The Week in Gay Geek: A gay toy flashback, another troubled YAOI publisher and more!



THE BOY-MEETS-BOY BUSINESS TIMES:
It’s been a tough year for YAOI fans: first starup publisher Iris officially calls it quits, then YAOI-focused DramaQueen and groundbreaking publisher Tokyopop fall upon hard times. For a little while, it sounded like another major publisher of boy-meets-boy manga, Digital Manga Publishing, was in trouble when news of layoffs hit the web. Thankfully, the rumors of DMP’s demise have turned out to be rather exaggerated. While talking with Deb Aoki, DMP calms the waters, saying that they’ve had to pull back due to economic conditions, and unfortunately that means a slower release schedule.

Flower of Life

And Fumi Yohsinaga fans will be happy to hear that the fourth volume of Yoshinaga’s shoujo series Flower of Life finally has a release date (May 2009, if you’re one of them), though that’s all that’s coming out from the very gay-friendly Yoshinaga. Similarly, DMP has also launched YAOI Club, a "superstore" for boy-meets-boy manga that reportedly offers solid discounts on older titles (cool, I just spotted All Nippon Air Line for seven bucks), so DMP isn’t acting the way fallen publishers like BeBeautiful and DramaQueen did.

YAOI Generation’s Breath

However, amid the frustrating news about troubled publishers, there’s news of a new publisher entering the scene. YAOI Generation recently announced their first title, breath by Chifumi Ochi. I guess only time will tell if YAOI Generation can fill the gap left in DramaQueen’s wake.

SO SUPER INTERVIEWED:
So Super Duper creator Brian Andersen has hit our radar more than a few times lately and I really enjoyed this interview at the Rain on the Roof blog. The talk brings up a few new discoveries about Andersen, like his Mormon upbringing, missionary work in Guatemala and his mangling of the Spanish language.

I particularly found the origins of So Super Duper to be revealing:

"Originally I wanted to do So Super Duper as a weekly webcomic, but after I decided to get a table at the Alternative Press Expo I figured I would just print the first 30 pages of the story as a first issue to build interest. After the thoroughly enthusiastic response I got (people actually liked it and bought it!) from the first issue at the convention I switched gears and decided keep it a print book. I’m so glad I did. It’s brought a more solid, firm story to each issue and has allowed me to plan and develop the plot as an ongoing story arc instead of single, but sized story elements played over weeks at a time."

So Super Duper and creator Brian Andersen

I am constantly impressed with webcomic creators who manage to put out new content every week and I’m even more impressed with how Andersen has managed to get so much work in print. Talk about a workhorse!

THE 30TH CENTURY EXPECTATIONS GAME:
While last week offered more bad news for Legion fans, Graeme McMillan thinks he sees a curve ball coming. McMillan notes that mothballing the team just as a big Smallville appearance is coming up seems a bit of a waste, but also notes how the DC has been throwing a number of fake-outs lately:

"This wouldn’t be the first time DC has tried this approach – they prefaced Final Crisis‘s revamp of the Jack Kirby New Gods characters with a series called Death of The New Gods, after all – but their timing does appear to be slightly off; shouldn’t this kind of fake-out be done so that the "Ha, only joking! Here they are again after all!" reveal comes on the 50th anniversary, instead of the whole "Yeah, time to put the toys down for awhile" part?"

While I’m certainly looking forward to that Smallville episode (which hasn’t been scheduled to air yet) and hoping deep, deep down it’s instantly followed by the kind of spin-off talk that followed Smallville‘s Aquaman episode … after all, the Legion would be an apt template for any network who wants its own Heroes. I’m trying to keep my hopes down so that I don’t get disappointed when nothing happens. Still, I’ve been figuring we’ll be hearing about the next Legion revamp once Legion of 3 Worlds comes out, which is why I’m hoping that the mini-series ends with the team’s few gay characters getting pulled out of limbo.

The Legion of 3 Worlds

I’ve been having trouble finding copies of The Legion of 3 Worlds, though I’ve been reading the spoilers I can find … has anyone been reading it? I’m guessing it’s turned out to be more popular than expected if all the shops I’ve visited are sold out.

THE GAY TOY AGENDA, REMEMBERED:
Here’s your chuckle for the week: the often-entertaining (and more list-obsessed than we are) Topless Robot blog takes a look at Seven Unintentionally Perverted Toys That Will Ruin Your Children, a list that includes four examples of toy-inspired gay panic: the Tinky Winky doll, the "Gay Bob" doll from the 70s, the Earring Magic Ken doll and the action figure from Disney’s Tarzan that came with innuendo-inspiring grip action.

In some cases, its hilarious in hindsight (by which stereotype did gay men wear that shirt in 1977?), but most times, they were hilarious then and even funnier now.

Now, am I the only one who sees the current look of America’s Next Top Model mentor Jay Manuel on Earring Magic Ken? I wonder if that’s been sent to the jellybag.

HOORAY FOR BETHESDA:
Copy-protection has been an especially controversial issue among gamers lately, with games like Mass Effect and, more recently, Spore angering gamers with copy-protection that was deemed too restrictive or invasive. The other weekend, my partner returned his copy of Spore unopened after having read about the lawsuit against Electronic Arts, basically deciding that if the software that does what the plantiffs claims it does, that Spore disc shouldn’t even get near his DVD-ROM drive.

Fallout 3

Thus, I was pretty happy to hear that the highly-anticipated Fallout 3 will include only the "mildest form" of copy protection, much like the muti-million selling Oblivion. My previous machine still has traces of Starforce stuck on it, despite following different sets of uninstall instructions. After that experience, the excitement of purchasing a new game is cramped by hesitation, and I’m happy that pause won’t come when I get my copy of Fallout 3.

We haven’t discussed the topic of copy protection before and it’s admittedly a complicated one. While I totally understand why companies need to protect themselves from piracy, I don’t want something that’s supposed to be recreational turn out to be a source of worry. Where do you fall on the controversial issue?

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