San Diego Comic-Con 2010
by Carlo Santos,
The latest manga offerings from Yen Press were introduced at a panel led by publishing director Kurt Hassler, with Abby Blackman, Tania Biswas, and JuYoun Lee also presiding.
New acquisitions include popular zombie manga Highschool of the Dead by Daisuke Sato and Shoujo Sato; Higurashi When They Cry: Demon Exposing Arc by Ryushiki07 and En Kitou, a spinoff from the main Higurashi storyline; dark fantasy drama The Betrayal Knows My Name (Uraboku) by Hotaru Odagiri; Aron's Absurd Armada, a pirate-themed four-panel gag series by MiSun Kim; and historical fantasy The Bride's Stories (Otoyomegatari) by Kaoru Mori of Emma fame.
In other news, Yen Plus magazine has recently ceased print publication but the first digital edition of the magazine will go live as of today. Readers can subscribe at $2.99 per month and each magazine's issue will be viewable for two months after its initial release. All current Yen Press series will continue running in the digital magazine, while new series such as Daniel X (another James Patterson adaptation) and the just-announced Aron's Absurd Armada will be making their debut online.
At this point the panel was opened up to questions, several of which were about clarifications to the subscription system. Magazine issues can currently only be purchased month-to-month on Paypal and cannot be bought in blocks. In addition, access to the magazine will be based on user accounts and can be viewed from multiple machines. Content-wise, the digital edition will also keep the print magazine's extras, like editor sidebars and feature articles. Going forward, the company hopes to adapt the web-based magazine to electronic reader devices as well; Yen is primarily optimizing it for the iPad first (which means it does not run on Flash), and from there will port the magazine onto other platforms.
Regarding current Yen Press titles, there are no "license rescues" planned for the catalog of recently-shutdown CMX. In addition, there are no new light novel announcements, but current releases such as the Haruhi Suzumiya series will continue at the same pace. One attendee also asked why Yen has no imprint to differentiate its BL-themed titles, to which Hassler responded that such a distinction would "ghetto-ize" those titles and is therefore unnecessary.
After the question-and-answer session, free books were given out to attendees as a prize. Yishan Li, artist of Yen's graphic novel adaptation of The Clique, also made a guest appearance at the panel to sign autographs for fans of the series.
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