I don’t think there’s been any announcement of the sort, but ADV Manga’s been shut down for months now even though they never removed the solicitations for 2008. Your best bet is to rally around someone else picking up the license [for Yotsuba&!].
I didn’t link to it at the time, but Johnston subsequently confirmed that the comment was his. Also, the ADV website seems to be perpetually down these days. Still, I wanted to write a real story, not rumors and speculation, so I e-mailed two ADV execs and asked them for comment.
Neither one replied. (Actually, Chris Oarr did e-mail me to let me know he talked to someone else: Scott Green. I somehow missed it yesterday.)
So props to AICN’s Scott Green, who succeeded where I failed and got an interview with Chris Oarr.
It’s a rather peculiar interview, though. It reads like a transcript of a Turing test, in that Oarr picks up a few key words but his answers are almost content-free. Green asks if vol. 6 of Yotsuba&! has been printed, and here’s Oarr’s response in its entirety:
No, YOTSUBA&! v. 6 has not been printed, although it was scheduled and title information was presented to major retailers months in advance.
A lot of people would have thrown in some sort of explanation here, but apparently that’s not the ADV way. Then Green points out that Yotsuba&! was nominated for an Eisner award and wonders aloud if that might suggest to ADV that perhaps they should consider printing that sixth volume. Oarr:
YOTSUBA&! is the work of a world-class cartoonist at the height of its powers, and of course we’re pleased that YOTSUBA&! is being recognized in this way. CROMARTIE HIGH was the only manga nominated for “Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material” in 06. I hope that we can schedule new volumes of these series and GUNSLINGER GIRL soon.
The rest of the interview basically consists of Green approaching the question of “What’s going on with Yotsuba&!” from a variety of different angles and Oarr blandly saying nothing. So although Oarr states at the outset that “ADV Manga still exists,” he gives absolutely no evidence that that’s actually true. My own inference, after reading the entire interview, is that ADV is still having problems, presumably financial, and that in the end they care a lot more about anime than manga.
(Found via the always NSFW Icarus blog.)