Kurt Hassler, who recently topped ICv2′s list of the ten most powerful people in manga, is off to greener pastures: He will be one of the directors of Yen Press, a new graphic novel group formed by Hachette Media, according to Publishers Weekly.
Yen Press will focus on publishing licensed manga, Hassler’s speciality, but will also publish a wide variety of comics works. Young said the list will include original manga, original American comics and graphic novels, webcomics, licensed adaptations and children’s works.
At The Beat, Heidi points out that this is big news not only for graphic novel publishers but also for shoppers:
Although Hassler is credited with being one of the major architects of the graphic novel boom via his canny decisions and passionate advocacy for manga at Borders, he was also a hardline gatekeeper on what material Borders would carry. Any change in the buying patterns there could have huge ripples at the chain and publishers.
As someone who drives out of her way to shop at Borders, I have to say that’s right. Kurt is going to be a tough act to follow. More on this as it develops.