I didn't go to the Prom this year, seeing how I was out of town for part of it anyway and I couldn't possibly find a Stormtrooper Hobbit Tuxedo on such short notice.  Other did attend and kindly recounted the action.  Perhaps my favorite thus far is The Beat's detailed analysis.  Chris Allen as a nice article over at the Galaxy, and Ian Brill has quite an in-depth multi-part piece, which you can work backwards from starting here.

Found at the lair of Mr. Warren Ellis is a link to the full story regarding a certain scuffle you may have heard rumors about.  Laurenn McCubbin of "XXX LiveNudeGirls" and "Rent Girl" relates the news, and offers some dismaying (if not completely unexpected) news of the long road manga still has ahead of it before being accepted by some industry folk as more than a passing fad.  A 'fad' that's been present in drips and drops on American shores since at least the early 1980's, I might add; it's only recently that it's broken through to bigger financial success, but it's been present for quite a while.  It just seems so absurd that we're breaking off into not only 'mainstream' and 'indy' camps (those two are absurd enough... you really really can like "Seaguy" and "Quimby the Mouse"), but a third 'manga' camp, despite the fact that Japanese comics cover ground found in both of the other two groups!  The segregation of manga often seems based on nationality and presentation, not the contents of the books themselves.  There are content arguments too, yes, but those are exactly as silly as similar arguments to make about other types of comics.  There is formula in Japanese comics, oh heavens yes, just like there is formula and sameness in American comics.  But I really really promise, cross my heart, that "Phoenix" and "Gyo" and "FLCL" and "Flowers and Bees" and "Revolutionary Girl Utena" and "Planetes" are not very similar books, save for presentation and national origin, yet MANGA keeps getting thrown together, as if everything was identical.  Pricing issues and the benifits/detriments of the digest format are perfectly germane topics for debate, but we shouldn't let format act as a barrier to our engagement with the content itself.  Of course, there's probably a similar perception issue regarding people who only buy Japanese comics as to how they view American comics.  There are works from both nations that should appeal to the same people, though.  And I think perception is a big issue preventing that appeal from taking hold.  

Crap.  What a ramble.  None of that even covered most of the stuff McCubbin wrote about: the refusal to acknowledge the approaches that some Japanese comics take in regards to homosexuality.  I guess I just want people to accept Japanese comics as simply comics, with a fair amount of crap (as comics produce) and a good deal of diversity (as comics keep working towards).  Putting all of them in the Manga Drawer will do little good.

Thank you.  [/obligatory 'manga' rant]