Gothic Sports ch5

May 15, 2007

As I’m sure some of you have expected– Gothic Sports ch5 is now up on Tokyopop’s online manga player. Make sure you read each chapter as it goes up, as it gets “locked” at the end of the week!


Fans of Gothic Sports should be sure to check out an exclusive interview with Anike Hage that has just put up. Non-German fans in particular may find some of the questions interesting, like the info about German highschools and sports teams. And, of course, there’s the questions we’ve all just been dying to ask:

TOKYOPOP: Does the fact that the Goths were an Eastern Germanic tribe who fought against the Romans in the first half of the first millenium A.D. have any effect on the perception of Goth culture in modern Germany?

As always, the English version of Gothic Sports v1 can be bought here!

Tokyopop USA has put up chapter 4 of Gothic Sports on their Manga Player, so check it out! Volume one is now in stock on Amazon.

Marie Sann (artist of Sketchbook Berlin) willbe at a Manga Workshop in Berlin on May 19th, from 4-7pm. More info can be found at her blog.

Gothic Sports ch3 is up on Tokyopop’s Manga Player, for those who’re following the English release! Volume 1 comes out next week, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Speaking of which, the first English-language review is up at Prospero’s Manga. The ranking score is below average, which seems to be due to it having a typical sports story. Not having read v2 myself, I can’t say whether or not Gothic Sports begins to break from this mold after the initial set-up. One part of the review did make me a bit curious:

In fact, in this first volume there is little to tell you that this was first released in Germany. Perhaps that’s proof of the saying that there are no new stories …

I can’t help but think this may just be because as manga-readers, we’re used to stories that take place in a cultural setting that is at times vastly different from our own. Germany (and Western European culture in general) is hardly as different from America as we might imagine.

Speaking of Tokyopop licenses, the German versions of The Dreaming v1 and Bizenghast v1 are both available for pre-order now, with a release date of November.

Gothic Sports ch2 Online

April 26, 2007 now has the English version of chapter two of Gothic Sports online for your free reading pleasure! You’ll need an account to read more than a few pages, though.

You can pre-order volume one here, or grab a copies in stores starting May 8.

A special Tokyopop newsletter was just sent out, and there’s enough info that we’ll be making two posts! There’s licensing news, announcements of new series, and info about upcoming volumes of ongoing series– the German announcements can be found here, though we’ve taken our info from the emailed newsletter, which gives more information.

First off, a bit of licensing news: “Global manga” series The Dreaming (Queenie Chan) and Bizenghast (M. Alice LeGrow) will soon be released in German. Bizenghast is listed as having a release date in November, and neither book is up on Amazon yet. We’ll be sure to let you know once they’re available for pre-order! See this list for which global works have been licensed in Germany.

Iscel v3 (by Detta Zimmermann) should be released in September, so now is the time to go out and get a copy of volume one or two and get ready for it. Again, there’s no ISBN or Amazon page up yet, so we’ll post it as soon as it’s up. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Tokyopop news page for a look at the cover!

Another cover you should take a look at is that of Kleiner Thor, a new series by Kim Schmidt that Tokyopop will be releasing. Here’s what Tokyopop has to say about this anticipated title:

Kim Schmidt has been one of the most successful comic and cartoon artists in Germany for many years, and is especially known in the North due to his series Local Heroes. Patrick Wirbeleit has also dedicated his life to drawing, but every once in a while, he also works as a fantastical childrens’ book author. Together, the two have created a comic series inspired by the epic storytelling style of manga. It hasn’t even been published yet, but it’s already attracted the attention of foreign publishers.
Kleiner Thor explores the made up childhood of the norse god, Thor (yes, the one with the hammer :-)), who was sent to Earth by his father, Odin, in order to understand humans. This is to prepare him for his later duties, as a change of power is approaching in Valhalla, and Thor is supposed to take his father’s throne as soon as possible. Thor lives in a little viking village, but unfortunately, his magical sword is stolen! Even without its help, he’s willing to face lots of exciting adventures…
A preview will be up on Manga Player starting in June, and volume one will be in stores in August!

Looks like we’re being linked to from Tokyopop US’s “Creator Profile” on Anike Hage (Gothic Sports)… Thanks! And welcome to anyone who’s found us that way. There’s a slight misspelling of her name, but only once. ;D Interestingly, the profile is also only visible on the “Online Manga” info, rather than the one in the “Books” section, for those interested in finding it in the future.

For those interested, here’s Tokyopop’s profile on Christina Plaka, author of Yonen Buzz. (The other version is here— this one gets the name of Carlsen right!). The first few volumes of Yonen Buzz are currently out in English, and we have volume 1– we’ll try to get a review up sometime if people are interested! Let us know.

While we’re busy mentioning small mistakes… the US Amazon page for Gothic Sports v1 strangely lists the book description of My Dead Girlfriend… Ignore that when making your purchase!

Looks like the new preview of Gothic Sports caught the attention of some of the big bloggers! You can find mention of it at Publishers Weekly’s The Beat. While it does get some pretty good feedback, the question of format is immediately brought up, to no great surprise. “Global manga” tends to be (severely!) frowned upon in the US when they go so far as being written in the Japanese reading direction.

Interestingly, in interviews we’ve read and taken part in in the past, all signs point to the reading direction being primarily the choice of the artist, not the publisher. Some works, like those which ran in Daisuki alongside Japanese series, and possibly Chibi, may need to be consistent in the reading direction, but Tokyopop Germany lets their artists decide (as is seen in Evergrey and Yaru, which are both left-to-right). All books put out by Tokyopop USA, on the other hand, must be in Western reading direction.

Gothic Sports has the place of honor on the front of! The English version of the first volume comes out on May 8, and to up the hype, TP is offering a free preview of the entire first chapter! You’ll have to sign up for an account in order to read it, but it’s not much work. Be sure to “pop” it and support Anike Hage’s English debut!
The chapter is currently up “backwards”, however— none of the pages have been flipped, but they are in left-to-right order. We let them know, so they should hopefully fix this soon… Yonen Buzz’s preview has been backwards for quite some time.  It’s been fixed! Go forth and enjoy.

We’d like to give a nod to Same Hat, Same Hat, an English language blog which recently posted about Judith Park and the German manga scene! Be sure to check it out; there’s plenty of pictures and links.

From the same post came news we didn’t about: Jeff Smith (Bones) posted in his blog last October about his time at Frankfurt Bookfair, which he spent with Anike Hage! Be sure to check the link out for a drawing Anike did of Anya & one of Jeff’s characters with a soccer ball head.

There’s a new interview up with Tokyopop artist Anike Hage (Gothic Sports— also available in English). Volume 2 was just released, and when asked about how long she thinks Gothic Sports will end up being, she says:

I don’t know exactly. I think I’d need a few more volumes if I want to get everything in there, though some things can be discarded (only in case of emergency, of course)!

The rest of the interview deals with her family’s reaction to her career, prejudice she runs into, where she got the idea for Gothic Sports from, etc. If there’s anything you want us to translate, let us know.

In other news, volume 3 of the English-language version of Christina Plaka’s Yonen Buzz is now available for pre-order on Amazon with a release date of October 9.  For links to the first two volumes and other info on German manga licensed abroad, check out this list.