New Manga Publisher Blasts Off In October

May 14th 2005
Manga is "Go!" this Fall
May 14, 2005
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NEW MANGA PUBLISHER BLASTS OFF IN OCTOBER

Go! Media Entertainment C.E.O. David Wise announced today the company's first initiative, Go! Comi, a publishing imprint dedicated to both importing manga from Japan and developing new international collaborations. Wise and the Go! team will draw upon extensive relationships with publishers and creators on both sides of the Pacific to collaborate on projects that will take manga beyond the bookshelf.

“In Japan, manga is the backbone of the entertainment industry, serving as inspiration for television, films and a huge array of merchandise,” said Wise. “In the rush to put out more and more titles, American publishers are overlooking the potential that each title offers. We see a field of opportunity that we're in a unique position to cultivate.” Wise is no stranger at bringing comics to other media, having developed the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for television and toys, helping to turn the property into a multi-billion dollar phenomenon. He's also is a longtime manga enthusiast, having traveled to Japan to meet Osamu Tezuka in 1980. He has subsequently been a consultant to artists and executives in the manga & anime industries.

Go! Comi will debut with a quartet of Japanese manga series in October. These include the much-anticipated CANTARELLA by You Higuri, the fan-favorite creator who is a guest of honor at this weekend's Anime Central convention, HER MAJESTY'S DOG by Mick Takeuchi, CROSSROAD by Mizuki Shioko and TENSHI JA NAI!! (I'M NO ANGEL!) by Takako Shigematsu. Each of these series is still running in Japan, making these among the most current offerings from a manga publisher to date. The books will retail at $9.99, follow the industry standard trim size of 5" x 7 3/8", and read right-to-left.

Supervising Go!'s manga production is Jake Forbes, former Senior Editor for TOKYOPOP, who oversaw the localization of the #1-selling series Fruits Basket and Chobits. "With so many choices on bookstore shelves, manga readers are becoming more discerning about which series they collect," said Forbes. "Our mission is to bring fans closer to the Japanese manga experience – by publishing the newest series, with the most accurate translations, and the direct involvement of the manga-ka themselves wherever possible."

In addition to the licensed books, Go! is forging into new frontiers with THE ALMOST LEGENDARY SHANNON, a collaboration between Go!'s Creative Director Audry Taylor and manga creator You Higuri (Cantarella, Seimaden) for both the Japanese and American markets. "Licensing is only the beginning of the story at Go!," Taylor said. "We have access to extremely broad talent pools both here and in Japan. We are actively creating properties for both markets. Our mandate for the long run is to expand the readership of manga so that more people than ever can enjoy this incredible art form." A veteran of the videogame industry, Taylor developed a love of manga as a child growing up in Japan.

"Audry and Jake share a rare depth of understanding of manga," Wise added. "Jake is one of the most experienced editors in the business, while Audry has first-hand experience in the Japanese publishing industry as a creator. They both have impeccable taste in choosing and presenting manga series, as the fans will see when our first books are released in October."

The Go! team promises surprises and major announcements in the months to come, starting with Go! Comi's unique website (www.gocomi.com), which will launch on the 4th of July weekend to coincide with Anime Expo.

Go! Comi's initial releases:

HER MAJESTY'S DOG is the story of Kamori Amane, a girl with no luck in love but a keen sixth sense and the ability to communicate with spirits. Is it good luck or great misfortune that she ends up with a loyal "inugami" -- spirit dog -- devoted to protecting her from the dangers of the spirit world? Having a hot bishonen panting at your heels can be both a blessing and a burden! Occult action and romance collide in this adventurous new series. (8 volumes and ongoing)

TENSHI JA NAI!! (I'M NO ANGEL!) is a story of celebrity, temptation and secret lives. hikaru just wants to live quietly and be left alone at her boarding school, but when her new roommate Izumi turns out to be a super-popular TV idol, hikaru's life is turned upside-down! But there's more to Izumi than the idol lets on, and once hikaru finds out her secret, she gets dragged into a world of intrigue and scandal! (5 volumes and ongoing)

In CANTARELLA, master storyteller You Higuri spins a dark fantasy of one of history's most enigmatic figures, Cesare Borgia, casting the bastard prince as a demon-possessed youth so powerful that even the Pope trembles before him; and so fragile that only the purity of love can save him from an agonizing doom. Higuri herself will be collaborating on Go! Comi's very first "Signature Edition" manga. (10 volumes and ongoing)

In CROSSROAD, 15-year-old Kaijitsu finds herself living in a home with no parents and two step-brothers she hasn't seen in years. Older brother Taro is as obnoxious as ever, but pudgy younger brother Natsu has grown into quite a bishonen! Is forbidden romance in the air for the estranged "sister" and "brother?" The lives of these star-crossed teenagers get even more complicated when their utterly irresponsible step-mom stops by just long enough to drop off an adorable new kid sister! (5 volumes and ongoing)

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