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Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Manga and Others for August
Dark Horse Lady Snowblood is the only new title this month, and I'm going with cautious optimism on this one. I don't think it has the draw of Lone Wolf and Cub and sales on Samurai Executioner have been in decline, but it's a known property with a following.
DC I looked at the CMX preview booklet that DC sent us and Testarotho looks simply awful. Bland art and cliche-ridden story. Young Magician, on the other hand, while it also lacks a compelling or original story, is very, very pretty, and our customers like the pretty manga.
I'm also not entirely sure that I want the Absolute Edition of Watchmen, nor am I sure that I can really afford it, but I'm ordering myself a copy anyway because I don't want to decide that I really want it after all only to discover that it's gone out of print, leaving me to pay dealer prices for it. I think I can skip out on V for Vendetta in hard-cover. If I really want eight pages of David Lloyd sketches, I'll buy the sure to come soft-cover edition.
I'm ordering one of those Red Hood/Joker action figures for myself. I know, I'm sad. I thought about getting the Batman too, but I hate the sculpt on the cowl. The Clark Kent figure is pretty cool too.
ADV Yotsuba&! turned out to be really good and a strong seller, so we'll bump up orders a little. I'm slightly disappointed by sales on Cromartie High School. This is pure, brilliant weirdness and I vaguely resent our customers for not recognizing that.
AiT/Planet Lar It's probably a good thing Larry Young lives up in the bay area and I have no idea where Joe Casey lives, because they'd both be getting big wet sloppy man-kisses for publishing Full Moon Fever. Werewolves on the moon. It's like they're publishing comics purely for my benefit now.
Dynamite Dear Dynamite Entertainment; I haven't been paying close enough attention to your release schedules to be certain, but it feels as if none of your books ever come out on time. In any case, that certainly seems to be the impression my customers have, who are growing increasingly frustrated with long gaps between issues of Army of Darkness and Red Sonja. Please, in the future, spend less time devising new and more variant covers to bribe retailers into upping order with, and more time on getting your monthly comics out on a monthly basis.
Good on you for releasing Borderline, though. Smart way to diversify your offerings.
Del Rey Neither Gacha Gacha nor Love Roma look particularly appealing to me, but Gacha Gacha at least is of a genre that tends to sell well for us.
Digital Manga Publishing Twilight of the Dark Master sounds like it could be bad fun, with its mix of sex and violence. DMP books tend to be hit or miss with our customers, the non-yaoi titles more miss than hit, so we'll go slightly conservative with orders on this one.
Dr Masters Iron Wok Jan is still a strong seller for us. The rest of the titles we can consistently expect to sell a copy of, so that's what we're cutting orders down to.
HK Comics I would swear that we already received the revised version of vol. 2 of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon already, but I'm not at work today, so I have to wait to check. Third Testament doesn't look at all like an attempt to cash in on The DaVinci Code, oh no.
Infinity Studios I'm fairly certain we haven't received any of the first volumes of the series solicited this month yet, so it's hard to make an accurate judgment. I don't know yet which our customers will like and which they won't, and all I have to go by are some on-line samples and an understanding of the genres and styles that do sell well for us and those that don't. These mostly seem fairly standard and uninspiring works, so very conservative orders are probably called for.
Poison Press The final Cavalcade of Boys collection is solicited. It's a very soapy gay romance comic which should appeal to yaoi fans. And yes, given it's size and subject matter, I do plan to shelve it with the manga once I cycle the first volume out of our "featured titles" area.
Seven Seas Entertainment With the exception of Amazing Agent Luna, our customers have not gone for these, so I'm cutting orders down to the "very conservative" level.
Tokyopop Ai. Have I mentioned how much I hate that Tokyopop doesn't organize their section alphabetically. At least Viz organizes their section by imprint, but Tokyopop's is annoyingly difficult to navigate, especially when it comes time to checking past months orders. War On Flesh doesn't sound particularly appealing to me, but it's got zombies in it, and for some reason comic readers can't get enough of zombies. Girl's Bravo is about a shlubby guy who winds up the only male on a planet full of women. It's a genre of manga that I absolutely loathe, but it sells amazingly well. Both Kamichama Karin and Kanpai are being sold on the strengths of the creator's past works, in this case Pita-Ten and Gravitation respectively, and neither of those series really caught on with our customers, so we'll go very conservative with our orders here. Off Beat looks to be an OEL shonen ai series, and we've had luck with yaoi titles in the past so this should do well. After a certain point all these various Gundam series blend together. I'm getting a vague shojo vibe off this latest spin-off, Ecole du Ciel, which means that this probably won't do well for us, as our only customers for Gundam books are pre-teen boys.
Viz Still no Godchild? Or are they planning to solicit it at the same time as Monster and Death Note? Get some publicity all at once for their darker titles, sort of thing. It sure would be nice if I knew anything about Meru Puri other than that it's about a girl who tries not to be tardy to school... It will be interesting to see how Jojo's Bizarre Adventure does. It's one of those manga titles that everyone's been hearing about for years, but that doesn't always translate into real sales. We've gone with cautious optimism on the orders for this one. The same is true of orders on Zatch Bell. If it matches sales on Yu Gi Oh or Dragonball Z I'll be happy, but I had high hopes for Fullmetal Alchemist as well, and so far our customers haven't shown much interest in that series, which is odd, given the number of customers I see wearing FMA t-shirts.