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:
|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|
|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|
|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!