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New York Comic-Con 2012
Vertical Inc.

by Crystalyn Hodgkins,

Marketing Director Ed Chavez hosted the Vertical panel at this year's New York Comic Con. Chavez started off by mentioning Vertical's Facebook and Twitter page. He then launched into a list of the titles that Vertical will release in 2013.

Chavez started off Ai Yazawa's Paradise Kiss manga. The first volume of the series was released in September and retails for US$19.95. Paradise Kiss will be released in three omnibus volumes. Chavez mentioned that he hopes to have more color pages in the latter two volumes. The second volume should be released in December, with the final volume shipping in early 2013.

The third volume of Stan Lee and Tamon Ohta's HeroMan manga will go on sale on February 2013. Advanced copies of the first volume is available now at Vertical's booth at the convention. The series is a total of five volumes, and the final volume will be significantly larger, but it will retain the same price point as the other volumes.

Chavez then discussed Osamu Tezuka's Message to Adolf. The second and final volume of the series will go on sale in December for US$26.95. The series features a new translation and cover design.

Next up was Shūzō Oshimi's The Flowers of Evil. The fifth volume of the series will go on sale in April 2013 for US$10.95. Chavez mentioned that the series has been a sleeper hit for Vertical. The series is still going in Japan and will have an anime adaptation next year.

Chavez then discussed Tohru Fujisawa's GTO: 14 Days in Shonan. The eighth volume will go on sale in March 2013 for US$10.95.

Chavez then talked about Keiko Suenobu's The Limit series. The manga recently premiered in North America. The fourth volume will go on sale in March 2013 for US$10.95, and it will introduce the lone male in the series, which will up the drama and action in the series. The series will be a total of six volumes.

Next up was Tsutomu Nihei's (Biomega, Blame!) Knights of Sidonia manga. The science-fiction series takes place in space as humankind is on the decline due to man-eating giants. Humanity's only hope is the main character who is essentially a NEET. The series will premiere in February 2013 for US$12.95.

Chavez then talked about Yoshikazu Yasuhiko and Yoshiyuki Tomino's Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin manga. The series retells the story of the original Gundam series. The first volume will go on sale in March 2013 for US$29.95. The first volume will have color pages scattered throughout, and will also feature translated essays. Vertical is trying to get and translate essays from Hideaki Anno and CLAMP, but right now the volume will feature an essay from the original Gundam mech designer. Chavez noted that the series will not have reprints, as it is a limited edition, and will be a total of 11 volumes.

Next was Asumiko Nakamura's Utsubora – A Story of a Novelist manga. Chavez noted that it is a murder mystery about a novelist who is killed at the start of the story, and her final novel is being published by someone else. The two-volume murder mystery series will be published as one volume in June 2013.

Mitsuhisa Kuji's Wolfsmund manga will premiere for Vertical in July 2013 for US$12.95. Kuji was previously an assistant to both Kaoru Mori (Emma) and Kentarō Miura (Berserk). The series is a retelling of the legend of William Tell. Currently four volumes are out in Japan, and the series publishes about one volume a year, so Vertical will catch up with the Japanese releases somewhat quickly.

Chavez then revealed two new licenses. The first new license was Osamu Tezuka's Twin Knight manga, the sequel to Princess Knight that revolves around Sapphire's twin daughter and son. The first volume will premiere in July 2013 for US$12.95. The second license is Kyoko Okazaki's Helter Skelter manga. The manga revolves around a woman who has plastic surgery and becomes a model, but her body eventually starts falling apart and her psychological state declines alongside her body. The one-volume series will go on sale in July 2013 for US$16.95.

Chavez then launched into a Q&A session. He noted that Mobile Suit Gundam: The Origin does well, that Vertical will consider releasing other Gundam series. He also noted that he would take into consideration releasing other Yasuhiko works. Regarding digital releases, Chavez noted that Vertical has released some prose works digitally in the past, and the company will release Hiroki Azuma's General Will 2.0 novel digitally and physically on the same day. In addition, Chavez said that Vertical is currently looking into distributing manga digitally, but Vertical's digital plan will be quite a bit different from other manga publishers. Vertical is also gauging interest in starting a subscription model so that series will stay in print.

At the end of the panel, Chavez handed out tickets to various Moyoco Anno autographing events throughout the weekend.

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