Manga Player update

December 29, 2006 has updated its Manga Player with new chapters from Summer Rain, Grimms Manga, Gothic Sports v2, Triple Witching Hour, In the End, and Iscel v2.  Interestingly, although Kei Ishiyama’s Grimms Manga is not a licensed work, the sound effects are in both Japanese and German.

Fans of Anike Hage & followers of the various anthologies put out by Schwarzer Turm should be sure to check out – the cover of what appears to be a first volume is now fully visible. More info will be available in January.

Schwarzer Turm also has some news on the latest releases. The cover of Paper Theatre 4 was done by Elyon Sommer, and the anthology contains a new chapter of Magic Mütze, and conclusions to Related, Kuro’s Destiny, and Wunjo, as well as the debuts of Asja Wiegand, Marika Paul, and Nurgül Güler. The volume also contains a special preview: a complete fairytale from Grimms Manga, a one volume work by Kei Ishiyama that’s coming out soon from Tokyopop.
The second volume of Schwarzer Turm’s “Manga Special” line, 200g Hack, is also out. 200g Hack, like Es war keinmal, is a themed anthology– but rather than being takes on fairytales, 200g Hack explores the horror genre. Unlike Paper Theatre, 200g Hack is in western reading direction.

Marie Sann Xmas Image

December 21, 2006

 Merry Christmas from Marie Sann (artist of Sketchbook Berlin, from Tokyopop).

On Monday, Georg F. W. Tempel, head of EMA, answered questions in a chat held by Splashcomics.

He stated that currently, DuO is working on Independent volume 3, Diane Liesaus is working on Musouka, and that the third of their global manga for next year, Gott Gauss, will be published in August of 2007. While there no specific plans at the moment, merchandise, like the highlighter designed by DuO, will be produced in the future from time to time.
Mr. Tempel also explained sales a little, stating that manga sales remain at a constant level, and that a manga is considered successful in Germany if at least 10,000 copies are sold, while a true flop sells less than 2000 copies. On that note, while German manga is currently mainly a question of image for the publishing house, sales are improving, and DuO’s Independent is one of the more successful German series for EMA, with the first print-run of volume 1 sold out. He also stated that BL and romance are the best-selling genres, regardless of whether they’re Japanese or German manga, with comedy doing very poorly.
He also explained that, as opposed to Tokyopop America’s rule, the number of volumes for a global series is determined by the artists, not the publisher; however, the upper limit that artists tend to choose appears to be 3 volumes. Also different from America is the fact that German global manga is mostly published in the Japanese reading direction, which Mr. Tempel explained is another choice the vast majority of artists make. As opposed to in America, there was only a very small discussion, and only in the very beginning, concerning reading direction in Germany.
Finally, the head of EMA mentioned that there are no plans to do any experiments similar to Carlsen’s CHIBI-line.

Ehapa sent out their newsletter today and report that the manga exhibition Manga made in Germany” will open on January 10, 2007 in the Kulturkaufhaus Dussman, Friedrichstrasse 90, 10117 Berlin. There will be pieces by Alexandra Voelker (Catwalk), DuO (Independent), Lenka Buschova (Freaky Angel), Gina Wetzel (Orcus Star) and Ying Zhou Cheng (Shanghai Passion). The opening on January 10 will be held at 6pm and have a panel discussion about anything manga with actor Thomas Held and the artists, moderated by Torsten Knippertz (journalist). Afterwards, fans can have their copies signed by their favorite artists.

Evergrey Article

December 14, 2006

The following is a translation of a Swiss article about Evergrey, a new series by Lime Manga. It’s being published by Tokyopop. The article was originally published in Die Berner Zeitung.

No infringement is intended.

First Swiss manga – Vampires, Witches, Kidney Failure

Normally, manga come from Japan. Now, for the first time, a Swiss has worked in this artistic comic genre. The fantasy story Evergrey, however, came into being under dramatic circumstances.

At first sight, Evergrey doesn’t look any different from Japanese comics. But this manga is not from the homeland of sushi. Evergrey is drawn by a Swiss, written by an American, and published in Germany.
Artist David Boller, who emigrated to the USA in 1992, was a manga fan long before comics from Japan were translated into German. It started in primary school [dm: ?]. “My best friend was Japanese. He always had manga lying around at his place,” says the artist from Zurich.

From superhero to vampire
In the USA, the 38 year old made a name for himself as an artist of superhero comics for the big publishers Marvel and DC. But then, suddenly, the manga-fever broke out. So Boller reestablished contact with his old acquaintance, Joachim Kaps, head of the German manga publisher Tokyopop. Mary Hildebrandt, Boller’s wife, developed the story about the impossible love between the vampire Szandor and the witch Kyrania. Evergrey tells the story of two tribes that have been foes since the beginning of time. The title refers to the futile hopes for peace. The only glimpse of light is the the child of Szandor and Kyrania, Danika.

Autobiographical Traits
Danika grows up with foster parents in the human world. Shortly after her 16th birthday, she dreams more and more about her true heritage. But because no one understands her, the student feels excluded.
This could be read as the psychological profile of any teenager, but does have autobiographical traits as well. The author felt like an outsider in her childhood and youth due to her diabetes.

The Kidney of the Husband Fits
During work on the first of three planned volumes, her health worsened. Hildebrandt had to get dialysis. A kidney donation became necessary. Chance had it that of all tested friends and relatives, her husband, David’s kidney was the best match.
What sounds like a kitschy Hollywood movie is true. And even more: the experience influenced the story as well. Mary Hildebrandt: “Vampires and witches have always fascinated me. But when the kidney situation become truly dangerous, the topic of mortality forced itself upon me. There I was on dialysis, feeling miserable, but having to find the strength to get through it. Writing was one of the reasons I didn’t give up.”

Understanding of the Publisher
When publisher Joachim Kaps learned about the dramatic circumstances, he pushed back the planned publication of Evergrey. Boller and Hildebrandt, who live about a 45 minute drive West of New York, both stress how important the support and motivation from the side of the German publisher was at that time. The collaboration went so well that the two are already working on a second manga for Tokyopop. Yaru, a supernatural fantasy-adventure with a touch of comedy, is supposed to appear next spring — again, under Boller’s and Hildebrandt’s pseudonym Lime.

The Course of Work
David Boller describes the creation of a manga like so: “Mary comes up with an idea, and we discuss it. She sketches the plot, and together we work out layouts. When Mary has specific pictures in her head for how something should look, she doesn’t hesitate to act them out for me.” Then she writes the final version of the script, which he translates into German. In the end, he draws with ink and fills in tones.

Foreign Art, Real Style
The result is a black and white comic that looks like a real Japanese manga. Still, David Boller’s personal style is very distinct. As in the fanzine Shadow, which he published at the end of the 80s in Switzerland, Boller’s approach is of a more aesthetic than realistic nature. Art Nouveau-like ornaments wind through the heroine’s flowing hair. That works very well with the story, which, despite the vampires, is not scary, but romantic.
Reto Baer

The following German “global manga” have been licensed for publication in non-German-speaking countries. We’ve hunted to the best of our abilities, but we’re not familiar with the scenes outside of Germany & America. If you know of any licenses we’ve missed, let us know!

For extra kicks, check out this Greek flash-movie advertisement for three of the works below.

Dystopia – by Judith Park
Licensed for release in Bulgaria.
Licensed for release in France by Pika.
ISBN: 2-84599-691-8
Licensed for release in Greece by Anubis Manga.
Licensed for release in Hungary.
Licensed for release in Italy by JPOP.
Licensed for release in Spain by Planeta.

Evergrey – by Lime Manga
Licensed for release in America by Tokyopop.

Gothic Sports – by Anike Hage
Licensed for release in America by Tokyopop.
v1 ISBN: 978-1598169928
v2 ISBN: 978-1598169935
Licensed for release in France by Soleil Manga.
v1 ISBN: 2-84946-353-1
v2 ISBN: 978-2849466285
Licensed for cellphone release in Japan by Tokyopop.

In the End – by Pink Psycho
Licensed for release in America by Tokyopop.
Licensed for cellphone release in Japan by Tokyopop.

Jibun-Jishin – by Nina Werner
Licensed for release in France.
Licensed for release in Greece by Anubis Manga.
Licensed for release in Italy.
Licensed for release in Spain as “Yo misma” by Planeta.

Mon-Star Attack – by DuO
Licensed for release in Poland by Egmont Polska.
v1 ISBN: 83-237-3098-9
v2 ISBN: 83-237-3142-X

Summer Rain – by Natalie Wormsbecher
Licensed for cellphone release in Japan by Tokyopop.

Y-Square – by Judith Park
Licensed for release in Bulgaria.
Licensed for release in France by Pika.
ISBN: 978-2-84599-711-0
Licensed for release in Greece by Anubis Manga.
Licensed for release in Hungary.
Licensed for release in Italy by JPOP.
Licensed for release in Korea by Daum (?).
Licensed for release in North America by Yen Press.
ISBN: 978-0-7595-2405-7
Licensed for release in Spain by Planeta.
Licensed for release in Russia as “Йоу в квадрате” by Comics Factory.

Yonen Buzz – by Christina Plaka
Licensed for release in France by Soleil Manga.
v0 ISBN: 978-2849466681
v1 ISBN: 2849463493
v2 ISBN: 2849465240
Licensed for release in America by Tokyopop.
v1 ISBN: 1-59816-403-1
v2 ISBN: 1-59816-404-X
v3 ISBN: 978-1598164053
Licensed for cellphone release in Japan by Tokyopop.

The following non-German “global manga” have been licensed & are being published in Germany.

ISBN v1: 978-3-936686-81-4
ISBN v2: 978-3-936686-82-1
ISBN v3: 978-3-936686-83-8

Die Chroniken von Aluria
ISBN: 978-3-939309-07-9
ISBN v1: 978-3-939309-06-2

ISBN v1: 978-3-86580-078-7
ISBN v2: 978-3-86580-079-4
ISBN v3: 978-3-86580-080-0
12 Days
ISBN: 978-3-86719-311-5
A Midnight Opera
ISBN v1: 978-3-86719-107-4
ISBN v2: 978-3867191081
ISBN v1: 978-3867191517
ISBN v1: 978-3-86580-326-9
ISBN v2: 978-3865803276
The Dreaming
ISBN v1: 978-3867191548
I Luv Halloween
ISBN v1: 978-3-86580-247-7
Peach Fuzz
ISBN v1: 978-3-86580-291-0
Pink Diary
ISBN v1: 978-3-86719-301-6
Princess Ai
Complete Edition (v1-3): 978-3865801906
ISBN v1: 978-3-86580-191-3
ISBN v2: 978-3-86580-192-0
ISBN v3: 978-86580-193-7
ISBN v1: 978-3-86580-294-1
ISBN v2: 978-3-86580-295-8
ISBN v3: 978-3-86580-296-5
Sokora Refugees
ISBN v1: 978-3-86580-391-7
ISBN v2: 978-3865803924
Sorcerers & Secretaries
ISBN v1: 978-3-86719-309-2
Steady Beat

ISBN v1: 978-3-86580-358-0

The Wild Side
ISBN: 3-939484-02-4
ISBN: 978-3-939484-06-6
Wishing for the Moon
ISBN: 3-939484-03-2

Merchandise for global manga seems to be almost unheard of in America… thankfully, that’s not the case in Germany. Let us know if we’ve missed any!

Purikura are those tiny little photo-stickers that’re so popular in Japan… and apparently, CarlsenComics has designed a few frames! On the left is one for their monthly-manga-mag, Daisuki, and the one on the right is for Jibun-Jishin, a single volume work by Nina Werner. We haven’t seen any info about were you can find these photo booths… the only knowledge we have about their existance at all comes from these two samples, found on the sites of Nam & Tram Nguyen and Nina Werner.
Nina Werner’s work seems to be a popular choice for merchandise- characters from Jibun-Jishin grace the back of a windbreaker that’s offered on their site- buy enough of their manga (or get a 1 year subscription to Daisuki), get a free jacket!
She also has pencil boards being given out as prizes as part of Animexx‘s advent calendar, but we haven’t been able to find any images.

All we’ve seen so far from EMA is merchandise for the works of DuO- Mon-Star Attack & Independent. The stickers came with Mon-Star Attack v1, and the highlighters are currently being sold all over Europe. If you buy Independent v1, one comes attached, but there are five designs in all. Images are from DuO’s website and Stabilo is a sponsor of ComicCampus, an annual manga contest. On their site, you can also find a “comic creator“- make your own comic, with characters from Independent!

Schwarzer Turm is a big fan of merchandise. They have a wide array of stickers, buttons, shirts and postcards available for their manga anthologies, like Paper Theatre. The homepage of The Royal Walchs (the team behind Magic Mütze) has a number of photos of various merchandise, so check ’em out here.

A pair of postcards seem to come with every volume of global manga Tokyopop Germany releases. The above are the sets we received with our volumes of Gothic Sports v1 & Iscel v1. The books themselves contain a number of color pages, in contrast to the releases states-side.
And everyone loves Nintendo DS, right? Tokyopop artists Anike Hage & Marie Sann paired up with eBay and Nintendo, and each designed a DS. Five were made of each design, which were then sold to the highest bidders on eBay, with the money going to charity. Images are from Marie Sann’s homepage, and an Anike Hage fansite, with the latter copyright Guido Mudersbach and AnimeY. Tokyopop has also expressed an interest in making a line of shirts that look like the soccer uniforms in Gothic Sports.

New Carlsen OGM line- Chibi

December 8, 2006

CarlsenComics has announced a whole new line- Chibi!

Chibi – Pocket-sized Manga!

Chibi is Japanese for “small, cute, dwarf”.  CHIBI is the name of the game, as the manga don’t only appear in a practical pocket-size (64 pages, 9.5 x 14.5cm), they also come at a very price that’s cuter than anything else- €1.95…!

Short manga: The best of the best!
Buy a whole anthology because of one short story you’re interested in?! Not with us! The time of anthologies is over! With CHIBI, you have the choice- decide for yourself what story you want.  However, the decision may be pretty hard, since CHIBI offers you the best of Germany’s manga artists.

Launch is March 22, 2007!
The first five volumes, full of adventure, suspense, romance, and fun, come out on March 22, 2007!  So you can find the manga in pocket-size at your bookstore, we’ve packed them into a box that’s hard to miss!  There’s no way you won’t be able to find them.

And here they are, the first five CHIBI:
#1 – Judith Park – LUXUS [dm: “luxury”]
#2 – Nadine Büttner – WHITE PEARL
#3 – Michael “Mio” Rühle – GEEKS
#4 – Melanie Schober – RACCOON
#5 – Franziska Steffen & Tina Lindhorst – DRACHENSCHNEE [dm: “dragonsnow”. BL.]

Our CHIBI-mascot will be on tour in five big cities, starting March 2007.

There will be a multi-faceted program at the Leipzig Bookfair. Among other things, all the CHIBI-artists will be there to sign your books!