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Comics/Manga Publisher PictureBox Shuts Down on December 31 (Updated)

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Independent publisher released works from Osamu Tezuka, Shigeru Sugiura, Yūichi Yokoyama, Gengoroh Tagame

North American comics and manga publisher PictureBox announced on its Tumblr account on Monday that the company will no longer release any new titles as of December 31. Dan Nadel, founder of the company, noted, "This was not an easy decision, but the company is no longer feasible for me as a thoroughgoing venture." The company is also hosting a 50% off sale through January 2. PictureBox's titles will still be available to stores and customers through the company's distributors and its official website.

Nadel founded PictureBox in 2004, and the company has since published more than 70 titles. Earlier this year, PictureBox announced the "10 Cent Manga" line, which focused on "mass-produced genre works in Japanese postwar comics." Manga scholar Ryan Holmberg edited and translated the line, which included Shigeru Sugiura's Shigeru Sugiura: Last of the Mohicans manga and Osamu Tezuka's The Mysterious Underground Men manga. PictureBox also recently launched a "Masters of Alternative Manga" book series, also helmed by Holmberg, which included Seiichi Hayashi's Gold Pollen and Other Stories manga.

PictureBox has also released Yūichi Yokoyama's World Map Room, Garden, Travel, Color Engineering, and the Eisner-nominated New Engineering manga. The company also published the first English collection of works by manga creator Gengoroh Tagame earlier this year, titled The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame: Bara Master.

Update: Nadel revealed in an interview with The Comics Reporter on Monday that the decision to shut down PictureBox was a personal decision, not a professional one, and involved "reasons related to the course of his life rather than forced by business concerns."

Additionally, Holmberg told The Comics Reporter that "While [Nadel] and I had spoken agreements for the next two books in the Ten-Cent line, only one contracted book got cancelled, which was the second volume in the Alternative Manga line. That is being picked up by another publisher (cannot say who just yet), so the Alternative Manga line will continue in another form."

Holmberg said that he is "not so hopeful about the Ten-Cent line," and added that "No one will ever know what they missed out on, but let me tell you that PictureBox stopping is really a set-back for manga publishing in general. But if another publisher is out there and liked the Mohicans and Mysterious Underground Men books, I am ready to go."

[Via The Beat]

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