Anyway. Before the bad news about CMX hit, they had actually started us on a new series that wasn't going to start being released until next year! You can see why we wouldn't be thinking about it much now. But we liked it, and so I need to mention it so we can remember it next time we have enough money to buy manga. It was called Kana, Kamo. and, as you may have already guessed, it was by Yutaka Tachibana, the creator of Gatcha Gacha. It was really cute, and the guys had just the kind of mysterious atmosphere about them that had us hooked on it right away. We're really sad that it will be much longer before we get to share it with everyone else. Maybe someone else will pick it up soon. ...We need to make sure all the manga publishers out there know that we want to keep translating all the CMX titles we were already working on. Especially Bancho-sama... Sigh...
Speaking of manga-type things. lyschan linked to the Anime News Network article where TokyoPop finally mentioned the How to Draw Shojo Manga book that everyone was speculating about a few months back. I think it's probably not what a lot of people expect it to be, so I wanted to talk about that some more, too!
See "How to Draw Shojo Manga" is a bit of a misnomer here in the States, because we have all those "How to Draw..." whatever books, that pretty much give you step-by-step instructions on how to make lines look like a flower or an animal or a person or whatever. That title actually was under the slipcover of the book in English, but the original title translates to, "Let's Become a Shojo Manga Artist!"
See, Hakusensha recruits its manga artists by holding contests, and whoever draws manga good enough to win the contest gets to draw manga for Hakusensha. So the editors all got together and wrote a book with tips on every aspect of drawing a winning manga. This isn't just how to draw; it's what tools to use, how to create your own art style, where you can find ideas for stories, staging--everything. But very concisely, and based on the premise that anyone who wants to be a manga artist is going to have to do a lot of their own work. (Also, spectacular artwork doesn't seem to be as important as using art effectively to tell your story, so the "how to draw" title might be even more misleading.)
To help illustrate all the points, they had one of their manga artists invent an aspiring manga artist, who goes through all the steps to drawing her own contest submission. And of course, they use samples from professional Hakusensha artists to give examples of good ways to do things. This is where all the "contributions from popular manga artists" come in, so if you were thinking of getting the book to see a bunch of work by Natsuki Takaya, for example, you'll probably be disappointed. But it has a lot of great information on how to develop a manga and refine it into a really good story and stuff, and some fascinating information on the process of getting hired as a manga artist in Japan, so we highly recommend it!
Today I'm thankful for all the great manga CMX introduced us to, getting to translate the How to Draw Shojo Manga book, being done translating it, the new dragon event at Square-Enix Members that lets everyone make a little dragon without having to pay for Crysta, and already having a dragon chick to raise.