New York Comic-Con 2012 Yen Press Panel
by Crystalyn Hodgkins,
Publishing Director Kurt Hassler hosted the packed Yen Press panel on Saturday evening not in a panel room but on the con's "unbound stage," which made it very difficult to hear the panelists, but the audience was obviously full of energy. Along with Hassler was Senior Editor Ju Youn Lee, and Assistant Editors Abby Blackman and Tania Biswas.
Hassler started off the panel by talking about the graphic novel adaptation of Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire novel. Rice was at the convention on Friday, and Yen Press announced then that it is going to release a graphic novel version of Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift novel.
Yen Press then launched into its new announcements. The company is going to release Yoshiki Tonogai's Doubt survival horror manga. The manga is about five people who play a cell phone game called "Rabbit Doubt," which is a survival game. When the five teenagers meet up in real life, they find themselves stuck in a real-life version of this survival game where they must find out which one of them is the murderer before the murderer kills them all. The company will release the series in omnibus editions, with each volume containing two of the Japanese volumes.
Yen Press then announced that it will release two Madoka Magica manga spinoffs: Takashi Tensugi's Puella Magi Kazumi Magica ~The innocent malice~, and then Chloe Mura's Puella Magi Oriko Magica after that. Puella Magi Kazumi Magica ~The innocent malice~ will premiere next year.
Yen Press will also release Ai Ninomiya and Ikumi Katagiri's Are You Alice?manga, which was originally published by Ichijinsha in Japan. Hassler then said that Yen Press has been getting a lot of requests about what is going on with K-ON!, and Yen Press has licensed both kakifly's K-ON! Highschool and K-ON! College manga. Those two volumes will be released next year.
Yen Press will also release a Soul Eater art book next year, which will include color art from the Japanese magazines. The company will also release volumes 5-7 of the Highschool of the Dead manga in its color omnibus edition, and a Highschool of the Dead artbook spinoff.
Finally, Yen Press announced that it will be the exclusive digital distributor for Square Enix's manga in English worldwide. The company is going to try to branch out to every digital venue possible with this new agreement. The digital distribution will start this winter.
Hassler then launched into a Q&A session. When asked if Yen Press had looked into licensing the Nichijo manga, Hassler noted that Yen Press tries to keep information on what titles they are looking at under wraps, so he can't talk about what the company is taking into consideration. But Hassler said that Yen Press is familiar with the title.
Hassler also noted that he would love to publish more artbooks in the future, and hopes that the Soul Eater artbook will be the first of many.
When asked if Yen Press has considered permanent downloads for its Yen Plus magazine, Hassler said that the company has considered it but it is not prepared to do that right now because of the restrictions about the material itself.
When asked, Hassler also said he could also not give an ETA on an Android app at this time. An iOS app for the company is currently available.
After the session, the panelists gave away three large boxes full of manga, with each box containing the first volumes of Durarara!!, Black Butler, and Infernal Devices.
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