Monday, January 10, 2011

Sometimes it's better not to know

Alerted by keywords someone used to find my blog ("why is emma vol 7 so expensive"), I did a little checking. I hadn't even realized Emma vol. 7 (by Kaoru Mori) was expensive, and, guess what, it's not just volume 7. Someone's trying to sell a new copy of volume 9 on Amazon for $54.

I don't know what happened to the availability of all those Emma volumes. I went over to RightStuf, where you can at least place an order for the volumes (most of them - 5, 6, and 9 are missing) at "not insane" prices. That doesn't mean you'll necessarily get the volumes, however, since several of them have "More Arriving Soon!" as their product availability. In theory, this means you'll just have a bit of a wait, but the lack of volumes 5, 6, and 9 in the product listings is worrisome.
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After a little more checking: Emma is (was) published by DC's CMX imprint. CMX ceased publication in July of 2010. Judging by what I saw on Amazon and RightStuf, this also means that titles CMX put out in the past will slowly dribble out of stores until the only way you can get the good ones, like Emma, is by paying many times what they originally cost to sellers at Amazon Marketplace, Ebay, etc. I'm kind of starting to wish I had bought this manga when I first realized it was fantastic, instead of just reading it via the library. Thankfully, although bookstores go out of stock, Emma will still be available at libraries (as long as the books themselves don't wear out and evil people don't mutilate the pages - cutting out images for your little scrapbook counts as mutilation, by the way - or steal the volumes).

I haven't been able to find any news about any other publishers saving Emma from going out of print. Actually, from what I can tell, the only title CMX put out that is for sure not going to end up either in limbo or astronomically expensive in the near future (or right now) is Megatokyo.

So, I think you have your answer, Random Blog Visitor. I'm sorry I didn't have better news for you (maybe someone with better news can pipe up?). My only hope is that the sheer loveliness of Emma, and its good reception among both critics and the manga-buying masses, will lead some publisher, somewhere, to save it from becoming a Rare Item.

At least I can console myself with my Emma anime DVDs. Darn it, this is exactly why I end up spending so much money each month - I always worry that the companies that put out the stuff I lust after will go under, or distributors will just decide it's not worth it to print more copies, or whatever, and I'll end up wondering what I missed out on. Or I'll have an incomplete set (Invader Zim - although it looks like I could now take care of that particular problem without quite so much pain). Or I'll know I love it, but since I don't own any of it because I watched it on Hulu or got it from the library, I'll have to rely on my fond memories and guilty visits to fansub and scanlation sites.

Now I can't stop wondering about ElfQuest. I wonder if it's still possible to get the volumes that were in full color (for less than $200 per volume, plus one of my limbs and a pint of my blood), or if those have dropped off the map?

This post started off as a simple, "Huh, I wonder what that keyword search is all about?" and now I'm kind of depressed. Ugh. I'd go take a look at WorldCat holdings numbers, but I'm worried those might end up being small and make me feel worse. I think it's time to move on to something else, like maybe one of the books I'm reading. One of them has a house with X-rated cherubs painted on the ceiling - that should help take my mind off things.

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