G4 Presents San Diego Comic-Con 2008
G4 Presents: Comic-Con '08 - Del Rey

by Carlo Santos,

Representatives: Dallas Middaugh, Chris Schluep, Tricia Narwani, Betsy Mitchell, Mutsumi Miyazaki

Various imprints from the Random House group all made new announcements at a single combined panel, consisting of Ballantine Books, Villard, Del Rey Manga, and Del Rey fiction.

The Del Rey Manga portion of the panel began with Dallas Middaugh reminding attendees that Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima would be present, with a focus panel and autograph signings on Saturday. Following that, new and upcoming titles were announced: Me and the Devil Blues, a creative interpretation of the life of blues musician Robert Johnson, and Kasumi, an original series by American writer Surt Lim and Japanese artist Hirofumi Sugimoto, are now currently available. Debuting in August are a number of titles that break out of the typical manga mold, including Faust, an anthology of cutting-edge works, Zaregoto, a novel by Nisioisin (author of the Death Note: Another Note spinoff novel), and xxxHOLiC: Anotherholic, also by Nisioisin, and based on CLAMP's supernatural series xxxHOLiC.

New license announcements include Negima!? neo, an adaptation of the Negima!? anime which itself is an alternate take on the Negima! franchise; Orange Planet, a shoujo romantic comedy by Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts! creator Haruka Fukushima; supernatural-medical manga Yokai Doctor; and the Soryuden (Legend of the Four Dragon Kings) novel, featuring illustrations by CLAMP. The most unique announcement, however, was an upcoming original work, CLAMP In America, a retrospective book about the history and influence of manga-ka collective CLAMP in North American anime and manga fandom. CLAMP In America will be written by cartoonist and Viz Media editor Shaenon Garrity and is due out in 2009, which coincidentally will also be the 20th anniversary of CLAMP's founding.

A few questions followed afterwards; when asked about Kodansha's entry into US manga publishing, Middaugh stated that he was very happy about the situation and that because Kodansha has such a large range of products, there would be no conflicts between Del Rey's licensing (which consists largely of Kodansha titles) and Kodansha's own publishing branch. Also, although the Yen+ manga anthology magazine has made a strong debut at Comic-Con, there are no plans for Del Rey to enter the manga magazine market; parent company Random House is committed almost entirely to books, while Yen Press' parent company, Hachette, is involved in both books and magazines.

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