Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Voices carry....

I know who Bleach is now...

I've never been much of a fan of Manga. I've just never had anything in the genre catch my interest and the artistic styling just isn't my cup of tea. That being said I have to admit a new found respect for the fans of Manga and their willingness to stand up in defense of the characters and the artists who create them when it appeared that someone may have copied some of the works and attempted to pass them off as his own.

As many of you may be aware of by now, Nick Simmons has been accused of plagiarism in his recently released book, Incarnate. Now, I'm not going to go into the allegations here because that's not the focus of this piece. (You can however go here and find any number of helpful links to catch up on the story.) What I'd like to talk about here is the group of people who've reaffirmed my belief in the power of individuals uniting around a common cause and fighting for something they believe in.

Make no bones about it, the individuals at this Facebook site have rallied around a common cause and they're fighting mad at Nick Simmons. This group of individuals share a passion for Manga/Anime that up until a few days ago I had no idea existed in this country. Thousands of individuals from all across America have banded together to voice their outrage at what they perceive to be heinous criminal act against manga creator Tite Kubo. (I say "perceive" because nothing has yet been proven in a court of law.) This group of united spirits have managed to draw attention to an issue in a way I'll bet dollars to doughnuts a whole lot of corporate executives thought could never happen or would ever happen. This group has proven that the market is not nearly as stupid as they thought we were and I applaud their efforts for having made this point perfectly clear to the publishing industry.

I hope those of us throughout the entire comic landscape, whatever our favorite genre or flavor may be, take heed of this group and the shear size of the number of voices they brought together to speak their minds about what they will and will not tolerate in the books they spend their hard earned monies for. They have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt the power of the comic book consumer; When we combine our voices we can make a difference. Instead of swallowing everything they feed us and thanking them for inferior product we can speak out and say, "Enough is enough! We do know crap when we see it and we're not going to take it anymore!". Bravo and well done!

Whatever winds up happening or not happening in the judicial system concerning Nick Simmons and his book Incarnate, this group of individuals have shown me something I thought no longer existed in the nation of comic book readers. They've shown me an active, interested and fully engaged fan base that isn't as easily fooled as some in the ivory tower of the corporate elite believed us to be. This group has earned respect and I'd like to go on record and say, "Well done good souls! I like your style and you've got my respect no matter what Nick Simmons, Radical Publishing or anyone else might think of you."

On a personal note: I'd like to thank Ross Cameron, Dianne Pacheco and Silena Buckelew for taking the time to help me learn a little bit about Manga, Anime and Cosplay and showing me what great people Manga fans really are. (Yes Silena, I did visit your Facebook page and when I saw the cosplay reference I googled and researched what it meant...) Ross, send me your web comic link so I can add it to my links. Dianne, you are a great person to burn the midnight oil talking to. Thanks to all of you!

Oh, can anyone recommend a book or two to read so I can see if I've missed something in Manga I might want to read and expand my horizons a bit?

I think I'm a bit more open to it now than I used to be...

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