"Don't want to swear, but it seems clear, that I'm gonna hafta.
--The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
"They Came To Boston"
When the black and white comic bubble burst, manga was the only b&w that was still selling. People like me loved the stuff and enjoyed the titles we followed.
With the manga boom that happened about the time of Toonami and Adult Swim, suddenly those were the comics selling like crazy. Everybody wanted in on the act, with many people imitating what was cool about manga and anime, not what made it work (yes, Wachoski brothers, I'm looking at you specifically). The desire to keep the money machine rolling resulted in a lot of manga being snapped up for US distribution, a lot of it with a squick factor to it. The overload meant that everyone was becoming familiar with the cliches. Instead of finding interesting series with good stories, cheap vicarious series came in. Fans bought up series made for fan service, not to tell stories. I was there when the anime fandom mutated into a bunch of deviants and weirdos ("It's not pedophilia, it's a different culture." BULLSHIT!). But there were a lot of people anxious to join in and associate themselves with the fandom. People like me longed for the days when ecchi and hentai was just one part of the fandom, not the focus.
I've always had a suspicion that, one day, the more rabid parts of the fandom would go neutron star and collapse in on itself. It happens in every fandom. Most people eventually have other things to do with their time like earn a living, take care of family, or even discover something new to explore. It's no coincidence that the boom in the fandom hit with a bunch of Gen Y high schoolers and college kids suddenly invading and redefining everything. I've anxiously awaited it, so that the idiots can clear out and the people who genuinely enjoy the art form can get back to our hobby.
Looks like the day is coming, chugging like a freight train.
Viz Comics sacked 40% of their work force. Looks like Shoujo Beat, a mag I loved, was the first branch to be pruned. TokyoPop, which tried a talent search contest with bullshit terms in the contract, is history. DC Comics started it's own manga imprint, called CMX. They had regular manga and the American web comic MegaTokyo. On Free Comic Book Day, they had a couple of different samplers of the CMX line-up. Just seeing Fred Gallagher's series was featured there was enough to chase me off. Now, with the exception of MegaTokyo, EVERY CMX TITLE, INCLUDING THOSE ALREADY SOLICITED, HAS BEEN CANCELED.
Looks like anime and manga is having itself a system purge. Care Bears Stars, a web video series made with MS Paint and depicting Sailor Scouts with Care Bear powers (Christ, how much crack were they smoking when they thought THAT would be a good idea?!?), has already been C&D'ed into oblivion. Hopefully, this means the kids are finally moving out and the grown-ups have the house back.