Putting together my top 10 for this year was a tortuous procedure. I’ve since submitted it and have had the craziest dreams. Ghost of Christmas past? Try inquisitive souls of creators present. I can’t remember last year being this difficult, or the year before. But this is the first time I wished, sincerely wanted, ten more slots for the manga that I thought deserved a spot on my list. Was it such a spectacular year in manga? In short, yes. And you’ll find out why when the lists go out in the next PWCW.
I’ve written essays about the state of the manga industry, and I keep writing essays about the industry – not because I have answers, but because it keeps changing, and it keeps getting better. Kodansha coming over? By the time they make a decision on their move, we’ll probably be ready for some “female working man” manga. TokyoPop in trouble? Well, I don’t know which companies are going to survive, but the content will. However lean next year may be, I have hope that we’ll keep seeing the type of stuff that we’re ready for. Tatsumi’s 800pg autobiographical tome – yeah, we’re ready for that. More Nihei Tsutomu from Marvel? If CB brings it, we’ll read it.
And if Viz Media wants to keep flaunting their status as heavyweight champion by giving us a double dose of Urasawa come February, then flaunt! Flaunt! Urasawa’s joint production w/Tezuka, PLUTO, is going to turn heads.
PLUTO is Urasawa’s first book in the U.S. on which the name of his producer/editor, Tanaka Nagasaki, appears on the book – as well as Tezuka’s son, Macoto. Urasawa comments on their relationship – and the overall relationship between creator and editor – in this article that appeared on the Comipress website back in 2006. (My review in PWCW, here.)
Sure, the recession is making things tough – like old steak, tough – and the printed word is endangered, and things are going to get a lot worse before they get better, but as long as we chew through it, we’ll keep that stoke alive.
Urasawa launches in February, and up until then, I hope everyone finds a way to shake their tail feathers in the face of adversity.
Happy Holidays and til 2009!