From Active Anime comes an interview with Megumi Uhde, founder of the new fan run convention Zuiichi that takes place on August 3rd:

[AA] What is Zuiichi?
[MU] Zuiichi means "elite" or "foremost" in Japanese. The event focuses on all of the best things in fandom, and with the venue and cuisine, we thought it appropriate. The focus for this year's Zuiichi is trifold - Anime, Lolita and other Japanese fashion, and Joss Whedon. As we grow, we'll incorporate more of the random fandom into the Dreamland fold.

From Daily Yomiuri comes an article on how Daisaku Tsuru, an assistant cultural anthropology professor at Toyama University, is creating a manga titled Nacun that focuses on the "mystery of life, with the sea in Okinawa Prefecture as its background.":

Tsuru debuted as a mangaka in 2006 with Nacun, a series that has been carried in Afternoon, a monthly magazine published by Kodansha Ltd. Nacun is based on Tsuru's own experience of having researched fishing culture on an isolated island in Okinawa Prefecture for a total of six months while at graduate school.

In the latest installment of Flipped, David Welsh interviews Aurora Sales and Marketing office's Michael Perry to talk about the young publisher's origins, strategy and philosophy:

DAVID WELSH: Aurora is the North American arm of Ohzora, a Japanese publisher. Could you explain how that relationship works? Will Aurora exclusively publish translated works from Ohzora, or will you be working with other publishers as well?

MICHAEL PERRY: Aurora Publishing, Inc. is a fully owned subsidiary of Ohzora Publishing, Co. To simplify that, it means that we are the American office of Ohzora Publishing, come to bring manga to America. We keep a close relationship with our parent company and have people at Ohzora Publishing that solely look to license manga for us to translate into English, which I believe would answer your next question: we do publish from other companies.

The following manga appeared on the USA Today Booklist Top 150 (PDF) for the week ending April 9th:

Also, Comicsnob posts the weekly online manga sales rankings:

From the latest issue of PWCW, Kai-Ming Cha interviews Daniel Pink, author of a 160-page manga about career advice titled The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: the Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need.

Also available is an article that look at a collaboration betweem Viz, Stan Lee and Hiroyuki Takei (Shaman King) on a new manga series titled Ultimo, which will begin serialization in Shueisha's Jump SQ. II.

Finally, PWCW has the April Comics Bestsellers.

ANN reports that issue 18 of Kodansha's Morning magazine announced that Morning 2 will become a monthly manga magazine starting April 30:

The magazine had published eight issues on an irregular, but roughly bimonthly, schedule since September of 2006.

According to an announcement from AnimeOnDVD (which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year) founder Chris Beveridge, AoD will be sold to

AnimeOnDVD is very much a community effort and I have a fantastic staff of volunteers who plug away at all manner of reviews and work within the forums. But at the end of the day, it comes down to what I can do with it. And I want to do a lot more with it which is why I decided to sell the site to the folks at who I???ve known for several years now. Working with them, I and the entire staff will be taking this site into their larger platform where we???ll be heading up their anime and manga platform.

Also, AoD has now switched its forum software from FusionBB to vBulletin.

U.S. manga publisher Viz Media has won 2 categories in this year's Diamond 2007 Gem Award: "Manga Publisher of the Year" and "Manga Trade Paperback of the Year" (for volume 14 of Naruto).

Source: Icarus Blog

From its Q&A sessions featuring Chibi Vampire (Karin) manga artist Yuna Kagesaki from last weekend's Sakura-Con 2008 in Seattle.

In this transcript (from two Q&A sessions), Kagesaki-sensei talks about her life as a manga-ka, answers questions about the Chibi Vampire manga story and characters and her impressions of her American fans and the American anime con experience.

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