New Jersey is home to North America’s only manga-specific convention this weekend – MangaNext. Along with it’s impressive guest list (if only it didn’t cost me $6500 to fly down last minute!), the convention is also the platform for some manga industry news.
Vertical Inc‘s Ed Chavez is attending the event and had two new manga licenses to announce at the company panel today:
Heroman – Stan Lee & Tamon Ohta
Limit – Keiko Suenobu
Heroman is a five volume series written by Marvel-character famed, Stan Lee. The story is illustrated by Tamon Ohta, who I couldn’t find any works from prior aside from ANN’s credit for art in the Heroman anime. This is Stan Lee’s second direct collaboration with a manga-artist – the first being Ultimo, published in English by Viz Media. Heroman is about a boy named Joey who discovers a discarded toy in the trash only to then find himself fighting alongside it to become a hero.
Limit is a six volume, psychological shoujo series from the creator of the Tokyopop published Life, Keiko Suenobu. It’s a pretty solid indication right there what kind of series this is going to be coupled with it’s suspenseful sounding plot. The story follows a young woman named Kanno who has lived indifferently towards her school and classmates. She’s forced to see things differently when a bus crash leaves her and four other survivors trapped on a cliff.
Along with these two titles, Vertical Inc also licensed a novel titled Grey Men and, to the foreseen surprise of many on Twitter, the Queen’s Blade Complete Visual Collection artbook (fantasy fanservice that’s a hentai without the sex). Ed Chavez has mentioned in the past that he wants consumers to see Vertical as a more diverse publisher and something so different from their most well-known series is definitely getting that point across. ANN has more information available on these two acquisitions.
I didn’t see any news reported on Twitter from the con-goers on when these books are scheduled to be published but I’ll definitely be purchasing both Heroman and Limit when they’re available. A fun, innocent looking shonen and a thought-provoking shoujo both look great to me!