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Anime Expo 2014
Digital Manga

by Bamboo Dong,

The Digital Manga panel was presented by Vice President of Sales Yoko Tanigaki, brand manager Natasha Watford, and author and localizer Brent Millis, who opened the panel by talking about the company's successful Captain Ken Kickstarter, which raised $19,253 of the necessary $13,000. Written and drawn by Osamu Tezuka and serialized between 1960-1961, the series marks the latest Tezuka title that Digital Manga has successfully crowdfunded, in addition to Atomcat, Barbara, Swallowing the Earth, Triton, and Unico.

The company will also be releasing Tezuka's Mr. Cactus as their first Tezuka Digital Manga Guild title. The title will be available digitally on eManga.com.

For new releases, DMI will be releasing Kinoko Inu - Mushroom Pup by Kimama Aoboshi in July 2014. The series follows the story of a grieving picture book author, who's depressed after the loss of his dog, but finds solace in his friends and the mysterious "Mushroom Pup." Also coming up soon is Itazura na Kiss, which is scheduled to be released in November.

For their Juné Manga yaoi manga imprint, upcoming graphic novels include the next volumes of Makoto Tateno's Blue Sheep Reverie and Yuki Shimizu's Ze, as well as the first volumes of Natsuki Zippo's Wolf Magic and Kou Yoneda's Twittering Birds Never Fly.

The panelists then took some time to reintroduce attendees to eManga.com, the company's digital platform. The website is now optimized for mobile devices, with titles available in English, Spanish, Italian, and German. According to the panelists, DMI always strives to get the digital rights for manga titles, which allows them to publish titles on eManga.com.

DMI is seeking translators, editors, and letterers to join their Digital Manga Guild (DMG), an "online manga localization community that lets fans gain paid experience in the manga industry." The typical manga publishing flowchart goes through four stages—Solicitation, in which DMI takes suggestions as to what titles to pursue; Licensing, at which point the company pursues an agreement with the original publisher; Production, where the DMG steps in completes the translation, editing, and lettering; and finally Distribution, via avenues like eManga.com, Akadot, and other sales channels.

DMG members are paid a percentage of every volume sold, and will be credited for their contribution. Digital Manga Guild – International (DMG-I) members will carry out similar tasks in Italian, German, French, Spanish, Korean, and Chinese. Those interested can visit digitalmangaguild.com and take a test for the position they're interested in.

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