Well, it’s finally here – I’m moving! I’ll be out of the office for essentially the rest of June (as my fiance and I begin the whirlwind tour of moving/wedding/honeymoon), but I’ll try to get some posting in here and there as is possible. Thanks for stopping by Manga Widget – see you all soon.
As you all might have noticed, last week I said I would be back to doing my Rescue Me! series, which has been an ongoing discussion of licenses that TokyoPop returned to their respective owners at the summation of their manga publishing business that I would like to see rescued by other publishers. Astute readers will also remember (due to my “mover’s reviews“) that I’m getting ready to move. In fact, I’m so close to moving that I’ve packed up my entire manga collection… and the volumes of Skyshore Blue that I wanted to work with for this week’s feature. D’oh! So I’m putting Rescue Me! off until I get all my moving taken care of. Forgive me.
Instead, I thought we would look at previously unpublished manga this week, because Vertical Inc.‘s Ed Chavez has sent out the call for more licenses:
Well, well, well… it’s that time of year again!
If you all would like to see my last season’s requests in more detail, check this link, but for briefness I logged the following:
Kuragehime (Jellyfish Princess)
While neither of these licenses were announced as of May of 2011, Ed has come through with a huge one for me from requests past, The Drops of God, so I know that he is really trying to get the licenses we request (provided they meet Vertical‘s standards, of course). Only Vertical is so up front and personal about what it licenses, and that makes the thrill of seeing new Vertical books being released all the more exciting.
This time around, I asked for Kuragehime again (I mean, someone’s gotta try), but the new series I’m interested in is Chihayafuru, an award winning manga about a card game called Karuta.
First of all – Karuta is a card recognition game that relies on both reading speed and acuity as well as poem recognition and hand-eye coordination. The purpose of the game is to recognize which cards relate to a specific poem which is read, and take the card from the board before an opponent does. More basic versions of the game are used to help children learn in elementary and preschool with things like shapes and colors.
The main character, Chihaya, is a girl who learns to love the game of Karuta and the passion to do well from a transfer student name Arata, who plays a competitive version of uta-garuta (a subtype of Karuta) which uses poetry from the Hyakunin Isshu as the cardface.
I’ve come to really enjoy stories of growing up and living life, and Japanese comics tend to do that very well, and Chihayafuru looks to be another story in the same vein. These covers are absolutely fantastic, and the inside art is vaguely reminiscent of Honey and Clover, a manga published by Viz Media.
No matter what you like, now is the time to talk with your local Vertical representative to get your vote in for a series you would like published. Vertical is looking for great titles that deserve to be on the NY Times best seller’s list. Make sure your manga gems make it to Ed. And, by the way, feel free to vote for any of my picks if you want.
(You don’t think I would talk about the book’s art without showing you it, would you? Here’s an evocative page from the second volume.)
What are you still doing here? Get on Twitter and send your requests to @Vertical_Ed!