News Japan's Softbank to Sell Harlequin Manga Online
posted on 2008-03-20 12:07 EDT
The Canadian romance publisher Harlequin Enterprises and the Japanese computer company SoftBank Creative have announced that they will offer manga based on the Harlequin brand of romance stories online. The companies will sell the manga to Japanese customers on Yahoo! Comic Japan and other computer and mobile phone websites. April's initial lineup of eight titles will include Diana Palmer's The Wedding in White and other titles adapted by the Harlequin K. K. subsidiary. The companies expects to post 1,000 titles by March of 2013, five years from now. Some of these titles are already available electronically via eBookJapan. According to the Nikkei newspaper, the companies are exploring the possibility of translating the dialogue and distributing them overseas.
Harlequin had announced in 2005 that Dark Horse Comics would sell Harlequin manga, and Sony's online CONNECT store has been selling Harlequin manga for the proprietary Sony Portable Reader device since 2006. Three titles are still available on the CONNECT store, but Dark Horse released its last Harlequin manga in May of 2006.