Changes afoot at Seven Seas

In the beginning, Seven Seas published global (i.e. non-Japanese) manga, and they started out with a nice set of titles with a similar feel: adventure stories with a dose of cuteness, all suitable for the tween/teen market.

In the past year they have also started licensing some really interesting Japanese properties, but the global manga are still a big part of the mix, and their website always features four global web manga that are eventually released in print as well. The web comics are strictly line art, while the books feature fully toned comics as well as quite a few extras. Plus they take the web manga off the site eventually.

Some changes are in the works at the moment, so this is probably a good time to drop by and check it out.

Note: Although they are not Japanese, all these comics read right to left.

The best known comic is probably Aoi House, a harem comedy about two male college students who wind up living in a house full of crazed yaoi fangirls. (For the uninitiated: yaoi=male-male love stories.) The predictable shenanigans arise (people walk into each other in the shower, a hamster steals the girls’ panties) but the story gets more creative as it goes along. Manga and anime fans will enjoy the inside jokes, but the story really appeals to everyone, even a non-yaoi-reading female like me. Artist Shiei has a smooth, clean, curvy style that works well with the voluptuous subject matter.

The newest title is Dead Already, a cop thriller with a supernatural twist. There’s only one page up at the moment, but check out this interview with the writer for a taste of things to come.

Hollow Fields is a schoolgirl/mecha/horror story that puts a cute, plucky kid into a school for mad scientists. The art is wonderfully detailed, as writer and artist Madeline Rosca obviously enjoys drawing complicated Rube Goldberg machinery. The print edition is due out in June, so Seven Seas will be discontinuing the webcomic in April, according to editor Adam Arnold.

The Outcast is also scheduled to end on April 2. I’ll have to save this one for another post, as I haven’t read it yet, but the info page touts it as an emotional story of fallen angels and a vulnerable girl. Smells like shoujo to me, and the uncluttered, clean-lined art makes it look like a swift read.

Already off the site is Moonlight Meow, the story of a hunky guy who turns into a black cat at night. The print volume is due out in May, but Seven Seas has kept a generous chunk of the webcomic (two and a half chapters) online.

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