Saturday AM and the Summer of Manga

Saturday AM header

Rise and shine, manga fans! Saturday AM delivers a unique and wide-reaching array of original English language manga, made by diverse creators from countries all around the world.

Saturday AM is an online magazine that serializes OEL manga with a commitment to bringing in diverse creators and stories. Unlike other webcomic publishing platforms, where you might have to pay for coins to unlock a comic chapter-by-chapter, Saturday AM has a subscription model, where you can choose to either pay on a monthly or yearly basis. The site also publishes series under its Saturday PM label, which is for seinen-style comics directed at more mature audiences. From issues #101 onward, the site’s online reader provides interactive content such as embedded “letter from the editor” videos and animated covers.

This past summer, issues #105-#110 of Saturday AM featured 10-15 page oneshots from new creators alongside the magazine’s regular ongoing series. This annual event is called the “Summer of Manga”. I’ll be reviewing four of the 2019 Summer of Manga over the next few days as well as interviewing one of the editors for the event, so stay tuned.

For now, here’s a word from Frederick Jones of Saturday AM:

“My name is Frederick and I’m the publisher of Saturday AM. I’m originally from NC and I came from a career in Corporate America within the Videogame industry before starting Saturday AM. I started the brand to bring more DIVERSE TALENT and VOICES to the mix of anime/manga. Our event #summerofmanga began roughly a year later as we were so inundated with talented young creators from around the world who identified with our commitment to fresh perspectives.

Many global fans of manga doubt they will ever end up in Japan and since there are VERY FEW examples of non-Japanese people successfully publishing manga there, then those same fans felt ‘at home’ with us. So, I came up with the idea of a summer long experience where we could allow first-time creators to PITCH us their story concept. If we liked it, we gave them a guaranteed page count, slot, and editorial help. They OWN their own work and likewise, we market them heavily.

Of course, the drawback is they’re not guaranteed to have fans love what they did as this is in a magazine with paying customers. Also, there’s a limited amount of pages so the artist really has to show patience in delivering their story in a complete manner. The hope was to provide an accurate experience to being published. Selling your idea, managing deadlines, and dealing with consumer feedback are all things that are rarely experienced on free-to-upload-and-read webcomic portal sites.

Over the years, we’ve found some amazing creators who joined us officially (i.e. Deyan Tularchevic of CRUNCH TIME) and others who’ve learned enough from the experience to go into a geek industry like animation, or step back from it altogether and realize they may be more of a fan than a creator.”

The site is running a Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion this year. Beginning 11/29 and ending at end-of-day 12/2, the yearly subscription fee of $30 will be 50% off, to $15. Additionally, during this period issues #105-#110 will be free to read, so you can check out the Summer of Manga entries as well as catch a glimpse of ongoing series like Saigami and Hammer.

Author: C. Smith

C. Smith is a lifelong fan of comics and manga whose primary interest is in webcomics.

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