Academic articles on comics, including manga, can – and certainly do – appear in a wide range of ournals. For example, just this year so far, the East Asian Journal of Popular Culture, the Journal of Neo-Victorian Studies, and Transformative Works and Cultures have all published such articles. However, several English-language journals cover comics exclusively. It is certainly reasonable to assume that they will welcome articles on Japanese comics.
The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (Routledge), is probably the highest-profile such journal. It began publication in 2010, at first with two issues in each year’s volume, and has since expanded to four. Within the first year, it published Casey Brienza’s Producing comics culture: A sociological approach to the study of comics, a study of how “the conditions and mode of production help to determine the particular sorts of [comics] texts that are actually created” in the U.S. and In Japan, followed by three other individual articles, and a full “Boys’ Love manga (yaoi)” special section. And, two more articles on Japanese comics appear in the new December 2015 issue.
In Transnational convergence culture: Grassroots and corporate convergence in the conflict over English-translated amateur manga, June M. Madeley (University of New Brunswick) looks at how Western manga readers responded to the efforts that Japanese publishers have undertaken to counteract distribution of unauthorized online translations (“scanlations”) of manga via profit-making “aggregator” websites. Several authors, in particular, Hye-Kyung Lee, in Between fan culture and copyright infringement: Manga scanlation, and Lev Manovich, Jeremy Douglass, & William Huber (Understanding scanlation: How to read one million fan-translated pages) have already written about scanlation as process and practice, but this essay is the first (to my knowledge) that focuses specifically on the interactions between scanlators, readers, and manga creators/publishers – and the conflicts that arise out of these interactions. Madeley presented earlier versions of this paper at the 2012 annual conference of the Association for Asian Studies, the 2012 Comic Arts Conference (the academic program track of San Diego Comic-Con), and the 2013 Asian Conference on Cultural Studies. She is also the author of Transnational transformations: A gender analysis of Japanese manga featuring unexpected bodily transformations, The Journal of Popular Culture, 45(4), 789-806.
Tien-Yi Chao, who teaches in the department of foreign languages and literatures at National Taiwan University, contributes Transgression of taboos: Eroticising the master-servant relationship in Blue Morning, an in-depth study of the Boys’ Love manga by Shoko Hidaka, with a focus on the power dynamics between the two main characters. This is the author’s third published article on manga; she published Features of hybridization in In These Words in the Boys Love Manga special section in the same journal (Volume 4, Issue 1, 2013) and, in the same year, and oddly enough, in the same volume and issue number – of the other major academic journal on comics – Transmutation of worlds: Adaptation and transformation in Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa.