Monday, April 19, 2004

Susie Lee clarifies TCJ manga article... 

Thankfully, Susie has posted more information on the article in question:

The sensational title--"2004 — A Good Year to Get Out of the Manga Business?" is not the title of a market forecast, but the lead-in for a story about the transition of licenses from Studio Proteus to Dark Horse. So if you're looking for commentary about the marketplace from Viz or TPop, this is not the right article to get it from.

Also, the excerpt is composed of chunks pulled from different places in the article. Toren is quoted as saying that after an initial crash, he feels that the manga market will be twice the size it is now.

Maybe before people jump to conclusions, they should stop and read the whole article. All the same, this thread is going into some interesting tangents.

This makes me feel better, but as others indicate lower down in the thread, it would have been nice if it was indicated that these were a bunch of quotes taken from context. I know that when I see something like that labeled as an exerpt, I'd expect that it is an exact portion of the article taken out, perhaps with some "..."s to indicate cut areas.

Asagiri2040 says it pretty well:

And this, I think, is in its own way just as much of a problem as the issue at hand. I'm not saying that The Comics Journal should put entire articles up online, but it would be nice to have a greater indication of just how out of context their excerpts are. On the one hand, it can be said that people shouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions without all the info, but on the other, it should be realized that this is the Internet and that's how things work more often than not. TCJ is doing both their interviewed subjects and their readers a disservice by not recognizing that fact and simply printing random excerpts that paint a rather slanted view of what the article may actually be about. What's wrong with simply printing the first few paragraphs in order? Other sites do, and that seems to be less volatile because you may not have even left the introduction by that point. We know Toren browses these forums occasionally, and I'd be surprised if he hasn't already seen this thread and is busy thinking "WTF?!" to himself. Sure, a finger can be pointed at those who have commented (not that anyone's pointing, mind you) since they're responsible for the things said, but a finger should also be pointed just as squarely at TCJ for shoddy excerpting and misleading headlines. That doesn't invalidate the whole thread, of course, since many general comments have been made, but it's something to think about.

As an aside, this exchange I find pretty funny, just to show the ocean between the two fandoms a bit:

Megs: Where could you buy this? At a large chain bookstore? I don't recall seeing it in Bristol, but that can just give me an excuse to go to Johnson City. Of course, if it's at a store like Barnes and Noble, I can sit there and read it and not have to purchase it either.

Kiril: In my neck of the woods the Comics Journal may be found at Borders, but I don't recall seeing it at Barnes and Noble nor at Waldenbooks.

FigNewton: Yeah, I've seen it at Border's I think, but the best bet is a comics specialty shop.

Megs: Bah, I can live without it I wish we had Border's down here.

Kiril: If you want a store to get it for you consistently every month, I agree with you, as it is easy for comic stores to order. Even walking in and asking to order a recent issue should be easy enough, as a comic store should be able to reorder it.

But if you just want to walk in and grab the latest issue I think many people would have trouble as from what I've seen many comic stores don't bother to keep that on the shelves. As always, it all depends on the quality of the local comic stores in your area.

And one could always get it direct from them: http://tcj.com/

FigNewton: I'll admit that we are pretty blessed with having well serviced comic shops in this area so that didn't really occur to me. I've heard horror stories from a lot of people in other towns where the retailers just refuse to carry shelf copies of anything but Batman, Spiderman, X-men, etc. With many comics retailers (see the Hibbs article discussed a couple months back) not even knowing anything about manga and seemingly not willing to learn it's probably why a lot of manga readers who frequent comic shops still buy their manga at bookstores - it's hard for a potential reader to buy something when a store won't carry it.

Just how from a manga perspective, it'd make sense to ask what bookstores TCJ is carried at, while from the western comic perspective, you are surprised when stuff is outside of the direct market..

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