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New York Anime Festival 2008
Del Rey Manga

by Mikhail Koulikov,

The NYAF panel of Del Rey Manga, which proclaims itself "the otaku's choice" among the companies that publish Japanese comics in North America, was conspicuous first of all by the absense of associate publisher Dallas Middaugh, the usual speaker. Instead, Ali Kokmen stepped up to make Del Rey's announcements. Despite Japanese publisher Kodansha's decision to begin publishing translated manga directly in the U.S., they are still selling the rights to some of their books to Del Rey. The first of the latest batch of Del Rey's new acquisitions is the "agricultural adventure" Moyashimon. Its first volume is scheduled for the fall of next year, and a quarterly release calendar. Dey Rey will also publish Amefurashi, by Venus vs. Virus's Atsushi Suzumi, and Maid War Chronicles, by Ran, who also draws their Mao-chan. In addition, Del Rey is translating a second character guide to Tsubasa, to cover the events of volumes eight through fourteen of CLAMP's long-running manga series.

As Del Rey begins to create original graphic novels, such as their two upcoming takes on characters in the X-Men universe, two new lines are also being launched. In cooperation with Cartoon Network, they are developing a two-volume "film comic" version of CN's Bakugan anime series, another based on Ben 10, and a pair of original Bakugan and Ben 10 manga-style graphic novels. The Bakugan comics will be released in December and March, with the original manga to follow in the summer; Ben 10's film comic is scheduled for April, and the original, for next fall.

In terms of books that have already been announced, a second Phoenix Wright compilation of manga shorts, revolving around the character of Miles Edgeworth, is also on track for next summer; the first volume has just been released. Mao-chan, by Love Hina and Negima's Ken Akamatsu, is due out next month, and the first volume of the manga adaptation of Gankutsuou, on November 11. Another October release will be the prose novel xxxHOLiC: Another Holic. A NisiOisin short story was included in the first volume of the Faust anthology of Japanese science fiction short stories and comics that Del Rey just brought out, and a follow-up volume is in preparation, although it will not be completed until the summer of 2009.

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