Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Manga releases in Bulgaria: N2

This post will be about Shogun magazine - the manga magazine we had here in Bulgaria.
This magazine has only 16 issues and ran from April 2009 to October 2010. It's actually a copy of a French manga magazine and most of the manga in it is French. There is only one Japanese manga. Every issue is about 180 pages long, including articles and four manga chapters from different stories.
Here is the web page of the magazine - http://manga.pres.bg/ Unfortunately, the forum doesn't work anymore.
The magazine as a whole wasn't taken very well by the public and this is the reason it soon died. Many were very excited by the news that a manga magazine is starting here and many bought the magazine, while it was being published, but soon decided that they are not interested in it and wanted to sell the issues they had. So, soon the forums were flooded with posts from people, selling the magazine on much lower price than it actually was. And the magazine wasn't that expensive itself - you had to give 6 lv. (about 3 euro or 3,50 $) for an issue, which came out once a month. Later the price became 7 lv. and I still didn't find it expensive, at all. At the time I wasn't collecting any other magazines, because there was nothing to collect and I was thrilled with this new magazine. 
Overall, I liked how it was made. Of course, there are things that I didn't like so I will start with them and proceed with the things I liked about it.
First of all it was short for a monthly magazine. One issue contains about two or three articles and four manga chapters and you can finish reading the whole the thing for about an hour or so and than you have to wait a whole month for the next issue, which was kind of irritating. I don't know if you have seen Japanese monthly magazines, for example, but they are as big as phone books.
Second, the choice of manga. Of all six manga, that were published I like only three, two of them I find to be ok, but not really my style and the last one was utterly boring. I will explain more about the manga below.
And third - this magazine is not Japanese. There is only one Japanese manga in it, and even though it's interesting, that doesn't make the whole magazine Japanese and they actually try to sell it for one. This, I think, is the main reason why it died so fast.
Lets continue with the things I like about the magazine.
I really like how every issues is made. I like the covers and the formation of the pages. The paper has great quality and the covers are thick. I find this to be a big plus, because most of the things such as books or comics, that are published here, usually don't have good quality and fall apart very easily.
The articles were always very interesting and they talked not only about anime and manga things, but also about Japanese culture. There were articles about the history of manga, the different genres, different editions and specifics. There were also articles about ijime (bullying in Japan), enjo kousai (young girls, who work as companions to elderly men) or Japanese mythology. All in all the articles were very interesting and educational.
One of the greatest things about the magazine were the art contests. They allowed young unknown Bulgarian artists to be published in a magazine and seen by manga fans around the country. I personally have won the contest four times and have friends, who have also won many times. There was a competition about manga and for picture to advertise a web page.
 This is a picture of all the 16 issues together.
 Here you can see what they did with the spine of every issue. I really like that they chose to form Hokusai's picture.
 The cover of issue number one. This is art from B.B Project - a manga by the French artist shonen-san. This guy has really amazing artwork. I really love his style and the story B.B Project was quite decent.
Shonen-san's gallery
 The cover of issue number three. Artwork from Vairocana - a manga by the Japanese artist Moa Hato. Very interesting story and great artwork.
Moa Hato's gallery
 The cover of issue number six. Artork from Omega Complex - a manga, again by shonen-san. Needless to say, the artwork is awesome and the story is amazing.
The cover of issue number four. Artwork from Pen Dragon - a manga by Mika, who I think is French. The artwork and  the story are kind of narutoish. It's a typical shonen. Interesting, but not really my style.
This is a picture from the manga Kairi by Janina Gorrisen (a German artist) and Audrey Diallo (a Fernch writer). The art is really decent, but the story is a little bit too dramatic for me.
As you can, I didn't use a cover to show you a picture of the manga, because, they never put Kairi on the cover.
Janina Görrissen's gallery
The cover of issue number two. Artwork from All In - a manga by Diaz, Irons. D and N'Dish, who I think are a Spanish team (correct me if I'm wrong; I really couldn't find much information about the creators). This manga is about poker and since I don't play and don't know anything about poker, I thought that the story was quite boring and the artwork is crappy.
These are three of the four pictures of mine, that were published in the magazine in issue six, issue eight and issue twelve.







I actually liked the magazine, even though it had problems. I think that it would have turned in a really nice magazine, which features Bulgarian artists, with time if it had been more popular and if it hadn't bankrupted.
I also think that fans should be more supportive of the things that come out on our market, because if they are not, they risk not to have anything here in the future.
That's about it. Comment if you have any questions and suggestions :)

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