ANN reports that Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning to expand its outreach program to an wider audience this year to spread manga, anime, and other elements of Japanese popular culture:

The Japanese government already supports 10 overseas Japanese-language learning centers with about 3,000 students, but those will expand to 100 to 200 centers in the next three years. 210 million yen (about US$1.8 million) is being allocated to add 70 of those additional centers this year.

From Daily Yomiuri Online comes an article titled "American artist wins new manga award," which looks at rem, winner of Kodansha's 1st Morning International Manga Competition (MIMC).

Source: Blog@Newsarama

According to an announcement on the Japanese Foreign Ministry's official website, the Second International MANGA Award, a contest created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to boost Japan's pop culture, is now accepting applications from overseas manga artists. The deadline for submission if February 29th, 2008, and the contest's guidelines for application can be found here (PDF).

Source: Japan Today

In the latest issue of his Flipped column, David Welsh interviews Eijiro Shimada, Editor-in-Chief of Kodansha's Morning and Morning 2, as well as chief judge of Kodansha's Morning International Manga Competition.

The deadline for the second round of Kodansha's International Manga Competition is December 31st. The official site and the rules can be found at

Visitors can read the two second prize winning works in English at the following link:

Also, reviews of winning works can be found here:

The new portal will illustrate reality from a new perspective, giving a new text-free look to the world of internet journalism through comics and caricature.

Hod Hasharon. Israel, Nov. 7 2007. BuzziNews, a new and unique online comics community portal will illustrate world, business, sports and entertainment current events text-free through comics and caricatures. The online portal is launching its activity with an international illustration competition awarding prizes valued at $23,000.

Read More »

topComiAsia, the leading Social Network Site for Comic Fans and Artists, has won the coveted "Red Herring 100 Asia" award. This recognizes the top 100 innovative technology firms in Asia.

Accepting the award at the Red Herring Asia 2007 conference in Hong Kong, Steve Melhuish, CEO of ComiAsia said, "We are delighted and proud to be selected for this prestigious award. This recognizes the success and hard work of the team to date. It is further endorsement of the only multi-platform comic-focused social network that ComiAsia is creating for passionate comic fans and aspiring artists everywhere."

Read More »

Kodansha has posted the results of the 1st Morning International Manga Competition (M.I.M.C.):

Grand Prize Winner ($5,000):

Second Prizes ($2,000):

Official commentary is available in both English and Japanese. Anime! Anime! has also posted a report, and ANN has a report in English.

Source: Eigo de! Anime & Manga

The Most-Promising Private Technology Ventures to be Celebrated at Event in Hong Kong

San Francisco, CA, August 14, 2007 ??? Red Herring Magazine announced today that ComiAsia has been short listed frontrunners of the Red Herring 100 Asia 2007 awards. The top 100 winners will be announced at the Red Herring 100 Asia event in Hong Kong, on August 29-31.

The Red Herring editorial team carefully selected the finalists based on criteria such as financial performance, technology innovation, quality of management, execution of strategy, and integration into their ecosystem.

Read More »

topThe winner of the 1st Morning Internation Manga Competition (MIMC) was decided in July. While Kodansha has not announced the winner, according to a leaked from Tokyopop, Rem, the artist of Tokyopop's manga Vampire Kisses, has won the competition with her manga Kage no Matsuri. The winner of MIMC will receive $5,000, as well as possibly having their work serialzed in Kodansha's magazine.

According to a flyer from Rem, Kodansha will publish Kage no Matsuri in the October issue of Morning2 magazine. Kage no Matsuri will appear on the cover of the magazine, and will also be getting a full page spread in the magazine.

Read More »