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Otakon 2007

by Bamboo Dong,

Panelists: Katherine Schilling, Alexis Kirsch

A few of Tokyopop's original English language manga artists were introduced at the beginning of the panel. First up was Nam Kim, creator of Adomant, who was hired by Tokyopop last year. Next was Maximo Lorenzo, creator of Bombos vs. Everything. The panelists also talked about other OEL titles in their lineup, including My Cat Loki by Bettina Kurkoski, me2 by Sho Murase, and Dark Moon Diary by Che Gilson and Mich'l Vega. In August, several titles that were previously online exclusives will be available in print. Titles include Yuriko Suda's Pick of the Litter and Yoshihiko Ochi's Atelier Marie and Elie. Majiko!'s St. Lunatic High School will also be released. The vampire romance Vampire Kisses Blood Relatives will hit store shelves in September. The first winner of the Rising Stars contest, Rem, will make her first appearance as an artist for the book. The fourth volume of I.N.V.U. will also finally see a release, along with Poison Candy by David Hine and Hans Steinbach. Titles for the rest of the year were mentioned as well; the highly anticipated Gakuen Alice will be released in January of next year. Juuousei will be released in mid-08 in a special format; it will be larger than standard releases, and is being ushered out sooner than earlier planned, in order to synch up with Funimation's release of the anime series. Two Mizuki Hakase titles are also in the works—Asian Beat and Demon Flowers.

Other series coming out in October of this year include a Chobits artbook, “Your Eyes Only.” Fans of Fruits Basket should be pleased as well, with the fan book coming out just in time for Christmas. Tokyopop also talked a bit about their upcoming plans to release the Gothic & Lolita Bible. Half of it will contain original Japanese content, with the other half being original content, catered more towards American fans. The last series they introduced was an ecchi title called Manga Sutra.

Tokyopop will be releasing Ultimate Editions of many of their titles, including War Angels, War Craft, Fruits Basket, and others. These will be thicker versions of their current graphic novels, and will compile a few volumes into each book.

The company has several novels and anime novelizations coming out under their Pop Fiction imprint, including Full Metal Panic!, Welcome to the NHK novels, Twelve Kingdoms, and FLCL. Their Blu line has a few new titles debuting soon as well, such as Takumi-kun, a one-shot called Just My Luck, and the two-volume Voice or Noise.

The panelists then talked about “Manga Revolution,” in which Tokyopop plans on releasing popular titles, such as Midnight Opera, in different digital formats, ranging from iPod downloads, to “broadband manga, online manga, PSP manga, and DVD manga.” CG cel animation of some of their series are also in the works; clips can be seen on their Myspace page.

This report has been verified by a company representative.

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