As part of settling in to our new multi-blog format, we’ve been rearranging the furniture a bit over the past week at Manga Bookshelf, with a view towards improving navigation and making more recent content easily accessible from the front page. We’ve also picked up a brand new logo (thanks to Kuriousity‘s Lissa Pattillo), replacing the old, me-centric design with something that better represents the network as a whole.
Content is falling into place as well, including a new, collaborative incarnation of my old Pick of the Week, offering a more diverse selection of new manga for readers to choose from. Regular weekly and monthly features from each of the network’s blogs remain as they always have been, ensuring that there’s plenty new to read on pretty much any day of the week.
A couple of special features I’m aware of coming up in February:
2/12: Breaking Down Banana Fish, the next Banana Fish roundtable, covering volumes 11-13
2/23: A special edition of Off the Shelf, featuring Osamu Tezuka’s Ayako
So, readers, my question for you today: What would you most like to see from the new Manga Bookshelf?
More reviews? Roundtables? Collaborative features? Flame-inducing essays? We can’t make promises, but we’d really like to know!
DerikB saysJanuary 25, 2011 at 10:53 am
I’d love to see more scans of art. Mostly there’s just the cover, which is so not representative of the work as a whole. And since manga publishers in general seem to be bad at providing previews of their books, one has to go to blogs to see what a work looks like.
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 25, 2011 at 10:58 am
Ahhhh, heh, an interesting request. Some publishers really don’t like it when we do that. But it’s good to know that people want it!
DerikB saysJanuary 25, 2011 at 11:09 am
Don’t like it? They seriously give you trouble? It’s fair use to post an image or two from a book you’re writing about. I’ve never gotten any complaints and I post images for pretty much every review I write (admittedly not a ton of manga, but some).
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 25, 2011 at 11:17 am
To be fair to the US manga pubs, from what I understand, copyright law is very different in Japan, so they often get flack from their Japanese licensors who don’t understand our concept of fair use. Personally, I’ve only been asked once to remove a scan of an internal panel (which I did as a courtesy at the time), but I know other bloggers who have been asked as well. That said, most of us do include scans from time-to-time, and I expect we might more often if we know our readers want it.
CJ saysJanuary 25, 2011 at 6:20 pm
Yay, next Banana Fish roundtable is soon! Seeing how it is my favorite series ever, I love to see what others think of it!
As for something I might like to see…I think anime vs manga might be an interesting one, it could be a series with very different anime and manga (like Planetes) or a very similar anime and manga (like Monster). I know some people (like me) aren’t made of money and will only buy either the anime or manga version for their own personal collection, either due to cost or to avoid redundancy of having the same thing twice. Compare and contrast, maybe say which one you think is more worth your time and money (in the case of Planetes for me, they both were)
Also, maybe reader reviews, if someone sends you in a well written review, maybe for a series no one has reviewed yet or one with a differing opinion on something that had been, maybe that would be a way to get more reviews.
Well, those are my suggestions, I await Banana Fish roundtable in the meantime!
David Welsh saysJanuary 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm
I don’t say it often enough, but I’m always happy to host guest reviews, and I’d also love to host guest license requests, especially for series in categories that may be outside of my usual zone.
Khursten saysJanuary 26, 2011 at 9:58 am
I would love give you more license requests. :> There’s still quite a lot of titles waiting to be licensed.
David Welsh saysJanuary 26, 2011 at 10:14 am
It’s half depressing, half exhilarating, isn’t it? I was putting together a page of links to all of the license requests I’ve done so far, and it seems both really, really long and also like it barely scratches the surface. But seriously, any time you have a title on your mind and want to sing its praises, drop me a line!
Melinda Beasi saysJanuary 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm
The Manga Bookshelf main blog would be happy to host reviews as well… as for anime vs. manga, could be rough with this crowd (we’re not big on anime), but I might be able to pull a few of ’em out! Or maybe these would be good guest posts?
Thanks for the ideas!
David Welsh saysJanuary 26, 2011 at 10:16 am
Yes, my interest in anime is pathetically limited. I can think of three that I really, really like — InuYasha, Cowboy Bebop, and Paranoia Agent, and I’ve only watched significant chunks of those because of intermittent insomnia. So my assessment of anime adaptations would probably infuriate many more people than would find it entertaining. ;-)
Katherine Dacey saysJanuary 26, 2011 at 10:45 am
I’m afraid I’m in the same boat as David: I’m really an anime person. I have been very curious about the anime adaptations of Natsume Ono’s work, however, so that might make for an interesting column, if only because her work doesn’t really seem conducive to that sort of treatment.
David Welsh saysJanuary 26, 2011 at 10:52 am
Well, at least we’d have a title for a column of this nature… “Animeteurs!”
I’ve only seen snippets of House of Five Leaves, mostly because my attention span for watching TV on computers is about as long as my attention span for reading comics on them, but it looked like they’d really captured the tone of the manga. And, though it isn’t Ono, what I’ve seen of the Natsume’s Book of Friends anime is extraordinarily beautiful.
But still… yeah… wouldn’t even know where to start.