You do not normally look at comic conventions to get manga and anime news. But there are two exceptions to that rule. The first and oldest is San Diego Comic-Con International but the New York Comic Con has grown to the size where everyone who is anyone geeky will at least give a thought to saving their announcements for such big events no matter what they are selling. That means there were some pretty big announcements this year. The news out of NYCC this year looked like what you would normally see out of something like Otakon or Anime Expo. While there were a good deal of news from the convention we narrowed it down to what interested us (and hopefully you) the most.
I will not lie to you. A simple article like this also helps us recover a bit after the convention and work on getting larger articles out on time.
Wow, there was so much news from NYCC where does one begin? Anime and manga are our primary focus, but that doesn’t mean they were the only things I was excited about at the convention. With so many companies, creators, stars, and surprise guests, I had a feeling from the start of the 4-day bash we’d have a lot to be happy about.
So Funimation revealed their license of Mamoru Hosoda’s (of Summer Wars and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time fame) recent animated production Wolf Children, excellent but not too surprising news. The bigger announcement was it will be getting a theatrical release! This is happening more and more lately, but it still isn’t a given with anime films. This is supposed to be a breathtaking movie if reports from the other side of the Pacific are accurate. Unlike most TV animation, anime that are theatrically released remain more of mystery to foreign fans until many months after they’ve run so I’m chomping at the bit to see this for myself! Considering how well this has been received in Japan, maybe this will be a movie that stands a chance in the Oscar race, too.
What do you get when you mix a lush historical setting filled with viking raiders with the hyperkinetic action you love in manga? The answer is Vinland Saga. Vinland Saga has always been one of those titles that people have asked for as it has a bit of a refined air because of its historical seinen roots but with all the violence and energy that usually lets a series sell well. I know that Vertical looked at the series but found it too long to publish. But Kodansha USA’s inside track finally let them scoop it up. I can’t wait to see that series on the shelves.
Right before NYCC, JManga opened their new portal JManga 7 and added two well-known women’s titles Pride and Crazy for You. It looks to be something of a trend I hope as many of their announcements for the con were exactly in that vein as well. Of course I want JManga picking up the odd and obscure, but I’m also glad to be seeing titles I’ve long wanted to read reaching the site. Yasuko to Kenji is one I’ve wanted to read for quite a while. It is a wacky over-the-top series, that I actually know through its live action adaption more than its manga, about a high school girl and her shojo manga-ka ex-yakuza brother.
Speaking of Vertical while they did not pick up Vinland Saga they got something equally interesting. In an effort to test the waters with josei the picked up a work by Kyoko Okazaki, who is one of the most important early josei authors. Josei has always been a bit of a toxic genre in English and most publishers stay away from it as a rule. With a mixture of sex and madness combined with style and sophistication it seems like a title that is right up Vertical’s alley. This never a title that will sell like Naruto but it just might be able to get josei’s reputation out of the dog house.
Agent Coulson Lives! I couldn’t let it go by without being said after seeing it on t-shirts and hearing it shouted by attendees. For a while it was rumored that Joss Wedon was working on a Marvel TV series, then it was confirmed and revealed to deal with S.H.I.E.L.D., that’s when the speculation really began. All the chattered finally hit the climax when fan favorite Clark Gregg appeared at the Marvel Television panel. A video tribute to Agent Coulson was shown, followed by a message from Joss Whedon, and finally with a collective cheer it was announced that Clark Gregg would be heading up the new TV series as Agent Coulson! Lovely, just lovely.
There are some titles that you can still publish in print form and they will do well. There are other series are only viable in digital format. Classic works like Shotaro Ishinomori’s manga are old enough that the average manga reader does not want to touch them but not respected just enough to have that built-in Tezuka audience. Sadly Shotaro Ishinomori did not even sell during the crazy manga boom when it seemed like almost anything would be a hit. But titles like Kikaider and Cyborg 009 just might sell digitally. Also comic collectors interested in all forms of the history of sequential art are more likely to buy older manga than Shonen Jump kids. So maybe Comixology is the prefect platform for older niche prestige titles.
Other NYCC 2102 Coverage:
New York Comic Con 2012: Tweets
New York Comic Con 2012: General Impressions
New York Comic Con 2012: Exhibitors Hall & Artist Alley
New York Comic Con 2012: Moyoco Anno
New York Comic Con 2012: Anime & Manga Panels
New York Comic Con 2012: Comics & Media Panels