Several manga publishers appear to be having difficulty these days, but then, who isn’t. Aurora Publishing is selling stock at 90% off.

So what does this all mean? Was Elisa laid-off in preparation of shutting down the office or did she simply leave the company? Are the phones disconnected as a way to save money during these lean times or is this just another step towards shutting down the office altogether? Is this major sale with slashed prices a way to liquidate their remaining stock to offset their losses or just a way to build up some capital to keep publishing?

When manga first made it to the wild west, and all things manga sold like crazy, a lot of fans assumed that once their fave book was here it would always be here.

Alas, almost every manga title I truly enjoyed did not sell nearly as well as the fanservice stuff. With a couple of exceptions, most are now out of print in US editions. While I expect a lot of titles will go web only, I would grab the dead tree version while you can. There is no guarantee you will be able to get these editions in future, unless some publishers go POD. (I’ve seen some OOP anime available web only, but I have no idea if its legit.)

When comic creators hit middle age.

Think of Kirby, Ditko, Kane, and Eisner (and maybe also John Stanley). All these cartoonists started off as journeymen artists, had a mid-life crisis which made them try do more artistically ambitious work, but ended up being thwarted either by the limits of their talent or the constraints of marketplace.

Earlier, related posts on this subject at A

Old Masters and Young Geniuses:

A late-blooming economist named David Galenson has spent years studying the nature of creativity and genius, and has determined that the creative life isn’t limited to teen wonders. He postulates that there are two types of innovators – of a tortoise and hare duality – and that the continuum of creativity peaks early for conceptualists who usually do their most important work by age 30, and experimentalists, who often peak quite late into middle age, such as Frank Lloyd Wright (who created his architectual masterpiece Fallingwater when he was 70) or Mark Twain (who didn’t find his unique writer’s voice until well into adulthood).

Practice, Not Genius, Makes Perfect:

The results were clear-cut, with little room for any sort of inscrutable God-given talent. The elite musicians had simply practiced far more than the others. “That’s been replicated for all sorts of things — chess players and athletes, dart players,” says Ericsson. “The only striking difference between experts and amateurs is in this capability to deliberately practice.” The group even determined the number of hours musicians must play to compete at the highest professional level — about 10,000, the equivalent of practicing four hours a day, every day, for almost seven years.

The eccentric, 1980’s era The Desert Peach by Donna Barr is now available as a webcomic. I wish I had thought to make my comic art pages that large for web viewing. Curses.

Very unusual, and original work by Ms. Barr. The site isn’t getting much traffic, but it has been online for some time. Give it a look.

Roberto Macedo Alves, the proprietor of The Seventh Dimension comic shop in Funchal, Portugal has posted a number of photos and links about the disastrous floods on the island of Madeira. My time in Portugal will remain with me as one of the happiest professional experiences of my life.

Many warm wishes to Roberto, Joao, Joana, and Rafaela, and happy hopes for your families, and all the people of Funchal.