New York Comic Con
Del Rey Manga

by Mikhail Koulikov, Feb 7th 2009

Associate Publisher Dallas Middaugh was the main presenter at his company's Saturday morning presentation, the first in a row of four devoted to anime and manga industry panels.

Regardless of what is happening to the market for manga in the U.S. in general, Del Rey's position as a publisher and licensor of new titles remains strong, and no slowdowns are anticipated. New manga series that Del Rey will translate and release in English will include Night Head Genesis, the source of both a live-action television series and a 24-episode anime, the romance manga Four-Eyed Prince, and Only One Wish, a one-shot from the creator of Tokyo Mew Mew about a witch who grants a single wish to each of five different people. Previously announced, and on the schedule in the next several months, are the launch volumes of Gakuen Prince, Samurai 7, Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei, the second volume of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and a pair of original comics based on Cartoon Network's anime Bakugan and American cartoon series Ben 10.

New manga novels Del Rey plans to publish, both of which are related to current manga series they are handling, include Genshiken: The Return of the Otaku, and Kitchen Princess: Search for the Angel Cake. And on the original works side of their books, Jason Thompson, a well-known anime and manga journalist and the author of Del Rey's Manga: The Complete Guide encyclopedia will be unleashing his hidden talent as a comics writer to create King of RPGs, a satirical send-up of manga, RPGs, and their fans.

Tsubasa and xxxHOLiC have been two of Del Rey's most distinctive series. To the 20 volumes of Tsubasa that are currently out, Del Rey is now adding the second volume of the Character Guide. xxxHOLiC's character guide is also being released, as is CLAMP in America, a color book about the rise and popularity of the group. Its contents will include a thorough history of CLAMP, a look at how they work, writing about their effect on manga and manga fans both in Japan and in the United States, extensive interviews, and over 300 illustrations. Viz Media's Shaenon Garrity will be the editor of the project.

After going through the list of new announcements and upcoming projects, the panelists turned their attention to the pair of new, entirely original comic books that Del Rey is developing based on the X-Men universe. The first of the two is being created in a more shonen style and stars a re-imagined teenage Wolverine and entitled Wolverine: Prodigal Son. The second, X-Men: Misfitswhich aims to appeal to a female audience, revolves around Kitty Pryde, a 15-year old and the only female student in an upstate New York school for teenagers with extraordinary powers.

The development of both of these books has been closely watched by Marvel and they had to go through a rigorous approval process. Except for one scene where Marvel executives thought it was not clear that Wolverine was fighting with, and killing, a monster, rather than a human, they did not ask for any changes. Both of these are intended to both introduce X-Men fans to the manga style and to give manga readers an appreciation of the X-Men universe. No prior knowledge of anything in this universe is required, and both of these series are intended as stand-alones, not part of any ongoing or future X-Men storyline.


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