Shonen Sunday, Artists Comment on Zatch Bell Lawsuit (Updated)
posted on by Egan Loo
The editors of Shogakukan's Weekly Shonen Sunday magazine have posted an online notice about the 3.3-million-yen (about US$31,000) lawsuit filed by Konjiki no Gash!! (Zatch Bell) author Makoto Raiku over lost sketches. The editors acknowledge Raiku's complaint and the concerns of their readers over the issue, but said that they could not comment on an ongoing lawsuit now. However, they maintain their belief that Raiku's statements about the company and its employees are not true. They also say that the company intends to clarify its side of the dispute in the courtroom.
Since Raiku's lawsuit, many manga creators have expressed their views on the issues on their blogs and homepages. Among the creators are Sensual Phrase (Kaikan Phrase) artist Mayu Shinjo's blog (as reported earlier) and Bakune Young artist Toyokazu Matsunaga's bulletin board (the link with Matsunaga's comments will expire soon). Matsunaga said on June 7 that he thinks the dispute is not exaggerated, but the opinions on both sides has been distorted by the stress that both creators and editors feel on the "murderous schedules" of weekly serialized manga. He comments, "Humans can't turn into industrial robots." He thinks Raiku's indignation is justified and that "other manga creators can't afford to look the other way on this incident."
Coincidentally, Shogakukan is hoping to foster new talent and find potential manga creators by launching Dream Tribe, a website for user-generated manga and other content, on June 19. Viz has published Zatch Bell, Sensual Phrase, and Bakune Young in North America.
Source: Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web
Update: Canned Dogs summarizes the responses by some of the other artists besides Shinjo and Matsunaga. They range from support for Raiku to support for Shogakukan.