Comic-Con International 2007
by Carlo Santos,
Tokyopop's panel began with several short questions; editor Lillian Diaz-Przybyl noted that the company is currently "very hesitant" about licensing long, 20+ volume series and prefer to focus on short and completed series.
The main portion of the panel began with new announcements. January 2008 will see the release of Monochrome Factor, V.B. Rose, and Harukaze Bitter Bop. Coming in February are a manga adaptation of the Shin Megami Tensei videogame series and .hack//G.U.+. Later in 2008, a number of single-volume works by manhwa artist Park Hee-Jung will be released: Fever, Hotel Africa, Martin & John, and Too Long.
More new titles include The Third, which ties in to the anime that is being released in the US by Nozomi Entertainment, and Your and My Secret, one volume of which was previously released by ADV Manga. Both of those are scheduled for March 2008. Mamotte Shugogetten! (which the now-defunct Gutsoon! Entertainment planned to release at one point) is due in April, and Kannazuki no Miko arrives in May. Mid-2008 will also see .hack//XXXX in June and a couple of Taiwanese comics by Selena Lin: White Night Melody (May 2008) and how-to manual Selena's Comic School (June 2008). More releases for later in the year include light boys'-love manhwa Rolling in July, plus Vassalord (by Peace Maker creator Nanae Chrono) and Silver Diamondin August.
The panel then turned its focus to media tie-ins, including the ongoing Return to Labyrinth series and Legends of the Dark Crystal. Young adult books from distributor HarperCollins have also proven to be a fertile ground for new global manga, including Warriors, Avalon High, Spy Goddess and Bad Kitty.
Tokyopop's original manga initiative continues with some new projects commissioned directly from Japan and Korea: Princess Chaos by Ryoko Mitsuki, Dark Metro by Kae Date and Kenichi Yoshida, Devil's Bride by Se-Young Kim, and J-Idol Audition by Milleni+M and Toko Yashiro. On some of the these titles, Tokyopop's Japanese office is either asking Japanese manga editors to direct them to promising young creators or is approaching graduates of Japan's leading manga schools. A couple of new German titles are also due out in 2008: In the End and Evergrey.
In other company-related news, the redesigned "Tokyopop 2.0" website is now online. A number of series-related contests are currently running, including a tie-in to Pantheon High and a short story contest for the novel series Alex Unlimited. Some popular series will also arrive in new formats in Fall 2007, including .hack and Kingdom Hearts box sets (including the Chain of Memories sequel and, later on, Kingdom Hearts II), a Fruits Basket box set and "Ultimate Edition" omnibus volumes.
Jeremy Ross, Tokyopop's head of new product development, concluded the panel by looking at various mutimedia intiatives that they have recently launched, such as interactive features of the new website and as manga in different formats such as mobile phones, iPods, the PSP, and e-books. Other multimedia efforts include manga soundtracks, mobile phone games and Tokyopop TV video shorts on Myspace.com.
This report has been verified by a company representative.
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