Anime Vice News

A Tough Day for Yaoi

Yaoi fans and pubs run into trouble in Germany-- AND the US.

Finder
Finder
I meant to post this yesterday but didn't find the time-- but I think this is important. Ayano Yamane's popular yaoi series Finder (fans will remember Target in the Finder and Cage in the Finder) has been “indexed” as a harmful book in Germany, meaning that it can't be advertised...which means, in Germany, that it is not permitted to mention the book on a blog.

German readers passed the news on to MangaBlog, which, being based in America, can talk about whatever dirty books it pleases. Since I'm also a fan of this freedom, I wanted to note that Germany's “indexing” sucks, and if any of you yaoi fans are in Germany you can, in fact, buy the book, which is published by TOKYOPOP's German arm.

In what universe is this disturbing enough to refuse to print?
In what universe is this disturbing enough to refuse to print?
...That said, it's not as though America is without its prudes as well. Yaoi Press was planning to use DocuCopies for a print run of is coloring book, until the company came back to them with, essentially, “no, your book is too dirty.” It's a 16+ book with some partial nudity but no hard sexual content or full-frontal. DocuCopies is laaaame.

Though Yaoi Press' blog points out exactly what my instinctual guess: that some of the boys are effeminate enough that DocuCopies might have thought they were girls, but apparently even a follow-up e-mail pointing out that they're boys didn't do the trick.

Now, DocuCopies reserves the right to refuse service, of course, although there's nothing in their TOS about risque imagery. And if they'd refused outright, well, I'd be annoyed but I'd move on. But to say they'll do it after having had a chance to see the book and then changing their mind? Come on.

DocuCopies, I hereby dub thee lame. Good luck finding a replacement printer, YP!
yuriconon May 28, 2009 at 10:03 a.m.
i know it seems like a "wow, how lame" issue, but it isn't - not for the printer.

ALC Publishing went on a long, tedious and disheartening search for a printer some years ago and was told by many that the content we had was not appropriate merely for being two women kissing, much less anything explicit.  I even received a long, apologetic email from a printer who flat out said that he didn't have the strength of his convictions and while he would like  to be able to publish my books, much of his staff were devoutly religious and would leave his employ if he tried to push something like that through.

It sounds lame. But, think for a second if you were working at a print shop and material depicting something you abhor came up all the time? Something like  child abuse, extreme religious intolerance, bigotry, etc. How would that make you feel about the workplace? Pretty awful, right? And you might be tempted to make that point with a lawsuit, because in America it is the company's responsibility to make sure your workplace is not hostile.

I spoke to dozens of printers until we found ours, and even then a few years ago they publicly announced that they would not be accepting any more hardcore porn. I do not publish porn, but still, I was concerned because there are some scenes that can be considered explicit in most of the Yuri Monogatari series.  So far my printer has been totally fabulous and I want to thank them for that.

But this is not just a "how lame" issue. It's a real issue that should remind us that manga is not some kind of eternal right. It's a fringe interest, a hobby and a point of view that many do not share. If you want to be tolerated - be tolerant. If you don't like this story, start your own printing press. Outrage at a company trying to stay in business is not the answer. Changing the game is.

Cheers,

Erica Friedman
Yuricon & ALC Publishing


giaon May 28, 2009 at 11:38 a.m.
@yuricon: Again, the real lameness to me is saying they would do it and then pulling out. That's just bad business.
yaoipresson May 28, 2009 at 4:53 p.m.
Erica, I think your attitude is the right one to have.  I'm not a malcontent on a crusade to cram my personal politics down everyone's throat.  People have a right to not to be offended. 

In this case, however, Docucopies handled the situation poorly and are going to cost me a lot of money because of it.  They should have put me on notice about the issues they were having with my projects when they printed the doujinshi.  I don't have a crystal ball.  I can't read people's minds.  I assumed everything was hunky-dory because the never gave me a reason to think otherwise. 

This isn't pornography.  I didn't think any US printer would have a problem with it.  I especially wouldn't think it when they'd already printed something similar for me in the past.  In fact, the doujinshi was worse than this.  It has sex scenes.

Ok, so they made a mistake.  Mistakes happen.  I was willing to work with them to at least mitigate my losses on something that was already formatted specifically for their presses.  I offered to swap out the more extreme pictures.  I have a lot of cutesy-poo pictures in the book like this one:  http://yaoipress.com/cutesypoo.jpg  I could have replaced the pictures they cited with more like that.  It would still waste time and money, but not as much as it would cost to reformat the entire book for more expensive printing somewhere else.

They weren't willing to work with me.  I believe this situation my company is in is now their fault, and they should have tried to help.   Even if they sticked to their guns about not printing it, they could have offered me a lousy coupon for business cards or something to counter the money I was going to be out.  You know, if they said, "Sorry you have to reformat this for another printer.  Do you have other stuff to print that isn't as objectionable?  We'll let you use our Spring coupon discount even though it's expired," I actually would have been cool.  I was going to print some custom stationary with them for a non-yaoi imprint.  I could have looked at the money lost vs. the money saved and considered it a wash. 

Right now all they've given me is hassle and expense.  I feel uneasy spreading negative vibes about it, but I also know I'm in the right.
yuriconon May 28, 2009 at 5:32 p.m.
And my deepest sympathies for that. A financial loss in this economy is like losing a limb. You are totally in the right - it would have been one thing if they told you up front. I had a very similar situation with the very first printing of WORKS. The printer printed it, but refused any future work on the basis of the past book. Thankfully, they did it before I invested too much time or money in the situation.

Here's hoping that you recover quickly and find a most excellent printer. (Here's hoping that some anime/manga fan with an interest in printing realizes that there is a huge business opportunity here!)

Cheers,

Erica
landaleon May 28, 2009 at 6:25 p.m.
I think you may have had trouble because it is a coloring book. It may not be that they object to the content, per se, but usually that coloring books are perceived as being aimed at kids, and they wanted to avoid the lawsuit when somebody marched up and said "hey, you're trying to force the gay agenda on my kids!". That may be why they were cool with the doujinshi before, but not with this.

It sucks that they put you out a lot of money, though. Good luck finding a more understanding printer.

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