Hello everyone. I’m sure you are wondering what’s been going on in Japan. I have mostly good news.
Our book sold damn well at the Comic Market. 1000+ copies in less than two hours is pretty good, I’d say. We sold out of An Idiot’s Guide to Tokyo’s Harmful Books Regulation very quickly so we have already started a second printing. I’ve made some corrections that I wanted to make, and the second printing should be getting out in a week or so.
While this might sound surprising, we are finally breaking into the black with the second printing. We wanted to make the book as accessible as possible, so we kept the price low. We were pretty sure the book wouldn’t lose money, but we’re glad its actually taking off. Also we hope that the popularity of the book will inspire others to engage the subject, and looking at what’s been coming out from even commercial books, signs are encouraging.
My translation will come soon. I’m sorry for the delay, but I’ve been swamped with work and issues I’ve put on hold for too long. Family, friends, and work do need to be addressed from time to time. I’ve taken care of most of it, so I should be able to pump out the translation within this week, if all goes well.
If you wanted to read the main article that many of you are interested, you can still read it on ANN here:
I’ll be providing translations to two more articles and countless small spot illos this week.
What’s coming next? Some interesting developments regarding OYAPS and Bill 156 is in the works. It seems Tokyo City Hall is still in shock about the continued opposition to the bill’s passage and they are trying to figure out how to proceed. They can’t back down from the bill that’s already been passed, but they don’t want to make their relationship with the industry any more rocky than it already is. The problem is the industry continues to remain on sold footing on their desire to repealing or curtailing the bill, and popular discontent is only increasing. But if OYAPS backs down, then their power and authority will look impotent, so they are in a lose-lose situation.
Of course things are rosy for the industry either. The chilling factor has already started to ripple through, and now novels (exempt under Bill 156) have started conducting more self-censorship. The chilling effect is not pronounced in the major league manga publications, but signs of its effects can be seen in numerous places, some of which you might not have expected.
While the next eye of the storm will be the upcoming gubernatorial elections in the spring, you can expect plenty of ruckus will continue. I’ll try to pick up on those as soon as possible.
I will be doing a presentation on comparing Japanese doujinshi and US APA’s and zine culture next week, so I need to get ready for that as well. Finally I have a chance to put all those old fanzines and minicomics from the late 80’s and early 90’s to good use!