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Otakon 2007
Del Rey Manga

by Mikhail Koulikov,

Company representative: Dallas Middaugh

Scheduled for nine o'clock Sunday Morning, the Del Rey Manga panel, held in front of a surprisingly large and enthusiastic audience, was conducted by managing editor Dallas Middaugh. Reversing the typical format of an industry panel, he opened it by taking audience questions, many of which had to do with the overall nature of the manga business in the US. For example, the decision whether or not to include color pages in manga is driven almost entirely by profitability considerations. Printing color pages adds significantly to the cost of printing a volume, so it may only be profitable for a first volume of a series, or for a first edition. While Del Rey is looking to begin releasing "bunkobon" reissues that would collect several volumes of manga Del Rey has already put out in single volumes, these are not expected to begin coming out until 2009.

At next weekend's San Diego Comic-Con, Del Rey will have a major presence and will unveil a number of new licenses. In the meanwhile, Dallas took the rest of his allotted time to quickly go over some of the titles they have recently announced. These include the "super-cute shoujo" Minima! and Yozukura Quartet, which he described as "small town Japan's answer to the X-Men". Dallas also mentioned a handful of other recent announcements, including Pumpkin Scissors, Psychobusters, Aventura and Yagyu Ninja Scrolls, the "spiritual sequel" to Basilisk from the same creative team, as well as the upcoming Manga: The Complete Guide, which contains a total of over 900 brief reviews covering every single manga that has been commercially published in English.

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