Sporadic Sequential
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Reading Between The Lines

Impressed that DC was actually advertising its CMX titles in an anime/manga magazine, I decided to poke around the CMX site to see how things were looking. One interesting thing I found that I didn't know about was the "Ask CMX" column (like the other "Ask ____" columns DC runs for its various imprints) where readers can submit questions to the editors. As a fan of Kaoru Mori's delightful Emma series, I was particularly interested in this Q&A:
I recently purchased EMMA #1 and read in the author's notes that CMX is planning to bring over the entire series untouched. Does this mean you will be keeping the nudity in the bath scenes later in the series? I've already talked to several other fans and we all agree that we'll "suffer" that the latter volumes be wrapped in plastic if it means we'll get a full, unedited release. We all agree that the nudity involved is tasteful.

Also, are you going to continue to use the rough paper stock found in volume one? The cover tends to bow VERY easily and the texture/color of the paper tends to fuzz out the crispness of the art a bit. Was this done for affect?
Thanks much,
-Nick M.

Dear Nick,
CMX is very proud to present EMMA #1 in its original form, completely untouched! We are sorry that you don't like the cover stock because we have otherwise received very positive feedback about it. We chose it because it seems to have an old-fashion quality to it which compliments the time period of the story. We know how much effort Ms. Mori put into this book, extensively researching the history of the period to get all the details right and we felt that the book deserved some unique touch to set it off from every other manga on the bookshelves of retailers and fans.
-Jim Chadwick, CMX Editor
Hmm, I wonder why CMX wanted to avoid the first part of Nick's question? (Yes, the editor does reiterate that the series will remain "completely untouched" but it would have been nice to receive specific assurances that the nudity won't be edited out, especially since the reader's question was specifically whether the "untouched" qualification also applied to later nudity.)

(And for what it's worth, I'm one of the readers who does like the antiquey feel of the cover stock CMX is using for Emma. For one thing, it's much easier to open the book and actually read it than it was with CMX's first wave of manga titles.)

UPDATE: Dirk Deppey manages to find a sample of the bathtime nudity in question from the German edition of Emma Vol. 4 (scroll down to the Manga section of the post). It doesn't look very risqué to me, but we'll see how CMX handles the scene when the English version is released this month. (Hmm, and according to BN.com, it's already available, so can anyone who's seen the book confirm if the nudity is indeed "completely untouched"?)

EDIT: I just noticed that the editor's response only says that Emma Vol. 1 is presented "
in its original form, completely untouched," with no such assurances for the rest of the series, so it seems even more likely that the nudity in later volumes will be censored. And Dirk Deppey provided a helpful link to even more scans from the German edition of Vol. 4, with even more nudity on display for CMX to cover up.

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