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Tuesday, August 16, 2005
August Previews-Manga Highlights
Dark Horse Eden actually looks like it may appeal to our customers, though I'm somewhat baffled by why Dark Horse thinks letting me know that it was serialized in Japan in the same magazine that published Blade of the Immortal and Oh My Goddess is vital to my ordering. Those two titles aren't anything like each other at all, so comparing it to two dissimilar properties doesn't tell me anything useful.
Speaking of Oh My Goddess, we've had a sudden flurry of interest in the title from the recent arrivals at the nearby Navy base, so sales have been up. Sailors dig it, apparently. I'm not sure they're going to go for a $20 installment, but I'll get a shelf-copy anyway. (The sailors also seem to really dig Cavalcade of Boys, but I won't tell if you won't...)
DC/CMX Cipher has a hoary plot: twin brothers switch identities. The art is rather soft, and the preview materials I've seen don't give me much confidence in it. Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne is quite possibly one of the girliest comics I've ever seen in my life. The amount of pink on the cover is truly frightening. Kikaider Code 02 may appeal to fans of old-school manga, but it's probably going to be a tough sell with our customer base. We haven't had a lot of interest from customers in older manga series.
ADV A new volume of Yotsuba&! is good news, as we can't keep the first two books in stock. An excellent series that has strongly resonated with our customers.
Anime Works I've not been too impressed with their output so far, and neither have our customers. We'll get a shelf copy of Death Trance, since it's the final volume and we got the first two in, and a copy of Eiken, because it has boobies and the fan-service manga titles sell well for us. I'll skip on Samurai Man, and maybe order a copy if the first volume sells, once it comes in.
Antarctic The cover for the fifth issue of the Oz: The Manga series is very pretty. I don't think we've sold a single copy of the comic to date.
Del Rey I probably shouldn't be surprised that Genshiken has been a hit for us, should I? It's a manga about manga and anime nerds, and the girls who love them. It's like a strange, wish-fulfillment ouroburous.
Digital Manga Publishing Holy Yaoi! The first Bambi and Her Pink Gun volume had disappointing sales, but I'm keeping it on our shelf of cool hipster comics for the time being. The audience for this book will come in and buy it, dammit! I've heard good things about Cafe Kichijouji De, so I'm going to go with optimistic orders here and hand-sell if I need to. Jazz has a nice, racy premise, and the men don't look like little kids, so it has that in it's favor. I just hope it doesn't go in the direction of same of the medical themed gay porn I've seen. La Esperanca and Our Kingdom both feature pretty little boys, so I've got no interest in them now. And I'm as surprised as anyone to say that I won't be buying a gay-themed comic. I bought as many as I could for so long, just because they were so rare, but this yaoi boom features too many titles that hold no interest for me. I don't really want to read about little boys in borderline abusive relationships. Our Everlasting is about gay surfers. I know, redundant phrasing...it looks like it's straddling the line between "little boys in love" and "actual men."
Dr Masters Iron Wok Jan: did anyone ever truly expect this to turn out to be as popular as it's become. Oh, sure, it's no Fruits Basket, but it sells darn well for us and gets high praise everywhere I look.
Go! Comi I like their web-site. It could use a few more sample pages, though, but it has enough information for me to make an informed appraisal of how I think their titles will do with our customers. Crossroad looks like a fine relationship drama/comedy, and I think it will appeal to our readers. Cantarella looks to be very pretty, and the focus on historical drama is a good thing, as we've got a small base of customers looking for historical themes in comics. The only thing that doesn't really look like it'll grab our customers is Tenshi Ja Nai. I'm sure it's a fine comic, but the celebrities behaving badly angle doesn't strike me as very original, and the over-all look is too similar to too many other comics.
Ice Kunion I like their site, too. Lots of sample images, lots of ways to tell me what I need to know about their product. I'm originally disinclined to order much in the way of Korean comics, because for the most part they just haven't resonated with many of our customers. But Bring It On looks like it has promise, with it's story of a pretty boy trying to win over a tomboy romantically. Angel Diary may do will with fans of supernaturally themed titles. Chocolat and The 11th Cat don't stand out as distinctively, unfortunately, and so I'll go with more conservative orders on those than I will on the others.
Tokyopop I'd be an idiot not to go with a generous order on Samurai Champloo, wouldn't I? Tokyopop really seems to want to push the goth-manga lately, with their two new original titles, Mark of the Succubus and A Midnight Opera. Neither really does anything for me, unfortunately, but I'll order some to shelve in our "gothity-goth" section. Pita-Ten Official Fan Book is apparently "the must-have book for Pita-Ten fans!" I'm not entirely sure we have any Pita-Ten fans shopping at our store. Psy-Comm looks really awful and generic, doesn't it? So does Telepathic Wanderers for that matter. I'll refrain from making my usual slam against Buffy, but I will say that the property and the cine-manga make an appropriate fit, and let all of you wonder what exactly I mean by that... The first My Little Pony cine-manga flew off our shelves. Who knew?
And yet more yaoi! At this rate I expect Viz to grab up some licenses soon as well. Now, here's the thing: I can't find any details on these titles at Tokyopop's page, nor at their Takuhai page. Nor does there seem to be a separate web-page for the Blu line. Earthian I've heard of before, and name recognition is a good thing, but a cost 50% above your average manga title is going to hurt sales. I was able to find a little bit about Love Mode, and it looks like it could be good, but I can't find any information on it other than that it ran in "Be Boy Comics", which I think is where DMP gets a lot of their yaoi titles from as well. So, I could have ordered these books more confidently if there was any useful English language information about them available! Even Tokyopop's layout in previews for these books is terrible. At the back of the section, behind the re-orders. At first glance I thought it was an ad page, not a list of solicited items. And because they listed the titles off to the side of the illustrations, the solicitations themselves run together, making for an ugly block of text. Just bad job all around on this section.
Viz Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo: Mike and I have been having far too much fun saying the name of this series. I saw the preview pages in Shonen Jump and I feel confidant in saying that, if you liked Sharknife, Street Angel, Sky Ape or My Monkey's Name is Jennifer, you will like this comic. It's got an arresting and unique art style and completely insane internal logic. It will hurt your brain in a good way. Death Note: the first volume hasn't even come out yet and I've had to up orders on the second. Rourouni Kenshin: Profiles is actually something that we've been getting requests for for some time now. So I'm hoping we actually get it at the same time as book-stores do, so our sales don't take too big a hit on it. The only new Shojo Beat title this month is Beauty is the Beast. There's not too much info for it, but it looks like a fairly standard school-girl drama, and so nothing to be too excited about.