Viz Media's Shonen Jump is hosting an excerpt of an interview with Takehiko Inoue (creator of Slam Dunk, Vagabond), who talks about his experience with basketball.

Source: Newsarama Blog

In the latest issue of Publishers Weekly Comics Week, Kai-Ming Cha interviews mangaka Arina Tanemura, who made an appearance at Viz's SDCC Shojo Beat panel last week. Also from PWCW are some more in-depth reports of this year's SDCC.

From Anime UK News comes an interview with Paul Gravett, author of Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics, who talks about manga adapts to the big screen as well as the influence of anime on Japanese culture.

MangaBlog points out an article where Newsarama talks with Tokyopop's Director of New Product Development Jeremy Ross, who talks about Tokyopop's "web and digital strategy and DC's latest 'imprint.'"

Interview, reviews and more in Episode 45!

GRIMES, IA, July 20, 2007 – Anime producer and mega-online anime retailer Right Stuf, Inc. is pleased to welcome writer, interpreter and translator Frederik L. Schodt to episode 45 of ANIME TODAY to discuss his soon-to-be released book, The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom and the Manga/Anime Revolution.

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From AoD comes an interview with Michael Gombos, Dark Horse's Director of Asian Licensing, who talks about a the state of Dark Horse's manga, the new titles announced at AX 2007 and and clarification the status of Eden.

From animeOnline comes an interview with Yohei Takami, editor of Monthly Shonen Magazine. The interview touches on the work of an editor, and provides an extensive look at the manga Beck.

From PingMag posts an interview with the "wild" mangaka Jun Hanyunyuu, whose work Koi no Mon (directed by Suzuki Matsuo)was selected for the 2004 Venice International Film Festival. In the interview Jun Hanyunyuu talks about his past, his experience drawing manga, as well as his hobbies.

topIt has been a little over a year since Brigid Alversion's Manga4Kids/MangaBlog became Backstage's first featured site. Since then there have been some big changes within the online community, and many old blogs are no longer around. However, Brigid's MangaBlog is still going strong, and Brigid now finds herself more involved with the community than ever, writing articles for sites like Comixpedia, PWCW and Digital Strips.

On March 4th, MangaBlog celebrated its 2nd anniversary. Backstage caught up with Brigid and asked her a few questions about the state of MangaBlog for the past year.

Read the full interview at MangaBlog Anniversary Feature: Interview with MangaBlog's Brigid Alverson.

In the latest issue of PWCW, Ed Chavez interviews Simon Jones from Icarus Publishing. In the interview the two discuss the how the manga market has evolved over the years, as well as the difficulties in publishing erotic manga effectively.

Other interesting topics from PWCW include a look at NETCOMICS, Yaoi Press and Japanese manga, and Viz's release of the DVD The Taste of Tea.