Dramacon by Svetlana Chmakova
Jake Forbes lays into every major area of the manga industry: From Japanese publishers to American fans. Take his criticisms of Japanese publishers poor treatment of their overseas partners:
It’s time to start thinking globally. You have a product in manga that people around the world love. Do you really want everyone outside of your tiny island nation to experience manga via second-hand scans and translations dependent on guesswork? And I’m not talking about scanlations here—the totally legit publishers you work with often have no choice but to scan Japanese books and figure things out on their own.
Or their failure to embrace digital distribution:
Scanlations aren’t the problem of American or other international publishers—they are YOUR problem because with rare exception, you don’t consider digital distribution options as a fundamental part of the license. Do scanlations hurt the sales of licensed printed books? Probably. If you don’t step up and recognize the demand for faster, cheaper and digitally available content, you’ll never know what market you’re missing. Transitioning from print-only to a hybrid print and digital world isn’t easy, and there’s going to be some hiccups and belt-tightening along the way. Either empower your licensors as partners or bring localization management in-house as a serious endeavor. How else are you going to know what kind of business digital manga represents?
But he also criticizes fan entitlement:
Argue all you want about whether or not scanlations are a net positive for the industry, but the simple truth is, YOU AREN’T THE INDUSTRY—YOU ARE THE CONSUMER. You can’t know because you don’t have the facts. You don’t know the true cost of making manga, so how are you qualified to know the harm that lost sales causes? As I covered before, I whole-heartedly believe the Japanese manga industry is doing itself a serious disservice by not leaping to fix the system. Baby steps like releasing all of ONE mainstream series simultaneously in English and Japanese is a joke. A noble joke, but a joke nonetheless. Is free, ad-supported online manga the future? Maybe. But unless your name is Tite Kubo or Shueisha Publishing Co. Ltd., you have absolutely no right to make that leap for them.
His recommendation? Make your own damn comics:
And finally, if you’re truly passionate about manga and want ownership of something, then for God’s sake, stop using scanlations as a crutch and create something original! I’m sure that warm, fuzzy feeling you get at knowing that your peers like “your” work when you upload a scanlation must be pretty great, but don’t let that feeling get to your head. Anyone with a couple years of college Japanese and access to photoshop can help make a scanlation. Instead, take a cue from Japanese fans and try your hand at doujinshi. It’ll be hard. You’ll get plenty of “likes” for your pinups of Kakashi, but don’t stop there. Learn to do sequential art. You’ll probably fail—a lot. Maybe you even copy the style of your favorite artist, or, God forbid, TRACE, but you know what? That’s okay right now because you’re not finished yet and you know better than to try and pass it as your own work.
The whole thing is very entertaining in a curmudgeonly way; especially when he compares past and present fandoms.
So Anaheim has stepped up its efforts to lure Comic Con International from San Diego by 2013. Tom Spurgeon thinks the competing proposals from San Diego's rivals "suck giant donkey balls":
I'd almost consider the internet version of the public face of these proposals from cities not San Diego some sort of ploy by the city of San Diego to make people like them better.
I don't have an opinion on Las Vegas and San Francisco, but I agree with his objections to Anaheim and Los Angeles. The former has Disneyland to compete with for hotel and parking space; and the latter presents a horrible, horrible commute from hotel to convention center for attendees. And for me, one of the advantages of San Diego is that it isn't Hollywood. CCI would be swallowed up by the city and its entertainment industry. I also happen to enjoy San Diego's low key charm and their convention center's close proximity to the coast.
Screw Marvel's Girl Comics. Want to read comics made by women? Here are a few recommendations.
Shintaro Kago is a mad genius.
On a non-comics note: UFC president Dana White's disappointed expression when Shane Carwin KO'd Frank Mir? Priceless.