Wednesday, November 01, 2006

TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS 2.1: Follow-up on Dark Horse & Frankfurt!

"There are thousands of horror manga and hundreds of creators — it’s just a shame that given our finite lifetimes, we won’t have a chance to expose English-language audiences to everthing that’s out there!"
-Dark Horse Licensing Director Michael Gombos

There have been some really cool responses lately to the Dark Horse/Frankfurt Book Fair post we put up last week. Before diving into the next installments of the TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS posts (Maruo next!) I wanted to post some of the cooler things:

# Tina Anderson's blog Gynocrat posted some commentary on my Dark Horse post.

# There is also a lively thread about our post/Museum of Terror on the Dark Horse boards. I recommend everyone check it out (hey, some of you may already be posting there!).

# The MOST INTERESTING thing to come of this is a fascinating interview with Dark Horse Licensing Director Michael Gombos over at the horror/sf/comics mega-site Dark, But Shining. Sounds like he's (Rightfully) optimistic about Horror and Dark Horse in the coming year, but no specific mentions of Museum of Terror here. He talks about how titles by one creator get released by a number of english publishers (as with Ito, Tezuka and Umezu) and talks about the second-wave of horror titles from Dark Horse by less-famous names (Mail, Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service, etc). He also talks about DH's take on scanlations(!) and we found this exchange especially interesting:

Q: MPD Psycho has something of a reputation among horror fans, partly thanks to the Takashi Miike miniseries, I’d bet, but also due to its scanlation, where’s it’s been available for some time. Now Dark Horse is releasing an officially licensed version. Scanlation groups are usually good about removing their work from the web once it’s been licensed, but there are bound to be files kicking around out there. What’s your view of scanlation?

A: Strictly speaking, I am aware that there are scanlations of MPD Psycho about, and I am happy to know that there is such a strong following to this wonderful property; it is certainly one that is devout to the property, and we appreciate their devotion.

However, Dark Horse has taken the steps to acquire the rights (as you have pointed out) to publish this in English through licensed, legal means. The only indicator that the Japanese would have about how much Americans/English-speaking audiences like the properties are by sales numbers. If scanlations would adversely affect sales numbers, how can we expect to have more great manga here for us to read? This is also the way that the creators get paid, and lets them know that English-speaking audiences love the work, and to give us more! So, if you like the series, buy the book and let everyone know! This will ensure a steady flow of fantastic manga coming in for us to enjoy for years to come.

# Finally, we received some interesting comments we received from Eric-Jon Rössel Waugh of Next Generation in the comments of our previous post. He writes:

>Yeah, Dark Horse has initially only committed to the first three volumes. I've not heard a word about volumes four and on -- and given the lead time between localization and printing of these volumes, that means that even should Dark Horse decide tomorrow to continue the line, they probably won't get around to publishing the rest until next fall.

Weird thing is, the first volume at least was the best-selling manga for several weeks in various third world countries that carry Englis manga translations; it's just over here that it's been having difficulty.

A reason for that might be that nobody carries the darned thing! Seriously, I went to every book store and comic shop in San Francisco looking for the first volume, for weeks after its release -- and nobody had even heard of it. Not Borders; not the small indie shops. The only place I was able to find a copy was in Japantown -- which on a level almost feels like it defeats the purpose of the localization.

Interesting stuff across the board. Please continue to send us links and posts comments!


John T said...

Which series are you talking about? It seems that there are a few that only go to "3"

Ryan said...

judge: he's referring to the Museum of Terror series, which we posted on extensively in the TRANS-EUROPE EXPRESS 2 post :) True true, volume 3 seems to be the MAKE IT or BREAK IT one, doesn't it??

Anonymous said...

In traditional comics, issue three is the make or break because Diamond distribution order numbers for #1 come in as #3 is being produced. It's at this point you can see whether the title has healthy sales or not.


Anonymous said...

Ah! Just watched MPD Psycho last night. Very cool. Miike did a grand (interesting - not in the negative way ) job. Can't wait for the manga.


Anonymous said...

i was going to order volume 3 of the museum of terror and the uzumaki trilogy on amazon but for some reason amazon lists the museum of terror 3 as not yet been released...

hurm. the museum of terror collection doesn't include uzumaki/gyo right?

Anonymous said...

To the poster above: Yeah, I'm 95% sure that the Museum of Terror collections consist only of Ito's short stories.

Ryan said...

Yep, Yep, Gyo & Uzumaki are a different beast-- Museum of Terror is 2 Tomie books + 13 books of short stories = 15 volumes!!

Anonymous said...

ok i just ordered museum of terror 3. but dammit it says it won't come for 1-2 months. T_T. normally i wouldn't order it before it was out like that but i don't want dark horse to stop publishing the ito stories.