal alternative to taking chances on new books, but as far as publishers and authors are concerned, it’s a lost sale.  While I’ll certainly defend the existence of any used market, I can see why this would drive the people who make their livings on sales up a wall.  Video game companies are trying to sidestep this right now by packaging codes redeemable for online content in with their new sales.  Unfortunately, this considerably annoys consumers.  I have never bought such a game.  I can’t think of a good solution, unfortunately, and it may be that it’s just the reality of the market for the time being.

*Scanlations and Piracy*
I don’t read scans of manga.  It’s not because of some stance on the morals of the issue, but rather because I simply can’t be bothered.  All the books I want to read will be right there in the store next time I’m looking, and I prefer physical books anyway.

*SFX and translations*
At one point in my life I tried, unsuccessfully, to learn to read Japanese and Korean, so I usually like to try and read the native sound effects in manga.  But even when I can, they often don’t make any sense to me.  I understand “BOOM” and “KABLAM” a whole lot better than “DOOM” or “WANG” or whatever.  As much as I like to preserve the original properties of a work, the westernized sound effects do strike me as a smoother reading experience.

I really like the little translation notes that appear in the margins or at the ends of books.  I understand that sometimes a target page count is desirable for binding, due to mysterious processes of bookbinding that I don’t understand at all, but regardless it’s a nice kind of extra to find, particularly when it helps explain references or clever jokes that require a bit of context.  It’s a convenient help, especially if, say, you’re skipping history class to read Hetalia (what?).

*Print vs Digital*
There are only a few things I have with which I can comfortably curl up on the couch:

– A book
– A portable video game or PDA or something
– A girlfriend

Really only the first two are relevant to this discussion.  I personally find digital media to be nifty and convenient, but somewhat awkward.  I can’t say I’d prefer to read a good manga on a computer screen, partially for this reason and partially because my computer is slow and contrarian and chokes up whenever I try to scroll down a large-format image.  I feel like I’m not reading manga “properly.”  Interestingly, I have no problem reading quite a number of webcomics in their “original format,” even with these problems.  Reading them the way the author intended seems to be the most important thing for me, and so I probably couldn’t get that into digital manga distribution.  That said, I still enjoy reading webcomics when they publish as books, and intend to take a look into some digital manga publishing to see if I get into it.

Hopefully this has been a worthwhile perspective to read.  Please feel free to post any questions you might have and I’ll do my best to answer them.  Thanks to Daniella for printing this and to you for reading it.

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Welcome to Webcomics Wednesdays

I know this blog focuses mostly on manga, but I figured that it would be fun to do a regular post on something a little different: webcomics.

It’s not big secret that I love webcomics. I’ve been reading them since I was 14, perhaps a little earlier. I’ve tried my own hand at webcomics. (I’m not sharing.) I met my boyfriend reading his old webcomic, Blue Zombie, back when we were in high school and now I edit his current endeavor, Lumia’s Kingdom. We even collaborated once, very briefly, and I still write comics that I would like to become webcomics had I the talent and time to draw them.

I certainly haven’t read every single webcomic out there, like PVP or Penny Arcade for instance. (Both target gamers, which I am not.) Still, it’s a little hard for me to ignore webcomics when popular ones get picked up by larger publishers (Megatokyo and, technically speaking, Hetalia) or when the creators take it to the next level and self-publish.

No webcomic creator will tell you that it’s easy to do, but with more and more successful webcomics going these routes, it’s certainly taking the stigma off of making them. On top of that, webcomics have the potential to be successful in different ways than print media can be. They can target the niche markets and gain a large following with relatively little cost (compared to the risk of starting a completely new title that a large publisher has to take.) Webcomics are thus a lot more diverse and daring in subject matter than the world of publishing because there is no one telling creators that their webcomic won’t sell. Best of all, creators own the rights to their work and fans will come out of the woodwork to directly support them with books and merchandising.

So thus I hope to introduce a new weekly feature on my blog that explores webcomics, starting with a few webcomics that have made the leap to print, and talk about how they contribute to the vast world of comics. If all goes well, I’ll also be able to include interviews and guest posts from creators themselves, as well as exploring webcomics-related issues. I’ll try to post faithfully on Wednesdays in the spirit of alliteration and recommend a lot of good webcomics for you to read.

For starters, some of my long-time favorites:
Questionable Content (Which, I think I have been reading the longest.)
Hark! A Vagrant (I am a total history nerd and I love the sarcastic take.)
Red String (Romantic shojo and also a long-time favorite.)
Johnny Wander (Adorable auto-biographical comics.)

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Correction: I am not the editor of Hetalia afterall

Oops.

After sharing my joyous news with the world and bragging way too much about it, I found out that I am *not* the editor of Hetalia. There had been a misunderstanding on my part when the news was passed to me. Man, do I feel dumb.

If you’ve already congratulated me, thank you again. I’ll still be working on part of the editorial process for the next volume of Hetalia and, from what I heard, it was a tough decision for Tokyopop Editor Cindy Suzuki. The fact that I was chosen at all means I did a great job when I worked on the first volume and getting the second volume is, therefore, my reward.  I actually have to thank Cindy for giving me the opportunity to work on Hetalia and the many other opportunities she’s given me over the months we’ve been working together.

I am a little sad, but I’m still excited I get to work on the next volume of Hetalia. ^_^

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Anime Expo 2010: Day One

Whoooo! Anime Expo time! Anime Expo is my home con, the one I’ve been going to through thick or through thin since I started going to cons, so I’m pretty used to the landscape. Although it just seems to me that the dealer’s room just gets bigger and bigger each year…

I was only at the con a short time today due to a night class I’m taking and needing to do important things this morning, but here are my highlights of the day.

HIGHLIGHTS:
Bandai Industry Panel- The big news here is that Bandai Entertainment has licensed K-On!, the anime about a musical group of adorable high school girls. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Bandai is also forming a group of voice actresses/singers to make up the “After School Tea Time” band in the show, much like they did with the ASOS Brigade for their release of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Yeah.

Attendees were also treated to clips of The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan and Nyoro~n Churuya-san, trailers of Bandai’s various Gundam anime and other anime. We also got to hear Christina Vee sing two songs. I’ve personally never heard her sing before, but I figured she must have been sick or something because I wasn’t impressed.

DMP Industry Panel- I was only expecting to go for half of the DMP panel because of my class, but I decided to stay all the way through and it was worth it! They announced a slew of new licenses and gave us some new insight into Emanga.com, their supposed crowdsourcing manga project and a collaboration with Viz.

Their new licenses include:  Gochisosama by CJ Michalski, Boku no Shiru Anata no Hanashi by Tsuta Suzuki, Sabaku no Oujisama by Shushushu Sakurai, Houou Gakuen Misoragumi by Aki Arata, Border and Kusatta Kyo Shino Houteishiki by Kazuma Kodaka, Demon City Shinjuku by Hideyuki Kikuchi, Coundown 7 Days and Replica by Kemuri Karakara

Emanga.com has increased it’s rental times from three days to seven, bringing in gift cards (if you’ve got some yaoi-loving friends… what a perfect gift!), adding at least 30 new titles and including ten titles that will be in both Korean and Chinese! How cool! -Edit: I forgot to include (being rather tired last night) that Nao Yazawa, the creator of Wedding Peach, is creating an exclusive manga for Emanga.com called Mizuki. There is also another manga in the early development stages called Moon & Blood. You can catch Yazawa on her Twitter. She speaks English very very well.-

DMP also announced that they’ll be distributing limited edition Naruto animation cels. But wait, you say, isn’t Naruto animated digitally? Doesn’t Viz own the U.S. rights to Naruto? Like I said earlier, Viz (and Studio Pierrot) are allowing DMP to sell these hand-painted cels. They’re extremely limited in quality so if you are a rabid Naruto fan who MUST have these, catch the DMP booth at Anime Expo or the Viz booth at San Diego Comic-Con.

During the panel, Gia Manry of Anime News Network asked whether the representatives present could elaborate more on a project that would utilize scanlators to crowdsource the manga translation process and add 1000+ manga online legally. Michelle Mauk explained that the project was a massive undertaking, which was still in the planning stages, and that the concept had been mistaken by many bloggers and news sites. Mauk said that DMP was currently talking with their translators and other staff in order to see what could be done.  It seems to me much like Stu Levy’s comments on a December 2009 TOKYOPOP Insider webcast stating that he would work with scanlators, an idea that was quickly forgotten about and tossed out the window.

-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visits Anime Expo- DMP’s head of sales caught this image of Villaraigosa entering the exhibit hall (DMP’s booth is right at the front.) I wasn’t there at the time, but I certainly don’t envy anyone who was. Villaraigosa has a sort of sordid past and, well, the dealer’s room was already crowded enough without him and all the entourage/paparazzi/gawkers making it worse. Many who saw the mayor or pictures of him at the con wondered if the SPJA charged him admission and if he used tax-payer money to get in.

-If you looking for good deals on manga, there’s plenty of dealers that are selling manga for $5, including DMP and the newly-formed Manga Factory. I personally liberated quite a few CMX manga and some old Deux and Aurora titles before they disappeared from the racks completely. I also managed to find volume 1 of TOKYOPOP’s Beck manga, a license that was lost to Kodansha.

-I also saw this hilarious Hetalia shirt, which will give me the opportunity to share some excellent personal news with you. After contributing to TOKYOPOP’s upcoming release of Axis Powers: Hetalia, I have been declared the editor of the next volume! In the office that usually means I’ll be editor in perpetuity of the title until I’m no longer working for TP or the series is over. -EDIT: I AM A DUMB BUTT. There was a misunderstanding and I’m not the official editor of Hetalia, I am just working on PART of the editorial process again. DURHUR. I am little bit sad that I’m not the editor, but I know Cindy Suzuki will do an excellent job. Sorry for being a dork and bragging about it left and right! The next sentence is still valid however.- I am personally excited because I just *LOVE* Hetalia. I can’t wait to work on it again!

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