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Anime Boston 2006

by Mikhail Koulikov,
Presenter: Jonathan Chen, Marketing Events Supervisor

Much of the information mentioned at the Tokyopop panel was a repeat of items first announced at the New York ComicCon several months ago. Upcoming manga titles Tokyopop is currently working on include Strawberry Marshmallow, My-HiME, Trinity Blood, Welcome to the NHK, Grenadier, Otogi Zoshi, Genju no Seiza, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Peach Girl: Sae's Story, Platinum Garden, Elemental Gelade, Bus Gamer, and the manga versions of Le Portrait de Petite Cossette and Voices of a Distant Star. Notable current releases include Plus Anima, Life, Beck (volume four of which will come with a passcode which readers can use to download an exclusive remix of a Beck song), Rozen Maiden, Blame, Kami-Kaze, Dragon Voice, and Shōnan Junai-gumi, which will be subtitled “GTO: The Early Years.” Each Shōnan Junai-gumi volume will be approximately 400 pages long, which will compress the 25-volume Japanese release into just 14 volumes.

The manga-related novels Tokyopop is currently publishing are Dot Hack: Another Birth and Dot Hack: Ai Buster, Gundam Seed, Gravitation, Devil May Cry, and Love Hina. Tokyopop has also launched the Pop Fiction imprint, which will feature some manga-related novels but will also include others that are not Japanese in origin. The four titles currently set to be published under this imprint are Scrapped Princess, Kino's Journey, Witches' Forest (an original novel based in the Fortune Quest universe), and Magic Moon, which was originally published in German and has sold more than two million copies worldwide. Overall, the theme of the titles published in the Pop Fiction line will be a focus on the “imperfections” of life.

In the BLU imprint, Menkui! Is currently available, with the second volume due out in September, and scheduled for release over the summer are Shout Out Loud!, Black Knight, set in a medieval-like kingdom, and Inu mo Arukeba: Fallin' Love, which has been retitled Inu mo Arukeba: Man's Best Friend.

Going over new and upcoming releases in Tokyopop's “global manga” line-up, Chen highlighted Princess Ai volume 3, Re: Play, Riding Shotgun, Fool's Gold, Go with Grace, My Cat Loki, Juror 13 (Tokyopop's first three-color comic), the upcoming third volume of Warcraft, Bizenghast volume 2, and Boys of Summer, which he mentioned has been pulled from some bookstores due to its graphic content. Labyrinth is scheduled for an August release, while Dark Crystal will come out in the fall of this year or winter of 2007. Tokyopop has also launched two lines aimed at younger readers: Manga Chapters and Manga Readers. Both will feature 96 pages of a combination of text, illustrations, and comics aimed at, respectively, the 6-9 and 8-12 age groups. The two Manga Chapters titles, both set to be published on September 12, are Agent Boo and The Grosse Adventures, while on July 11, Kat and Mouse, Mail Order Ninja, and Zapt! Will inaugurate the Manga Readers line.

Currently, two Tokyopop titles, Peach Fuzz and Van von Hunter, are featured in the Sunday sections of a number of regional newspapers. Peach Fuzz draws from the volume that Tokyopop has already published, while the Van von Hunter material is original.

Publisher's Weekly included Dramacon and MBQ on its Best Comics of 2005 list, while the Young Adult Library Services Association has nominated Dramacon, The Dreaming, Sorcerers and Secretaries, Re:Play, Kanpai!, Fruits Basket volume 12 Off*Beat, Mark of the Succubus, Steady Beat, Life, and Gorgeous Carat for its Great Graphic Novels for Teens award.

As Tokyopop has expanded its offering beyond Japanese comics exclusively, the company is actively interested in art and story submissions, both for manga and for novels. Both stand-alone art samples/story proposals, and combinations are acceptable. There are also number of summer internships available as the summer convention starts, and Chen, who himself first came to TP as an intern, urged all those interested to apply.

Finally, Chen answered several audience questions, and confirmed that:
  • At this point, Tokyopop definitely does not hold the rights to the Spiral: Bonds of Reasoning manga
  • An incorrect cover was used for the first volume of Chibi Vampire. A new printing is being put out
  • Viggo Mortensen will be playing the main character in the upcoming live-action adaptation of Priest (which will be produced by Sam Raimi and directed by Andrew Douglas.

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