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Sakura-Con 2013
Dark Horse: Celebrating 25 Years of Manga

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Dark Horse began publishing manga and other Japanese literary works 25 years ago when the company released Kazuhisa Iwata's comic adaptation of Gojira in 1988. To ring in the company's 25th year in publishing, Dark Horse opened its panel Friday afternoon with lead editor Carl Horn and director of licensing Michael Gombos to discuss the company's past, present, and future plans.

Horn opened the new announcements that Dark Horse is adding Oh My Goddess! and Blade of the Immortal to its Dark Horse Digital library. The first volume of each series will be added in April. The company will also release the 14th volume of Eiji Otsuka and Housui Yamazaki's The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service manga in December.

Dark Horse also announced its release of the The Art of Katsuya Terada art book. The collection of work features illustrations by artist Katsuya Terada, the man behind the character designs for Blood: The Last Vampire and the live-action Cutey Honey film. He created the manga series The Monkey King, also published in English by Dark Horse.

Horn announced that Dark Horse has acquired the rights two new manga series. The first announcement is Kazuo Koike and Hideki Mori's New Lone Wolf and Cub (Shin Kozure Ōkami/Soshite Kozure Ōkami: Shikaku no Ko) manga series. The series is 11 volumes and direct sequel to the 1970 Lone Wolf and Cub manga, albeit with a different artist. The company first announced the acquisition in 2006 at New York Comic Con.

The story follows Daigora after the first series wrapped. The manga ran in Shogakukan's Shūkan Post from 2003-2006.

The company's second announcement was the acquistion of Vocaloid character designer KEI's manga series Hatsune Miku: Unofficial Hatsune Mix (Maker Hikōshiki: Hatsune Mix). The series was originally serialized in Jive's Comic Rush magazine from 2008-2010 and collected into three volumes. The manga features the popular Vocaloid characters like Kagamine Len and Rin, Megurine Luka, and of course, Hatune Miku. Each chapter is a self-contained story with the idols interacting with one another and getting into comic situations. The manga includes standard black and white as well as color pages.

Both series are slated for release early next year.

The question and answer portion, Horn stated that they don't have plans for further light novels due to poor sales, such as in the case of Blood: The Last Vampire. He admitted the company will lose money on the The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service but they want to continue releasing it. Ghost Talker's Daydream and Eden are both on hiatus for similar reasons.

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