Anime Expo 2013 Digital Manga Publishing
by Carlo Santos,
DMP's recently-published edition of Barbara by Osamu Tezuka, has been nominated for a 2013 Eisner Award in the "Best U.S. Edition of International Material - Asia" category. The success of this Kickstarter-funded title, along with Swallowing the Earth, has proven the viability of crowd-funding as a financial model for manga. Other upcoming Tezuka titles that have been funded through Kickstarter include Unico, Atomcat, and two volumes of Triton of the Sea.
Because of these recent successes, Digital Manga Publishing has formed a partnership with Tezuka Production to release all of Osamu Tezuka's works digitally worldwide. This also includes digital rights to any Tezuka title that had been previously licensed for print through other publishers (e.g. Vertical). For digital-only titles that do particularly well, there is also a possibility of later being released in print. Company president and CEO Hikaru Sasahara, who was at the panel, said that "this is a huge deal ... something that has never been done before." At this point in time, however, no specific titles have been officially licensed.
DMP's most notable upcoming release is the final volume of the Vampire Hunter D manga (Vol. 8), due in Fall 2014. This volume was specially commissioned by DMP in partnership with creator Saiko Takaki, who agreed to work on the project but has otherwise ceased drawing new manga due to health issues.
New releases under the June yaoi imprint include Apple and Honey, His Rose Colored Life (a follow-up to Apple and Honey), Wolf Magic, Castle Mango Vol. 2, all of which will be available both in print and digitally. Furthermore, some series that were put on hiatus will be returning to production, including Ai no Kusabi Vol. 8, The Tyrant Falls in Love Vol. 8, and ZE Vol. 7. New print-only titles in the June line include Deadlock Vol. 1, Mr. Mini Mart, and Does The Flower Blossom? Vols. 1-3.
At this point DMP does not plan to license any new titles for the rest of the year.
It was also announced at the panel that Yaoi-Con, which is sponsored and presented by DMP, will be returning to the San Francisco Bay Area sometime in Fall 2014. The convention is currently looking for prospective volunteers and staff, who can get in touch with through Facebook or Twitter (@yaoicon).
Digital Manga has also revamped the eManga website (www.eManga.com) and is now accepting submissions from aspiring artists who wish to sell original comics and manga digitally. Furthermore, the website's online reader has been converted from Flash to Java, to make it more accessible to readers on various devices. eManga users will also be able to download any of their purchases, and the service is now available on iPad, Android, Nook, Kobo, and Kindle, as well as the web.
The panel also covered the current state of the Digital Manga Guild, a crowd-sourced program where translators, editors and letters team up online to adapt manga for international readers, and earn revenue from sales of each title. In addition to manga being released in English, the DMG has expanded into producing translations in Italian, German, and French. The "DMG-I" (Digital Manga Guild - International) is also looking for more staff who can work in Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. Fans who wish to get involved can get in touch through contact(at)eManga.com.
DMP currently has two job positions open, Digital Publishing/Production Associate and Graphic Designer/Production Associate, for which interested candidates are encouraged to apply.
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