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Marvel's Tsunami Manga line


The NZA
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Marvel's gonna attempt to capitalize on the sucess of manga & manga-influenced artists over here (i still think much of this came from Joe Mad's stint on Uncanny X-Men years back...)

 

Wave 1 is already out the gate, and the first few pages of each title are already up on Marvel.com's free online comics (just click "free section" across the top), and theyre not looking too shabby thus far, here's what they got up there:

 

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Venom - This preview is just setting the stage, but it looks interesting, and thankfully i dont think he's playing anything near a hero here...

 

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Runaways - The writing already makes this kids more interesting than much i read of Generation X...no idea where its going but the dialogue's fun so far, i might try to pick this one up. Here's a review, here's another...this one looks promising.

 

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Sentinel - Looks like classic "boy & his robot", only the damn thing's lookin to be a massive Sentinel....im curious, and the preview only added to that.

 

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Mystique - Theyre really havin fun with these previews that dont even show the character...i like how it's tying into Xavier & his plans so far tho, i gotta read more of this one.

 

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Human Torch - This one has me the least interested cause im no fan of the Fantastic Four, and the preview really didnt catch my attention much, but its worth a look.

 

Wave 2 premiers later next month (may), and its including some names theyre really hyping, such as:

 

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Namor - looks surprisingly interesting, in a Micheal Turner way. Premeirs at 25 cents, too.

 

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Wolverine: Snikt! - which looks pretty damn good so far

 

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New Mutants - Yup, its comin back, and from what the creative team says on their forum ( Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir), it might be pretty cool.

 

The last 2 (no images available yet, sorry) are The Inhumans (or the next generation of), and The Crew, a book based on the events in the Captain America origin book, The Truth...should be interestin.

 

Wish i could say more on wave 2, but until the previews are up at Marvel.com, ill leave it at what I know. Also, I'd list the artists & writers but theyre no one most of you have heard of, me included...sounds like manga up & comers, these might be breakthrough books for em. Im just glad Marvel's in a way where they can comfortably try this kinda thing. In any event, check the link: damn near all the big Marvel titles are up there for free now; if youre even mildly interested, why not read a book or two for free?

 

(On a side note...im sad the manga title Eden's Trail ended last month, and the free site also had the newly revamped Thunderbotls up there, which is apparently their Fight Club book now...hah.)

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Thanks, will do...couldnt secure me a copy of Venom # 1, sadly...online preview made it look interestin.

I did grab a copy of Runaways...i figure, with the up & coming guys on these books, one or two are bound to still be talked about down the road, and i hate missing out - dont mind gettin trades at all, but i like to be in on the ground floor too. And from what i read, Runaways seemed promising, and it doesnt seem like a superhero book.

Ill post my own review of it up here when its read, prolly in another week or so. Meanwhile, if anyone else gives any of these books a go, please let us know how they are!

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Im not sure what program they use...actually, look around, i think Marvel in the past had you install a comic viewer program of some kind, does it not prompt you to install one? I could be wrong. Might be shockwave.

Cover's cool, but sadly the interior's not Keith, just so ya know. Its not bad, but nowhere near Keith.

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Hmm...you might have to sign up with them, even tho im clicking the "free section"....are you on a modem? Might not be giving it enought time to load...?

Theyve added a shitload of books to their previews; its a shame to see someone actually tryin to take advantage of that and not be able to...

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well a lot of it is just previews, so you might only get 3 pages of some books...

No - I know for a fact that this isn't the case. Stuff like "Ultimate X-Men" was doing it. I'd click on the pictures and bring 'em up but by the'd never go past certain pages.

 

As for Queseda, I had a feeling it was him. Hear me now Queseda "You're claimed! Claimed I tells ya!"

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Based on the preview...despite the cool Sam Keith cover, the interior looks along the manga lines.

In addition, theyre relaunching Spectacular Spider-Man in a few months with another Spidey/Venom fight, drawn by Humberto Ramos (Crimson, X-Nation), and he's another manga-influenced artists, so there's 2 chances at a manga Venom if that's your thing...should be cool.

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  • 5 months later...

Well, some bad news for those readin these books:

 

MARVEL COMICS

● Effective with New Mutants #8 (SEP031530) & #9 (OCT031581), and Venom #8 (SEP031532) & #9 (OCT031583), the cover prices for these series will increase to $2.99.

 

● Marvel has cancelled all of its Tsunami TPs, including Sentinel (SEP031613), Runaways (SEP031614), Mystique (SEP031616), Venom (SEP031617), Human Torch (SEP031621), Namor (SEP031622), New Mutants (OCT031636), and Inhumans (OCT031637).

 

That really sucks, i wasnt buying Runaways cause i wanted the TPB...that's an unusual move for Marvel, i guess sales werent very strong? I hope theyre not gettin stingy on the trades...

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The plot thickens....

 

In a revelation Mark Twain would have appreciated, Marvel’s Tsunami trades appear to be getting life again – as digest-sized books retailing between $8 and $9 each, according to Publisher’s Weekly. Of the full Tsunami line, only Sentinel, Mystique and Runaways are mentioned.

 

The line, which will be called “Marvel Manga” format, according to PW, will be introduced in November, and the titles are being toted, appropriately enough, as stories with ties to the X-Men and Spider-Man franchises, and appropriate for younger readers, i.e., the teen market.

 

Since the line’s inception, it had been assumed that the series would be collected as trades, particularly in a manga-style format in order to compete in the burgeoning manga market, where DC and other publishers have already made some inroads.

 

As then-President of Publishing Bill Jemas said about the line's philosophy overall in January:

 

“The business model for comic books that had persisted right up until the mid-80s really doesn’t continue now, particularly that the mass market and the newsstand were the feeder system for comic book stores,” Jemas said. “As the comic shop business exploded, the mass market business exploded along with it, so you really had a situation where your impulse purchase happened at a newsstand, and happened somewhere between a quarter and 99 cents, and little Johnny could go down to the corner store with some change and buy a comic book. That doesn’t exist anymore.

 

“Our sense is that the entry-level, impulse buy happens at the bookstore, and it’s a purchase that a kid makes with their parent. The way to get at that demo that we’re looking for is with inexpensively priced graphic novels sold through bookstores.”

 

“Do we try to get more of these books at the newsstand to try and get more thirteen year-old girls? Newsstands are not for thirteen year old girls. Newsstands are for the demo that’s on the phone right now. The impulse buys for the new readers happen at the bookstores, and that’s where we want these books to be.

 

“Thank goodness for people like Tokyopop and Viz – they have created a buying pattern where the 13 year old female demographic is used to going to Borders, Waldens and Barnes & Noble to pick up the latest manga books. So, to some extent we’re going to ride that tide, but if we do our job right, we’ll be able to reach the heart and soul of the American kids the same way the Japanese storytellers have.”

 

To that end, Jemas said that trades of Tsunami series will be released to the bookstore market as quickly as possible, that is, as soon as each series ends its given arc. This model of business, Jemas said, works well for Marvel and the initiative overall.

 

What is unclear however is the recent cancellation (and confirmation that there were no plans to resolicit them) of all Tsunami trades for the direct market due to low orders, as stated by Marvel, despite the fact that the announcement was made by the publisher days prior to order deadlines for some trades (Namor, Runaways, Mystique and Venom) and a month or more prior to the dead line for the trades of New Mutants and Inhumans.

 

Many retailers are already reading the news from PW as a sign that the Tsunami “Marvel Manga” format trades will be available only to the bookstore market, and not the direct market. However, Marvel has said from the beginning that Tsunami books were aimed at manga readers who, predominantly shop at bookstores.

 

If the line is offered exclusively to the bookstore market, it would be the second time in recent months that Marvel has opted to do so, the first being the trade paperback publication of Marvel Masterworks that are only available to direct market retailers in hardcover at higher price points.

 

As for other Marvel trades and collections, according to PW, Mary Jane II by Judith O’Brien is scheduled for release near the July debut of Spider-Man 2. Likewise, Punisher: Born will be collected as a hardcover, and multiple Fantastic Four collections are being readied for next fall in time for their respective movie releases.

 

From the article:

 

“[David] Gabriel [Marvel manager of Sales and Administration] notes that Kmart and other retailers have expressed interest in Kyle Baker's The Truth, an unusual retelling of Captain America's origins from an African-American perspective, for Black History Month promotions, so it will appear as a trade paperback in late January.

 

Wolverine: The Brothers, collecting the first story line from 2003's bestselling new series, will be out in February, as will the fourth and final volume of the mature-readers cult hit series Alias. Other major Marvel projects due this winter include a coffee-table book, The Art of Marvel ComicsAmazing Spider-Man due in February. And, next July, Marvel will have a Neil Gaiman hardcover of its own, collecting his much-anticipated 1602 miniseries, a retelling of the Marvel Universe set in Elizabethan England.”

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  • 1 year later...

Man, i cant wait till Runaways gets goin again. Sentinel got cut short, but it was good, too...never got into the others, tho i was curious bout Namor...

 

Anyway, for those who read Mystique: its about to end, which is a shame cause i hear Brain K Vaughn (a great writer) had plans for it, Taken from here...Sean McKeever (artist) speaks on it:

 

Sean speaks:

 

Yes, MYSTIQUE is ending.

 

For those keeping score, this is the third Marvel series I've had canceled--fourth if you want to count MARY JANE, which many folks do, even though it technically isn't--and, yeah, it sucks. You start to worry that maybe Marvel will decide that it's because of your writing talents that your books are projected to dip into the red-ink zone, you start to doubt your abilities a little, et cetera...

 

But, really, I'm not too worried. You'd make a steaming pile in your pants if you knew how many things I've got under consideration at 10 East 40th Street. It appears that Marvel's confidence is waxing, not waning.

 

I guess the thing that really blows about MYSTIQUE is that I had some great ideas on where to take it, but I was never going to be able to do some of it, even if the series continued.

 

As a character, Mystique is as multi-faceted and fascinating as they come. Just to name a couple elements of her character, she's a former terrorist and a bisexual. Unfortunately, when you're writing a book labeled for ages 12 and up, it's kinda tough to explore those avenues. Really, MYSTIQUE needed to be a Marvel Knights series.

 

Understandably, that wasn't a change Marvel was willing to make on a title that had already been running as long as MYSTIQUE (though they did it with X-STATIX, but that was probably a very different situation). To the credit of editors Cory Sedlmeier and Mike Marts, I was given a good amount of leeway in depicting her as ruthless and homicidal, for which I'm grateful.

 

Marvel Knights or not, I had a radical shift planned for the title. It was going to become much more dark, personal and sexy in tone. Mystique would have had a first-person narrative. She would still be a super-spy, put the parameters would totally change.

 

Basically, it would have been Mystique Alone Against The World. After the events of QUIET (the story currently running through the series) she would have no one on her side, and no one willing to trust her. She'd wind up as a key player rather than a pawn, mucking with the X-Men, SHIELD, world governments and a clandestine anti-mutant organization hinted at in #18. (Oh, yeah--and she totally would've mixed it up with Carol Danvers.) And while doing so, she would recruit and manipulate younger mutants (some of which I introduced in my first story arc, UNNATURAL) into following her, creating a new Brotherhood of Mutants, not in name but in spirit.

 

And I would have given her a new girlfriend.

 

It would have been a lot of fun to dive into this new era of Mystique's amazing life. Maybe someday I'll be able to pitch a new MYSTIQUE series, but I just don't sense any interest at Marvel, so I guess it's best for me to focus my energies on other projects.

 

My thanks go out to artist Manuel Garcia; editors Sedlmeier and Marts; and to my predecessor, Brian K. Vaughan, for getting the ball rolling. And thanks, of course, to the loyal readers who stuck with the book after Brian left. I've had a blast adding to Mystique's ongoing drama, and I look forward to one day being able to do so again.

 

The last issue of MYSTIQUE will be #24 in February. That's the bad news. The good news is I have Something Else coming out from Marvel in March. But more on that in the coming weeks..

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