Thursday, February 03, 2005

LA Times: What's this 'shojo' the kids are talking about?

A little late to the party, The Los Angeles Times (registration required; try BugMeNot) discovers shojo, and tries to figure out where the phenomenon is heading:
Recognizing that desirable licenses eventually will run out, Tokyopop is encouraging homegrown talent with its semiannual Rising Stars of Manga contests, launched last year. Each contest yields about 1,000 entries — many of them from non-Asian women in their teens and young 20s. The winners are compiled into an anthology and sometimes signed to book deals.

This year, Tokyopop will publish eight to 10 shojo manga written and/or drawn by American women, including "Peach Fuzz," about a ferret descended from royalty, and "Bizenghast," about a schizophrenic girl living in an abandoned mill town.

"Now that manga's been out there for a while, and these kids have grown up with manga, we really believe we can start doing authentic manga here," said Tokyopop senior editor Julie Taylor. "It's not going to be like some rip-off of someone trying to do it like the Japanese. They can do it organically."