Trends points out a poll on Viz's website that asks various questions about whether people are interested in purchasing their manga by online, which suggests that Viz is considering the option of distributing downloadable manga online like Tokyopop and NETCOMICS.

Icarus Blog points out a report from the Sun of Australia that a man was fined $9,000 after being convicted of smuggling pornographic anime, games and possibly manga during a trip back from Singapore.

In the latest issue of PWCW, Kai-Ming Cha takes a look at Korean publisher YoungJin.'s educational imprint, Y.Kids, which recently released a line of educational manga aimed at children between 9 to 12:

All books are original material, produced specifically for the English-speaking market in left-to-right reading format and in full color. Marciniak said he expects this will make material more palatable for educators and give the publisher a competitive advantage.

Pfizer Incorporated, the pharmaceutical company that produces sildenafil citrate, otherwise known as Viagra, is currently serializing a manga titled Nisemono? (Fake?) by Hiroshi Motomiya on its Japanese homepage. The manga aims to help men who are suffering from erectile dysfunction.

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According to a report (PDF) from the Digital Content Association of Japan, sales of e-books, including manga, through mobile phone grew 331.3% in 2006 (from 1.6 billion yen to 6.9 billion yen), while non-phone internet sales increased by 69.7% from 4.8 billion yen to 8.1 billion yen.

Source: ANN


From the blog Mideast Youth comes an article titled "Arabian Manga(stan) - Arab comics and Islamic 'culture'," which looks at the popularity and influence manga have in the Arab world.

Via: Giapet

topThe actions of a few Korean internet users have been arousing criticism from within South Korea. The internet users in question created parodies that describe the Taliban, which abducted 23 Koreans and killed one of them, as nice people known as "Tsundeban."

As of July 27th, several parodies were uploaded onto a website called DC Inside, a popular forum in South Korea that specializes in photos and images.

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From the online magazine Salon comes an article on the Death Note manga titled "Death Strip." The article looks at how Death Note has become so popular in the U.S. "A controversial graphic novel from Japan -- banned in China -- has inspired a hit movie and much fan fiction. Will thrill-starved U.S. readers get hooked?"

Via: ANN

topThe residents in the neighborhood of Washinomiya Jinja Shrine, Kuki city, Saitama Prefecture are particularly nervous this months due to an increase in strangers. Because Washinomiya Jinja and its surrounding area is the setting of the anime Lucky???Star (based on a 4-koma of the same name), fans are rushing to this area, calling it the "holy site."

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ANN reports that volunteers in the Illustrated Braille Club from the Japanese town Kitajima are working on transcribing??Momoko Sakura's??new Chibi Maruko-chan manga into Braille (raised dots) for those who are blind and visually impaired:

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