Archives for September 2008

Learning new things

Sorry, everyone, the news post will be late this morning. I have a review almost ready to go, too, but I had to stop and learn some new software so I can post here.

(Click for extremely cute chibis as well as profound content)

Yes, it’s official: After months of high-level negotiations, Good Comics For Kids has moved onto the website of School Library Journal. We’re not changing the focus—it will still be ten bloggers writing and arguing about any comic designed for readers under 18—but we think this will bring comics to a wider audience. Plus the SLJ folks are super-nice and we’re in company with a host of interesting bloggers. So reset your RSS feeds and hold on to your hats!

NYAF roundup

Well, as predicted, NYAF got along just fine without me. Here are the highlights from the bloggers who were there:

First of all, mad props to Deb Aoki of, who got up early on Sunday to cover the State of the Manga Industry panel. And her extensive writeup is only part I—there’s more to come.

Bandai Entertainment: This company mostly publishes anime, but they noted at NYAF that they had picked up the license for the manga version of Gurren Lagann, which seems to be a big hit with the folks who like their pictures to move. (ANN, Gia, Japanator)

Del Rey: Moyasimon was the big news, and as noted below, you can also look forward to Amefurashi, Maid War Chronicles, a Tsubasa character guide, and some Cartoon Networ tie-ins. Deb Aoki has more info on all these titles. (ANN, Gia, ICv2, Japanator) (Amefurashi cover swiped from Deb’s blog.)

Kitty Media: This 18+ publisher had no new licenses to announce but Gia’s account of their panel includes an interesting discussion of marketing mature manga. It looks like BL is still doing well for Kitty.

Vertical: They had no new announcements, but the Vertical folks made everyone’s mouth water by waving around copies of their deluxe hardback edition of Black Jack. Unfortunately, it sounds like the classic manga they have been publishing, like To Terra, isn’t selling that well; in fact, according to ANN,

Vertical’s Ioannis Mentzis, one of the two presenters, noted that even if a manga like Tezuka’s 1947 New Treasure Island were available in English, sales would be extremely small. Fans who want to read this would be better and faster served by finding scanlations, he noted.

Meanwhile, their previously announced line of more mainstream manga has been held up because they are having trouble getting licenses, having been aced out of Square Enix by Yen Press. But watch for some interesting books on Japanese culture, including more Aranzi Aranzo craft books and a new line of cookbooks, coming soon. (ANN, Gia, Japanator) (Image is the cover of vol. 1 of Black Jack; click on it to go see a preview.)

Yen Press: The headline license is Hero Tales, by Fullmetal Alchemist creator Hiromo Arakawa; it will be serialized in Yen+ magazine before being collected. Other new licenses: Welcome to Wakaba-soh, by sola creator Chako Abeno; two manhwa, 13th Boy and Sugarholic; and the Spice and Wolf (Ōkami to Koshinryo) novels. (ANN, Deb Aoki, Gia)

Deb Aoki has quick impressions of the first two days, noting that many publishers stayed away and that the special “Top Secret” panel scheduled for Saturday was canceled. Kai-Ming Cha has some notes from the floor as well. Erica Friedman filed her con report, even though she was only there for a few hours, and Kethylia tweeted her impressions via Twitter. Active Anime and The Haisho teamed up on a very nice blog with lots of pictures and news. Lissa Pattillo recaps the news with a list of new licenses at Kuriousity.

PR: Del Rey to publish Moyashimon and more

Back in May, when Moyashimon won a Kodansha Manga Award, I opined that it sounded pretty interesting and that Del Rey should publish it. Ahem. Apparently great minds think alike, because they have indeed licensed it (dropping the h to make it Moyasimon in English). Because a manga about bacteria is a guaranteed winner. There’s an anime too. (Warning: Extreme cuteness.)

Oh, Del Rey announced three other books as well: Tsubasa Character Guide 2, Amefurashi, and Maid War Chronicle. Details after the cut.


NEW YORK, NY – September 27, 2008 – Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, today announced an eclectic range of new manga titles to be published in Summer and Fall of 2009.  The new series acquisitions feature some of the best characters that the manga world has to offer, including fighting maids, a temperamental rain goddess, and—in a unique twist—cute, talking bacteria.

Take a look at the world of bacteria through the lens of manga! MOYASIMON: TALES OF AGRICULTURE, by Masayuki Ishikawa, follows Tadayasu Souemon Sawaki, a first-year college student at an agricultural university in Tokyo. Tadayasu has a one-of-a-kind talent that may just come in handy at school: the ability to see and communicate with adorable bacteria and microorganisms! While this series showcases the author’s zany sense of humor, the series is so scientifically accurate it’s legitimately educational, too! The cute creatures have been a merchandising hit in Japan. A hilarious comedy and fantastical drama, MOYASIMON: TALES OF AGRICULTURE is otaku-friendly and filled with scientific facts, making for a unique manga experience. Del Rey Manga editor Tricia Narwani says, “Del Rey Manga has always ventured into new territory with our list, but this time, we’ve licensed something that has a true claim to total originality: the wholly unique and irresistibly charming Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture.” The manga will make its North American debut in Fall 2009.

Learn more about the rich, complex world of CLAMP’s Tsubasa with the TSUBASA CHARACTER GUIDE 2, set for publication in Summer of 2009. This second guide picks up where the first guide left off, and covers volumes 8-14 in the bestselling series. Fans can learn more about beloved characters such as Sakura and Syaoran, and discover details on “crossover” characters from other CLAMP series, including Cardcaptor Sakura and xxxHOLiC. Also featuring brand new full-color art and a fold-out poster, this fully-illustrated companion to Tsubasa is a must-have for CLAMP fans looking to broaden their reading experience.

Atsushi Suzumi brings her talent to the Del Rey Manga lineup again with AMEFURASHI, a new shôjo manga. A small Japanese village’s fortune is dependent on the whims of the Amefurashi, the rain goddess. Gimey, a village resident, ends up meeting Amefurashi on his own and discovers that she’s actually a cute little girl! Gimey must now try to persuade her to save his village—by keeping this somewhat temperamental, demanding goddess happy. Suzumi is a co-creator of Haridama: Magic Cram School, published this summer by Del Rey Manga, and is also known as the creator of the popular series Venus vs. Virus. AMEFURASHI will be published in July 2009.

RAN is a rising talent in the manga world, having worked with superstar Ken Akamatsu on Mao-chan, which goes on sale from Del Rey Manga in November. Del Rey will publish MAID WAR CHRONICLE, written and illustrated by RAN, in May 2009. Playing into “Maid culture” with a sense of zany, non-stop action and humor, MAID WAR CHRONICLE starts by following Cacao, who has landed her dream job as a live-in maid for the Prince of the Urbansberg Kingdom. However, the kingdom finds itself under siege and the Prince and his five maids make their escape. In order to win back his kingdom, the super-cute maids need to be the warriors that the Prince needs—and be ready to save the day!

PR: Del Rey teams up with Cartoon Network

We have heard about the “Cartoon Network effect,” the tendency for a manga to sell better once the associated anime starts running on Cartoon Network. Now the synergy may run the other way as well: Del Rey is going to begin publishing manga-format comics based on the CN properties Bakugan Battle Brawlers and Ben 10 Alien Force The initial releases will consist of color stills from the cartoons, a format that we have never done well, but the black-and-white graphic novels that follow sound more promising.



First Book in Newly Formed Partnership, Bakugan Battle Brawlers: The Battle Begins, Will Launch in December 2008

NEW YORK, NY – September 27, 2008 – Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, in collaboration with Cartoon Network Enterprises, today announced a new manga publishing partnership that will launch with original manga based on two of Cartoon Network’s most successful series: Bakugan Battle Brawlers and Ben 10 Alien Force. This announcement marks the first partnership between Cartoon Network and the Random House Publishing Group’s manga imprint.

Christina Miller, vice president, Cartoon Network Enterprises says, “Cartoon Network is the home to many of the leading brands, and manga and film-comics are natural extensions of our rich and immersive content. As one of the category’s best publishers, Del Rey Manga will bring these stories to life, starting with the incredibly successful Bakugan later this year.”

The first book published under the new partnership will be released in December 2008. Bakugan Battle Brawlers: The Battle Begins, incorporates full-color stills from the animated show in a manga-style graphic novel format. A second volume will follow in March 2009. As one of the hottest boys properties currently in the market, Bakugan, has been a hit in the US since it first aired on Cartoon Network in February of this year. A character-rich animated series aimed at boys 6-11, Bakugan follows the adventures of Dan and his fellow Battle Brawlers as they use strategy and skill to unleash their Bakugan power and save Vestroia and Earth from destruction.

Ben 10 Alien Force: Ben 10 Returns, the first title for the hit Cartoon Network franchise, will be published in April 2009 and follows the same format, drawing art directly from the cartoon itself. The top-rated Ben 10 Alien Force show chronicles the adventures of everyone’s favorite hero, Ben Tennyson. Armed with the Omnitrix, which gives him the ability to transform into different alien superheroes, Ben , his cousin Gwen and former foe-now-friend Kevin Levin are on a mission to defeat the evil DNALIENS and save the Earth.

Original black-and-white, manga-style graphic novels based on Bakugan and Ben 10 Alien Force will release in Summer 2009 and Fall 2009, respectively.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Cartoon Network. Fan favorites Bakugan and Ben 10 Alien Force are beautifully crafted animated series that lend themselves well to this unique artistic form of manga,” says Mutsumi Miyazaki, director of licensing and acquisitions for Del Rey Manga. “Our partnership with Cartoon Network will provide a new and exciting opportunity for Del Rey Manga as we further expand our publishing program.”

PR: Yaoi Generation makes its debut

We first heard about the publisher Yaoi Generation when their name appeared on the Yaoi-Con dealers’ list. They made their official debut at Yaoi-Con this weekend and announced their first manga series, breath. The first volume is due out in December. Read on for more.


Fremont, CA – (September 27, 2008) YAOI GENERATION, a new publisher joining the
boys’ love community, debuts this weekend at Yaoi-con by announcing the licensing of
its first title, breath, from Kaiohsha Publishing Co., Ltd.

breath, by Chifumi Ochi, is a five-volume love story between a socially awkward
businessman and a confident, attractive college student. Brought together by too much
alcohol and a series of misunderstandings, these two opposites face difficult trials while
learning just how much they need each other.

“I am really excited to be able to bring this Japanese series to English readers. Personally,
it’s one of my favorites. It’s so well written and just the right length to allow readers to
truly understand the characters and to fall in love with them just as they fall in love with
each other,” said Thuy Duong, president of Yaoi Generation.

The Fremont, CA-based company is planning to release the first volume this December
and plans to make pre-orders available on its Web site in November. More details are
available at Yaoi Generation’s Web site, .

PR: Go!Comi to launch Masque at Yaoi-Con

OK, I’m a bit late with this—the panel they mention was this morning—but Go!Comi is obviously going to be a significant presence at Yaoi-Con and the unveiling of the print edition of Wendy Pini’s Masque of the Red Death is an important event. And Pini will be having an autograph session tomorrow. So check it out. If you can’t make it to Yaoi-Con, check out the webcomic version of Masque on the Go!Comi site. The print version will be available in October.

Go! Comi to Premiere Wendy Pini’s “Masque of the Red Death” at Yaoi-con 2008

Latest Project from the Creator of “ElfQuest”

Go! Comi and Wendy Pini will present the world premiere of the first volume of Pini’s highly-anticipated graphic novel “Masque of the Red Death” this weekend at Yaoi-con in San Francisco.
In re-imagining the classic Edgar Allan Poe short story, Pini has infused “Masque of the Red Death” with elements of science fiction, horror, and yaoi-inspired erotica. “Masque” began as an innovative, highly cinematic Flash-based webcomic on Go Comi’s website (, where it continues to be hugely popular. Fans have been eagerly awaiting the print edition, which will be unveiled on Friday, September 26th at 11:00 a.m., at a panel in Main Events Room B of the Marriott San Mateo-San Francisco Airport Hotel. The panel will be hosted by Go! Comi’s Creative Director, Audry Taylor. Pini will give a presentation on the story and answer questions from the audience on all topics.

Immediately after the panel, Pini will have an autograph session in the Lobby. In addition, Go! Comi will have an industry panel immediately preceding the “Masque” panel at 10:00 a.m., and fans are encouraged to attend for new announcements and manga previews, including a presentation on Go’s first yaoi title, “Days of Cool Idols.” Fans are also encouraged to come by the Go! Comi booth for freebies and the latest Go! Comi releases.

Go! Comi is known for its exciting manga series and top-notch production values. Among its publications are the Bookscan best-sellers The Devil Within and Her Majesty’s Dog, and the Eisner Award-nominated After School Nightmare, which was named one of the Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens of 2008 by the Young Adult Library Services Association. Two other Go! Series, Train + Train and Cantarella, have also been cited by the YALSA Great Graphic Novels list.