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NYAF 2010: Vertical Inc.

NYAF 2010: Vertical Inc

Saturday evening at New York Anime Fest sported an industry panel by Vertical Inc. It was your standard one-hour panel but they made it count with a couple license announcements and a whole bunch of other information.

The panel was run by marketing director, Ed Chavez, and Vertical editorial director, Ioannis Mentzas.  Sitting in on the sound box was the bug-eyed Chi plushie (belonging to the namesake series’ creator), which has become a staple at Vertical events since the toy was left behind at SDCC.

On the note about the plush toy, they noted that they’ve been taking photos of fans with the cat at various events and, with individuals’ permission, would like to one day release a postcard book of the pictures. That being said, the Chi plush will also be making an appearance at MangaNext.

There were two new titles announced during this panel.

The first is a new Osamu Tezuka title called Book of Human Insects. It’s a fairly hefty series at ten volumes with each one currently planned to be sold at $29.99. The book will be 360 pages and is slated for release on July 26, 2011 at a price of $21.95. (Thanks to Kate Dacey for the correction) The original title of the series was ‘Human Metamorposis’ and it tells the tale of a woman who repeatedly changes her profession, and subsequently her entire identity, which direly affects those around her.

The second title is No Longer Human by Furuya Usamaru. This is the artist’s most current work. The series itself is three volumes long and will be $12.95 a volume. The first volume will be 208 pages and will be released September 13, 2011. The story is based off a novel written by Osama Dazai about a man named Oba Yozo who struggles with his need to hide behind a false personality as he suffers from the trauma of a sexual childhood experience.

In regards to news of previously announced series, Chi’s Sweet Home will be having some extras included in future volumes that were originally published in the Japanese editions. These future volumes will also have an open call for fan submissions from which some will posted on an upcoming website dedicated to the series. Future con-goers can expect to see some shiny Chi posters, bookmarks and postcards as well.

Along with Chi’s Sweet Home, Twin Spica has proven another of their most successful series. Twin Spica in particular has received great critical praise. They currently have lesson plans in development based on Twin Spica to promote the sciences to school children. The release schedule of this series will also now be every other month.

Another fan-favourite, Black Jack, will be having some upcoming merchandise for conventions including posters and syringe-shaped pens. This series will be seventeen volumes altogether once completed.

Their upcoming release of Osamu Tezuka’s Ayako series was spoken about in some detail. The book itself, set for release November 30, will be an omnibus clocking in at 704 pages and selling for only $26.95. The cover will a cloth-texture, hardcover finish with a very nice simple design.

Ed Chavez also noted the neat-fact that Felipe Smith, whose three-volume series Peepo Choo is soon ending, would like to use characters from his past series in his next book, as he’s done with Peepo Choo already. His new series is said to be sci-fi and is currently in development.

The Lychee Light Club, another Furuya Usamaru series previously announced, will be strictly rated for 18+ readers and apparently thus sports some very mature content. The brief description of the series involves a group of boys kidnapping their teacher, doing terrible things to her, being comparable to Nazis and somehow involving a robot who lives off lychee nuts. Sounds crazy, that’s for sure. The book will be 320 pages long.

Vertical also announced they’d be releasing books specifically targeted at children starting next year. The first book will aimed at kids 4+ and is called On the Seesaw Bridge by Yuichi Kimura and illustrated by Koshiro Hata. It will be a 36 page, hardcover book. It should be released June 14, 2011.

When asked about Osamu Tezuka’s Princess Knight, which is often one of the most requested manga titles from fans, they acknowledge the series is always brought up during Osamu Tezuka discussion with licensors and fans alike. They hope it’s only a matter of time for all Osamu Tezuka books to be released in English, Princess Knight included. Ed Chavez notes the series would prove difficult to translate with the gender issues but has a very clear vision in his end of the dream-look the book would have if Vertical published it someday. He envisions a 365 page book with gold and purple velvet. Classy!

Vertical currently has another Osamu Tezuka for the fall that they can’t announce yet until it’s finalized. They also addressed a question about moving to digital platforms, such as iPad apps and Amazon’s Kindle, which they do say they’re working on. They currently have four books from their back-catalog being prepared to go up there. They did state there are currently no digital rights being allowed for any Osamu Tezuka works.

Below is a complete list of books (not all manga) that were briefly outlined during the panel:

Title Author Release Date
7 Billion Needles (Vol. 01) Nobuaki Tadano 09/28/2010
The Cuter Book Arazi Aranzo 08/12/2010
Chi’s Sweet Home (Vol. 03) Kanata Konami 11/08/2010
Black Jack (Vol. 13) Osamu Tezuka 11/16/2010
Ayako Osamu Tezuka 11/30/10
Number Place: Red (Sudoku) Tetsuya Nishio 09/21/2010
City of Refuge Kenzo Kitakata 11/16/2010
7 Billion Needles (Vol. 02) Nobuaki Tadano 11/23/2010
Pro Bono Seichi Matsumoto 10/26/2010
Peepo Choo (Vol. 03) Felipe Smith 12/14/2010
Chi’s Sweet Home (Vol. 04) Kanata Konami 01/04/2010
Twin Spica (Vol. 05) Kou Yaginuma 01/04/2010
A Guru is Born Takeshi Kitano 01/08/2010
Black Jack (Vol. 14) Osamu Tezuka 02/22/2011
Chi’s Sweet Home (Vol. 05) Kanata Konami 02/22/2011
7 Billion Needles (Vol. 03) Nobuaki Tadano 02/29/2011
Twin Spica (Vol. 06) Kou Yaginuma 03/01/2011
Black Jack (Vol. 15) Osamu Tezuka 03/15/2011
The Worry-Free Kitchen 03/22/2011
7 Billion Needles (Vol. 04) Nobuaki Tadano 04/12/2011
The Lychee Light Club Usamaru Furuya 04/19/2011
Number Place: Yellow (Sudoku) Tetsuya Nishio 04/26/2011
Twin Spica (Vol. 07) Kou Yaginuma 05/03/2011
A Man of Mercy Akira Arai 05/10/2011
Black Jack (Vol. 16) Osamu Tezuka 05/07/2011
Fallout Tetsuo Takashima 06/21/2011
Chi’s Sweet Home (Vol. 08) Kanata Konami 06/28/2011
Twin Spica (Vol. 08) Kou Yaginuma 07/05/2011
Black Jack (Vol. 17) Osamu Tezuka 07/19/2011
Book of Human Insects Osamu Tezuka 07/26/2011
Velveteen & Mandala Jiro Matsumoto 08/09/2011
Number Place: Blue Tetsuya Nishio 09/23/2011
No Longer Human (Vol. 01) Furuya Usamaru 09/13/2011

And that was all folks!

About the Author:

Lissa Pattillo is the owner and editor of Kuriousity.ca. Residing in Halifax, Nova Scotia she takes great joy in collecting all manners of manga genres, regretting that there's never enough time in the day to review or share them all. Along with reviews, Lissa is responsible for all the news postings to the website and works full time as a web and graphic designer.



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7 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lissa, Edward Sizemore. Edward Sizemore said: RT @kuriousity: New Blog Post – NYAF 2010: Vertical Inc. http://www.kuri-ousity.com/2010/10/nyaf-2010-vertical-inc/ #NYAF @Vertical_Ed […]

  2. invalidname says:

    On the issue of Tezuka digital manga… the Tezuka company is working with the creators of an "Astro Boy Weekly Magazine" app for iPhone (I think it may be a port from various Japanese smartphones), which offers a weekly collection of Tezuka chapters, from Viz' "Phoenix" and Vertical's "Buddha" and "Black Jack", among others. Each week's digest is just 99c via in-app purchase. Unfortunately, it hasn't been updated to take advantage of the iPad's increased resolution or its reading-friendly form-factor.

  3. Aaron says:

    I'm excited about the release of No Longer Human manga adaptation Dazi was one of the masters of Japanese Letters and hopefully this will gain him some exposure to a wider audience.

  4. It was great to meet you in person, Lissa! I'm amazed at how much detail you were able to capture at the presentation. Hope you made it home safely.

    One small correction: Human Metamorphosis, a.k.a. The Book of Human Insects, will be published as a single volume, not ten. According to the ANN Encyclopedia, the original Japanese edition consisted of two 180+ page tankubons.

    • It was fantastic meeting you there as well! I love having faces and voices to put to blogs now ^^
      Thanks so much for the correction! Not sure how I managed to mishear so incorrectly so I'm very grateful for the quick heads-up.

  5. […] Insects (Ningen Konchuki) and Usumaru Furuya’s No Longer Human (Ningen Shikaku). Deb Aoki and Lissa Pattillo were there and provide exhaustive […]

  6. […] and is completely pointless for the non-apple fanboy. You can get full coverage of the panel at Kuri-ousity, and more details at […]

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