Manga Friday: Look! A Mammoth!

Andrew Wheeler

Andrew Wheeler spent 16 years as a book club editor, most notably for the Science Fiction Book Club, and has been a judge for the 2005 World Fantasy Awards and the 2009 Eisner Awards. He is now Marketing Manager for John Wiley & Sons.

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6 Responses

  1. mike weber says:

    Carrol & Graf had a tendency to look for public-domain stuff that they could make loopk like new material by popular authors – they had a run-in with Louis l'Amour, for instance; they published two books of his older stories that had fallen into PD – whereupon l'Amour and his regular publisher issued collections featuring the same stories, under the same titles as the C&G – with new (*noit* PD) introductions and commentary on the stories by l'Amour.

    • Marilee J. Layman says:

      You have to admit that's partially L'Amour's fault. He shouldn't have let stories fall into PD.

  2. ilya says:

    I was pointed at this, just to spoil the first day back after New Year. "Assumption" is your middle name, right? And Gross at that. Whatever problem you seem to have with the Mammoth line, I think you should take it up with them directly, as otherwise you are just clogging up the airwaves.ILYA

    • Andrew Wheeler says:

      Well, now that you're here, perhaps you could explain the process by which you choose the "Best New Manga" for your anthologies. Do you have an open reading period, like most of the "Year's Best" anthologies? What are the publications from which you choose your stories to reprint? Do you have more luck seeing new works from some publishers than others? (I had that trouble myself a few years back, when I judged a literary award.) Is there any particular reason why the best manga of the year don't include any actually created by Japanese people?Or is Best New Manga 2 more like what I thought it was: an anthology of new stories by creators whose work you like, in a manga-esque style? (That's a great kind of book — the Flight anthologies and Out of Picture are essentially that, with slightly less obvious manga influence, and they're quite successful, artistically and commercially.)The problem I have with the Mammoth books is that their titles are quite often misleading. "Best New Manga 2," especially coming a year after "Best New Manga 1," sounds like a Best of the Year annual, drawing from previously published work and presenting the best of it. If it really is that, I think you need to be clearer about where these stories originally appeared. If that's not what this book is, then the title is misleading, and that's not my fault or problem.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Andrew,I wouldn't normally enter into any internet discussion (I'm afraid I just don't have the time), and indeed am not – this is it from me – but, since you took the time to ask your questions, here's answers in short.The realities of publishing: that's your shortest answer.Longer: I'm a working artist who edits this title 1) because I was asked, and 2) there's a definite need and market for such a book. There's a tight schedule, even for an annual – March deadlines for October publication, then straight on the next one. Most of the material I select already exists in some sense but lapses unpublished (at least in any "mainstream" sense), which is nothing less than a crime. BNM exists to begin putting that right. It's the best of what I can see around me, and what's more all creator-owned and available: Hopefully the existence of this title will only encourage other publishers to get on board and start publishing the rising generations of international creators who have nowhere to appear, unless it be the web. Look at the content and tell me such excellent works should not be much more widely available. Operating on basically next to nil budget or resources I select from what I can find and what's recommended or shown to me. On my side I have 20+ years in the business plus an open mind, so I make far-ranging contacts. I also know manga for what it is, not what little we import of it: which is limited almost solely to teen genres plus a few acknowledged classics. In Japan it's a mass-market form and that's what I want it to be here if only we'll let it. We can't persist in reducing an entire medium to a single genre or limited "fan" audience – it's madness.If you'll look, I have included Japanese creators in both Volumes 1 (Michiru Morikawa) and 2 (Chie Kutsuwada), but not out of balance: my brief is to reflect the (best of the)global phenomenon manga has become. Also, in a marketplace where the vast majority of material is Japanese translated, that's plenty available far beyond what little difference I could make. What exactly would be the point? (If you don't like the title or find it inappropriate, I didn't pick it and have no say there: it's a standard to the Mammoth imprint. Focus on the word "new" if you have to.)Me, I'm just trying to show everyone there's more to manga as I know and love it than teenage big-eye oops-my-panties cliches. Even Tokyopop are exploring possibilities beyond: in the USA Oni Press maintains an excellent list. Look to Ponent Mon's list among too few others for the best of what Japanese manga they are selecting, with a wider or adult audience in mind. (BNM is intended "all ages")"I think you need to be clearer about where these stories originally appeared." As I say, mostly they haven't, but fair point: I'll take that into consideration for next time. Thanks for your interest!ILYAeditor/manga wranglerThe Mammoth Book of BEST NEW MANGA

  4. Anonymous says:

    In all fairness I did reply to this Andrew, answering your questions – it's just not been put up. Is this all just you?