Anime Expo 2009
CMX Manga

by Carlo Santos, Jul 3rd 2009
Representatives: Jim Chadwick, Larry Berry, Asako Suzuki

CMX, the manga division of DC Comics, opened their panel by introducing upcoming titles due out between August 2009 and June 2010. More new titles will also be announced at this year's San Diego Comic-Con.

The Battle of Genryu: Origin, a martial arts series by Shouko Fukaki, is due out in August 2009. Berry described the story as "Tenjho Tenge Light" and should appeal to action fans.

A Tale of an Unknown Country, by Natsuna Kawase, is a romantic fantasy due out in September 2009. Kawase, a former assistant for shojo manga-ka Arina Tanemura, has also released The Lapis Lazuli Crown through CMX.

Due out in October 2009 is a new title by Ken Saito (The Name of the Flower): Oh! My Brother, a body-switch comedy between two siblings.

Deka Kyōshi, by Tamio Baba, is a "Kindergarten Cop"-style series that will be released in November 2009. This series also brings supernatural elements to the school adventure theme.

Also due out in November in 2009 is Lizard Prince, a romantic fantasy comedy by Asuka Izumi (Ballad of a Shinigami). In an amusing twist, the central character constantly shapechanges between human and lizard.

Going into 2010, The World I Create is a one-volume collection of shorts by Ayami Kazama due out in January. Although each chapter is about different characters, the stories are lightly connected and centers on a magical slice-of-life theme.

January 2010 will also see the release of Stolen Hearts by Miku Sakamoto; this series focuses on a mismatched couple involved in the art and craft of kimonos. Also by Miku Sakamoto is Nadeshiko Club, which comes out in June 2010 and makes use of the popular "girl surrounded by lots of cute guys" theme.

Going back to more action-themed series, Rampage by Yunosuke Yoshinaga (Broken Blade) comes out in February 2010 and presents adventures based on the Three Kingdoms period in China. This is an ongoing series, currently at four volumes so far in Japan.

In March 2010, a romantic comedy titled My Darling! Miss Bancho ("Miss Gang-leader") will debut. As the titled suggests, this focuses on humorous situations where a girl suddenly finds herself the leader of all the gangs at school.

Diamond Girl comes out in April 2010 and centers around a girl with a natural gift for baseball but no interest in the sport. Berry noted that fans will be impressed by the dynamic art in the story.

Polyphonica: Cardinal Crimson, by Ichiro Sakaki and Tomo Hirokawa and based on the visual novel franchise by Ocelot, is due in May 2010. This fantasy series, themed around musicians and their patron spirits, also ran as an anime series in Japan during the Spring 2009 season.

Fans can also keep up with the latest company news by subscribing to the CMXtra online newsletter.

After the presentation of new titles, the panel was opened up to questions. Suzuki addressed the first question, regarding acquisitions and release scheduling: this is generally based on getting a good mix and match of releases (5-7 books a month), coupled with production time (at least three months) and also how much competition exists for licensing a particular title. The company's focus on short series (often somewhere around 3 volumes) was also addressed by Suzuki: basically this is to help out fans who don't want to get tethered to a long-running series, and also makes it accessible to younger fans who are just trying new things. However, there are still some exceptions like Swan, From Eroica with Love and Crayon Shin-chan.

Regarding the slow release schedule of Swan and Eroica, this actually is due to logistical issues from the Japanese publishers: because of the series' age, the original material can take some time to locate. However, Suzuki assured the audience that these titles will continue to be published.

Chadwick also discussed the "starting point" of the localization process: depending on the title's age, the art might be taken from digital originals (such as new Flex Comix titles) or may have to be scanned directly from tankobons (many of the classic titles). Even planning out cover art and layout is a variable process depending on what has happened to the original art (in some cases, it may no longer be in the hands of the artist). Berry also emphasized the importance of preserving the author's original intent in planning out the covers and layouts, as well as content.

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