Tokyopop Signs to Rising Stars Winners


Full-Length Series By Nathan Maurer and Felipe Smith to Debut in 2005

Los Angeles, CA (July 28, 2004)- TOKYOPOP Inc. is delighted to announce hot new releases from the most brilliant manga-ka discovered in its latest nationwide manga competition. The company has awarded contracts to the top two winners of the third Rising Stars of Manga competition: Nathan Maurer's grand prize-winning entry, Atomic King Daidogan, will be published by TOKYOPOP as a full-length series. Also joining the esteemed ranks of TOKYOPOP's finest is an original series from Felipe Smith, based on his second-place winning story entitled Manga. The manga publishing giant plans to release these two titles beginning in the spring of 2005.

"These entries really showed the artists' innovation and awareness of the nuances found in manga," said Mark Paniccia, editor of TOKYOPOP's Rising Stars of Manga anthologies. "I continue to be inspired by the creativity and energy that these and all of our winners bring to the page. I'm sure that readers will feel the same."

The serial release of Atomic King Daidogan will feature the same characters from Nathan Maurer's Rising Stars of Manga entry. His clever, comedy-filled entry absolutely floored TOKYOPOP editors with its unique take on the manga world. Action-packed and full of slapstick, Maurer's grand prize-winning entry convinced TOKYOPOP editors that he had what it takes to have his own manga series! Maurer, a 22 year-old musician/artist from Goleta, California, cites his inspiration for his manga as '70s Japanese mechas and bad video game translations.

Felipe Smith's second-place entry was not only an amazing visual tour de force, but also gave the editors a witty perspective from their own world-a manga-ka goes psycho after waiting too long for a contract deal from a publisher. Striking a remarkable balance between comedy and action, this story-now titled M.B.Q.-has rightfully earned its spot among TOKYOPOP's newest and hottest titles. Felipe, 26, says he drew inspiration for his manga from the city of Los Angeles.

TOKYOPOP's fourth Rising Stars of Manga competition is currently in full gear, accepting entries through August 16.

TOKYOPOP Inc. is the leading North American publisher of manga, the fastest growing segment within the publishing industry. With exclusive rights to hundreds of licensed and original book, video and music properties, the company has rapidly become a media convergence leader. TOKYOPOP has millions of books in print and publishes many hit manga series, including Fruits Basket, D.N.Angel, Saiyuki, Rave Master, Initial D and Chobits. The company pioneered Cine-Manga(tm), releasing such titles as Finding Nemo, SpongeBob SquarePants, Lizzie McGuire and Transformers Armada. TOKYOPOP television properties include Rave Master, GTO and Reign: The Conqueror. The company has also expanded its presence as a licensor, representing merchandising rights for Rave Master, Initial D, Stray Sheep and others. Visit for additional information.

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