Anime USA 2003 - Studio Ironcat Returnsby Mikhail Koulikov,
Studio Ironcat is the only company to have held a panel:
Studio Ironcat Returns
Company representative: Steve Bennett
(freelance manga translator Dan Kanemitsu and Japanese manga artists Shimpei Itoh and Mia Odagi also participated)
Following recent cash flow problems and controversy, I.C. Entertainment is currently undergoing a rebuilding process. The official name of the company has reverted to Studio Ironcat, LLC and it is looking to relaunch a number of manga titles it had previously announced. Currently on the release schedule for December 2003 are the first volumes of "The Wanderer", "My Code Name is Charmer", "Nanaka 6/17" and "A.I. Revolution". Other compilation volumes to be made available in the near future include Vampire Yui volumes 1 and 2, Futaba-kun Change! volumes 1 and 2, and Hyper Dolls volumes 4 and 5. There is no set date for a relaunch of the Amerimanga compilation, but it will return sometime in 2004 as well, and will feature the work of both American and Japanese artists. Ironcat is also hoping to return to releasing art books and other non-manga items. Finally, the Studio Ironcat website will feature "Third Name," an original online comic.
When asked to talk about the future of Studio Ironcat in the North American manga market, Mr. Bennett commented that Ironcat will thrive in the face of competition because of the strong relationship it has built with both fans and a number of Japanese artists. At the same time, he acknowledged that Ironcat will most likely remain a niche publisher, committed to releasing titles that were passed over or ignored by the larger companies in the industry.
At the same panel, Mr. Shimpei Itoh, author and artist of Hyper Dolls, discussed that title's publishing history. The Ironcat release is the original run of the manga in Shonen Captain, as well as several exclusive extras. Currently, Mr. Itoh is working on a manga version of the live-action Cutey Honey film, which is directed by Hideaki Anno. Although he was not able to comment on the title at any length, Mr. Itoh is confident this manga adaptation will see a U.S. release.