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Anime Expo 2008
Dark Horse Manga

by Carlo Santos,
Carl Horn
Michael Gombos
Jeremy Atkins
Samantha Robertson

Dark Horse's 20th anniversary panel opened with a list of upcoming releases. Some new titles making their debut in the upcoming months include: Gantz and Ghost Talker's Daydream Vol. 1 in July, Hideyuki Kikuchi's novels A Wind Named Amnesia and Invader Summer near the end of August, and a trade paperback re-release of Astro Boy. The announcement of Hellsing Vol. 9 in October also garnered an enthusiastic fan response.

After the list of upcoming titles, Horn passed around Japanese volumes of a new Dark Horse acquisition, Ikari Shinji Raising Project (another "alternate reality" version of Evangelion), due out around spring/summer 2009. Another major new release is an omnibus edition of CLAMP's Clover with "digitally remastered" art, due out in March 2009.

The panel was then opened to questions. The CLAMP Mangettes project is currently a work in progress, and is expected to come out in summer 2009. Horn also pointed out that the motivation for working with CLAMP was to have a unique creator-focused project, offering more creative opportunities than the typical "assembly line" nature of manga.

Also, despite the sales success of Dark Horse novels like Dirty Pair, Blood+ and Vampire Hunter D, there is currently no "plan of attack" for other light novels. There is also no current plan for the Blade of the Immortal novel, despite fan interest.

Another interesting panel question was on how to break into the industry as a publisher. According to the panelists, the key to success is to treat people well and to bring out titles that one believes in—a formula that has worked for Dark Horse over the years.

This report has been verified with a company representative.

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