Sakura Con 2010 Dark Horse Comics Industry Panel
by Crystalyn Hodgkins, Apr 8th 2010
Manga editor Carl Gustav Horn led the Dark Horse Comics panel on Sunday. While Dark Horse did not have any licensing announcements to make, the panelists had a lot of free manga to give away to attendees. The first half of the panel went through the release dates for all manga released by Dark Horse between now and the end of August. Included in the releases will be two volumes of Oh My Goddess!, two volumes of the Vampire Hunter D novels, the second and final Chobits omnibus volume, the first Cardcaptor Sakura omnibus volume, the Blade of the Immortal artbook, the final volume of Hellsing, the first volume of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse, and volume 11 of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service.
Also revealed during this section of the panel was that Dark Horse is using CLAMP's original artwork, both for color and black and white artwork, for the omnibus editions of CLAMP works such as Chobits and Cardcaptor Sakura, instead of scanning in the Japanese volumes. CLAMP is also approving all pages. Also, the next volume of Blade of the Immortal is not coming out until January 2011 because Dark Horse has changed translators for that series. The new translator previously also worked on the MPD-Psycho manga.
During the Q&A session, Carl said that Dark Horse will have new omnibus editions to announce within the next few weeks. The panelists also gave some insight into the licensing process, saying that sometimes a particular work is not available to bid on until it has been collected in book format. Also, the manhwa Bride of the Water God has been a surprising hit for Dark Horse.
Unfortunately, Dark Horse has had to put Cannon God Exaxxion and Reiko the Zombie Shop on hold due to low sales. However, Dark Horse's marketing department pays attention to the popularity of a series on hold based on Facebook pages and the like, and keeps an ear open to the fans. Regarding CLAMP's new work that is to be released simultaneously in Japan and the U.S., it's still continuing, but it was delayed due to xxxHOLiC taking longer than CLAMP had originally anticipated. Regarding other CLAMP titles where the license has been lost, Carl said that he thought people would be upset if they rescue-licensed and released X before the series was actually finished.