Farewell CMX

Like most people in the manga blogosphere, I was disappointed to hear that DC Comics decided to get rid of CMX. Dead/dying publishers like Aurora and Go Comi have been silent for months, but CMX was still soliciting new titles so hearing that this publisher was ceasing to exist was an unpleasant shock. In retrospect, I guess it shouldn’t have been a total surprise. DC has never supported the manga titles from CMX well. They were hard to find in bookstores, and it never seemed like there was that much of a marketing push behind them. I wonder if CMX manga titles would have been more successful if DC had spent even half the time marketing CMX as they did on their quickly launched and canceled Minx line for teenage girls.

I probably used the phrase “under the radar” to describe CMX too much. Perhaps that was part of the problem. Many of the series were a little quirky and would probably tend to appeal more to a manga aficionado than a casual reader. But I always knew that if I was bored with some of the slickly overly produced or cynically edited mainstream manga offerings I would be able to find something genuinely weird and wonderful in CMX’s catalog like Swan or From Eroica With Love or Moon Child.

CMX’s shoujo line always seemed like it was carefully curated. One of the reasons why I’m upset about CMX’s disappearance is that it had some great titles for a underserved demographic – tween girls. As a librarian, I knew that I could always turn to CMX if someone was asking me for a good manga for 9-12 year olds, because so many of their shoujo titles were simple and sweet, without any objectionable elements that parents might be wary of. CMX’s offerings seemed more personal than other manga publishers, and the titles they selected seemed to be chosen because someone working at CMX genuinely liked them. I’m sure other manga publishers like their titles, but the human element seemed more present with CMX since they were choosing to go out and license hidden gems like Name of the Flower and Stolen Hearts.

So when I think of CMX I’ll be grateful for all the great series they were able to finish like Emma, Land of the Blindfolded, Penguin Revolution, and Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne. I’ll miss not being able to read the endings of some of my favorites like Venus in Love and Swan. Now there’s not much else to do but evaluate some of the holes in my CMX collection and try to snag some volumes before they go out of print.

So goodbye CMX. I’m sorry you were dumped so unceremoniously. You did a service to the English manga reading community by putting out 15 volumes of Swan and From Eroica With Love, along with all the other great titles you published. You will be missed.