Visiting James Nicoll's Livejournal tonight I found out that Dark Horse Comics, North American publishers of my fav manga, Blade of the Immortal, are going to reprint John Norman's Gor books. I've discussed the series before, but for those of you who missed those posts the short version is that the books took place on the planet Gor, where men are men and women are slaves or in their hearts want to be slaves. They'd likely be written off as crappy sword and sorcery fantasy if not for the bondage content of the series and the fact that John Norman by all accounts actually believes women really want to be slaves to men. And there are people in the real world who agree with him and base part or all of their personal lifestyles on these concepts. Interestingly the Dark Horse press release I linked to makes no real mention of the controversial content of the series, which I have to wonder about given that a lot of book sellers who sell other Dark Horse products probably aren't familiar with the notoriety of the books.
As you can imagine the announcement Dark Horse will begin reprinting the series has gotten some folks upset. I can't blame them given the sexism and misogyny that underlies the setting of the books. The obvious question is why Dark Horse decided to pick up the Gor series. I would suspect that in part it's because the rights are available cheap. Recent attempts to reprint them have been less than successful, so it would seem to be a bit of a risk for Dark Horse to release them. It will be interesting to see how well their omnibus release of the first 3 books does, and whether there will be a second release featuring the next 3 books. Or perhaps a better question is whether they will release a third omnibus, given that the second one is probably already late in the preproduction stage.