The newest issue of Wired Magazine (and their accompanying website) has dedicated quite a bit of space this month to manga (or, Japanese comics). As a primer for the uninitiated, there's a colorful, comics f.a.q. describing the global phenomenon, and another, longer comic mapping manga's slow-building popularity boom here in the United States. For the more experienced manga reader (those of you who know enough to read your manga trades starting at the back page, right side), there's a fascinating article on the way that dojinshi (or, unlicensed and self-published fan adaptations) has evolved into a multi-million dollar a year business...and one that the corporate copyright holders are allowing to exist! Apparently, the Japanese comics corporations are willing to turn a blind eye to the dojinshi scene, understanding that it serves as a sort of training school for many of the artists and writers that they will one day be employing. The comics companies also seem to feel that the fan-fic "does not diminish the sales of the original product, but may increase them."
Hmn...do you think that J.K. Rowling and Scholastic would take such an enlightened and understanding view if the reams of Harry-humps-Ron stories currently floating around the internet started being published via print-on-demand?
(thanks to BoingBoing.net for the initial heads-up!)