Anime Vice News

VIZ Original Manga Still On?

Quick background: back in summer 2008, VIZ announced that it would be establishing a line of original manga, helmed by Shonen Jump editor and then VP of Original Publishing Marc Weidenbaum. Then back in February it was announced that Weidenbaum was leaving VIZ Media for undisclosed reasons, and the status of the original line was left hanging. Most people were left with the inevitable feeling that the original manga line wouldn't happen in the foreseeable future.

But MangaBlog points us to the Opinion Prone blog, which notes that VIZ attended Editor's Day, a small event at the Savannah College of Art and Design (not exactly down the street from VIZ's San Francisco office). Kiriska notes that VIZ had cancelled, but apparently un-cancelled.

Eric Searleman, a senior editor who had worked with Weidenbaum on the planned original line, attended for VIZ. Kiriska goes on to talk about the panel and also to ponder whether VIZ will aim only at “manga style” works or a more broad spectrum, and which is really the better choice.

I do have to disagree slightly on one point: Kiriska defends American manga style artists from accusations that they're merely ripping off, and yes, for the most part I agree, especially nowadays. On the other hand, I went through that phase of the fandom where anything with the word “manga” attached was supposed to be gold and a lot of artists who don't normally work in the manga style-- were possibly not even familiar with or interested in the style in some cases --were doing so. THAT, in my opinion, was ripping off.

But we're now at a point where manga has been around in the US long and significantly enough that many of these artists have naturally grown up into the style or worked with it more extensively, so accusations of manga'sploitation have mostly died down.

(Mostly.)

What do you think?
Nikoon May 15, 2009 at 10:10 a.m.
I agree that manga has been around long enough to have naturally influenced artists' style, especially with how saturated the manga market has been known to be.

About Viz trying original work though? I don't really know. Maybe it depends on the success of Ultimo, which is written by an American (arguably the most famous American comic book writer ever, but still). I just wouldn't want to see Viz go through what happened with Tokyopop a year ago and slow down their publishing because they took on too much.
JediAutoboton May 15, 2009 at 10:23 a.m.
The only reason why I think there will always be a problem with American made manga is that we don't have the same platform.  Manga that we are used to reading in volumes are not produced for volume work,  they are published to be in a magazine.  (yes, most creators know one day it most likely will be a volume, but first you have to successful in the magazine.)  Being published in a magazine requires a really regular update schedule.  Because of the competitive nature of manga, most creators stick pretty close to that schedule.  When you don't have that pressure to produce, you get American comics that take eight months between issues.  Of course I am using an extreme example there, but two month breaks on a supposedly monthly comic can be pretty standard for American comics.  So without that base of producing for a magazine, I think we will always have a disconnect between American made and Japanese made manga.
Even though I say all that, I want to see more comics made by everyone.  I just think that there are industry reasons while it'll always be different.

Kiriskaon May 15, 2009 at 11:06 a.m.
Well, I do think you're right about a lot of people/companies doing "rip-offs" in the earlier days -- it's very obvious when you go to the store and see the piles of crappy "How to Draw Manga" books by people who have obviously not been submerged in the style or medium for very long (did this just the other day, actually; most of them seem to have been published around the turn of the century). But these days, the artists that are wanting to break into the business with manga-style art really don't feel like wannabes anymore. They've been drawing manga for ten or more years. At the very least, I have a good number of impressive American classmates. <_<

As for Viz, Searleman seemed nervous about saying too much about their original stuff. Even though they attended Editors' Day, he made a point to mention to every artist whose portfolio he reviewed that Viz wasn't accepting submissions for project ideas yet. I might try and do a formal interview with him after I get out of classes, but the idea kind of makes me nervous. This journalism thing was supposed to be a hobby! XD

@JediAutobot, I think you're right to some extent, though there are a few OEL titles that have done all right despite long gaps between volumes, and really with things the way they are now, there are some over-the-border/translated manga that are on the same kind of delayed release schedule. I wonder if publishers would consider US-style issues and trades for manga, perhaps in slightly longer "issues" though, to account for the BW rather than color style. Would you buy manga-style BW issues at 40-60 pages and then a huge collected trade when the story's done?
AnimeBlossom123on Dec. 28, 2009 at 5:12 p.m.


Here is my point of view.  I don't like to stereotype but I have to say that these stuff are partially true. American manga artist should consider like publishing their mangas or in a self publisher or in a magazine (the best option). I am strongly considering becoming a manga artist but no way am I gonna go directly to VIZ but first I am gonna publish a bunch of one shot mangas in a magazine  and then go for a long running, And trust me it will be hard cuz I'm not japanese or a north american. I'm puertorican.   
 
And about the how to draw manga books. I LEARNED WITH NONE OF THOSE THINGS WHATSOEVER!!!! And I am good considering my age (lets say I'm still in middle school) and the time that I took to get where I am (one year) Artist should learn on their own not with guidelines. There is really no rule to drawing.     

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A term of varied definitions: most people use it to refer to manga-type comics created outside of southeast Asia, although some use it to refer to such comics created outside of Japan (including Korea's manhwa and China's manhua).

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