CLAMPdown

CLAMPdown is a humorous book about the manga artists CLAMP, which I wrote during the UK’s various coronavirus lockdowns in 2020-21, for which I am seeking a publisher.

I decided to write about them partly because CLAMP are my personal favourite manga artists, and partly because I needed something to keep my mind on during the misery that was Covid-19.

However, as it is obviously a niche subject, I’m having trouble finding a publisher. In an attempt to find one, I set up the Twitter account @clampdownbook and have posted extracts. First went the preface and then the introduction. At midnight on CLAMP Day 2021 (1st April, which is 16.00 on 31st March UK time), I posted the entire first chapter, about the group’s early years and their first major work RG Veda.

If I don’t find a publisher within a year, then for CLAMP Day 2022, I’ll post up Chapter 2, covering the CLAMP School series – Man of Many Faces, Duklyon and CLAMP School Detectives. I’ll continue posting up chapters every year until I get a publishing deal, or the entire book is online for free, which at this rate would be in 2038 (or longer, if CLAMP create any other brand new works).

NYFAQBIANBAD (Not Yet Frequently Asked Questions, But I’m Answering Now Before Anyone Does)

Who are CLAMP?

They are four women – Nanase Ohkawa, Mokona, Tsubaki Nekoi and Satsuki Igarashi – who since the 1980s have been creating manga. Their most famous works include Cardcaptor Sakura, Magic Knight Rayearth, X, Chobits, xxxHOLiC and Tsubasa.

Why are you writing about CLAMP?

Because they are my favourite manga artists, and there are not many books in the west written about them.

Why are you posting up these extracts for free?

So anyone, especially publishers, can get an example of my writing style. Also, I don’t like the idea of my book doing nothing. I don’t want it to be hidden away, so I’m happy to slowly release bits over time. On top of this, with my Asperger’s I find it hard to ask publishers directly, so for me this is an easier way of showcasing my work. I’d rather the publishers came to me.

Why don’t you self-publish?

To me, self-publishing means that the only person I know who 100% loves the book is me. With another publisher, I know that means someone else likes the book too.

How long is the book?

Roughly 200 pages of A4. There are 18 chapters, but if CLAMP create any more brand new original works, a new chapter would have to be included.

Does every single CLAMP title get its own chapter?

No. Sequels are put together with the original works (e.g., Cardcaptor Sakura and Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card are one single chapter, Chapter 8). Elsewhere, Chapter 2 covers all the series set in the CLAMP School, while Chapter 5 covers series that only lasted one-print volume (Shirahime-Syo, Legend of Chun Hyang, Miyuki-chan in Wonderland and The One I Love).

When will the next chapter be released?

Provided no publisher has expressed an interest, each new chapter will be posted first on the Twitter account @clampdownbook at 16.00 on 31st March, which is midnight on 1st April in Japan, 1st April being CLAMP Day, when fans celebrate the group.

Why don’t you publish the next chapter on 1st April UK time?

I don’t want people mistaking it for an April Fool prank.

What is your favourite CLAMP manga?

X, for its themes, artwork and characters. Also, the most frustrating (why does a series about the apocalypse not have a proper ending after being on hiatus for around 20 years?!)

Who are your favourite CLAMP characters?

It’s very close between Subaru Sumeragi and Seishiro Sakurazuka, who first appear in Tokyo Babylon, and later appear in X and Tsubasa. Subaru is certainly the cooler one, but I’m such a cynic I feel myself being dragged towards Seishiro (that ever-so-lovely selfish, one-eyed, gay murderer).

I want to learn more about CLAMP. Any suggestions for who can provide me with more information?

I would recommend the people who helped fact-check my book: the Brazilian blogger Chibi Yuuto, and Lucy and Robin who host the American podcast CLAMPcast in Wonderland.