Yuri Manga: Comic Yuri Hime December 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年12月号)

November 22nd, 2017

With the publication of Comic Yuri Hime, December 2017 (コミック百合姫2017年12月号), the very first year of having a monthly Yuri manga magazine comes to an end. And what a year it has been. In the same way that I felt trepidation for the debut monthly issue, worried that it might be skewed toawrds interests away from my own, I felt similarly for this issue, which highlights some new artists. (While meanwhile, most of our best-loved artists have joined the team at Galette Works.) Unfortunately for me, the Comic Yuri Hime series they are putting the most money into are the ones I like least, so, how would I feel after reading this issue?

I’m pleased to say that Comic Yuri Hime is ending the year about as strongly as it began. Which is to say that it begins with an energetic young woman entering high school and befriending the morose rumor-laden classic Japanese beauty girl. Yep. Still trope-y as heck. ^_^

The cover couple seem to have made up and are cute and wintery. (I wonder, a bit, about people still motivated to draw the same one tropey couple as always. Really? REALLY?!?)

I’m reading two completely separate “girl falls for her sister-in-law” series at the same time, so I find it hard to remember in which the brother is alive and which not. In tMnR’s “Tatoeto Dokanu Kedatoshitemo” Uta’s crush is not as secret, I think, as she’d like us to believe. This chapter focuses more on Kaoru’s relationship with her husband. I’m more uncomfortable with this series since Reichi is alive but in any case, this story has become so depressing, I’m considering dropping it. No one seems happy ever.

After it’s dark opening chapter, “Shiori wo Sagasu Page-tachi” takes a turn sideways, to Chitose’s childhood friendship with Rikako.

“2DK, GPen, Mezamashitokei” gives us a glimpse of what Nanami’s coworkers think of her, and then we watch her spin in the cycle she’s created for herself.

Tsuitsui’s art is a mess, but despite myself I keep liking the story. In “Astrology ha Mawaru” a cool girl is torturing herself about a lost (opportunity for) love, until a young woman ends up taking up her attention.

And no surprise I adore Taneko’s “Model-chan to Jimi Mane-san” about a beautiful model and her new manager. The whole thing felt so Mist magazine, it made me grin. Even the cover piece was like, “throwback!”

Ratings:

Overall – 8

As always, there were many other stories I didn’t review, or even read, but others I did read, but didn’t mention. There’s a host of moe-type stories for folks interested in that, at least a few stories for those of us who prefer not. A reasonable mix. But forgive me, please, if I cannot *wait* until Yuru Yuri, Citrus and NTR are gone and free the space up for something else.

The January 2018 issue is on sale now. I know I look forward to another year of Comic Yuri Hime!

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New Essay on Yuricon Essays Page!

November 20th, 2017

Last week I had the extraordinary pleasure of lecturing for the Gender and Fandom class at Harvard University. I cannot express what joy I have when I stand up in front of a class and get to expound upon the vagaries of  publishing, sales, communications, queer manga and the role fans have played in the evolution of it all.

I’m always asked if I’ll have a video up and the answer is usually no. It’s still no today, but at least I can share with you the full text of the essay on which this talk is based. 

How Fandom Made Queer Manga Possible is up on the Yuricon Essays Page today. It’s also been added to the Big Book o’Yuri, which is closing in on 2/3 done. ^_^

While I was in the area, I also hit up the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to see the Murakami / Tsuji collaboration, Lineage of Eccentrics exhibition. It was fantastic.  And…it was fanart! Basically they pulled items out of the MFA collection and Murakami did a riff on the item. You can see what I mean a little on this video preview on the MFA’s website.

The MFA also had a delightful “showdown” exhibit, pitting Kuniyoshi’s bright colors and  Shounen Jump-eque heroes against Kunisada’s sophisticated body language and pretty women in Showdown! Kuniyoshi vs Kunisada. It probably comes as no surprise that I favored manga-like Kuniyoshi, but really think Kunisada’s work is stellar.

Thanks to everyone who came to the talk and thanks again to Kerry for the invitation and Jude for junketing us around. It was lovely to see you. (And also Brigid and Kate, who met up with us for dinner the night before.)

I hope you all enjoy the lecture!

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Event Report: AnimeNYC

November 19th, 2017

It was my very great pleasure to attend the very first AnimeNYC this weekend, held at Javits Convention Center in New York City, NY. In many ways, the story of AnimeNYC is the story of a plucky young man and his vision of an anime and manga convention in New York City.

Just to put this event in some kind of context, I want you to cast your mind back to the early 2000s for a moment. In an attempt to create an industry trade show, Central Park Media created the Big Apple Anime Festival. Originally designed to be for the industry with, perhaps, industry awards, CPM opened it up to larger media companies like Sony and King Records, which are deeply embedded in the anime trade on the Japanese and movie release side. It lasted only a few years, for lack of industry support. (Not long after, I attempted to rouse the manga industry to create a trade association, and found, as had CPM, the industry itself wasn’t mature enough to understand the point of an industry trade association.) Fans complained about the idea of a corporate-run con, but then came anyway, as they always do, which is why “fans complained” is the most meaningless statement in all of anime and manga blogging. 

A few years after BAAF, a former CPM employee created the New York Anime Festival, which premiered alongside New York Comic Con. It was a valiant attempt to recognize that there was overlap in the comics/media and manga/anime market. That lasted a few years, until Comic-Con’s show organizers Reed Pop hired that former CPM employee and had him run the anime and manga programming of an increasingly large New York Comic-Con. But, as NYCC got larger, it looked at San Diego Comic-Con with big dewy eyes and decided it too wanted to be a media con. 

Luckily for us, NYCC resisted that by being not on the west coast, home of TV and movies, but by being in New York City, home of book and comic publishing. For the last few years, NYCC has focused on books, comics and manga, leaving the TV and movie stars to SDCC. But still, it looks longingly towards Tinseltown, but no further. NYCC is big enough to bring in Viz and Funimation, and Kodansha and Vertical and Yen are all local, so yes, they have a presence at NYCC, but that plucky young lad felt that NYCC eating NYAF wasn’t what he wanted. 

So that former CPM, former Reed Expo employee, plucky young lad and a guy I have known for a grillion years, Peter Tatara, tried again. Third time may be the charm.

Javits is just the place for a corporate con. At Javits you’ll never forget that the event is not “fan-run.” And that’s not only okay…it’s a good thing. There needs to be a higher standard for some events than “hey kids, let’s put on a show!” And, realistically, while fans often think of the really big cons in the USA as “corporate” that’s only true for the Comic conventions. Having a Board of Directors does not make a con corporate run. There’s only a very small handful of corporate-run conventions in the anime/manga world. Yaoi-con, run by DPM and Crunchyroll Expo are the only two I can think of off the top of my head. And, now, AnimeNYC, run by Left Field Media and supported by Crunchyroll. 

To begin with, AnimeNYC was a great size for a first year con. About 25K attendees, 30 with guests and vendors and staff, it takes up one section of Javits. Panels are immediately to the right of the Dealer’s Room. Sadly, the Artist Alley was upstairs which meant that I never had a chance to get over there, as I ran out of time. The number of attendees meant that the con was large and lively, but not crushing.

Line management was variable. The AnimeNYC staff handles things well, were always polite and helpful and everything went smoothly. The Javits center security was their usual dumpster fire of incoherent line management, shoutiness and general incompetence. They make a huge show of security and bag checks that slowed us all down at the entrance, but it would have been no trouble at all to sneak in a bar of C4 and a few detonation devices. I’m not joking, they never looked past the scarf on top of my bag. I could have had *anything* in there.

Tons of Sailor Moon and Utena cosplayers walking around, in part due to two huge Sailor Moon premiers happening at the event, including a Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 premiere with the entire dub cast today.  While I will not make that, I do hope to have something for you later that will make up for that.

As I always do, I spent most of my time talking with vendors and staff. I took a moment to talk to Kodansha about the upcoming Eternal Sailor Moon edition. The Kodansha rep Ben assured me that everyone working on the book just loves how it’s coming out. He said he thinks the covers will look even better than the Japanese version. Again, I was told that Takeuchi-sensei is getting final approval on everything, which again, makes me happy. She changed the world, she gets to have her say.

Yen Press couldn’t confirm anything beyond the one Eclair anthology, but they promised to let me know if that changes. And let me tell you, the folks there are super awesome. I’m hoping to bring them some goodies back from Japan that will motivate them to license some more Yuri. ^_^

No one had licenses that were relevant to us here, but I want to take a moment to note that licensing announcements from the anime and manga companies are way more frequent than they used to be. Even though NYCC was just a few weeks ago, there were licensing announcements from the companies who came to the event, which included Funimation and Sentai Filmworks and Viz made announcements although they didn’t have a booth. I recommend following Sean Gaffney’s reporting on the announcements and panels.

There’s a new manhwa webcomic site in town, Tappy Toon. They have one short Yuri story, Seasons in Bloom, right now, but Ernest was open to new stories if there was interest.

And MangaGamers would like to remind you that the Sono Hanabira/ A Kiss for the Petals series (which I really have to admit, for myself I do not find even slightly appealing, but which I know are very popular) is available. MG Rep John also told me that there’s a new Yuri series on the way that he couldn’t even tease, but that we’d all recognize. 

Congrats to the AnimeNYC team, and thank you to everyone who spoke with me – great job well done. I look forward to being able to participate next year!

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I’m heading out for Comitia and the Kaigai Festa and, hopefully, Comic Arts Tokyo! AND I’ve got something exciting lined up for tomorrow, so you don’t miss me too much. 

 

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Yuri Network News – (百合ネットワークニュース) – November 11, 2017

November 18th, 2017

Short news report today, as I’m on the floor of Anime NYC.

LGBTQ Manga

Seven Seas has two big license announcements so far this week. As we previously covered, Kabi Nagata’s sequel comic My Solo Exchange Diary  continues her struggles with life and, I’m pleased to report that they have also licensed Riyoko Ijkeda’s LGBTQ comic Claudine!, which I have many times noted can be validly read as either a story of a butch lesbian or a trans man. I very much look forward to seeing this in English!

Help Us Pay Guest Reviewers! 

 

Live-Action News

Comic Natalie has a report of a new Revolutionary Girl Utena Musical making its way on stage in March 2018.  As  one of the few who remembers the musical from the early 2000s, this news made me cringe and laugh. Hopefully this one is not nearly as excruciating. ^_^ And, in one of those maddening mis-timings that plague me, There is a Revolutionary Girl Utena exhibit at Tobu in Ikebukuro that will close the day before I arrive. Yes, I’m vexed. (-_-);

 

Other News

Prada is honoring the work of female comics creators and illustrators with a new fashion line.

 

Know some cool Yuri News you want people to know about? Become a Yuri Network Correspondent by sending me any Yuri-related news you find.Emails go to anilesbocon01 at hotmail dot com. Not to the comments here, please, or they might be forgotten or missed. There’s a reason for this madness. This way I know you are a real human, not Anonymous (which I do not encourage – stand by your words with your name!) and I can send you a YNN correspondent’s badge.

Thanks to all of you – you make this a great Yuri Network!

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AnimeNYC ahoy!

November 17th, 2017

I’ll be at AnimeNYC in New York City today and tomorrow to see the entire English-language cast of Sailor Moon among other exciting guests.

Keep an eye out for me on the floor and do say hi if you’re there. I’ve got a few goodies to give away, because why not. ^_^

See you at Anime NYC!

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