Comics A.M. | Manga market showing signs of 'modest' recovery

Manga | In a two-part interview, ICv2 talks at length to veteran Dark Horse manga editor Carl Horn about how the manga market has evolved since 1987, which manga do and do not do well, and what the future may hold. The good news is the market seems to be recovering after several years of declining sales; the hard evidence is that Dark Horse is sending more royalties back to the Japanese licensors. And the new reality is that while the market may be smaller, almost everyone knows what manga is now: "You can’t simply put a manga on the market and expect it to sell because it is manga (that was one of the nice things about the boom because you could take a chance on more marginal titles), but on the other hand you don’t have to do as much explaining about what manga is anymore." In addition, ICv2 lists the top 25 manga and the top 10 shoujo and shonen properties from the last quarter of 2013. [ICv2]

Creators | Gene Luen Yang talks about how he reinvented the 1940s superhero the Green Turtle for The Shadow Hero, a collaboration with Sonny Liew that's being published first as digital-first monthly comics and then collected into a graphic novel. The Green Turtle was created by Chu Hing, one of the first Asian-Americans in comics, and Yang has an intriguing bit of history: "Rumor has it, Chu Hing wanted to make his character a Chinese American, but his publisher didn’t think it was a good idea. Chu subverted his publisher by drawing the Green Turtle so that we almost never see his face. In those original comics, he usually has his back to us. When he is turned around, something – a piece of furniture, another character’s head, his own arm – blocks his face from our view. Supposedly, Chu did this so that we could imagine the Green Turtle as he originally intended, as a Chinese American." Since the character didn't last long, Yang had the freedom to come up with an origin story as well as new adventures. [Publishers Weekly]

Creators | Francoise Mouly discusses her life and work, with a special focus on her kids' comics line Toon Books — how they came to be, how they have evolved, and how they mesh with the school market. [Mutha]

Creators | Charles Forsman talks about his graphic novels The End of the Fucking World and Celebrated Summer as well as his publishing company, Oily Comics. [Fader]

Digital comics | Jason Thompson checks out the digital manga service Manga Box. [Anime News Network]

Commentary | Sean Kleefeld explains normcore and discusses it in a superhero context. [Kleefeld on Comics]

Exhibits | If you happen to be in Paris this spring, stop by the Mona Bismarck American Center for Art & Culture, which is having what looks like a splendid exhibit of original art by Alex Ross. [The Hollywood Reporter]

Conventions | Alicia Lozano looks forward to the Smudge Expo, a kid-oriented comics convention held this weekend in Washington, D.C. Zita the Spacegirl creator Ben Hatke will be making a guest appearance. [WTOP]

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