This week had a lot of important news, some of which I wanted to share, and a few rants I really need to get off my chest.
First, the CBLDF announced that the criminal charges were dropped in the “Brandon X” case. The case was ultimately settled on non-criminal charges. CBLDF director Charles Brownstein talks at length about this case and the fact that, ultimately, it did not go to trial and therefore did not create a legal precedent. He makes a lot of excellent points and I hope you’ll read this fantastic interview Tom Spurgeon did with him on Comics Reporter. (And I am so excited to be able to link to Tom’s site. He’s been kind enough to link to me many times over, so back atcha Tom!) The CBLDF is still paying off more than half the legal fees so any help you can give them, even donations as little as $5, are greatly appreciated.
Also of great importance has been the saga of content sellers vs content publishers in regards to Digital Manga Publishing. Although I have very little motivation to read their stuff (and have some issues with their Digital Manga Guild, as I consider it to be a race to the bottom for quality work for fair cost,) I like the folks there personally. Recently, both Apple and Amazon have delisted DMP’s BL titles. Apple demanded DMP pull Yaoi from its Apple app and Amazon told DMP that they couldn’t sell through Kindle. As you can imagine, I was livid at this. I wrote the Apple and Amazon CEOs. Clearly I was not the only one, as 24 hours later, Amazon rescinded. Apple has not.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter have seen my rage at Apple and their randomly enforced, bizarrely Victorian business practices that seem to somehow always be against LGBTQ-themed content. I started my computer days on an Apple, but now you could not pay me to buy any of their products. I am so strongly opposed to their obscure and cloaked content policies, their anti-LGBTQ focus and even more opposed to the willful blindness of Apple users who keep insisting I must be mistaken. I am not mistaken – Apple was, once, a very progressive company. Now they are just another large company who does not hire full-timers, they farm everything out to contractors, who are clearly given too much room to be repressive, and they treat foreign workers like animals. Come ON folks. Apple is “The Man.” Their culture and their policies are totalitarian. I get it – they were cool when you were in school. They aren’t cool anymore. You should say something about that to them.
While I’m ranting, I would like to repeat myself once more about the Yuri market. Now that Poor Poor Lips is doing well at JManga, there is some cognitive dissonance about it being released in print. This is abstracted from a comment I made on Facebook about the matter:
Fans assume there are tens of thousands of people out there reading Yuri. Sales in the west run at about 1% of audience. It’s just a really freaking small niche. There are not enough fans to support a load of Yuri titles…that is why there are not a load of Yuri titles in print in English. Best Yuri titles do somewhere between 2500-3000 in sales, which is still short of the 4000 copies or so to make enough money to keep going. Even top selling mainstream titles like Naruto barely reach 15,000 copies sold here in the US and that’s barely enough to make Japanese sales lists.
To all Yuri fans who somehow think that there are a legion of fans being under-served here….there aren’t. There are a few of you. And of that few, only a fewer few actually buy Yuri. That is why there is so little Yuri here. There are not enough people to make it profitable. Yet. Give it more years, more promotion and more support from the fanbase.
Think about this. How many copies of Poor Poor Lips do you *really* think would sell? Now, multiply that by three volumes. Be honest – how likely do you think selling 12,000 print copies of a cute, but not particularly world-shaking series, is there?
There is no relationship between sales on JManga and success of a print volume. Print needs WAY more sales to cover costs and make it worth printing, shipping and distributing. That is *exactly* why JManga is a great idea – it’s a place to get out all the niche titles we want to see that really don’t have a decent chance at making a profit in print.
I don’t meant to be harsh, but…stop. Please stop living in a fantasy where there are a million Yuri fans and 10% of them want to buy books. This is not true. WHEN it is, there will be more Yuri than you can handle. Right now, there are a few hundred people who will buy anything and a few hundred more who will buy when it’s cheap enough and convenient enough and simple enough. And the rest simply do not count at all, since they have no intention of buying anything, from anyone, ever.
Okay…rants over now. ^_^
Snatches of Yuri
A collection from Hana to Yume comics called Kanoujo no Namida ga Yuki Datoshitara (彼女の涙が雪だとしたら) includes at least one short in which there is Yuri.
Idol Pretender ( アイドルプリテンダー ) seems to think it has BL and Yuri, at least based on the obi copy. While there’s definitely some Yuri-like behavior, the jury appears to still be out. It’s a Champion Red title, so even if there is Yuri, don’t expect it to make you happy.
I honestly have no idea if this is good or not, but if you like Transgender Yuri, take a look at Hero no Himitsu (ヒーローの秘密), Feel free to write up a review for us!
And Smile Style (スマイル・スタイル) has been all over the Yuri lists in Japan. It’s moe school life Yuri. Just the way so many like it.
There will be a Yuri Danshi Drama CD…with character songs, in June. As much as I adore Drama CDs, I’m giving this one a pass. ^_^;
Bruce made me promise to tell you that Wandering Son, Volume 3 is available for Pre-order on Amazon.
To end this report on a really, really positive note, April will be bringing a new Maria-sama ga Miteru Light Novel, Maria-sama ga Miteru ~ Farewell Bouquet (マリア様がみてる フェアウェル ブーケ) – in which we will be seeing, for the first time, Yumi as Rosa Chinensis! Yay! Okay, now the series can end if it has to. ^_^
That wraps it up for this week.
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