Manga Relevent Panels at Otakon 2012

Doubt much of this would be new news for any manga fan or for those who follow Twitter for industry or Otakon news, but this was what shaped my Sunday. Soon after getting an autograph out of the way.

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Ai Nonaka autograph!

I was on my way to manga relevant panels. Due to scheduling, Otakon placed all manga industry or topics all on the last day, so I ended up unable to attend Aya Hirano’s concert.

Twitter became my life line to actually remembering many of these panels went to, since I was Twitter most of what I noted during the panels.

paul starr
Translator speaks of his experiences.

One of the first panels I attended was Paul Starr’s panel on Light Novel translations. (This happened at the same time as the Comic Book Legal Defense Funding panel, so guess where I was.) He is the American translator for Yen Press’s releases of Haruhi Suzumiya, as well as the Spice and Wolf light novel series. He is also credited with Vertical’s Nintento Magic’s non-fiction book.

Since I have been dabbling in translating manga. I found this to be an informative panel where Starr spoke about his experiences on being a translator. Light novels are definitely not manga, and are chapter books. It has started to be published in the United States, with Yen Press plunging in, there is a certain risk in licensing light novels, because just how much can it sell or not is a deciding factor as to why publishers would pick a certain light novel or so.

From my twitter notes, these were points made during this panel:

  • Translating Japanese dialects into English is a difficult part, since there are variations in Japanese that is not covered in English.
  • A typical translation is done in a period of two months.
  • It is easier to work on an existing project rather than being a new one.
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Kodansha representative.

Next panel was Kodansha’s panel. This was done by David Yu, an editor at Random House, who was tasked to represent Kodansha. I haven’t seen Kodansha since last NYCC/NYAF, and based on the live blog of Mike at SDCC, didn’t expect any new news. Yu reiterated that Sailor Moon is their most popular title at this point. It has derailed the Naruto train.

Yu also spoke a bit about Hiro Mashima being a gamer of first person shooters, who complains about American gamers regularly beating him. There is not a lot of love for American gamers on the part of this Japanese mangaka, but he really appreciates his fans.

There were more street dates for their publications that I heard. The following are Twitter notes.

  • Genshiken Second Season: 9/4/2012
  • Mission of Love: 11/2012
  • Battle Angel Alita Vol 16: 12/2012
  • Danza (Natsume Ono title) 2013
  • Mahou Sensei Negima after a couple of rewrites is coming to a conclusion 2013.
  • No Android App, but Kodansha Iphone app officially got  more acknowledgment, and sales are going on right now for first volume at $2.99.
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Vertical at Otakon!

Lastly it is Vertical’s Panel, and yes this is a bit of a highlight for me. Ed Chavez, Vertical’s marketing director was there and amiably chats with the audience. To hear that Chi’s Sweet Home is Vertical top seller warms me to no end. Volume 10 is coming out next year and Ed was able to say that it was the conclusion saddens me. But I would take it with a grain of salt. He also welcomes being beat up at or getting thrown cash at. (coughs).. I would pick the latter option….

Here are my Twitter notes:

  • Message to Adolfis not delayed from shipping out this month, but printer delays that prevented it from being sold at Otakon.
  • Vertical continues more on publishing Stan Lee’s Heroman.
  • Cookbooks, craft books, cookbooks have allowed Vertical to continue as a publishers, so there’s a new gumi cookbook.. what Ed didn’t speak about was their origami book.
  • Vertical announces publishing Gundam: The Origins next year, so that was a huge crowd pleas-er. First volume is going to be initially published in a limited hardcover run, chock full of essays from Gundam notable people. Estimated around 440 pages.
  • Final cover for Paradise Kisswas announced. It is going to be on sale later this year, and this is a josei direction that Vertical is taking.
  • Wolfmsund a William Tell adaptation was mentioned. This is going to be released one volume a year, due to the mangaka only publishing once a year.
  • Vertical is still a pretty small company of about five people, they are very happy as to how well loved and supported by fans. They have taken calculated risks, and  it has paid off. They would continue to go about taking risks and striving to be a fan favorite.

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