New York Anime Festival and ICv2 Conference on Anime and Manga Udon Entertainment
by Mikhail Koulikov,
Company representative: Jim Zubkavich, Project Manager
To most North American fans, Udon Entertainment is known for only a few titles, almost all of them original comics based on videogame company CAPCOM's fighting games. In the last several months, however, the publisher has expanded into a broader range of products, including manga, Korean comics, and artbooks.
Udon has already brought out the manhwa Dorothy of Oz, Star Project Chiro, and Magical JxR. To these offerings, it will now add Dear Waltz, Evyione, Chronicles of the Grim Peddler, Daring Students' Association and Reading Club. New manga licenses include Onimusha: Twilight of Desire and an adaptation of the Devil Kings Basara (Sengoku Basara) game. They have also acquired the rights to translate the artbooks for Okami, Megaman Zero and Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, as well as the Darkstalkers Graphic File book, and are negotiating for numerous others.
On December 15, Udon will publish the fourth volume of Robot, a manga short story anthology edited by Range Murata. The first three volumes of this project were released in America by Digital Manga, which confirmed that it would be discontinuing the project last September. In order to catch up to the Japanese release, Udon plans to bring out a new volume of Robot every three months. They will be using the same printing company as the Japanese editions, and promise that in terms of quality, its version will be identical in every way to the originals, only translated into English.
Returning to Udon's translated manga in the Street Fighter universe, Udon is currently releasing Sakura Ganbaru!, Ryu Final (the second volume of which is due out on February 28) and Street Fighter Alpha. Its original SF comics have been on hiatus for several months because Udon is also involved in developing artwork for various upcoming Street Fighter videogames, such as the newly-announced SF4. The hiatus is now concluded, and starting in the summer of 2008, it will relaunch the Street Fighter 2 Turbo comic as a 12-issue series from a new creative team. This will be joined by the four-issue Street Fighter Legends: Chun-Li comic, which is being tied to the expected 2008 release of the Street Fighter live-action film. Udon is also launching a six-issue Street Fighter III: The New Generation series.
Finally, Udon's last project for the coming year is the Street Fighter 20th Anniversary Tribute artbook. This collection will feature over 200 pages, including brand-new illustrations and pin-ups from a variety of comics artists. Artwork submissions from fans will be accepted as well. The rules for sending in drawings to potentially be included in the book will be made available on capcom.com in the near future.
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