Comic Con: Viz Industry Panel Liveblog

3:06 PM – Introduction, sweepstakes introduction

3:08 PM – Information about Bleach Day and the screening of Bleach movie, Kubo appearances. I will be going to the afternoon signing at 3:30-4:30 PM.

3:10 PMSlam Dunk related events. Apparently Greg Oden, NBA star, will be helping promote it.

3:12 PM – Info about the Portfolio Review; Viz is making a venture into original comics publications. All kinds welcome, not necessarily manga-style. First to appear in their magazine Shojo Beat.

3:15 PM – Anime news: Blue Dragon, Vol 1 release (Sept. 16, 2008). Followed by a technical glitch. (Nothing new here for industry panels I’ve seen….)

3:18 PM – Naruto Movie 2, released July 29, 2008. To include the Japanese movie program booklet. (They should do that for all movies.)

3:19 PM – Naruto Movie 3, November 11th.

3:20 PM – Bleach Movie, Oct 14th.

3:20 PM – Buso Renkin Box Set, Vol. 2

3:21 PM – InuYasha Season 6 Box Set

3:21 PM – Hunter x Hunter, Vol. 1 (Dec 2008)

3:22 PM – Death Note Box Set Vol. 1 (episodes 1-20; Nov 18). Will include fancy box.

3:23 PM – Moving on to manga news. Shounen Jump 5th anniversary collector’s edition of Issue 1 (American).

3:24 PM – Shounen Jump Box Sets. We covered much of this info in the Viz Panel at AX 2008. New Info: Kubo brought some exclusive HD footage of his office and his home. 🙂

3:25 PM – Pokemon kids’ releases.

3:27 PM – Naruto “chapter books” (ie prose for children). This is a format created for the American audience.

3:27 PM – Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time manga. To be released in October.

3:28 PM – Spring 09 releases: BakeGyamon, Happy Happy Clover, Dinosaur Hour!, Leave it to PET! (a recycling adventure)

3:30 PM – Shojo Beat announcements: Fushigi Yugi 3-in-1 volume, Hot Gimmick 3-in-1, Heaven’s Will (Jan 2009), Magic Touch–a manga about massage (Jan 12 09), Otomen (notice the pun?, Jan 12 09–the guy IS straight though), Honey Hunt (Mar 16, 2009)

3:33 PM – Viz has permission to show Vampire Knight clips–but they have NOT licensed it.

3:34 PM – Rumiko Takahashi’s One Pound Gospel

3:34 PM – Black Lagoon manga (Aug 2008)

3:35 PM – Gestalt, Jun 2009. Sexy elves! Sexy, sexy elves

3:36 PM – Dogs, Volume 0. Dystopian. Apr 2009. Guns, swords, and action

3:36 PM – Ikigami (Death Paper): May 2009. Interesting premise.

3:37 PM – Viz Signature line: for more “sophisticated” type of stories. My guess is that this is aimed at adults and a bit more literary? Example: Real, by Takehiko Inoue (Slam Dunk). Also Vagabond by the same author.

3:40 PM – Inoue’s artbooks

3:41 PMSolanin, by Asano Inio. Contemporary fiction. Oishinbo, the food manga that explains Japanese food.

3:44 PM20th Century Boys clip/preview. To be released in Feb 2009. “Rock and roll realism.”

3:48 PM – Another Naoki Urusawa project, Pluto, based on Tezuka’s Astro Boy. A reimagining of a story by Tezuka in Astro Boy.

3:51 PM – Only time for ONE question, from a manga newbie, about the lag time between publishing in Japan and publishing in the US. Usual answer: translation issues, distribution issues.

3:53 PM – End.

Author: gendomike

Michael lives in the Los Angeles area, and has been into anime since he saw Neon Genesis Evangelion in 1999. Some of his favorite shows include Full Metal Alchemist, Honey and Clover, and Welcome to the NHK!. Since 2003 he has gone to at least one anime convention every year. A public radio junkie, which naturally led to podcasting, he now holds a seminary degree and is looking to become Dr. Rev. Otaku Bible Man any day now. Michael can be reached at You can also find his Twitter account at @gendomike.

2 thoughts on “Comic Con: Viz Industry Panel Liveblog

  1. Firstly, I’m sorry and regret that I couldn’t see you guys at AX. I was there, but I had some circumstances to deal with. : /

    Viz is arguably one of the most focused of the ‘manga’ publishers here… It’s nice to see alot of these titles (namely Real, Solanin, 20th Century Boys) getting publicity.

    Also, I’m starting to see that they’re starting to publish more ‘mature’ titles and it makes sense considering that the reader age group is getting older… Personally, I’ve been waiting for this for a decade. : d

    Also, it was rumored that Kodansha themselves was going to publish manga here in the US… (Which freaked out some publishers like Tokyopop)

    It’s confirmed:

    Heads up for any manga collectors:
    This means that any publisher like Dark Horse or Tokyopop who has been publishing Kodansha manga is going to have to cut their licenses OFF. Del Rey is likely not to be because distribution methods are shared with Kodansha and they seem to have a good relationship to begin with.

    Point is though, Kodansha publishing here can mean: better packaging, reasonable prices and experienced people from the manga industry raising the bar for how manga should be sold here.

  2. Oh and 20th century boys being plugged as ‘Rock and Roll Realism?’

    Hilariously waaay off the mark! XD

    Think a more supernatural/sci-fi Monster with more intensity or something along the lines. :d

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