I honestly rarely ever consider mangaka in this way. I have favorites but in terms of best I do not think that is even useful.
I like the following artists for different reasons - Hideo Azuma (character design), Usamaru Furuya (flexibility), Kentaro Miura (backgrounds), and Shigeyuki Fukumitsu (layout).
Writing is tough cause script writing and visual showing are different things and mangaka do not always write their scripts. But I do like how the following artists "show" their stories: Tagro, Yukari Ichijo, Mochiru Hoshisato, Naoki Yamamoto, and Seiiki Tsushida.
I am not sure if any of these could be considered the best. But they inspire me.
I guess so for personal reasons. But I do own a good number of these.
Definitely. Many of our shorts are not well represented in surveys.
I am not a printer so I do not know exactly why that is.
However, I do know this... Sometimes covers and pages are not printed at the same location. Sometimes cuts are off. Sometimes glue can be overused/underused.
I cannot say why for your books (or mine for that matter) but that (or being a wee-bit long) is actually very common for all books.
We try to avoid them.
It is hard to do so in culturally sensitive books - Seki comes to mind - but they are often not always necessary.
We have worked with anime distributors before. Fans of Summer Wars might remember that we did a cross-promotion deal with Funimation. We are working on the Chi's Sweet Home DVDs. And we have some other things up our sleeves.
But yeah, if we can get in touch with the anime companies we are generally interested in doing stuff.
Of course we are.
It is a slow build so far but I like where it is going as of late.
First even in Japan there are no standard sizes. Shonen and shojo have a "size" but most JP publishers has a size that is a few millimeters different. Josei and seinen vary alot. Book to book they may change even within the same magazine.
Some US pubs try to keep the JP sizes to reduce moire effects (if files are bad, wonky, old). Sometimes the mangaka ask to keep the JP sizes.
Then different printers have different sizes. So that makes a difference.
Ultimately this isn't unusual. Books are like that. And they should be that way. Books are like people; they are and should be different!
That's almost all of it actually.
Train, plane, boat...then car. You could add foot but I haven't done long trek hiking in ages (did a lot of that in Japan back in the 90's).
No. And not for the US.
Harper Collins has UK rights. So we have no idea what they're doing there but here in the US we have had a paperback version since 2006.
Always treat a hardcover like a limited edition. We rarely reprint them (actually Gundam was the only one we've reprinted).