PR: Children of the Sea approaching

I try not to run too many press releases, but I’ve been enjoying this book online, and I really hope it does well:


San Francisco, CA, June 22, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, announced the release of Daisuke Igarashi’s surreal and riveting manga series, CHILDREN OF THE SEA, releasing July 21st in North America. The manga is rated ‘T+’ for Older Teens and will carry an estimated MSRP of $14.99 U.S. / $17.50 CAN.

vizikkiWhen Ruka was younger, she saw a ghost in the water at the aquarium where her dad works. Now she feels drawn toward the aquarium and the two mysterious boys she meets there, Umi and Sora. They were raised by dugongs and hear the same strange calls from the sea as she does. Ruka’s dad and the other adults who work at the aquarium are only distantly aware of what the children are experiencing as they get caught up in the mystery of the worldwide disappearance of the oceans’ fish.

Daisuke Igarashi is an award-winning manga creator who began his career in 1993. His series Majo received the Excellence Prize at the 2004 Japan Media Arts Festival and was nominated for the Fauve d’Or Best Comic Book Prize at the 2007 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d’Angoulême. Little Forest was nominated for the 2006 Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize. His current series Children of the Sea is the winner of the 38th Japan Cartoonist Award and runs in IKKI magazine.

CHILDREN OF THE SEA is the first title to be published under IKKI from VIZ Media, a sub-imprint of the VIZ Signature imprint. In addition to now offering the print version of Volume 1, VIZ Media and IKKI magazine in Japan have collaborated on an online destination ( to present free chapters of some of that magazine’s most-loved stories to English readers – beginning with CHILDREN OF THE SEA. The website also features an interview with the creator.

IKKI, a monthly magazine published in Japan has established itself as the home of some of the most innovative, bold, and compelling series in the world of contemporary manga. Since its launch in 2003 IKKI has built a catalog of titles notable for its diversity. From action to comedy to drama, from slice-of-life stories to surrealist fantasies, the one common thing these works share is an uncommon emphasis on creative quality and on pushing the boundaries of the norm.

“We are very excited to team with IKKI magazine to launch this new imprint with the debut of CHILDREN OF THE SEA,” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “The story presents realistic, emotionally honest characters and also has a strong ecological message of preserving the wildlife in the planet’s oceans. Readers won’t want miss to how Ruka and her two new waterborne friends discover the reason behind the worldwide disappearance of fish. With this new imprint and related web site, we look forward to introducing many more critically acclaimed manga titles to readers across North America.”

For more information on IKKI please visit

More lead-burying

I promise to lay off the press releases, but Viz just sent one out on its new European business-to-business site, and I am deeply intrigued:

“Informative descriptions for 18 different animated series and all relevant licensing and partner information are also featured. Current titles include Bleach, Blue Dragon, Buso Renkin, Croket!, Death Note, Deko Boko Friends, Detective Conan (CASE CLOSED), Grandpa Danger, Hamtaro, Inuyasha, Kilari, MÄR, MegaMan Star Force, Mirmo, Naruto, ICHIGO 100%, Zoids Genesis, and Honey & Clover. The site was developed in partnership with leading web design communications agency Megalo(s).”

“Grandpa Danger”? What in Pinoko’s name is “Grandpa Danger?” And why can I not buy it yesterday? Let’s investigate.


I think I have a new avatar, at the very least.

It's RumicWorld, and we just live in it

It’s always nice when a manga-ka is prolific and awesome, and Rumiko Takahashi is certainly both. Viz is very aware of that, so it’s announced that it’s simultaneously releasing Takahashi’s new manga in Japanese and English. I’m sure there’s a little preemption built into the strategy as well, but who cares? New Takahashi every week!

The full press release is after the jump.


Visit The Official Rumiko Takahashi English Language Web Site – On April 22nd For The Latest Work From One Of The Greatest Creative Forces In Manga

San Francisco, CA, April 15th, 2009 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, announces the debut of a new manga series from legendary creator Rumiko Takahashi. The series, titled RIN-NE, will be launching simultaneously April 22nd exclusively in Japan in WEEKLY SHONEN SUNDAY magazine and online for North American audiences on, the brand new official North American web site for all Rumiko Takahashi-related news and information. Through this unprecedented collaboration, a new chapter of RIN-NE will be released each week for English-speaking manga fans to enjoy at the same time as their Japanese peers.

As a child Sakura Mamiya mysteriously disappeared in the woods behind her grandma’s home. She returned whole and healthy, but since then she has had the power to see ghosts. Now a teenager, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! At school, the desk next to Sakura’s has been empty since the start of the school year, then one day her always-absent classmate shows up, and he’s far more than what he seems!

RIN-NE is the first new manga from Takahashi since her epic INUYASHA (published domestically by VIZ Media) ended in 2008 in Japan. Shogakukan’s popular WEEKLY SHONEN SUNDAY manga magazine has featured Takahashi’s work since the early 1980’s. With over 170 million copies sold in Japan alone, Takahashi’s substantial catalog of work continues to be loved by legions of devoted readers.

“Rumiko Takahashi is an artist without equal and her creative contribution to the manga genre is immeasurable. We’re extremely honored to present her long-awaited new series RIN-NE simultaneously with SHONEN SUNDAY” says Gonzalo Ferreyra, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, VIZ Media. “Rumiko Takahashi’s talent for creating endearing and memorable characters combined with comedy, love, fantasy, and action shines wonderfully in RIN-NE. Her signature style has come to be known as the ‘Rumic World,’ and it would not be an overstatement to call it a genre all its own. We invite fans across North America to visit her official web site on April 22nd for the English debut of RIN-NE and encourage them to check back regularly for the latest chapters in this groundbreaking series.”

The spotlight on Rumiko Takahashi’s career began in 1978 when she won an honorable mention in Shogakukan’s annual New Comic Artist Contest for Those Selfish Aliens. Later that same year, her boy-meets-alien comedy series, Urusei Yatsura, was serialized in Weekly Shonen Sunday. This phenomenally successful manga series was adapted into anime format and spawned a TV series and half a dozen theatrical-release movies, all incredibly popular in their own right. Takahashi followed up the success of her debut series with one blockbuster hit after another—Maison Ikkoku ran from 1980 to 1987, Ranma ½ from 1987 to 1996, and Inuyasha from 1996 to 2008. Other notable works include Mermaid Saga, Rumic Theater, and One-Pound Gospel. Takahashi won the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award twice in her career, once for Urusei Yatsura in 1981 and the second time for Inuyasha in 2002. A majority of the Takahashi canon has been adapted into other media such as anime, live-action TV series, and film. Takahashi’s manga, as well as the other formats her work has been adapted into, have continued to delight generations of fans around the world. Distinguished by her wonderfully endearing characters, Takahashi’s work adeptly incorporates a wide variety of elements such as comedy, romance, fantasy, and martial arts. While her series are difficult to pin down into one simple genre, the signature style she has created has come to be known as the “Rumic World.” Rumiko Takahashi is an artist who truly represents the very best from the world of manga.

Results, rewards, Re:

Deb Aoki has begun the results phase of her annual manga polls over at About.Com, starting with 2008’s visitor-selected Best New Shojo Manga. Honestly, I’d have been happy with any of the top three claiming titles first place, as I think they’re all fine series. But there’s a lot of crack in this category, so I’m not surprised that it provided a strong slate.

Deb also points to a contest being sponsored by Go! Comi to help introduce readers to guilty-pleasure priestess You Higuri.

Sometimes, all it takes is a partial e-mail title to send my hopes skyrocketing out of all proportion. I open my in-box and see “Digital Manga Publishing acquires classic shojo title:”. What is it? The Rose of Versailles? The Poe Clan? Well, no, it’s Itazura Na Kiss by Kaoru Tada, which sounds like fun, but I did have a breathless moment there before I could click the message open.

The full press release on the book is after the jump.

Gardena, CA – (January 26, 2009)- Digital Manga Publishing, Inc., one of the industry’s most unconventional and innovative companies is proud to announce its acquisition of the classic and timeless shojo manga: ITAZURA NA KISS. Never before released in translated form in the U.S., ITAZURA NA KISS has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, inspired live action dramas, and has recently been released in a newly created anime by the same name.

Published under the DMP imprint, ITAZURA NA KISS was released as 12 omnibus volumes in Japan, and plans for the first two volumes in a 5.125″ x 7.1875″ format at a cost of $14.95 per volume, will begin with volume one in November, 2009, and volume two following in March, 2010. ITAZURA NA KISS has inspired countless shojo manga artists, and with its unconventional narrative in following the lives and relationships of its main characters from high school to beyond, it created the groundwork for many contemporary shojo manga stories. This timeless manga will enchant and inspire new readers while reminding seasoned readers why shojo is as popular as it is. It is a “must-have” for any manga enthusiast, or anyone who loves a romantic, comedic story of why people fall in love, and the sacrifices and growth each must go through for the other.

ITAZURA NA KISS VOL. 1- RATED T+ (for ages 13+), MSRP: $14.95 US, Available: November 4, 2009

ITAZURA NA KISS is the beloved and classic shojo manga following two high school students, the air-headed Kotoko and the brilliant cold genius Naoki. When Kotoko finally musters the courage to confess to the haughty Naoki, his instant rejection shocks her and she decides to forget him forever. But when circumstances force her and her father to move in with her father’s close friend, she encounters an even bigger shock when she realizes her father’s friend is Naoki’s father, and they’ll be living together from now on! Is it fate? A sign from heaven? Whatever it is, Kotoko’s every attempt to impress the aloof Naoki seems to create chaos in Naoki’s life, and the cracks in his cool, robot-like facade begin to show. Follow the journey of these two through life, love, and every chaotic, crazy moment in Kotoko’s mission to make Naoki hers!

KAORU TADA was born in 1960, and is the creator of AI SHITE KNIGHT and ITAZURA NA KISS. ITAZURA NA KISS was her most popular work in Japan, and has spawned live action dramas, been adapted for the theatrical stage, and released as an animated series. KAORU TADA died tragically at the age of 38 in 1999.

Sunday squeeage

This just in from Del Rey:

NEW YORK, NY – September 27, 2008 – Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, today announced an eclectic range of new manga titles to be published in Summer and Fall of 2009. The new series acquisitions feature some of the best characters that the manga world has to offer, including fighting maids, a temperamental rain goddess, and—in a unique twist—cute, talking bacteria.

Take a look at the world of bacteria through the lens of manga! MOYASIMON: TALES OF AGRICULTURE, by Masayuki Ishikawa, follows Tadayasu Souemon Sawaki, a first-year college student at an agricultural university in Tokyo. Tadayasu has a one-of-a-kind talent that may just come in handy at school: the ability to see and communicate with adorable bacteria and microorganisms! While this series showcases the author’s zany sense of humor, the series is so scientifically accurate it’s legitimately educational, too! The cute creatures have been a merchandising hit in Japan. A hilarious comedy and fantastical drama, MOYASIMON: TALES OF AGRICULTURE is otaku-friendly and filled with scientific facts, making for a unique manga experience. Del Rey Manga editor Tricia Narwani says, “Del Rey Manga has always ventured into new territory with our list, but this time, we’ve licensed something that has a true claim to total originality: the wholly unique and irresistibly charming Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture.” The manga will make its North American debut in Fall 2009.

Oh, that makes my weekend.

Theoretical hounding

I’m not going to make it to this year’s New York Comic Con, but if I were there, I’d be hounding Fanfare/Ponent Mon’s Stephen Robson as much as possible. And just because I love their books, here’s Fanfare’s press release about convention plans and upcoming titles. Commence squeeing after the cut. (And if you’re going to the con, buy one of Fanfare’s books. You won’t regret it.)

Fanfare / Ponent Mon Previews 7 New Manga / Graphic Novels at NYCC

NEW YORK, NY – Award-winning international manga and graphic novel publisher Fanfare / Ponent Mon will be at New York Comic-Con April 18 – 20 at Booth 2343, Jacob K. Javits Center, New York City. Fanfare publisher Stephen Robson will be on hand to showcase recent and upcoming releases for 2008.

Seven new Fanfare publications will be previewed from Japan, France and Korea, including Jiro Taniguchi’s The Ice Wanderer, which was recently nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award by Comic-Con International.

New Fanfare / Ponent Mon titles previewing at New York Comic-Con include:

. Disappearance Diary by Hideo Azuma

. The Ice Wanderer and other stories by Jiro Taniguchi

. The Quest for the Missing Girl by Jiro Taniguchi

. The Summit of the Gods by Yumemakura Baku and Jiro Taniguchi

. My Mommy is in America and Met Buffalo Bill by Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo

. Korea as Viewed by 12 Creators by Various

. Awabi by Kan Takahama

Disappearance Diary – Hideo Azuma
Release date: November 2008
ISBN: 978-84-96427-42-6
Trade paperback, 200 pages
Cover price: $22.99
Disappearance Diary by Hideo Azuma is a new title scheduled for a Fall 2008 release which is printed and ready for distribution. It will preview at NYCC.
This autobiographical tale follows the true adventures of a successful manga artist who decides to run away from the deadline pressures and daily responsibilities of his life to become a homeless alcoholic. Winner of the Grand Media Prize, 2005 Japan Media Arts Festival.

The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories – Jiro Taniguchi
Release date: October 2008
ISBN: 978-84-96427-33-4
Trade paperback, 240 pages
Cover price: 21.99
The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories. a collection of six short stories by Taniguchi, is printed and ready for distribution once more. The title story, The Ice Wanderer is a strong to and features Jack London as one of the characters. While not yet available in wide release due to a change in our distribution companies, The Ice Wanderer and Other Stories has already been nominated for the 2008 Eisner Awards by Comic-Con International in the Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Japan category.

The Quest for the Missing Girl – Jiro Taniguchi
Release date: November 2008
ISBN: 978-84-96427-47-1
Trade paperback, 334 pages
Cover price $25.00
When 15 year old Megumi mysteriously disappears, Shiga leaves his mountain retreat to fulfill his promise to her father following his death in the Himalayas twelve years previously. But the City can be a much more hostile and dangerous place than the mountain. Multi-award winning Taniguchi brings his detailed art and fast moving script to this agonizing tale of a missing girl.
Due Fall 2008

The Summit of the Gods – Yumemakura Baku, Jiro Taniguchi
Volume 1 release date: Spring 2009
ISBN: 978-84-96427-87-7
Trade paperback, 328 pages
Cover price: $25.00
Fanfare is continuing its commitment to publishing the award-winning graphic novels of Jiro Taniguchi with several new and notable releases. The Summit of the Gods is the latest offering from Taniguchi and is a 5-volume epic about the conquering of Mount Everest. Look for the first volume to be available in the U.S. in Spring 2009.

My Mommy is in America and Met Buffalo Bill – Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo
Release date: December 2008
ISBN: 978-84-96427-85-3
Hardcover, 112 full color pages
Cover price: $24.00
My Mommy is in America and Met Buffalo Bill is a first-time English edition of the award-winning French graphic novel by Jean Regnaud and Emile Bravo (Eisner nominee 2008 for “Best Short Story”). Told from a young boy’s point of view, My Mommy is a slice-of-life story about a child’s remembrance of his life in the French countryside and the fanciful postcards he receives from his mother, who’s off traveling the world – or is she? Look for this touching and memorable book to arrive in better bookshops in Fall 2008.

Korea as Viewed by 12 Creators – Various
Release date: December 2008
ISBN: 978-84-96427-48-8
Trade paperback, 222 pages
Cover price: $24.00
The sequel to the critically-acclaimed Japan as Viewed by 17 Creators takes the cross-cultural comics exchange to the other Asian epicenter of graphic storytelling, Korea. French and Korean creators, including Lee Doo-Ho, Vanyda, Park Heung-yong and Igort, share their impressions of Korea as both insiders and visitors for an eye-opening examination of this fast-growing, multi-faceted society.

Awabi – Kan Takahama
Release date: Spring 2009
ISBN: 978-84-96427-34-1
Trade paperback, 144 pages
Cover price: $19.99
Awabi means “abalone” in Japanese and this second collection of short stories by Kan Takahama (author of Monokuro Kinderbook, also from Fanfare / Ponent Mon) has more of Takahama’s elegant, softly stylized artwork and wry, wistful and very grown-up storytelling. The title story of life revisited in a rest home, befriending a suicide in My Life With K and dad calling a family meeting with surprising results in My Mellow Chrostmas form the core of these six stories from much lauded Takahama.

Founded in 2003, Spanish publisher Ponent Mon together with UK-based Fanfare, is aiming to introduce comic book readers to the latest graphic and story telling tendencies to come out of the alternative comics scene in Japan and elsewhere.

Whilst our roots are in the “Nouvelle Manga” movement formed by Frédéric Boilet, we also publish a long list of major Japanese and European artists including new works previously unpublished anywhere.

All English language titles and many more are published in Spanish from Ponent Mon.


It's summer there now

Viz is marching on Australia and New Zealand with the help of Madman Entertainment, according to the press release below. Glancing through the catalog at Madman’s web site, I see a couple of Viz properties there already, though not from Shueisha. Madman already has a similar distribution deal with Tokyopop. But this bulks up Madman’s manga offerings rather substantially, given that a bunch of Viz’s best-selling titles are part of the package.


Country’s Mix Of Western And Asian Culture Creates A Growing Demand For Diverse Titles

San Francisco, CA, February 22, 2008 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative and comprehensive publishing, animation and licensing companies, has announced its continued global expansion with a new distribution agreement with Madman Entertainment to offer a wide variety of Shueisha manga (graphic novel) series to the burgeoning market in Australia and New Zealand. Shueisha Inc., is one of Japan’s largest publishers and is a parent company of VIZ Media.

Some initial VIZ Media titles to be published will include smash hit properties like NARUTO, set to debut in March, BLEACH, scheduled to launch in April, and DEATH NOTE, which will be introduced in May. Several popular shojo series such as THE GENTLEMEN’S ALLIANCE †, FULL MOON, LOVE*COM and NANA are also set for publication this year along with action favorites that include ONE PIECE, D. GRAY MAN, BLACK CAT and CLAYMORE.

Madman is Australia’s number one distributor of manga (graphic novels), with a wide range of popular titles already available, including some of the industry’s biggest licenses. In late 2006-early 2007, Madman was a key sponsor of the Tezuka – The Marvel of Manga exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria and the Gallery of New South Wales, and also launched a dedicated manga section on its website,

“Madman is honored to be working with VIZ Media and their incredible range of manga brands, and thrilled at the prospect of introducing these to a wide range of readers in our territories,” says Tim Anderson, Managing Director of Madman Entertainment. “Australian and New Zealand readers have developed a real thirst for manga and based on similar agreements forged in other rising markets, Madman looks forward to combining efforts with VIZ Media to offer the most comprehensive catalogue to date in these countries.”

“Madman Entertainment has become a dominant player in the emerging Australian and New Zealand manga scene and we are excited to partner with them to bring some of the hottest titles to readers there.” says Hyoe Narita, Executive Vice President, VIZ Media. “Manga has become a truly global entertainment medium and agreements like this will continue to provide innovative means to develop and establish international markets offering a range of compelling content.”


THE MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT GROUP proudly showcases the best in Japanese anime, world cinema, art house film, Australian independent features and animation. Madman is Australia’s leading distributor of home entertainment and an industry innovator with a sought-after interactive and DVD authoring studio; printing division; film production involvement; and a range of DVD and video labels. Madman was recently awarded exclusive DVD distribution rights to the Cartoon Network and SBS home entertainment labels. Web site:

About VIZ Media, LLC

Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media), is one of the most comprehensive and innovative companies in the field of manga (graphic novel) publishing, animation and entertainment licensing of Japanese content. Owned by three of Japan’s largest creators and licensors of manga and animation, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan Production Co., Ltd. (ShoPro Japan), VIZ Media is a leader in the publishing and distribution of Japanese manga for English speaking audiences in North America and a global licensor of Japanese manga and animation. The company offers an integrated product line including, magazines such as SHONEN JUMP and SHOJO BEAT, graphic novels, videos, DVDs and audio soundtracks and develops and markets animated entertainment from initial production, television placement and distribution, to merchandise licensing and promotions for audiences and consumers of all ages.

Uncanny alliance

Oh, man, I’ll be buying my first X-Men comic in YEARS.

And I try and avoid running press releases, but dude… please… SHOJO X-MEN. (That sound you heard is probably John Jakala renewing his support for Tintin Pantoja’s Wonder Woman proposal.)

(Full release after the cut.)


NEW YORK, NY – December 9, 2007 – Marvel Entertainment and Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, announced today plans to publish two new manga series based on Marvel Entertainment’s highly popular X-Men series.

The manga, created with the cooperation and consultation of Marvel editors, will take the classic characters from the X-Men series and re-imagine them in a manga style. The first project, scripted by the husband-and-wife team of Raina Telgemeier (writer and illustrator of The Babysitter’s Club graphic novels) and Dave Roman (creator of the comic Agnes Quill), will focus specifically on the X-Men team. Indonesian artist Anzu will illustrate the two-volume series, which will go on sale in Spring 2009.

It’s the X-Men as you’ve never seen them before, with the storyline fashioned as a private school shôjo comedy. (Shôjo manga is aimed at girls and often covers popular subjects such as comedy, romance, and drama.) As the only girl in the all-boys School for Gifted Youngsters, Kitty Pryde, a mutant with phasing abilities, is torn between the popular Hellfire Club, led by flame-throwing mutant Pyro—and the school misfits, whom she eventually bands together as the X-Men.

A second manga series, to be published in Spring 2009, follows the adventures of Wolverine, a breakout member of the X-Men team known for his attitude and unbreakable adamantium claws.

Dallas Middaugh, associate publisher of Del Rey Manga, says, “The X-Men are some of the most well-known characters in the world, and it’s the strength of those characters-along with strong and unique storylines-that make the X-Men a perfect match for the manga form. It’s an amazing opportunity, and we’re eager to bring new interpretations to the fans through the prism of manga.”

The X-Men made their comics debut in The X-Men #1 in 1963 and have since become a mainstream pop culture phenomenon with the development of an animated television series, several video games and a blockbuster live-action film trilogy.

Ruwan Jayatilleke, Vice President of development of Marvel Entertainment, Inc., said “Del Rey Manga has been an innovative force in the manga landscape—-consistently growing the medium and breaking the boundaries of print. We have found a partner who will bring the X-Men and Wolverine into the fastest growing segment of graphic fiction, with superior storytelling and visual fireworks. Comic book fans and manga readers have much to look forward to.”

Manga, the Japanese term for comics, is a Japanese cultural phenomenon that accounts for nearly half of all the books and magazines sold in Japan. Read by men and women of all ages, manga covers a wide variety of themes including adventure, romance, fantasy, and more. Manga has experienced incredible growth in the US and Canadian graphic novel market in the past few years. According to industry source ICv2 manga sales reached between $170 million and $200 million in 2006.

About the Creators
Raina Telgemeier is best known for her work as the writer and illustrator of The Babysitter’s Club graphic novels. She received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts and has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Eisner, Ignatz, Cybil, and Web Cartoonists’ Choice awards.

Dave Roman currently works for Nickelodeon Magazine as an associate editor. The co-creator of the Harvey Award-nominated series Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden and the Ignatz award-winning Teen Boat, he also pens his own webcomic, Astronaut Elementary. He is also the creator of the comic Agnes Quill.

Anzu, a manga artist based in Indonesia, will make her US manga art debut in April 2008 with the first volume of The Reformed, written by Chris Hart. She has contributed to Hart’s bestselling How to Draw Manga series.

About Del Rey Manga
Del Rey Books ( ) was founded in 1977 as an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of the Random House Publishing Group, under the guidance of the renowned Judy-Lynn del Rey and her husband, Lester del Rey. Del Rey publishes the best of modern fantasy, science fiction, and alternate history. Ballantine Books is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, which is a publishing group of Random House, Inc, the U.S. publishing company of Random House, the trade book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s leading international media companies. In 2004 it expanded by launching Del Rey Manga (, which has grown to be a major force in the U.S. graphic-novel field. Bestselling titles include Tsubasa, Negima, xxxHolic, and The Wallflower.

About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
With a library of over 5,000 high-profile characters built over more than sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios), publishing (via Marvel Comics) and toys, with emphasis on feature films, home DVD, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Marvel’s strategy is to leverage its franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more information visit

X-Men, Wolverine: TM & © 2007 Marvel Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Fabulous prizes

The winners in Lambda Legal’s “Life Without Fair Courts” cartoon contest have been announced via a press release from Prism Comics. Entries can be viewed here. All of the finalists are solid, but I think I probably would have given the prize to Ted Rall.

The full press release is after the cut.

Lambda Legal Announces “Life Without Fair Courts” Cartoon Contest Winners!

New York, NY – The “Life Without Fair Courts ” cartoon contest was launched this spring together with Prism Comics and Diamond Comic Distributors, along with The Advocate as exclusive media sponsor. There were over 25 entries from all over the country, including two international entries from Poland. The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges including artist Mikhaela Reid who was commissioned by Lambda Legal to draw the “Life Without Fair Courts” cartoon series, DC Comics Editor Joan Hilty, freelance illustrator and comic book artist Phil Jimenez (Wonder Woman, Infinite Crisis), and Sean Kennedy, News Editor at The Advocate. Nearly 2,000 people voted to select the winners.

“The goal of our Courting Justice project, which designed and carried out the ‘Life Without Fair Courts’ cartoon contest, is to help the community better understand what our lives and the lives of all Americans would be like without a fair and impartial judicial system,” said Hector Vargas, Deputy Director of Education and Public Affairs at Lambda Legal. “The artists turned complex ideas into compelling graphic art in ways that make it easy to understand the impact of the court system on our everyday lives.”

Lambda Legal has announced the top three winners in the “Life Without Fair Courts” cartoon contest.

  • First Place: Greg Fox, “4 Reasons for Gays to Be Grateful”
  • Second Place: Ted Rall, “Explaining the Supreme Court”
  • Third Place: Matt Bors, “Future Courtroom Landmarks”
  • The First Place Winner, Greg Fox, best known for his current comic strip Kyle’s Bed & Breakfast, said he never intended on becoming a political cartoonist, but “Being a cartoonist, working at home I hear a lot of talk radio. You might say my entry in this contest was a response to all of that antigay rhetoric I’ve been subjected to on the airwaves.” The Second Place Winner, Ted Rall, named “the most controversial cartoonist in America” by, was inspired to create his comic strip because, “instances of judicial unfairness and bias have made such a negative impact on our society that they demand outrage and ridicule.” The Third Place Winner Matt Bors said not having fair courts “could spell doom for much of the progress we’ve made in the last 50 years.”

    First prize in the contest is exposure in the current issue of The Advocate and on Second and third prizes include donated shopping sprees from Diamond Comic Distributors. To see the winning entries, please go to

    Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work. For more information, please go to

    Koontz, Chan team for OGN from Del Rey

    News comes from the Del Rey Manga Newsletter that Dean Koontz (aided by Queenie Chan of The Dreaming fame) will join Avril Lavigne in the imprint’s original graphic novel roster, bringing Koontz’s Odd Thomas to OGN life.

    (Press release after the cut.)


    NEW YORK, NY — May 15, 2007 — Del Rey Manga, an imprint of Ballantine Books at the Random House Publishing Group, announced today that it has acquired an original graphic novel starring Odd Thomas, perhaps the most memorable and beloved character Dean Koontz has ever created. The charismatic young fry cook from Pico Mundo, California has appeared in three New York Times bestselling novels: Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, and Brother Odd, which was one of Koontz’s fastest-selling hardcovers. Odd, who has the ability to communicate with the dead, has inspired more readers’ letters than any other of his characters, according to Koontz.

    Koontz’s characters — including Odd, his girlfriend Stormy Llewellyn, Pico Mundo Chief of Police Porter, the ghost of Elvis Presley, and many more — will be drawn by one of the top original-English-language manga artists working today, Queenie Chan. Chan, author of the popular mystery-horror series The Dreaming, will script the story as well. Publication is planned for Summer 2008.

    The graphic novel will follow Odd’s race to solve the murder of a young boy whose killer appears to be stalking a second child. It is set in the time before Odd Thomas and takes place in Pico Mundo. The book will be edited by Del Rey editor-in-chief Betsy Mitchell.

    Says Dean Koontz: “I’m delighted that Odd Thomas will come to life in manga, that the enormously talented Queenie Chan’s beautiful art will define his world and the desert town of Pico Mundo, and that the project is being guided by such capable hands as those at Del Rey.”

    Queenie Chan comments: “It’s an honor to work with Dean on this project, and I’m glad he’s chosen me for this new story of Odd Thomas. I read his novels when I was in high school, and never did I imagine that I would have the chance to work with such a well-known and established author today.”


    Dean Koontz is the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers. He lives with his wife, Gerda, and their dog, Trixie, in Southern California.

    Queenie Chan was born in 1980 in Hong Kong, and migrated to Australia when she was six years old. She began drawing at the age of 18, and in 2004 began drawing a mystery-horror series called The Dreaming for Los Angeles-based manga publisher Tokyopop. Since then, the series has been translated into four languages, with the third and final installment arriving in November 2007. Apart from her professional work, she also draws a number of online manga strips on her personal site:


    Del Rey was founded in 1977 as a division of Ballantine Books under the guidance of the renowned Judy-Lynn del Rey and her husband, Lester del Rey. Del Rey publishes the best of modern fantasy, science fiction, alternate history and manga. Ballantine Books is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, which is a publishing group of Random House, Inc, the U.S. publishing company of Random House, the trade book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s leading international media companies. In the summer of 2003, Random House joined together with Kodansha in a creative partnership to bring some of Kodansha’s top properties to the United States, making Random House the first major trade book publisher in the United States to do so.

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