New York Comic Con
by Mikhail Koulikov,
The two co-editorial directors of Yen, Rich Johnson and Kurt Hassler, led their company's panel, with editor Ju-Youn Lee and editorial assistant Tania Biswas also participating. Earlier in the convention, Yen already made two major announcements, and at the panel, Johnson clarified on them. The first volume of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya will be published in October, and new volumes will come out at four-month intervals. The Haruhi novels, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, will start coming out in April.
Yen's major initiative of 2008 will be the Yen Plus anthology magazine. The launch date of this publication will be July 29, with single issues available at bookstores for $8.99 and an annual subscription priced at $49.97 for twelve issues. The magazine will read from both sides, with Japanese content on one end, going right-to-left, and Korean and English comics on the other, reading left-to-right.
For the first two years of its existence, Yen Plus will be the exclusive English-language publisher of Square Enix manga. At launch, it will feature chapters of Soul Eater, Higurashi: When They Cry, Sumomomo Momomo, Bamboo Blade, and Nabari no Ō. Not all of the manga that appear in the anthology will run their full length; Higurashi specifically will be previewed for several months, and then dropped to make space for other titles. All that do appear in Yen Plus will eventually be released in single volume form, however, with graphic novels for the first five coming out starting in May 2009. In addition, Yen will also publish B-Ichi, a four-volume 2003 manga from Soul Eater's Atsushi Ohkubo.
The non-Japanese content of the magazine that has been confirmed so far will consist of Night School, from Dramacon creator Svetlana Chmakova, The Angel Experiment; a manga-style story set in the universe of James Patterson's Maximum Ride young-adult novels and illustrated by Marae Lee, and two Korean comics, Pig Bride and Jack Frost.
Yen will also continue to expand into comics from outside Japan and Korea. Y-Square, which was published in Germany, will be followed by Y-Square Plus, coming in December. An Ideal World, originally released in French as Un Monde Ideal, and Wild Animals, a Chinese comic based on Wang Shuo's novel Wild Animals, about life during the 1970's Cultural Revolution.
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