From multiple sources in the Phillipines comes the news that Sailor Moon is returning to TV there. Johann C from the Yuricon Mailing List says that it’s getting “a New Tagalog dub with Jenny Bituin (Misaki Suzuhara in Angelic Layer, Sakura Kinomoto in Card Captor Sakura) as Usagi.”
The first episode of Gokujyouu anime will be streamed for free online on January 30th and if that doesn’t turn you off then we have nothing left to discuss, you and I.
So, yesterday we announced the partnership of JManga and ALC Publishing to bring Goto Hayako’s POOR POOR LIPS to digital format. Let me address some of the obvious issues that came up, to the best of my ability.
Distribution – I am pushing to try and get JManga to establish access for Yuri publications outside North America, but this is primarily an issue between JManga and the Japanese rights holder. You all know how I feel about this nonsense. If it were up to me, everyone, everywhere would have access to this book. Unfortunately, I am only in a position to suggest.
Digital Format – Yes, this is a digital format only. And only on JManga. JManga is the rights holder, not ALC. We have no say about the format.
Yesterday, this question became an issue, as some people claimed that they preferred to buy books. That may be true, but 1) As I’ve said many times, the book-buying Yuri audience is not yet sustainable and 2) Digital makes a lot more sense going forward than books. We are at one of those moments in time, between two formats and everyone over the age of 18 is digging in their heels saying “But I prefer books.” What we really mean is, “I am used to books.” Digital is not going away and, in days to come you should probably expect more digital, not less. 3) People who rely mostly on scans really, I know most of you do (not all, Okazu readers are very likely to buy when they can and I know that!) really have no voice in the distribution/format wars. I understand fully why you rely on scanlations. You don’t have to justify that. But, when a legit version is available, and a person is still downloading illicit scanlations, and says, “I prefer to buy books,” it’s disingenuous, at best. What that person is really saying is, “I prefer free.”
4chan has already stated that they want rips of the JManga edition. This is what publishers hear when “fans” say “We want a thing.” They could have it, all three current volumes of Poor Poor Lips, but oh wait, not for free. So they’ll just rip it and move on. THIS is why I am not trying to license the print version. There’s no other reason, just this. Until this changes, I have no incentive to invest my money in the market. I don’t have an angel company pouring money over my head, so I have to be very cautious.
So, while I’m very proud to be bringing the Yuri audience Poor Poor Lips, and will do what I can to make it available to as many of you as possible, I’m still frustrated by the instant “I won’t buy it because…” reactions. If you have any reason at all that you won’t support it, you’ve given up your voice in the conversation. As for all of the non-North American fans out there – I want you to know that I really understand your frustration and will keep pushing for your right to read this!
And, in keeping with the concept of anyone, anywhere reading a comic, Tsubomi magazine has put several of their comics online and they do not appear to be region-locked! Of course, they are in Japanese.
Here’s the moral of the story – the market is still changing and changing quickly. Publishers are scrambling to make things available and also scrambling to pay their bills. (Like…if you do work, you should be paid for it. Well, so should the people who work for the publishers.) Japanese publishers are still a bit behind the times, but they are also doing their best. Not too long ago, someone on Twitter asked about using Kickstarter to fund an obscure series and I had to tell them the facts about publishing. The bits you see – translation, lettering and distribution are only a teeny portion of what goes into the licensing and publication of a book. Because most of the steps are invisible to readers, they may think that that’s all there is. But, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. ^_^ So, please, be patient with the industry. We’re trying.
David makes a good point in the comments – the business model for JManga is off-putting for some folks. I don’t disagree. Honestly, I’d prefer to have ad hoc sales as an option, too. I’ve mentioned that to them as well. So yes, the whole thing is imperfect. You know what? Life is imperfect. ^_^ All we get is to choose how we react to life’s imperfections.
That wraps it up for this week.
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