Dark Horse to Publish Harlequin Manga

Jun 1st 2005
June 1 /CNW/ -- HARLEQUIN ENTERPRISES LIMITED announced today a content licensing agreement with DARK HORSE COMICS, which will see the comics publisher release HARLEQUIN books in manga format in the United States, Canada, U.K. and Australia.
Under the agreement, DARK HORSE will publish manga adaptations of six topselling HARLEQUIN titles under the Harlequin Ginger Blossom banner. Harlequin Ginger Blossom will be divided into two color-coded lines -- a "pink" line, which is aimed at younger readers, and a "violet" line, intended for more sophisticated readers. The agreement is a six-book deal -- three books for each line -- with a title from each line arriving approximately every three months.

"We are delighted to be working with a company of DARK HORSE's creativity on this new venture," stated Donna Hayes, Publisher and CEO of HARLEQUIN. "HARLEQUIN romances are timeless, and this partnership allows us to bring our compelling editorial to a younger readership in a format that they find relevant."

HARLEQUIN has considerable experience with the manga format. Since 1998, under a licensing arrangement with HARLEQUIN, Ohzora Publishing Company, a leading creator of manga titles for women, has successfully published manga versions of over 250 HARLEQUIN titles in Japan.

DARK HORSE will publish the first two North American HARLEQUIN manga titles -- Harlequin Ginger Blossom: A Girl in a Million written by Betty Neels with art by Kako Itoh, and Harlequin Ginger Blossom: Response written by Penny Jordan with art by Takako Hashimoto -- in December 2005.

"HARLEQUIN's strength is creating stories that women of all ages find engaging," said Pam Laycock, Executive Vice President, New Business Development and Strategy. "DARK HORSE recognizes that there is vast potential for the growth of manga in North America. At the same time, there is currently no manga for young women that captures the richness of the HARLEQUIN experience. We believe this partnership leverages both these opportunities."

"We're thrilled to be partnered with HARLEQUIN -- a publisher long renowned for bringing enriching reading experiences to millions of people," commented Anita Nelson, Vice President Sales and Marketing, DARK HORSE COMICS.


"Harlequin Ginger Blossom is a romantic step above much of the cookie-cutter
manga hitting the shelves today. As a pioneer in introducing manga to North
America, DARK HORSE is committed to bringing truly unique editorial such as
this to a new audience."

About HARLEQUIN ENTERPRISES LIMITED
HARLEQUIN ENTERPRISES LIMITED is one of the world's leading publishers of
women's fiction. Its books are published worldwide in 25 languages and sold in
over 94 international markets. The company publishes over 100 titles monthly
and publishes more than 1000 authors from around the world. HARLEQUIN
ENTERPRISES LIMITED is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corporation, a
broadly based media company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TS.nv.b).
HARLEQUIN's Web site is located at http://www.eHarlequin.com.


About DARK HORSE
DARK HORSE COMICS is one of the largest comic-book publishers in the U.S.
and is recognized as the world's leading publisher of licensed comics
material. The company publishes a wide variety of licensed, creator-owned and
company-owned books. In addition to publishing more than 500 books a year,
the company is successfully involved in motion picture production through
their DARK HORSE ENTERTAINMENT division. DARK HORSE COMICS' Web site is
located at http://www.darkhorse.com.

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