San Diego Comic Con Sales Crash Again

Yesterday, once again, San Diego Comic Con attempted to sell memberships online, and once again, the servers crashed, just as they did on November 1. Registration services are being provided by Epic, an outside service specializing in ticketing for events, but apparently they were unprepared for the level of demand that the con inspires, leading to a situation known almost universally as “Epic fail”. More details can be found here.

Angouleme Festival Announces Official Selections

The Angouleme International Comics Festival, the biggest comics festival or convention in Europe, has announced its official 2011 selections. Contenders known to US audiences include Asterios Polyp, Incognito, Body World, The Walking Dead, Footprints in Gaza and Naoki Urasawa's Pluto. The selections are a list of nominees deemed to be the finest comics from the previous year, from which the Angouleme award for Best Album, the Revelation award for best comic from a relatively new creator, five “Angouleme Essentials” and one Essential voted upon by the con-goers will be selected. The 2011 Angouleme International Comics Festival will take place on January 27-30 in the town of Angouleme, France. A full list of official selections is available here, from PWCW's own Heidi MacDonald.

Tokyo Once Again Tries to Ban Hentai

After a previous bill seeking to ban games, anime and manga erotically depicting anything even “reminiscent of a person under 18” failed to pass last March, the Tokyo lawmakers involved are back with an even more sweeping bill. The bill’s proponents claim that the current incarnation of the legislation is more limited in scope than its predecessor, but critics find the wording to be even more vague and restrictive. The revised version would now restrict anime, manga and games that “improperly glorify or emphasize” illegal sexual acts, which apparently include voyeurism, exhibitionism, BDSM, groping, sexual harassment, rape and underage sex. Novels in text form, as well as live action films and pornography, would not be included in the ban. Interestingly, Tokyo’s governor Shintaro Ishihara, a major supporter of the bill, is a novelist whose work is known for its graphic rape scenes. More details are available here.

Hit Manga Creator Starts Legal Free Manga Site

Ken Akamatsu, creator of the hit mangas Negima and Love Hina, has announced that he is launching an online manga site which will offer free copies of out-of-print manga paid for with advertising and posted with the permission of the manga’s creators. Akamatsu is putting his intellectual property where his mouth is – a beta version of the site opens on November 26 with 14 volumes of his own long-running manga Love Hina. The site is a constructive response to online comics piracy akin to American tv networks creating and other ad-supported streaming video sites. Manga will be available in PDF format without DRM (digital rights management) restricting use of the files. Although the site is currently entirely in Japanese, it may provide a model for similar ventures on the English-speaking market. The site is slated to formally launch on January 10, with the supp ort of several other manga creators including Ryusei Deguchi of the manga Abenobashi: Magical Shopping Arcade. More details are available here.

Viz Brings Out Unedited Tenjho Tenge

Viz Manga, publisher of a wide array of titles including the super-hits Bleach and Naruto, has announced that they will be bringing back Tenjho Tenge, originally published in the US by DC's defunct manga line CMX. This time, however, the book will hit American shelves uncensored as part of Viz's Signature line, aimed at older readers. When the book first came out in 2005 from CMX, the English edition had removed the book's innuendo, nudity, much of its fan-service, and - contended many fans - much of its plot in the process. Fans remained livid and there was a sizeable internet campaign to boycott the book, despite DC's explanation that the manga's creator Ito Ogure was fully in favor of all of the changes. More details are available from Brigid Alverson here.

Amy Reeder Batwoman Signing and Art Exhibition

Eisner-nominated artist Amy Reeder, fresh off her run on Vertigo's Madame Xanadu, wil be signing her new book Batwoman #0 at Challengers Comics in Chicago, accompanied by an exhibition of her original art, on December 3 from 6-9 p.m. Challengers Comics is located at 1845 Northwestern Avenue 2R, Chicago, Illinois, and admission is free to the general public. More details are available on the Challengers site.

This Week @ Good Comics For Kids

This week School Library Journal’s blog Good Comics for Kids had a review of two graphic novel adaptations of The Odyssey, what the GC4K bloggers are reading this week, Kirkus’s best of the year, a preview of Boom!’s new comic Mickey Mouse: Attack of the Robo-Presidents, a Thor out, Wimpy Kid In themed links roundup from Brigid Alverson and the 11/17 roundup of good comics for kids.

This Week @ The Beat

This week PWCW editor Heidi MacDonald’s blog The Beat covered DC and Marvel’s September month-to-month sales numbers, the sad cancellation of Thor The Mighty Avenger and retailer thoughts on the matter, Heidi’s readers shared their thoughts on San Diego Comic Con’s second Epic fail in a row, Marvel’s new – and apparently user-friendly – website, DC Comics’ enormous 75th anniversary book, the Superman lawsuit returns yet again, Spider-Man doing his bit for jobseekers, Little Gloomy hits the small screen as Scary Larry, Jane Austen’s Emma – from the artist who brought you Return of the Dapper Men, the complete schedule of the Brooklyn Comics and Graphic Novel Festival, John Allison’s UK indie comics manifesto, Colleen Doran vs. Comics Piracy, Daniel Clowes’ Wilson gets a movie deal, Alan Moore celebrates his birthday, detailed analysis of the relaunched comics magazine The Dandy, and women and children are arguably not being done justice by the comics industry, verse 2356.