PR: Del Rey announces global manga

Below the cut is Del Rey’s full press release on their newly announced title, Make 5 Wishes, created in collaboration with Avril Lavigne. Here’s the cover and a sample spread. The comments section is open for your opinions!


NEW YORK, NY — January 30, 2007 — Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Random House Inc. and one of the premiere publishers of manga in the U.S., announced today the acquisition of MAKE 5 WISHES, created in collaboration with platinum-selling and Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Avril Lavigne.

Del Rey Manga will publish the first volume of MAKE 5 WISHES on April 10, 2007. Avril Lavigne’s new album The Best Damn Thing will release shortly after on April 17, 2007 from RCA Records. In volume one of MAKE 5 WISHES, introverted teenager Hana stumbles upon a website that will change her life forever. After a demon grants her a series of wishes that go bad, Hana meets her hero Avril Lavigne, who helps her find the courage to conquer her own personal demons once and for all. The concluding volume of MAKE 5 WISHES will release in July 2007. Both volumes will appear in full-color.

More than simply lending her talents to the creative process, multiple award-winning singer, songwriter, model, and actress Avril Lavigne also appears as a character in the manga. When asked what inspired her to be a part of this project, Avril Lavigne had this to say, “I know that many of my fans read manga, and I’m really excited to be involved in creating stories that I know they will enjoy.”

Acquiring editor Betsy Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief of Del Rey Books, said this about the enthusiasm surrounding MAKE 5 WISHES, “In the past few years, manga [the Japanese art form] has grown exponentially in the United States. For our very first original English-language manga, we’re very excited to be working with a person as versatile in her talent as Avril Lavigne.”

Del Rey Manga purchased world rights for the books in a deal brokered by Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk Management.



(click to enlarge)


AVRIL LAVIGNE was born in the small town of Napanee, Ontario, Canada, and stood out from the crowd at an early age. Her musical talents were noticeable by the age of two, and by the time she was in her early teens she was already writing songs and playing guitar. Singing in the church choir and local festivals allowed Lavigne to get her voice heard.

On a trip to New York at age 16, Lavigne was signed to Arista Records when she caught the attention of Antonio “LA” Reid. With her major label deal signed, Lavigne moved to New York City, but not long after moved on to Los Angeles to work on her record. By early 2002, her debut CD Let Go was released. With 15 million albums sold, 8 Grammy nominations and three #1 singles—”Sk8ter Boi,” “Complicated,” and “I’m With You”—Lavigne gave young women a defiant voice.

In 2004, Lavigne returned with Under My Skin. This time the Canadian chanteuse took charge of her creative direction and reflected a more introspective Avril. The album debuted at #1 on charts worldwide and delivered her fourth #1 single, “My Happy Ending.”

Twenty-six million albums later, and following numerous awards, multiple world tours, and myriad magazine covers and TV appearances, Lavigne is now finding time to concentrate on her other loves, acting and fashion.



Camilla d’Errico is an artist whose first love is the manga form. Her work will be featured by the underwear and lingerie company Ginch Gonch in their AIDS Awareness promotion scheduled for Fall 2007. In addition to the Make 5 Wishes series, she will have three comics published in 2007: Burn, a traditional manga series published by Arcana Studios in Canada; Zevon-7, a four-part mini-series published by AngelGate Press; and Nightmares and Fairytales, by Slave Labour Graphics.



Joshua Dysart has written for Image, DC Comics, Vertigo, and Dark Horse, and wrote the comic book adaptation of the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for Art Asylum. He has captured the notice of Mike Mignola, creator of Hellboy, and has been asked to help create the back-stories for Mignola’s rich and imaginative world. Joshua’s first Hellboy stories will be premiering next year from Dark Horse. In 2005 he came to the attention of legendary musician Neil Young, and the two began crafting a large work based on Mr. Young’s concept album Greendale. Greendale will be Joshua Dysart’s sixth graphic novel and/or collected work.


Del Rey was founded in 1977 as a division of Ballantine Books under the guidance of the renowned Judy-Lynn del Rey and her husband, Lester del Rey. Del Rey publishes the best of modern fantasy, science fiction, alternate history and manga. Ballantine Books is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, which is a publishing group of Random House, Inc, the U.S. publishing company of Random House, the trade book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s leading international media companies. In the summer of 2003, Random House joined together with Kodansha in a creative partnership to bring some of Kodansha’s top properties to the United States, making Random House the first major trade book publisher in the United States to do so.


The RCA Music Group includes J Records, Arista Records and RCA Records. The J Records roster is home to platinum superstars Alicia Keys, Rod Stewart, Pearl Jam, Annie Lennox, Luther Vandross, Jamie Foxx, Maroon5, Mario, Gavin DeGraw, Fantasia and Monica among others. The Arista Records family includes all-time superstars Sarah McLachlan, Santana, Dido, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Carrie Underwood, Barry Manilow and Kenny G. RCA Records is home to superstar artists Christina Aguilera, Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Velvet Revolver, Avril Lavigne, Daughtry, Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson, Heather Headley and more. RCA Music Group is part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment.

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  1. The interior art looks pretty good, actually, although what the heck is going on with the characters’ necks? On the other hand, the plot sounds pretty bad, and the writing on those two pages is cliched. And I notice that the press release is silent on what Lavigne’s “collaboration” actually consisted of.

  2. It doen’s look that bad. The charas design’s cute and kinda unique. But she doesn’t sound like a fan though… seemed to be a project created by Del Ray and she was probably brought in as the most likely candidate. To me that sucks. But again, if this brings in new manga readers, then I’m supporting the efforts.

    I think her part of the collaboration is lending her name to the project. I’m guessing she knows squat about manga. This thing maybe a result of a brainstorm sessiion by Dallas where Del Ray can have a Cortney Love of their own. Hell I would have picked her too, giving her fanbase.

  3. Yes, but why is it in color? Ummmm…. They’re offering a 160 page,+ full color book for $12.95? That seems like a real bargain, actually. considering we pay $9.99 or $10.95 for 200 pages of black and white.

    The plot does sound pretty formulaic, except for the addition of Avril Lavigne as Guiding Light. But who are they aiming for here? My kids were listening to Avril Lavigne when they were nine or ten, at a time when formulaic plots were a good thing. The Avril Lavigne fans are the same kids that gobble up formula shoujo manga and formula teen books. If Del Rey has their wits about them, they’ll sell this in Limited Too and make so much money that they can afford to publish all our favorite obscure Japanese manga.

  4. This sorta makes me wanna throw up. Are kids this susceptible to marketing?

  5. of a brainstorm sessiion by Dallas where Del Ray can have a Cortney Love of their own.

    That’s not very fair, I’ve never thought of Dallas Middaugh as the sort to be so ‘Stu-ish’; and while this does reek a bit of playing it safe by cross pollinating ‘global manga-style comics’ with a pop-star’s established fan base, perhaps the seed money from this sort of cash-inducing endeavor will serve to fund a more diverse ‘global manga’ line for Del-Rey.

  6. Okay, I can understand the temptation of wanting to duplicate whatever success Tokyopop is having with Princess Ai…but what could have possessed Del Rey to squander their reputation as the fan’s manga publisher on this junk?

  7. I am still waiting for the global manga based on Del Rey’s fantasy/sci-fi properties Dallas and Betsy said were coming way back in 2004. I would have thought those books would have come before this and C. Hart’s the Reformed.

  8. I would have thought those books would have come before this and C. Hart’s the Reformed.

    Good call Ed. I was scratching my head a bit on this too— but I just suspect that a healthy cash flow might be needed to foster a quality ‘global’ manga line, and so I just figured this was an easier way to crack the piggy bank without making too much of a mess. Sure, most critics will roll their eyes and hold their noses, but let’s face it…it looks to be a money-maker.

  9. Having been told by Dallas before that NY based Random House/Ballentine Books/Del Rey is a bit more conservative with their business practices I can understand them going for a project like 5 Wishes. However, when this pub has some well established novels under its arms I am sure that one of those titles could have earned some cash for them. And lets face it fantasy and manga are made for each other (look at how gorgeous some of the Henson manga turned out).

    At the same time I am glad to see them also release the Reformed. If I read Andre’s post right that is a Hart original right? But where is the Press Release for that?

  10. the real shame about this is they are selling something that essentially amounts to a free promotional give-away for her new album. this ties into the larger picture of more and more content full of product placement being stuffed down our throats as entertainment. i.e. the new james bond movie.


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