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Manga Answerman - What exactly does a “manga editor” do?




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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
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Location: Quezon City, Philippines
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:30 pm Reply with quote
Good to hear from Carl Horn.
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invalidname
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 11 Aug 2004
Posts: 1915
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:50 am Reply with quote
I wish we had anthologies other than Shonen Jump over here — when I go to Kinokuniya I’ll sometimes pick up a seinen anthology like Dengeki Daioh or Comic Alive, even though I can barely read any of it. But I guess it’s been repeatedly tried (RIP, Shojo Beat) and hasn’t worked out.
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I_Drive_DSM



Joined: 11 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:58 pm Reply with quote
Is it safe to assume manga editors had a much larger role in North American releases in the older days when manga was still both flipped and printed onto comic -style issues? I'm assuming Horn probably has a good deal of experience with that time period considering how important VIZ was to early NA manga publishing. Obviously I'm guessing one person didn't handle flipping, touching up, etc, but I'm assuming the role of a manga editor back then for the NA market was much broader in they had to make a decision as to what was touched up; flipping well-known logos, whether or not to physically translate Japanese sound effects, that sort of thing. Another consideration was most manga was formatted for ~20 and under page volumes, so you also had to consider where to "end" each issue for the next (you would want to end it on a cliff-hanger, not on the road leading up to the cliff).
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 8:46 pm Reply with quote
@I_Drive_DSM

The manga was originally published in individual chapters on a weekly or monthly basis. These chapters actually made a fairly good fit in the individual comics back then. Both Maison Ikkoku and Ranma 1/2 consistently managed two chapters per issue. CPM was the only publisher that I noted which did not accommodate the original chapter format. They apparently hit the page limit for an issue and just stopped, often in the middle of a scene. What was obviously the beginning of a new chapter would show up in the middle of the next issue.

Where both Viz and Dark Horse did make changes was in determining how many chapters went into a trade paperback reprint. Carl Horn mentions this when they started reprinting Oh My Goddess unflipped. Apparently in Japan they brought out a new volume when they reached an appropriate number of chapters while in the US they tried to include an entire story arc in a single volume. That is why in the early years the number of volumes in the US did not match the original number of volumes a series had in Japan.
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eragon2890



Joined: 02 Sep 2009
Posts: 150
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:39 am Reply with quote
They complain about having too much work and living of convenience store bentos while making funny faces and above all never admitting how much they love sempai~


*Sekaiichi hatsukoi music plays*
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I_Drive_DSM



Joined: 11 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:07 am Reply with quote
Alan45 wrote:
The manga was originally published in individual chapters on a weekly or monthly basis. These chapters actually made a fairly good fit in the individual comics back then. Both Maison Ikkoku and Ranma 1/2 consistently managed two chapters per issue. CPM was the only publisher that I noted which did not accommodate the original chapter format. They apparently hit the page limit for an issue and just stopped, often in the middle of a scene. What was obviously the beginning of a new chapter would show up in the middle of the next issue.


I still have most of my old manga back then from the "comic" style printed age. I guess I never did realize CPM sometimes ended mid-chapter. I believe out of their releases I still have Dark Angel, Lodoss, Time Traveler AI, and Maxion (that's a harem that's probably lost to the ages). I need to pull all of that out and look it over.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:35 pm Reply with quote
@I_Drive_DSM

Me too, with the exception of one title I still have all the manga comics I collected. I started in late 1997 and in addition to new issues I hit the back issue bins in comic shops where ever I went. First I picked up back issues for running series and later picked up older series that seemed interesting, some dating back to the late 1980s. Back then the comic format was primary. Trade paperbacks were not guaranteed. Some series never got a trade reprint or didn't get a full run. I still have some 16 comic boxes of manga in comic book format.

And then over a couple of years, manga in comic book format just disappeared. As I remember the last to go was Blade of the Immortal from Dark Horse.
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I_Drive_DSM



Joined: 11 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:21 pm Reply with quote
I think people nowadays don't realize the struggle for US manga collecting, especially when I read people post how upset they are a typical manga book costs $12-$15 now here in the US (largely thanks to TokyoPop dissolving and leaving the long-standing $10 price behind). Manga "comics" used to be roughly the same cost as American comics, but at a much smaller page count than the 150-200 page manga we have now. If you had paid ~$3 in 1995 dollars for twenty pages you'd have to spend $30 to reach roughly 200 pages. Then adjust that for inflation and you're nearly paying $50 for what you can pay ~$15 and below for nowadays.

Not even mentioning how many titles are now available in so many genres. They're not piece-meal which, at best, they once were.

The only real good thing to come out of that era was all the artwork that had to be utilized for each issue, typically stocked from the original manga creator. That was a God send in an era when not only having a personal computer was cost prohibitive but the idea of accessing original artwork in the US was basically impossible.

More back on the topic: I did try and find some more info about past editors or long-time editors. One thing I did locate that I kind of assumed but was both reinforced and honestly somewhat surprising in modern times with the massive amount of manga put out and mass digital distribution is that creative costs for localization are still relatively nil in the US, primarily because most of these costs are "absorbed" in the original Japanese market. That may still differ on a case by case, but most Japanese manga artists do not create specifically for international markets, so localization primarily only has to deal with those initial property and associated costs.
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:47 pm Reply with quote
@I_Drive_DSM

Yes, individual titles were more expensive then. On the other hand, by the time I had been collecting for three or four months, I would go through Diamond's Previews each month and order almost everything identifiable as manga (I made an exception for titles separately listed in the "adult" catalog). It was financially possible as there just wasn't that much available each month. Now I think trying that would break the bank.
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