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Pokemon is America's best-selling comic book

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After only 8 months in circulation, Viz Comics' release of Toshihiro Ono's manga adaption of the Pokémon story has outsold all other comics in America last month. This marks the first time any comic of Japanese origin or even any black and white comic has been number one.

Viz Comics, America's 5th largest comic publisher, issued a press release today commemorating the event. According to the release, the first issue of the comic has sold over 200,000 copies in eight printings, and each subsequent issue has followed a similar trend. The June issue of Wizard magazine also proclaimed the first printing of the first issue to be the number one collectible comic in America. Initial sales through Diamond Comic Distributors have also climbed from number 96 in March to number 56 in June, outselling series from all of the major comic publishers. When asked about the popularity of the series earlier this month, Viz executive Toshifumi Yoshida said that he hopes the comic series will turn on young Pokémon fans to the world of Japanese comics and animation. In the mean time, they're really really enjoying the money... "Milk that cash cow while you can!" he said.

"...But if I hear the 'Poke-Rap' one more time, I'm gonna puke," he added.

Viz also took the occasion to make its usual round of monthly announcements, this time including four new Pokémon Tales books, a new book called "I'm Not Pikachu!", and a set of 20 full-color Pokémon stand-ups. All of these will be released in time for Christmas.

Other Viz announcements include the first Video Girl Ai graphic novel, the next Ranma 1/2 video "Marry Me, Akane", a subtitled edition of Ranma 1/2: The Harder They Fall, the fifth Inu Yasha graphic novel, the next No Need for Tenchi! comic series, the second graphic novel of "Black & White" (which is also breaking out of Pulp and into its own comic), and "Fresh Pulp," a new book containing the popular columns from the magazine.

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