Making Manga? Send It To VIZ

Topic started by gia on Oct. 8, 2009. Last post by FoxxFireArt 4 years, 11 months ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13

Miku's ready to submit! (By artist   Minami.)
Miku's ready to submit! (By artist Minami.)
It's been well over a year since word of VIZ's original publishing plans first hit the 'net, and since then the plan has been in limbo to some extent, as the program was put on hold and the Editor-in-Chief for the program, Marc Weidenbaum, left the company. A couple of tidbits have popped up since then, but word came out from VIZ, saying "VIZ Media is currently accepting submissions and pitches for original comics. Keep in mind that all submissions must be accompanied by a signed release form."

The post is here, and it has the release form attached to it as a PDF. So those of you who have been sitting on manga ideas, here's your shot! I've got an e-mail out that'll hopefully net us a few more details on the matter.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,643 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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I've made my feelings on VIZ rather apparent here quite a few times that I wont go into it.  That signed release for sounds a bit too much like whatever you create you give away all rights to it. So, even if you make it a sucess they keep the profits. I would suggest any self respecting artist not send them anything.
 
The only thing I would send VIZ is a letter asking them to stop butchering Detective Conan. I already stopped sending them any of my money years ago. DELREY is better.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@FoxxFireArt: Did we read the same release? The form *I* was looking at said that VIZ has no obligation to pay you for only the submission, and that if they want to publish it they have to sign an additional agreement with you. The signed release for the submission has no bearing whatsoever on what profits they might get to keep versus what you would get, since that would be addressed in this second agreement.
 
I am aware, however, that there's a piece in there stating that essentially VIZ does not owe you for anything that they produce separately that bears a "striking similarity" to your work, whether it was created before or after your submission. However, I suspect it's standard lawyer fare, and I don't think a company like VIZ is going to open itself up to lawsuits and negative PR by stealing creators' ideas after they submit-- trust me, VIZ is obsessive about these things. In fact, Simon from Icarus Publishing-- a man who prints manga in the US himself, and who surely knows considerably more than I do about the business -- holds out hope that VIZ's creator contracts will be like Shogakukan and Shueisha's, in which the creator retains the copyright to his or her works.
 
As for Del Rey, having spoken to a few Del Rey creators-- the company puts out great books, but as I understand it the amount of promotion that they are able to give them is not immense relative to licensed works, and the creators really have to put forth a lot of their own effort. Which is not intended to suggest in the slightest that anyone shouldn't work with Del Rey or that this is even different from VIZ (too early to say); only that things are not streets paved in gold and lined in lollipops at Del Rey, either. ;)
 
That said: I've already sent an e-mail out to my contacts at VIZ to see what they can tell me about the program, including a question about contracts and whatnot. I'll withhold further judgment until I see what they say. :)
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,643 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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@gia: 
I'm pretty sure that was mostly my knee jerk reaction to anything VIZ. I was acting kind of irrational there. They butcher my most desired manga of them all and it left a nasty sore spot. TAD bit like a red flag to a bull.
 
The company spends far too much time trying to Westernize a Japanese series. Alterations such as having them call Kakashi "Master Kakashi" in place of "Kakashi-sensei". Even the anime didn't make that change in the translation.
 
Every time I see alteration like that it feels like they are treating American readers like idiots. Reader who aren't into the Japanese culture are less likely to even read manga in the first place. That audience buys US comics and often looks down on manga. So why bend over backward to satisfy a group who are less likely to buy the product in the first place and turn off your built in fan base?
It reminds me of reading a book and enjoying it, then hearing they are making a movie based on that book. You go to the film and it's nothing like the book. (i.e. Jurrasic Park: Lost World)


What I admire about DEL REY is that they don't treat readers like idiots. If there is something that they think you might not understand, they put an explanation in the back with the Notes. In the front of every manga I've ever bought from them is an explanation of the Honorific system. They sem to understand what the reader wants and gives it to them.
 
It's one of the main reasons why I'm studying to learn to speak and read Japanese. That way I can purchase the series I enjoy by importing the real deal, and side step VIZ altogether. It's not that I don't want to support some of the series they publish, but I'm not going to toss away my money on an inferior product.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@FoxxFireArt: A huge part of the difference you're noticing is simply a difference in tactics. Del Rey's tagline is "The Otaku's Choice," and the titles they license, from Moyashimon to Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei to Genshiken and more are decidedly aimed at the core manga audience. Their outreach efforts to reach mainstream readers outside of that core are primarily original works, mostly based on Del Rey novel titles (a la In Odd We Trust and the like).
 
VIZ, by contrast...they publish a LOT of manga, and they aim at a lot of different groups. But some of their titles, the marketing decisions are based entirely on reaching outside the core manga audience-- and there are a lot of casual fans of Naruto, Bleach, and other TV-accessible shows who have no interest in Japanese culture whatsoever. You can also see a lot of this in VIZ's choices of anime: they tend to only bother releasing titles that have big, broad appeal, or else have a very distinct appeal to current anime fans. Naruto, Bleach, and potentially Monster fit in the first category; Honey and Clover and Nana would fit in the latter. I've always wondered if this is why FUNimation gets some of the Shogakukan/Shueisha-related anime titles like D.Gray-Man or Ouran High School Host Club-- neither of which are obvious mainstream hits.
 
Which is not to say you shouldn't dislike VIZ's tactics and decisions, of course; but in the end every company's decisions are based on how they perceive their bottom line, and for many VIZ titles I suspect that the bottom line is getting more non-manga readers, rather than pleasing the established ones.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,643 posts) See mini bio Level 25
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@gia: 
Yes, but when they altered the Detective Conan series names they tampered with a series where little detail actually mean something, literally. I can say that by the time they get to a certain volume in that series. Using the current names. A translation will be impossible. The Japanese names play a big role in an event and they have to be in a certain order to solve a code that is the answer to a case. They wont be able to pull off that "middle name" BS they pulled in the dubbing of the second movie.
One of the most idiotic changes I saw had to be when the kids call their group "The Junior Detective League", but the badges they have are printed saying "Detective Boys" in English. There they are literally contradicting what it actually says.
 
In Japan the series is heavily supported by parents for helping children learn more about Japanese language and culture. It's a thinking series where little details are very important. Yet it's a series they change the most, that I've seen. I stopped buying all VIZ products years ago.
It's not as if there isn't precedent for fixing mistakes. VIZ republished DragonBall and removed the art edits they made. With Detective Conan it's just a text issue. If I was to hear that they were going to republish the series with the proper names. I'd swoop in and purchase every volume. I can live with the Case Closed change. That doesn't effect the story.

 
There is also their utter anemic release of One Piece. That series isn't even past the Alabasta arc in the US. I partially blame 4Kids for harming One Piece in the US for all the edits they did. It started things out on a bad foot. The touch I found the most funny was they would edit out the cleavage lines on all the female characters for the anime. They took a series that was made for teens and altered it for little children.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
@FoxxFireArt: Ah, but "Detective Boys" might have made girls feel unwelcomed into the series!
 
Not saying that's necessarily their reason, or that it's enough of a reason (which is of course subjective), but I'm pretty confident that no one at VIZ is changing anything around just for grins, either.
Post by SimonJones (24 posts) See mini bio Level 1
The release form is pretty standard boilerplate.  The US is such a litigious society (and filled with crazy people who think their idea is completely original and inimitable, have no understanding of copyright law, and can easily find a shady lawyer eager to abuse the system to make a quick buck), many smaller publishers don't even accept unsolicited submissions for fear of being sued.
 
Everything in there is absolutely "standard lawyer fare."  They have competent attorneys.  And while we won't know what Viz's stance is on creator ownership and equitable profit sharing, they have the benefit of having seen it done wrong (Tokyopop's early attempts), and done right (Del Rey, who handles it like any "normal" prose publisher would.)
Post by SimonJones (24 posts) See mini bio Level 1
--> One of the most idiotic changes I saw had to be when the kids call their group "The Junior Detective League", but the badges they have are printed saying "Detective Boys" in English.
 
Not a reader of Detective Conan, so I don't know for sure.  But have you considered the possibility that they made the change because they couldn't fit "The Junior Detective League" onto the name tags?  That's a problem we run into all the time when laying down text... Kanji/Chinese characters take up so little space compared to English.
Post by FoxxFireArt (2,643 posts) See mini bio Level 25
Moderator
@gia said:
" @FoxxFireArt: Ah, but "Detective Boys" might have made girls feel unwelcomed into the series!  Not saying that's necessarily their reason, or that it's enough of a reason (which is of course subjective), but I'm pretty confident that no one at VIZ is changing anything around just for grins, either. "
You are probably on the mark that it was a PC decision.
 
Then just split the difference because in Detective Conan they don't say "Detective Boys" in English. They say Shonen Tantei which literally means Detective Kids. They could of even translated it as "Detective Kids" and been closer, but they actually went to the trouble of making a name that was so wildly off the mark with "The Junior Detective League".
 
I've heard why VIZ made the changes, and it made as much sense as Joe Quesada's excuse for BND/OMD. I read something a few years back that VIZ changed the name to match up with the way FUNimation was making the changes. It's irritating, because it's a series that I would love to support. I just refuse to waste my money on an inferior product.
 
VIZ is a company that will at some point butcher a story or change material. They even do edits on Naruto pages art. I can't respect a company that will alter with the original product.
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